25) The Bay
What exactly attracted Oscar winning director Barry Levinson to this dreadful found footage film remains a mystery. Why it happened years after every single person in the universe with a camera has already done a film in this style is equally baffling.
24) Love (Angels & Airwaves)
Props to anyone who makes a low budget science fiction film, but make sure you have a story first. There's barely enough juice here for a 20 minute short. The film drags endlessly, most of it is stolen from famous films (Moon, A.I. and Contact, plus the 2001 book), and it seems to be laboring under the assumption that it's doing something profound. Also, the cardboard sets don't help. Seriously. Notice the window of the space station buckle, when the astronaut leans against it.
Swing and a miss from The Messenger director Oren Moverman. Already reviewed here.
22) The Girl
Dreadful attempt to explore the problems between Alfred Hitchcock and Tiipi Hendren, which started during the shooting of The Birds. The film is little more than malicious gossip. It makes preposterous, unfounded accusations against Hitchcock and reduces him to nothing more than a sex-hungry beast, while showing the psychological depth of a piece of cardboard. Plus, it can't even get the most simple and widely known facts right. Utter hack job. For shame. For. Shame.
Stillborn from the moment we heard Hollywood was going to do a $200 million film version of a bleeding board game. Director Peter Berg is Roger Corman to Michael Bay's David Lean in this context, and no amount of explosions or navy collaboration can distract from the charisma-vortex of Taylor Kitsch, or the frog-faced Rihanna who should never again be photographer or filmed. This battleship isn't sunk, it was built on the bottom of the deepest ocean.
20) John Carter
Stillborn from the moment we heard Hollywood was going to do a $200 million film version of a story everyone has been ripping off for a 100 years, and sure enough, this uninspired, bloated, desert-bound nonsense was every bit as awful as we feared, and no amount of grotesque CGI can distract from the charisma-vortex of Taylor Kitsch. What anyone ever saw in him is a mystery. Get your ass to Mars. And don't come back.
19) The Darkest Hour
Incoherent, dull mess of an alien invasion movie. The threat is non-existing, and if you've seen the trailer, you've seen everything the filmmakers have up their sleeve. Awful dialogue, unrealistic behavior from every single character, and a laughable relationship with continuity.
18) Iron Sky
What if the nazis went to the moon to hide and came back to invade the Earth? Done, now you know the best thing about the film - the setup - everything is downhill from there. This charmless and unfunny amateur film took so long to get finished that the jokes seems to be from the last century.
17) War Horse
Steven Spielberg's film about a horse is even more misguided than "hey, let's bring back Indy", "I can do a Kubrick film", or "Grown Peter Pan is not creepy at all". Never has a film worked so hard to make an emotional impact with so little result, while simultaneously being brain-numbingly dull. Also, why would you make a film about a horse?!
16) Red Tails
Landing somewhere between the Star Wars Holiday Special and The Phantom Menace, this unnecessary retelling of the story about black pilots during WWII set new standards for awkwardness and ugly virtual sets look. Missa wanna see black pilots fwy! Mui mui heroic! Shut up Jar Jar!
15) Madagascar 3
The first one was magical. The second solid. But the third Madagascar movie is a noisy, charmless, ugly, pointless mess. More on that here.
14) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Possibly the most surprising bad film of the year. Big historical figure, whose legacy is rewritten to include vampires, directed by the guy who did the incredibly entertaining Wanted. That should be fun, right? Unfortunately this film was more straight-faced than Schindler's List, less cheeky than 2001: A Space Odyssey and completely incapable of cashing in on its own premise. Never has the thought of a night at the theater seemed more promising.
13) The Tall Man
For a brief moment this film seems to do everything right (Casting Jessica Biel earns you many browny points). Then the film stumbles. And it doesn't just scrape its knee, no-no, this film falls flat on its face right in front of a truck, carrying a nuclear device. The truck slides out and crashes into a chemical plant. Everything blows up, starting a chain reaction that destroys the entire planet. Yup, it really is that stupid.
12) One in the Chamber
I had been looking SO much forward to this new film from Sinners and Saints director William Kaufman. Unfortunately every film he makes seems to be exponentially worse than the last. If this trend continues his next film will be a goat porn film. And a really shitty one too.
11) Tower Heist
A comedy without a single laugh, with a story so moronic and illogical everyone should be in movie jail for 10 years. Eddie Murphy needs to stop. Ben Stiller needs to stop. And Brett Ratner definitely needs to stop. Breathing is optional from this point on, guys. Just saying.
10) Resident Evil: Retribution
There's NO story in this film. Literally NO story. A bunch of random shootouts, and slow-motion fights strung together with no attempt to adhere to any kind of logic. Even worse than the abysmal fourth movie.
9) The Iron Lady
This complete whitewashing of one of the most questionable politicians of modern times is so utterly disgraceful, it's borderline criminal. With virtually no connection to reality the film attempts to portray Margaret Thatcher as a heroic feminist, in a style so misguided the film should literally never have been released.
8) Dark Tide
I already tore into this incompetent mess earlier. Read the full review here. Also... YOU CAN'T SWIM WITH FREAKING SHARKS.
7) Texas Killing Fields
Daughter (Ami Canaan Mann) of previously talented director (Michael Mann) attempts to show her father she can make a worse film than him. And wins by a landslide. Covered in more detail here.
6) The Innkeepers
One of the least scary "horror" movies ever made, ranking somewhere between Young Frankenstein and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Director Ti West displays a stunning lack of insight into his chosen genre (even if this was supposed to be a comedy), and the story goes absolutely nowhere. Only thing worse than the script is the staggeringly unwatchable Sara Paxton, who's less convincing than the kid who plays Anakin Skywalker.
5) Sleeping Beauty
The idea of watching a nude Emily Browning is very appealing. Watching her play an undefinable young girl who's paid to be groped by nasty old men, while she's passed out on a bed... Not so much. There's no real story here, no point, no theme, nothing. It's an art school film in the worst sense, and the fact that it was directed by a woman somehow makes it even more offensive.
4) Piranha 3DD
Hey remember that fairly profitable, overly nasty, incompetent Jaws ripoff we did a few years ago? Let's make a sequel, only let's reduce the budget by 80% so that everything looks even more shitty. Can we also make the effects worse, and shoot it in one of those inflatable swimming pools?
3) Hvidsten gruppen
This lazy, badly researched movie tries to tell the story of heroic freedom fighters in Denmark during WWII. It fails at every turn, including establishing that there's even a war going on, and explaining what these so-called heroes actually contributed.
Person-in-credits Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis (oh I'm sorry, I just can't refer to her using any official job title traditionally associated with the film industry) is unburdened by even the most basic filmmaking skills, and yet it's still unclear if her actors are really that incompetent or if she actively ruined them.
Why Francis Ford Coppola? WHY? Why did you do this film? Why did you write such a bad script, shoot it so poorly, and direct it with utter lack of skill? Was it some misplaced loyalty to old friend George Lucas? Did you try to distract everyone from The Phantom Menace by making something SO MUCH worse that everyone would forget that turd?
1) Den sidste rejse
This Danish black comedy action film, featuring the once marginally funny comedy duo of Finn Nørbygaard and Jacob Haugaard, is a failure on EVERY SINGLE LEVEL. Literally NOTHING works in it. NOTHING. The blame lies partially with the two "comedians", but mostly former stuntman Lasse Spang Olsen - who must have taken one too many punches to the face. He not only directed this film but also developed and wrote the script, photographed and edited, while providing stunt coordination, the visual effects, and the behind the scenes material. At least he sucks equally at everyone of these jobs.
And there you have it, my Bottom 25 list for 2012. Stay tuned for the Top 25 list.