Like any year, 2015 was a hotbed for steamy cinematic turds – and I don’t even watch Adam Sandler movies or Friedberg-Seltzer spoofs. Because let’s be honest, neither of the above have been good since I was in diapers. So for all the A+’s of 2015, there were accompanying F’s. For all the sweet, sweet victories, there were pussing, gaping canker sores. For every Leonardo DiCaprio, there is a Ryan Guzman. And a Ryan Guzman always brings the party down.
Before we get into the dirtiest of the dirt, let’s make time for some dishonorable mentions; those oh-so-terrible films that weren’t quite oh-so-terrible enough to get the caca crown. Bringing up the rear this year was the abominable Pixels (ok fine, I watched a Sandler), why-the-hell-is-James-McAvoy-so-good-in-this? a.k.a. Victor Frankenstein, the perpetually numb-skulled Insidious 3, Patrick Kelley’s antisocial and amoral Excess Flesh, Vin Diesel’s numbed-out jagoff bunt The Last Witch Hunter, Jack Black and James Marsden’s socially unaware and emotionally inept The D Train, the wholly awful horror comedy Cooties, and the perpetually unfunny, insensitive and offensive Hot Tub Time Machine 2.
God what a bad bunch of movies those were. Any of the above will make you want to wash your eyes out with soap. But before we do that, let’s move onto those that were even worse!
10. The Transporter Refueled
Ed Skrein sabotaged his career leaving a comfy spot on Game of Thrones as Daario Naharis for this stanky crud sack of a reboot. In a year brimming with underwhelming action movies, The Transporter Refueled might have objectively been the laziest and was certainly the least likely to inspire one wee shit. From any audience. Anywhere. Seriously, who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? As if your run-of-the-mill Jason Statham movies aren’t bad enough, The Transporter Refueled doesn’t even have the balding Cockney. With as much, if not more, casual sexism than action beats, The Transported Refueled is a repugnant, watered down, chauvinist and clueless actioner. Paging Mr. Skrein. This. Is. Rock. Bottom.
9. Wild Horses
I think Robert Duvall thinks he means well in his feckless gay rancher drama (yes, Robert Duvall helmed a gay rancher drama) but the end product is as battered and stupefied as an ASU frat bro running with the bulls on a hangover. The plodding, culturally irresponsible mess that is Wild Horses is led by Duvall’s real life wife, Luciana Duvall, who couldn’t convincingly sell an umbrella in a torrential downpour. Chick is useless in front of the camera, just as Duvall is useless behind it. It all amounts to a fairly sad effort, like watching an old man keel over from breaking his hip. And for a film that strives to be important and socially conscious, it winds up making a mockery of the topics it intends to confront and that’s just unforgivable.
8. Bound To Vengeance
Speaking of unforgivable, two dumbass dudes attempt to tell a story of sexual justice and wind up making a bald-faced parody of their alleged intent. Bound to Vengeance was originally packaged as Reversal and played at last year’s Sundance festival before undergoing market plastic surgery in a half-ass attempt to sidewind its tsunami of bad reviews. Those who saw it without warning were equally disgusted by this horror movie miming “female empowerment” while delivering thoroughly upsetting, recklessly thoughtless sexual violence. A true scourge on the genre, Bound to Vengeance is an ugly, tedious, unconscionable affair that propagates horror’s basest tendencies.
7. Dark Places
Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s tone-deaf adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s engaging airport fiction sucks the lifeblood from the project like a desperate amateur vampire. For having so much talent in front of the camera (Charlize Therone, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan, Chloe Grace Moretz… the list goes on) and a confident author to help steer the ship if need be, Dark Places is a complete and utter failure of a movie. That Brenner never feels in control of the film’s beats, that the components never get, that there is no internal consistency or integrity is all bad but, worse of all, Dark Places never actually feel like it’s actually movie. It’s a bizarre amalgam of movie-like parts that lacks the distinct aura of actually being one. It’s almost too bizarre to put into words. In essence, Dark Places is a ghost of a film; a movie abortion.
Divergent was a hell ride through 149-minutes of dirty-rainbow kiddie action fare and faux-edgy post-apocalypse set pieces. At least Insurgent had the decency to hack 20 minutes off the run time like it were Shailene Woodley‘s once-gorgeous locks of love. Even still, this dystopian diarrhea-fest is one shart after another of “who gives a flying f*ck?!” In a generation overloaded with young adult adaptations dying to stand out from the crowd at the cost of their dignity, few have been offered such gusty wind behind their sails and yet approached the task with such total apathy. Someone save Shailene from her manager because I don’t know if I can forgive her another one of these.
5. Fifty Shades of Grey
This petulance puke of an erotic thriller was utterly devoid of steam, smarts or sex. The international sensation sparked many flush faces for mommy heads tucked devilishly deep into paperbacks but the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey was nail-pulling bile. E.L. James‘ “source material” is a joke – a Rob Schneider-level joke – and Jamie Dornan is more mechanical than Ex Machina‘s Eva. Someone needs to oil up his sockets cuz he’s stiffer than…well you get the picture. What delightfully uncaptivating, totally boneless erotica.
4. Terminator: Genisys
Terminator has treaded fetid waters since the early 90s and few were prepared for this fifth iteration to somehow top the entirely dismissed third entry and the widely panned fourth in the ranks of “Shittiest Terminator Ever”. But boy oh boy does Alan Taylor prove our assumptions wrong. With the talentless, charisma-hole that is Jai Courtney in the drivers seat and Emilia Clarke erasing from memory everything cool she ever did with Danerys, Terminator: Genisys is a plotless orgy of ideas that fails to account for any of its irascible actions and somehow turns back time to erase our affection for the original two films. If this is what fan service looks like in 2015, bring on SkyNet.
3. The Boy Next Door
I still can’t wrap my head around J Lo – the OG J La – promoting The Boy Next Door as if it was her edgy dramatic comeback; a thrilling knight in shining armor meant to sweep her from the bowels of late-night obscurity back within her Latina sex icon palisades. If she actually saw the thing (let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she didn’t), she wouldn’t be lip-singing the same tune, as The Boy Next Door is easily one of the most egregiously shortsighted, mindlessly humdrum projects to see the light of day this year. From cover to cover, the movie is a laugh and, to its credit, it’s a joke that’s actually rather fun to laugh along at. So props there! As a movie though, holy hell it’s bad.
Michael Mann has been master and commander of some righteous ships in the past but Blackhat is so bad that it threatens to erase any and all goodwill we have collectively directed at the auteur over the years. His signature Mann touches are scrubbed out by an aged whiz’s captivation by “new” technologies and the script, again helmed by Mann, is an embarrassment of the “old dad tries to figure out that gawddamn new remote control” variety. Chris Hemsworth flounders in accentville but seems award-worthy compared to his pathetic onscreen compatriots. The action is faulty and often hilarious. The dialogue is sad. The romance is downright hysterical. If it hadn’t attempted to be such a straight-faced effort, the ensuing hilarity might have been easier to forgive. As is, a more underwhelming, tin-eared, laughable thriller there might have never been.
1. Ted 2
Ted 2 is a vile creation that sets human civilization back a decade. Seth MacFarlane checked out of comedy in making this atrocious foul-mouthed fuckbear sequel and allows his racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted, super-egoed, ass-to-mouth nastiest tendencies to take hold and go buck wild. From slut shaming to shameless product placement, Ted 2 is more a big blaring ad for the ugliest parts of America than it is an actual movie. I laughed zero times and I hated it with every fiber in my body. If there’s ever another 9/11, this movie is to blame.