With our picks for best films of 2013, we inevitably have to look at the most disappointing too. It’s not a happy occasion – we wish all films could be award-winning but alas, they are not! Note that we don’t say the worst films of the year, instead the Culturefly writers have chosen the films that didn’t live up to audience hype or personal expectations. There were a fair few but we’ve narrowed them down!
To The Wonder – Stephen Mayne
Terrence Malick’s latest is a poor imitation of his previous successes. He’s not skimped on his directorial trademarks but none of it gels together. For all his attempts to deconstruct human relationships, the only truth To The Wonder reveals is that beautiful cinematography alone does not make a good film.
The Host – Natalie Xenos
Whilst many book adaptations have hit the big screen this year, none of them were as disappointing as The Host. Being a fan of the book I knew it would be a tricky task to bring the story to life and, though Saoirse Ronan tried hard to make it work in her part as protagonist Melanie/Wanda, there’s simply no disguising how cringing the final product is. With stilted performances and a horrible script, this is a prime example of a book that should have been left untouched.
The Counsellor – James McAllister
How could a film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Cormac McCarthy and starring Michael Fassbender be such a colossal let down. If the story was poor, it was nothing compared to the dialogue, which monotonously tried to impart weary life lessons on its likely to be sleeping audience. Then there was the image of Cameron Diaz having sex with a car windshield, which has been unfairly burned on to my memory for all eternity.
Man of Steel – Kane Basterrechea
With comic book superfan Zack Snyder at the helm and Christopher Nolan guiding the ship, I was cautiously optimistic about Man Of Steel. I really shouldn’t have been. Let down at every turn by David S. Goyer’s wretched script, Man Of Steel is baffling, infuriating, but mostly just plain boring. Nothing about this film made sense. Why did Russell Crowe need to dive into a pool to grab part of a skull to use as a key to launch the pod that sent Clark Kent to Earth? Do buttons not exist on Krypton? This version of Superman is not a hero – he just hits things until he wins. Man Of Steel is not the worst movie of the year, but it’s possibly the most disappointing and certainly the most depressing.
Oblivion – Natalie Xenos
For a film that had everything going for it on paper, including huge financial backing and the inclusion of Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, there was no reason why Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion shouldn’t have been the best sci-fi film of the year. Lacklustre acting, awkward dialogue and constant pacing issues dragged it down, with the only redeemable factor being the soundtrack, provided admirably by M83, and not even that could save it.
Pacific Rim – James McAllister
Guillermo del Toro wrote and directed this homage to the monster movies he grew up with. His heart was no doubt in the right place, but the end result was frustratingly dull. The action was repetitive and uninspired, while the script was a damp squib that offered little beyond a ‘hell yeah’ speech from Idris Elba.
Frances Ha – Stephen Mayne
Frances Ha is not a bad film. It’s just not a very good one, squandering great potential. A stereotype of cliquey, hipster cool, stylised to the point of soullessness, Frances herself commits one minor sin made worse by a major sin. She’s deeply irritating but even worse she’s simply not believable as a real person.
Despicable Me 2 – Nick Gomez
My choice for most disappointing film of the year comes in the form of the second-rate Despicable Me 2. It failed to reach the heights of the first movie and, whilst the same characters were back, the antics that surprised the first time around were not so funny the second time. Unfortunately, many of the best jokes were revealed in and spoiled by the trailer. Such a shame.
After Earth – Kriss Tolliday
I suppose this isn’t the most disappointing film of the year, considering I really wasn’t expecting very much, but despite starring Will Smith and providing an opportunity for M. Night Shyamalan to revitalise and redeem himself, After Earth fell flat on its face and is certainly one of the worst films of the year.
The Hangover Part 3 – James McAllister
Given the disappointment of Part 2, it should have come as no surprise that the third (and hopefully final) chapter in this now tired franchise left a bitter taste in the mouth. To the writer’s credit, they tried to freshen things up with a new plot, but apart from an outrageous epilogue, this was a film sorely lacking in laughs. Worst still was the forced inclusion of Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow, possibly one of modern-day cinema’s most bloodcurdlingly annoying characters.
Which film disappointed you the most this year?