The 10 Worst Films of 2013
10. Jobs — Jobs is the kind of made-for-television type of biopic more concerned with hitting all the notes than it is in actually making music. It’s a two-hour montage, a museum tour through the life of Steve Jobs with Ashton Kutcher narrating, taking pains to emphasize the name of every new character introduced as though winking to the knowing viewers in the audience, “This is … Mike Markkula, who you already know is going to be the CEO of Apple in five years, right?” I don’t really know anymore about Steve Jobs and Apple Computers now than I did going into the movie (except for the child he disowned, which is glossed over), but I do know that Ashton Kutcher does a pretty good job of mimicking the walk of Steve Jobs, though it doesn’t really inform the character in any way. The entire movie is basically a two-hour Wikipedia entry, unsatisfyingly thin for those who want insights into the innovator, and decidedly lifeless for anyone who wants to be entertained. It is a boring failure. — Dustin Rowles
9. The Counselor — Perversely, the most revealing scene in The Counselor turns out to be a story told in flashback, as Reiner tells the counselor about an evening when he and Malkina were parked alone and she expressed a desire to offer her body amorously to his convertible. Without another word, she removes her underwear, exits the car, mounts the windshield with her legs splayed wide, and begins to grind against the glass. Reiner, in the passenger seat, gazes on, more horrified than aroused by what he can only describe as a “catfish” kind of image. He tells the counselor that the whole thing was so weird, so uncomfortable, so plainly and sadly exhibitionist, that he’d do anything to just forget it and move on. It’s the only truthful moment in the film, because I now know exactly how he feels. — Daniel Carlson
8. The Big Wedding — Every scene in The Big Wedding sort of listlessly peters out, like the last gasps of air fluttering from a deflating balloon. Half the time the acting feels so phoned in it’s as if the actors just went off script because they couldn’t be bothered to learn their lines. Hopefully that is the case because nobody could truly write a script this bad and think it had enough merit to turn it into an actual movie. There is not one scrap of joy or profundity to be found in this train wreck.
Pajiba: Well, you say that The Hangover III (scanning back through my notes) “isn’t for everyone.” Isn’t that the point of these kind of movies? To be for as many people as possible? If it’s not for fairly bright people who loved the original movie, then who is it for?
Cooper: I don’t know how to answer that question.
Pajiba: I’m not sure how you could answer question, either. I apologize. I’ve put you in an awkward position of having to defend a movie that’s not necessarily in line with your better more recent output.
Cooper: Those are your words. Look, I’m not trying to defend anything. We wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original film, and I think in that respect, III was a success.
Pajiba: If by “spirit,” you mean, repeating the same beats and the same structure for a third time, only with less enthusiasm, I agree with you 100 percent. Well, 80 percent, because there wasn’t an actual hangover in the sequel, which is not exactly in line with the title of the movie. But I feel like you were not very successful in staying true to the comedic spirit of the original hangover. This felt more like a bland action film than a comedy. There weren’t even many attempts at comedy. I mean, it was good to see John Goodman and all, but this was the rare instance where not even he could save a film. He couldn’t even save his own scenes.
Cooper: I’m sorry, Duncan, but is this a review or an interview? — Dustin Rowles
6. Paranoia — There is nothing entertaining about Paranoia; emptying the contents of your bladder into your pants is more entertaining that this movie. If Liam Hemsworth were to see his own movie, he would actually cry. It would be so dispiriting that he would probably quit acting, and apologize to everyone unfortunate enough to pay for Paranoia. Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, who are secondary characters in the film, each had only one line that they repeated over and over throughout the film: “Please give me my paycheck now so I can go home. Please give me my paycheck now so I can go home.” I don’t even think Richard Dreyfus knows he’s in the film; I think people just came to his house and filmed him while he was sitting in a lazy chair watching TV and left an envelope in cash in his mailbox on the way out. — Dustin Rowles
5. Getaway — Beyond its mere stupidity and pointlessness, the film is an exercise in complete amateurism. It is made with the competence of a student film produced at the last minute by an drunk would-be director who is teetering on failing out of the third-rate film school that reluctantly decided to take his loan money. I could look up the director’s name I suppose, but that would take more effort than he’s worth, and the film is so bad that it’s probably a hate crime to reveal the director’s identity. — Steven Lloyd Wilson
4. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug — Peter Jackson’s insistence on changing what is on the page is the most infuriating film experience I have ever had, and it gets worse with every passing film. He does not change for the sake of adaptation. His systematic changes to the story methodically reduce clever (and yes, cinematic) events on the page into dull abbreviations for the sake of adding interminable chase sequences. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the apex of his annihilation of the source material. This film is terrible. Peter Jackson systematically cuts everything from the book that is cinematic and interesting and layers on his own story instead, a story that is amateurish crap. One gets the impression that if the title of the book wasn’t The Hobbit that Jackson would cut Bilbo out entirely. — Steven Lloyd Wilson
3. Grown Ups 2 — There is not a single redeeming moment during Grown Ups 2. There is not a single laugh to be had. There is only the pain of knowing that each scene will unfortunately be followed by another scene, and each subsequent scene will force you to confront the decisions you made in your life that led you to this place, to a theater with far too many people in it, watching a poorly improvised pastiche of sketches — many of them abandoned due to indifference — featuring actors who simply do not care. — Dustin Rowles
2. Safe Haven — Safe Haven is not the first romantic drama that I have seen, nor will it be the last, and I will freely confess that there have been films of the genre that I have found profoundly moving and affecting. This film, this hideous piece of treacly, diabetes-inducing hogshit, is not one of them. It’s drab, dull, and dumbfounding in its aimless and uninspired execution. The fact that it’s capped with such a completely idiotic twist is not just the rancid cherry on this very special dick-cheese sundae, but also what elevates the film from just run-of-the-mill dumb and boring to transcendentally, epically, extraordinarily horrible. — TK
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