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The Five Most Forgettable Films of 2009

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 5, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 5, 2010 |

Though it's all available online now, I still dig the hell out of cracking open that year-end issue of Entertainment Weekly, thumbing to the top 100 movies of the year by box-office gross, and counting how many of them I've seen (76 of 100; 103 of 150 in 2009). There are always a few titles, however, that I have to think on for a few seconds and remind myself if I'd actually seen that movie or not. It gets to be kind of a blur, and certainly movies are so instantly forgettable that -- even if I'd reviewed them (as I had for four of the movies below) -- they fail to leave any sort of impression, either good or bad. They're just unmemorable. Here are the five most forgettable of 2009:

5. Surrogates: Is it worth seeing? Well, it's not a terrible movie by any stretch, and was certainly an enjoyable enough time. It's got a great atmosphere throughout, and the constructed world is genuinely interesting and well thought out, but the plot and story just don't hold up their end of the film. So if you're not a sci-fi junkie, you're probably not going to find much here. If you are a sci-fi junkie though, and enjoy detail and setting even if the plot is middling, then it's not a bad film to catch. -- Steven Wilson

4. Everybody's Fine: It's clear, too, that after director Kirk Jones shipwrecks the movie with that achingly false turn, that he wants to salvage the original tone, but it's too late and too much destruction has already been made of what was an otherwise mostly bland film anyway. I would've been content enough, I suppose, with a predictable feel-good holiday movie, but Everybody's Fine can't even settle for simple predictability. Instead, it reaches for a knockout blow, and ends up flailing to the ground, knocking itself out on the toilet seat on the way down. Everybody's Fine is a holiday turd left to float cause nobody bothered to jiggle the handle. -- Dustin Rowles

3. Next Day Air: Next Day Air is essentially an urban Tarantino flick, if Tarantino were on lithium and missing the right side of his brain; meshed with Guy Ritchie's stylism, if Ritchie were a wall-eyed, color-blind, monthly-pass holder on the short bus; crossed with a stoner comedy where someone forgot to bring the goddamn pot. It's flat, lifeless genre mash-up with little personality, no attitude, and worst of all: Barely any Mos Def. -- Dustin Rowles

2. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: Tony Scott is not one to leave well enough alone. He insists on amping everything up, blaring transit horns and murdering you in post-production. But despite that, Helgeland's no-nonsense script and the outstanding performances manage to break through the stylish franticism, and once the film gains some momentum, there's even some genuine tension and an ending that's refreshingly twist free. It's not a movie that will stay with you; it's not a movie that you'll talk about afterward; and it's not a movie you'll rush to recommend to anyone. But it's a competent, suitable summer diversion and, though it doesn't quite do justice to the original, it doesn't desecrate it, either. -- Dustin Rowles

1. Post Grad: Post-Grad is a fairly un-redeeming movie, though you probably don't need a review to guess that. I assumed it was going to be fairly vanilla, but had hoped it would at least provide some empty pleasure, an idle 90 minutes of frothy nothingness, a made-for-TBS movie pockmarked with enough geniality to carry it toward a predictable, formulaic end. But it's not even that -- no one needs to fear that it will wind up on your personal secret shame lists anytime soon. It's not vanilla so much as its flavorless -- bottled water sweetened with Splenda. There are no guilty calories in Post-Grad because there are no calories at all. Just well-lit filler taking up space in your glass. -- Dustin Rowles

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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