Dec 092014


A completely subjective list of films that I really didn’t enjoy in 2014. They’re a mix of cinema releases, direct-to-VOD and festival flicks. Some of these are comedies that weren’t funny; some were indie/low-budget films with no substance; and others just really, really offended me. Check out the list after the jump.

10. The Last 5 Years (Richard LaGravenese)

Watching this film was like listening to people tell an in-joke that you don’t know the context to. Adapted from the very popular stage show of the same name, this film was made for those who were familiar with the source material, and not for anyone else. The film was littered with Broadway/theater jokes that went way over my head and I was completely bored by the sickly singing and middling plot. This film also wins the award for the worst cinematography of the year – I didn’t realise it was possible to be so bored by the way the camera moved. It was completely uninspired.

9. Serena (Susanne Bier)

10 minutes in and I knew this film was not going to be good. I should have listened to my judgement and walked out, but instead I stayed to be lulled into a stupor for the 109 minute runtime of this snooze-fest. Bier has done the seemingly impossible and proved that yes, you can in fact make a film with two of the most charismatic actors around and have zero chemistry. From the clunky dialogue, to the poor editing and the amazing (cough) CGI-spectacular ending, this film really didn’t have much going for it.

8. Palo Alto (Gia Coppola)

I know a lot of people really liked this film, but it didn’t work for me it all. It felt like the result of a rich child’s film project about their über cool friends and their oh-so-tough upper class life. I hated the way this was shot, particulary the seemingly random slapping on of a weird filter in a few spots. James Franco’s delivery was so bad I actually snorted at some point. I’m pretty sure he was just getting high. A dull exercise.

7. A Million Ways to Die in the West (Seth MacFarlane)

I have never been so grateful for a fire alarm in my life. Someone up there must have been listening to me mutter, “get me out of here” under my breath. This is not my type of humour. I laughed…once, I think. Mostly I swayed between being bored and feeling embarrassed by how bad it was. Poor Charlize, she really did give it her all.

6. The World of Kanako (Tetsuya Nakashima)

While watching this I swayed from being bored, to being impressed and to being deeply offended. I have to give the film praise for its interesting cinematography and editing – there were some really impressive montages set to bubblegum Japanese hyper pop that worked very well. However in between all that was a boring story about a disgusting man, his screwed up daughter and the sex crimes and abuse that were apart of their worlds. Features the most amount of violence towards women I have seen in film for some time. I can usually handle extreme Japanese cinema, but this was too much for me.

5. Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan)

In a world where we have the Paradise Lost trilogy and West of Memphis, film has no right existing. It offers nothing. It has no point, no unique view, no angle and has been edited by someone who has never seen a good film. Its thin, meandering narrative fades away to absolutely nothing. Poorly acted by all except Witherspoon and DeHaan (in his pointless 3 mins onscreen), it really is a complete waste of time.

4. 24 Exposures (Joe Swanberg)

I quite like Joe Swanberg’s quirky brand of mid-life indie-comedies, but this film was not one of these. I think he was trying to create an edgy film which blurred the line between art and life. Poor acting, ridiculous plot developments and long stretches of nothing happening, it just didn’t work. I think he should have probably just made a porno – it’s the closest thing to what this film is in its current form.

3. 11.6 (Philippe Godeau)

One of the greatest crimes a film can commit is to be boring. This film is exactly that, boring to the point of being painful. I really have nothing else to say, except for the fact that this film was easily the most boring film I saw this year.

2. Miss Violence (Alexandros Avranas)
Miss Violence

This film crossed a line which I cannot forgive. It made me feel physically ill. There are aspects to admire about this claustrophobic Greek family drama, but all of this was wiped out by the directors decision to portray what he did in the way he did. I understand why people like this film, but I can’t think about it without feeling angry.

1. Manglehorn (David Gordon Green)

What a mess. What an incomprehensible, badly edited, poorly written mess. Also there is a thing with a cat that I really didn’t like. Like Serena, this was a film that I knew I wouldn’t like 10 minutes in and should have walked out of. This is one of those films that likes to spell out every metaphor in a way which makes you wonder if the filmmakers had any respect for the intelligence of their audience at all. Meandering to an ending of absolutely no consequence, this film was the worst I saw in 2014.
Quite bad, but not bad enough to be in the top 10: 11. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, 12. Maps to the Stars, 13. The Cobbler, 14. The Monuments Men, 15. That Awkward Moment.
What were your worst films of 2014? Is there anything on my list you’d like to come to the defence of?

By Sam McCosh

  2 Responses to “The Worst Films of 2014”

  1. I’ve only seen AMWTDITW from this list, which I tend to agree on.

    My bottom 5 atm:

    5. A Million Ways To Die In The West
    4. Only Lovers Left Alive
    3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
    2. Winter’s Tale
    1. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

    I have also been selective this year, and would go as far as saying that out of the 69 films I’ve seen, I only really hated Kumiko!

    • ONLY LOVERS is in your bottom?? Really, Alex, Really? Oh my :/ I didn’t hate Kumiko, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t think Winter’s Tale is all that bad – it’s not great but at least it tried to do something.

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