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10 Worst Movies of 2011

2012-01-12 12:08
10 Worst Movies of 2011
It may be a new year but with the awards season in full swing (the annual Golden Globes will be handed out this weekend, followed by the Academy Award nominations on January 24), Hollywood is still very much focused on the last year in film.

And not just the best the year had to offer. The Golden Raspberry Awards - better known as the Razzies - are probably the most clear-headed and entertaining annual awards that recognise the worst that Hollywood had to offer. Traditionally held the night before the Oscars, it offers a sobering counterpoint to the gleeful back-slapping and self-congratulations of 'Hollywood's Biggest Night'.

In that spirit, may I present to you the 10 films that made 2011 memorable - for all the wrong reasons. Chances are that many of these titles will find themselves Razzie-nominated in the coming weeks...

10. The Tourist

Angelina and Johnny made panning this film far too easy. As an international thief/spy/lady of mystery, Angelina looked like a million bucks as she traipsed around the cobbled street and canals of Europe while Johnny Depp followed her around like a lovesick puppydog with nothing better to do. The chemistry between these two was nowhere to be found, and the slow pace was a good fit for the European setting, just not any fun for the audience who would have expected some more bang for their buck, so to speak. Though the film did serve as a valuable reminder to Hollywood that a star cast can so easily turn into a film's greatest weakness (see New Year's Eve below for further proof).

9. Larry Crowne

The best thing anyone could accuse Tom Hanks' Larry Crowne of is that it is competently put together with a discernable beginning, middle and end. Though what transpires during those phases is where the many problems lie. Touted as a romantic comedy that takes its cues from the global economic crisis, Hanks and leading lady Julia Roberts fail to rediscover any of the crazy chemistry they brought to Charlie Wilson's War and only manage to get along here. Hanks' attempt at creating an upbeat film experience falls horribly flat with too-long scenes and just feels too phony and naïve. It's hard to imagine Hanks sitting down behind the camera, watching his cast at work and thinking that what he was creating was worth unleashing on the general public.

8. Abduction

Let's just call this Taylor Lautner's first - and last - attempt at playing at action heroes. His utter lack of charisma ensures that his first foray into leading man territory (after always coming off second best to Robert Pattinson in the Twilight movies) falls flat from the get-go. And it doesn't help that his presence also somehow manages to ruin the good work being done by his veteran co-stars Jason Isaacs and Sigourney Weaver. Lautner should probably ride the Twilight train as long as he can before considering a career in carpentry - or ab modelling.

7. Red Riding Hood

Director Catherine Hardwicke was hired to helm the first Twilight movie, the one that sparked a massive multi-million dollar franchise - but then got sidelined for the follow-ups. Watching Red Riding Hood (and indeed Twilight itself) it all starts to make sense. Hardwicke is heavy on creating 'the mood' and seems to be obsessed with fog as the best and only way of setting it. In this version of the classic folk tale, Red Riding Hood is a young maiden named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) who lives in a medieval village that is being haunted by a bloodthirsty wolf. The plot is messy and joyless and far too dense for a film that's aimed at the Twilight crowd. Valerie's sexual frustration as she is torn between two dashing suitors and the threat of a violent predator should have made this a far more exciting prospect.

6. New Year's Eve

Not only is New Year's Eve the biggest waste of a whole bunch of (mostly) talented actors' time this past year - it was also a film that did not even warrant making after director Garry Marshall made a mockery of the romantic comedy with the previous year's Valentine's Day. The blooper reel during the end credits was the best part of the movie, but also threw egg in the faces of the filmmakers because it was as cute and as funny as the prior 90 minutes was not.

5. Zookeeper

How'd Kevin James get to be a leading man? His career choices over the last few years (Grown Ups, The Dilemma, Paul Blart: Mall Cop) have not exactly set the box office alight. Guess being Adam Sandler's buddy goes a very long way in Hollywood. Here James plays a zookeeper (see what they did there?) who leaves his job and beloved animals behind to find a more classy job, but the animals don't want him to leave so let him in on the biggest secret in the animal kingdom: They can talk! Who bloody cares?

4. What's Your Number?

Strangely enough this forgettable antidote to the 'chick flick' also had the most insulting premise of them all - and it was one of our most-read reviews of the year. Anna Faris uses her unique comic skills as a single woman who is informed by Marie Claire that she has slept with too many men and will never find a husband if she reaches a particular number of sexual partners. So instead of finding Mr Right, Ally Darling seeks to revisit all her past lovers hoping one of them will be The One. But then the hottest guy in the movie (Chris Evans) is also her helpful neighbour who offers to help her on her mission and we all know how it's going to end within the opening 5 minutes so why should they even have bothered with the rest?

3. Jock of the Bushveld

Let me say this: South Africa's first 3D animated feature film will serve as a lesson for any future attempts at this commendable feat. Director Duncan MacNeillie initially brought the story of the faithful bull terrier pup to the big screen in the 80s and re-magined the classic story for a new generation, giving the story a more light-hearted tone with a happy ending for the kids. Though the kids were surely frightened out of their skin by some of the jerky animated characters, in particular George the baboon. Many readers complained that their kids were too afraid and some even burst into tears. Though the film did well at the local box office and boasted a star-studded voice cast (Bryan Adams, Helen Hunt, Donald Sutherland and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu), it was not the pleasant trip down memory lane that so many had hoped for. Better luck next time.

2. Green Lantern

2011 was not a very good year for superheroes. Sure, we had Marvel legends like Captain America and Thor and the excellent X-Men: First Class to get our blood pumping - but embarrassing misfires like Conan the Barbarian, I Am Number Four and worst offender Green Lantern ended up grabbing all the headlines for the wrong reasons. Ryan Reynolds brings his natural charm to the role of cocky test pilot Hal Jordan but once he zaps into that ludicrous green suit and sets off on his intergalactic adventure, this superhero movie loses all purpose other than to induce widespread comas. At least 2012 promises an embarrassment of superhero fun-times: The Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises. They can't come soon enough.

1. Sucker Punch

Yikes. I can kinda see what Zack Snyder was trying to get at with this genre-schizo fantasy-action epic in which the dull-as-dishwater Emily Browning (as a girl named Baby Doll) is forced into a mental asylum by her sadistic stepfather. Whilst there she meets other young girls who were also done wrong and together they fight evil, or something, by imagining themselves as ninja warriors, stripper warriors and, er, war warriors. Just the opening slow-mo montage in which Baby Doll (that damned name) discovers that her stepfather has killed (and possibly raped) her younger sister only to be framed for the crime herself is the most torturous five minutes of any movie released in 2011. There's no doubt that Snyder has an eye for beauty and can frame a shot well - if only he knew how to rein it in.

Bad movies not bad enough to make the cut:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - They tried a bit harder with this one and it shows. The performances were slightly more tolerable, the intense romance felt real and earned, and the wedding and honeymoon sequences were just gorgeous to look at. The story is still hilariously bad though, on that we can depend until the very end.

Ek Lief Jou - The Kurt Darren romantic comedy has amateur written all over it but who could deny the pure entertainment of it all. Christina Storm got her boobs out for a split second, the musical performances were quite pleasant and the humour - intentional or not - actually worked. We want a sequel!

Final Destination 5 (3D) - Hey, if you're still invested in this formulaic horror franchise then good for you. Though what you're getting out of the experience... we'd love to know.

* OVER TO YOU: Which 2011 movies made you walk out, or rage in our review comments section? We want to know. SLAM your most hated movie from the last year by sending us a mail about why you hated it to

With awards season in full swing, Hollywood still has its attentions focused almost solely on the year in movies gone by. Here are the 10 movies released in 2011 that left us cold.

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