The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2011

Published 2 years ago by , Updated December 31st, 2011 at 8:13 am, This is a list post.

most disappointing movies of 2011 What really constitutes a "disappointment" is pretty subjective. To use a couple of examples: some people would say they were really let down by Captain America: The First Avenger or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, simply because the films weren't as fantastic as they had hoped. Others, though, would argue those titles are still rock-solid films and that certain moviegoers' expectations were so overblown that no motion picture could possibly meet them. But that's a whole other discussion... Today, we have a list of 10 films released in 2011 that simply failed to live up to the Screen Rant staff's collective expectations. Bear in mind, this isn't at all synonymous with a "worst of" list for 2011 - in fact, you may notice that a handful of the movies listed here actually received decent reviews from us. Read on to see if you agree with our selections and leave your own stories of disappointment at the movies in our comment section below.

10. Apollo 18

apollo 18 movie image Back in January 2011, director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego's low-budget sci-fi/horror faux documentary, Apollo 18, managed to land a spot on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2011 list. That was due primarily to the film's ominous poster and the plot setup (ie. The Blair Witch Project on the moon meets a wicked sci-fi conspiracy thriller). Things started to look less enticing following the premiere of a spoiler-heavy first trailer and multiple release date delays, with rumors circulating that Apollo 18 was being heavy re-edited, as a means of salvaging the (dismal) final product. Not so surprisingly, the actual movie turned out to be one of the worst of the year. The moral of the story? A memorable poster and logline does not a great movie make (see: the next entry on our list, for further proof).

9. The Hangover Part II

bradley cooper hangover 2 sequel While director Todd Phillips' followup to The Hangover may have boasted one of the best posters of 2011, the comedy sequel otherwise proved to be a real dud. It still managed to make a bundle in theaters and left many people satisfied, but the moviegoing masses as a whole  (us included) were decidedly less enthused about the Wolfpack's second round of drunken tomfoolery. We didn't head into  The Hangover Part II expecting something all that innovative; even the film's trailers made it clear, the sequel's plot was virtually identical to the original. Where the movie was lacking was in the department(s) that really mattered - that is, humor and heart. Many of the lewd gags, outrageous jokes, actor cameos, or even character beats in the second Hangover flick just fell flat or felt irritatingly tired. Lightning rarely strikes the same place twice - somebody probably should've let Phillips and Co. in on that "secret" in advance.

8. Immortals

luke evans zeus immortals movie When the first trailer for Immortals was unveiled, most everyone had the same thought - "It looks like '300'" - but since a lot of people actually enjoyed 300, that didn't seem like such a bad thing. With director Tarsem Singh (The Cell) calling the shots, Immortals was guaranteed to at least boast some pretty spectacular visuals. The film definitely triumphs in the area of eye candy - the problem is, it falls flat most everywhere else. That can partially be chalked up to a weak screenplay, but Singh shares some blame as well; Immortals only sporadically delivers impressive fight choreography and set pieces. Who would've thought a movie that includes a vicious "minotaur" with a barbed-wire head, Mickey Rourke as a merciless ancient barbarian, and a literal battle between Gods and Titans could be so... well, boring?

7. In Time

in time movie justin timberlake amanda seyfried Those who are well-versed in the cinema of Andrew Niccol (writer of Gattaca, The Truman Show, and S1m0ne) were really excited to hear that he was working on a new original, thought-provoking project, which ultimately ended up being titled In Time. Early footage might not have looked spectacular, but there were still hopes that Niccol would deliver yet another provocative helping of philosophical sci-fi cinema. Sadly, that didn't prove to be the case. In Time features a great premise and touches on some timely social issues, but not in a competent or interesting manner. Justin Timberlake didn't exactly get high marks as the film's protagonist, and even generally reliable thespians such as Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, and Vincent Kartheiser failed to leave a strong impression. Niccol has translated his cool ideas into great moviemaking before, but In Time was something he should've let cook a bit longer before serving.

6. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

katie holmes dont be afraid dark Director Troy Nixey's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark remake managed to leave an impression with its (creepy) teaser trailer. The news that Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) had co-written and produced the film only lent further credence to the idea that this could be a great addition to the haunted house/monster horror genre. Nixey and del Toro ultimately failed to do anything interesting with Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; the remake also suffers from some shoddy filmmaking and poor acting. When a movie is marketed as being "presented by Guillermo del Toro," we've come to expect something memorable like The Orphanage or Splice - not a throwaway supernatural horror flick like this one.

5. Battle Los Angeles

aaron eckhart battle los angeles Battle Los Angeles was marketed as  a realistic and unpolished war flick in the vein of Black Hawk Down, featuring U.S. soldiers battling literal alien invaders. While director Jonathan Liebesman went overboard with "shaky cam" and frantic editing, the main culprit responsible for the movie being just so-so was Christopher Bertolini's screenplay. Even some pretty solid acting wasn't enough to overcome predictable plot twists, clunky character beats, and a less-than-captivating storyline. BLA was one of two releases in 2011 that aimed to effectively mash up sci-fi with another genre, but was only somewhat successful with the blend. The other film in question (as shall be discussed next) didn't turn out so well either...

4. Cowboys & Aliens

daniel craig cowboys aliens A popular fake movie poster that re-named Cowboys & Aliens as "Geek Nirvana" was right on the money. This project featured creative input from people like Iron Man director Jon Favreau, producers Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, along with Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Lost writer/co-showrunner Damon Lindelof, and Iron Man scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. Not to mention, it pitted James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against aliens, in an Old West backdrop. Having so many cooks in the kitchen ultimately didn't help this sci-fi-meets-western romp. Cowboys & Aliens is a standard and serviceable popcorn flick, but given the talent involved, we expected something more. For all the premature skepticism that surrounded the film because of its campy title, it's kind of ironic that combining a gritty western with sci-fi archetypes was the one thing this movie didn't have much trouble doing.

3. J. Edgar

leonardo dicaprio j edgar movie Clint Eastwood's latest filmmaking effort is another case where the final product turned out...decent. Still, this had the potential to be far more than a run-of-the-mill biographical drama - one which fumbles some fascinating subject matter, a tedious approach to storytelling, and even some questionable technical qualities (ex. the "old person" makeup effects). J. Edgar isn't all disappointment, of course. It does feature some very good supporting turns from people like Armie Hammer and Judi Dench; not to mention, some of the best period-accurate production design (costumes, props, etc.) you're likely to see onscreen outside of acclaimed period TV dramas like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. All the same, Eastwood's Hoover biopic (as a whole) is kind of like Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as the title character: satisfactory, but disappointingly far from the crowning achievement it had the potential to be.

2. Sucker Punch

zack snyder sucker punch movie Zack Snyder's ambitious attempt to blend his trademark hyper-realistic visuals and rockin' soundtracks with an original storyline that pays homage to Alice in Wonderland (and borrows a few tricks from Inception) certainly looked and sounded like a shiny, female-centric action blockbuster... in early trailers and clips, that is. Sadly, Sucker Punch ultimately proved unable to coherently address its own existential themes or create interesting (or even discernible) characters; the film's action sequences and set pieces weren't all that thrilling, either. Snyder, by his own admittance, attempted to structure the movie as a meta-commentary on the often-sexualized nature of geek culture; his inability to pull that off resulted in Sucker Punch feeling more like an (inadvertently) exploitative two-hour long music video that isn't nearly as brainy as it fancies itself to be. And the MOST disappointing movie of 2011 is...

1. Green Lantern

ryan reynolds green lantern movie This particular DC comic book flick has stirred up more debate than any other 2011 blockbuster. Pre-release buzz varied from hostile (see: early reactions to the incomplete CGI Lantern costume) to ecstatic (see: responses to the WonderCon footage). When the actual movie was released, the majority of moviegoers were undeniably disappointed - and yet, a passionate minority continues to insist that Green Lantern got an unfair bum rap from critics. (Go figure.) As far as we here at Screen Rant are concerned, Green Lantern was the biggest letdown of 2011 - not only because of how it fumbled the supehero's mythology, but also because it had weak dialogue, a lackluster plot, curious lapses in character motivation, and expensive digital effects that distracted from (rather than enhancing) the film's messy thematic arc. At the end of the day, this is one comic book property that we'd support getting a fresh start - be it via a "rebooting sequel" (see: G.I. Joe 2) or a standard do-over (see: The Incredible Hulk).

Top 10 disappointing Movies 2011 So, there you have it - our picks for the biggest letdowns at the movie theater in 2011. Did you agree with our list? Is there anything you would've added? Anything on there that doesn't belong, in your opinion?  Let us know in the comments below. With sci-fi films like Ridley Scott's Alien tie-in, Prometheus, and super hero blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises all due out in 2012, hopefully next year's list of disappointments will be much shorter than this year's. After all, if 2012 is truly the end of the world, we'd prefer to go out on a high note, wouldn't you?  
TAGS: apollo 18, battle los angeles, cowboys and aliens, don't be afraid of the dark, green lantern, immortals, in time, J Edgar, sucker punch, the hangover 2

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  1. Let’s not forget conan the barbarian.

  2. Let’s not forget conan the barbarian was a total letdown.

  3. this list is a disappointment to me. In order for me to be disappointed by any of these films I would of have to have some sort of an expectation to begin with, but I pretty much assumed they would all be crap, and they were, so I was never disappointed. I could of come up with a much better list than this. Like Avatar, had everything going for it. It was written, directed, and produced by one of the better film makers of our time, but some how it was a steaming pile of poop. It had a stupid story,horrible script, boring acting, and cheesy looking creature designs. That to me is the definition of disappointment. There are many more like this, but none of them are on this list. Did anyone actually think that the Green Lantern, or Sucker Punch or any of the films on this list would actually be worth watching?? I wasn’t surprised by the crap quality of any of these films.

    • i don’t think green lantern was THAT bad. if they redo it i think they should keep reynolds as the lantern and just make another movie (like they did with Hulk).

      I rather liked Sucker Punch. Emily Browning is hot as hell in that movie, plus the soundtrack kicks ass.

      I agree i was expecting more from Apollo 18, but it’s still at least entertaining.

      Before i saw battle: los angeles i saw the cheap knockoff on Netflix called battle of los angeles, and THAT was a steaming pile. so after watching that i thought battle: los angeles was oscar worthy (not literally, of course).

      Don’t think i’ve seen the rest of these because they don’t interest me in the least.

    • Your post makes me feel like you need friends. NONE of the movies disappointed, were entertaining, could have been better? Maybe, but the were entertaining. Cameron the best director? that is where your problems really begin. None of his sci-fi based or fictionalized recreations, in other words all of t=his movies are any better or worse than any of these movies.

  4. I saw this one and was a little disappointed, glad I waited, although I HAVE been more disappointed in movies. It did keep me interested, moreso than some movies that are supposed to be the end all, be all. AND it had no subtitles.

  5. Maybe I’m just a rube…. but I LIKED Battle for Los Angeles, even if I only saw it from little bit over halfway through. Sure the end wa sa tad disappointing, (I would have told my Seageant “No way in HECK am I going back in there without a bit of chow and a nights sleep.) but other than that I enjoyed it.

    • Agreed Battle LA was a pretty decent flick. Given that there were no A list actors on-board, the movie was pretty worthwhile.

      • Since when is Aaron Eckhart not an A list actor? And how is Battlefield LA good? It was a military film with aliens, and had no ending.

  6. I liked Green Lantern and thought the effects were well done and the storyline decent. I thought Ryan Reynolds was a likable superhero.

  7. I got to agree with some of the comments on this, where that some of these movies are either “duh’s” to being disappointments and some of them actually being good movies, entertaining enough for what it’s worth. This is why as soon as I saw Battle: Los Angeles on the, I decided to stop with this 10 most disappointing movies of 2011, and just leave this comment right here.

  8. “and yet, a passionate minority continues to insist that Green Lantern got an unfair bum rap from critics. (Go figure.)”

    Yeah go figure that a CRITIC would dismiss the views of people who think that the CRITICS were overly critical of this movie. This movie wasn’t going to blow anyone away, it’s sad but true. However, it was far from being the biggest disappointment of the year…

    Captain America was a shody script, cut together badly, with terrible make up. Conan the Barbarian played out like the actors couldn’t take it seriously, and you could CLEARLY tell the difference between external and studio shots… that really took me out of the movie.

    You know what though, bash Green Lantern all you want. I enjoyed it. Look down your nose at me all you want, but you can’t make me feel otherwise.

    • Oh, good lord, I think you’re taking things a bit too personally. Get over it.

  9. I’m sorry, but Captain America was amazing, and was definitely not a let down. They shouldn’t even say that, Chris Evans was a wonderful Capt.

    • Captain America stunk. I liked the begining, but the rest Of the film including The Avengers sucked! The first Iron Man was best.

  10. Uh, most of those movie were quite good. I hate lists like these.

  11. Who published this list!?!? I mean, the first two “disappointments” Apollo 18 and Hangover 2 were not disappointments to me or anyone I know. Which makes me think that Sandy Schaefer liked Driving Miss Daisy; Seabiscuit; Cider House Rules; and other various drama stricken movies that make you want to sleep for an extra 10 hours.. To say “the moviegoing masses as a whole (us included) were decidedly less enthused…” is to speculate that she talked to people outside her close knitted circle of friends (pun intended). When you read blogs you can see that people thought it may have came out too fast at first and most were on the “How can they make this same story work again?” in the end, they were happy with it and loved the new twist they took to send us off in every direction possible.

    To this I says that this list is a huge FAIL! Say you opinions Sandy Schaefer, say “Here my list of various movies that disappointed me” or something like that but please don’t include the entire movie world nation in YOUR personal views, because we don’t think the same.. Just read most of the comments here.. They all agree to disagree with your taste.

  12. Ok….
    Immortals was a good movie, and to me, had a fight scene that I would puit in the Top Three in 2011. Green Lantern was a good movie, not the best but a good movie. Sucker Punch… Was literally an awesome flick. I wish I saw Cowboys & Aliens b/c I doubt very seriously that was a bad movie. The Hangover Pt II had me ROTFLMAO and the same affect for everyone in my movie theatre. This site is simply retarded when it comes to critics.

  13. I’d agree with ‘Sucker Punch’–it was depressing as hell, didn’t live up to the hype. Visually it was stunning and the soundtrack was amazing. The plot however made me want to perform my own lobotomy on the person that approved the making of it.

    ‘In Time’ however was a pleasant surprise. It had an interesting twist on the Bonnie and Clyde theme.

  14. 4 of those movies do not deserve to be there, did you even watch the films before making the list?

  15. Wow. It’s a good thing everyone is entitled to their own opinions, because I liked five out of your ten. 8,7,6,5, & 2 were “OK”. I swear you guys need to calm down. You take your movies way too seriously. I watch movies to escape and be entertained. Now some movies are more entertaining than others but five of your ten were entertaining to me. And no, that doesn’t mean my mind is weak or whatever it is you “special” people are calling those who don’t agree with you these days. Wow… just.. wow.

    • I agree with you Rick. I think that some on here do take this a little too seriously. One mans trash is another man’s treasure so to speak. I happen to have liked about 7 of the movies on that list. Some great, some only good, but not worth totally trashing. And of course alot of the people that have left meassages here have already voiced their displeasure for these movies on other polls, so its all old news. But your right, if we happen to like a movie, and someone else doesnt, it’s ok to debate it, but not to just out and out call us names or say that we are wrong and question our sanity becasue we dont go along with them.

  16. Pretty much agree with this list. I thought Battle LA was a pretty decent movie. One thing I have to take issue with, though, is how can a soundtrack be responsible for making an entire film bad? Granted, I don’t remember a thing about the soundtrack for this film, but I also don’t remember thinking that it ruined the movie.

    How was Conan the Barbarian not on this list. That movie was utter s****.

  17. to be honest i really liked immortals,dont be afraid of the dark and sucker punched. i didnt think they were that bad.Immortals is no 300 i completly agree, but i liked the story and the imagery. my only problem with it was there depiction of the titans, completly underwhelmin.As for sucker punch, it kind of lost itself in one of its multiple dream levels. it was kind of like watching a dumb blond trying to explain einsteins theory of special relativity, in the end you dont care what she said, the point is she’s hot.I loved dont be afraid of the dark how meny movies can you see katie holmes get her leg broken in half and sucked in hole. if that would’ve only happend in Batman Begins, it would’ve been the greatest batman movie ever. as far as cowboys vs. aliens, it was fun i cant knock that. i didnt see j.edgar despite the fact that im a huge clint eastwood fan, so i cant coment on that. green lantern sucked so horrible it deserves its own list were it stands alone. but i agree the arnold should go terminator on who ever directed the conan reboot’s ass. just seriously beat him to death with a bat.

  18. don’t be afraid of the dark
    battle for LA

  19. battle for LA
    don’t be afraid of the dark
    cowboys vs aliens
    sucker punch
    Green Lantern
    Lot of potential but i think that they let the CG rule over the writing.

  20. I’m glad I haven’t watch any of these films. Oh wait, I did. I watched Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, it was boring but not that bad.

  21. Why is anyone listening to this chick, she doesnt know what shes talking about. sure there where some movies on this list that werent that great but as a whole most of them were good. and to say j. edger wasnt good, really chick i get it you have to justify your job and your pay check so im going to leave you be, but really what kind of job is a movie critic, someone that gets paid to talk “ish” on someone else work when they have, will not and cant do better. man, you would think she would get herself a job that matters, but like always women seem to think there opinion matter most above all else.

  22. Battle LA was really b******* LA. A complete waste of money. Money better spent on a prostitute. Absolutely. I used to like Michelle Rodriguez before this ponderous dusty shoot-here-shoot-there mess.

    Sucker Punch could never win us over because we started off with a girl in a looney bin. If everything comes from her escapist imagination, why should we bother? Her thought process only makes her look more crazy even if we are supposed to believe she isn’t. What a waste.

  23. I have to disagree with you on “In Time.” I believe it hit its messages very well. It doesn’t have to bonk me over the head with them.

  24. You left out The Muppets.

    Most boring overrated puerile nostalgia orgy ever, starring socks.

  25. i don’t agree on BLA. it was a solid, non stop shooting action movie which i really enjoyed watching.

  26. f*** you. some of these were good

  27. I think battle la was good

  28. The tralier looked like a car Add when i first saw it

  29. Battle L.A. $70M to make, grossed $211M
    In Time – ?40M to make, grossed $174M. What world are you living in?

    Cowboys vs. Aliens, Sucker Punch, Battlefield: L.A. All good movies.

    It’s this article that’s disappointing. Your cover photo of the audience yawning is a perfect reaction to the content contained within.

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