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

356 Comments

Post a Comment

  1. You are still wrong about Green Lantern!

    • I agree. I think I’m going to buy it soon, the Director’s Cut.

    • Wow I was with you on the whole list until #1. GL wasn’t great , but there is no way it was more disappointing than those other 9.

    • I disagree with this article when it comes to Immortals and Green Lantern. For me they were enjoyable I loved them but thats just my opinion. These guys that did the article do make good points though. I was very disappointed in Cowboys and Aliens I would rather have watched Will Smiths Wild Wild West again than watch CaA again. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark was so disappointing for me I kept waiting for the goblins in the Spiderwick Chronicles to show up and there were others mentioned in the article that I agree with. Great article by the way and thancks for putting it out

    • I agree. Green Lantern was great.

    • GL was postively the worst movie I really wanted to like, and deserves a place at #1. Horrible, horrible acting, dumb plot, bad, bad costume design… just all around BAD.

  2. I loved In Time. I consider it one of those little films that in the future will come to be more appreciated. It handled its theme deftly, and it delivered a satisfying conclusion. And it had something meaningful to say. Great cast, too.

  3. So wrong about 2 movies: Cowboys and aliens, the green lantern. I am really hoping for a sequel to the green lantern. Don’t know how they would do one for cowboys and aliens.

    • cowboys and aliens was just daniel raig and harrison ford whispering to each other until a dramatic fight scene at the end, and besides for a good performanace by ryan reynolds the actors in green lantern were terrible, the plot was thin,and it accumlated in him easily dispatching the villain, with very little confilct at all.

  4. Green Lantern, Battle LA, and Cowboys and Aliens should not be on this list, but since there all sci fi films, which most critics despise, I cannot say I am shocked. Battle LA, was Halo in the 21st century, the Green Lantern was true to the comics (Thank GOD), and how can expect more from a movie titled Cowboys and Aliens(?). I am sure these so called expert critics loved films like No Country for Old Men and Titanic. I do not know about the rest of you, but those are the types of movies Id watch to fall asleep, BORING.

    • Battlefield LA lacked story structure, Green Lantern plot development and lacked good acting with the exception of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Livley, as for cowboys and aliens, first off everyone in the movie was just whispering the whole time, I understand they were trying to hide from the aliens but if I cant actually hear what they are saying clearly and have to blast my volume just to hear them then there is a problem. You can make an action packed movie without sacrificing plot, just look at the drak knight, the avengers and other marvel movies, exciting movies, but they also have an interesting plot

  5. I’d say that pretty much all of the modern Marvel Comics vehicles, except for Raimi’s Spidey 1&2, have been duds. And Snyder hasn’t produced one film I’ve enjoyed so far (all slick MTV pizazz with Tarantino’s bloodlust and little to no substance), so I knock DC Comics for turning to another Michael Bay wannabe to direct and reboot the iconic Superman franchise.

    Most modern theater goers are trained to think that the more CGI there is and the less dialog and character and story development, the better the movie is.

    That’s just sad.

  6. I agree with all except Immortals. We saw it in a good cinema and it blew us away with the visuals and sound. The script and wooden acting had to come second this time around. I know it’s bad to admit that but the film sure had style and incredible imagery . I dread to think how many downloaded a copy and slagged it off

  7. I liked Don’t be afraid of the Dark it was creepy to me… But I agree with the Green Lantern was a massive let down.

  8. I think Immortals sucked hard.
    Probably one of the worst high budget movies I’ve ever seen.
    Actually, make that one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

    • I mean it is THEIR list after all. what would you expect?

  9. Um… Most of the movies on these lists have high viewership ratings (even on rotten tomatoes). Do you guys just make stuff up because you didn’t like it?

    • thats my guess

  10. Sucker Punch has grown on me. If it didn’t grab you the first time. Check it out again. Oscar Isaac (Blue Jones) is a really good villain, not to mention the ladies are gorgeous.

  11. sucker punch wasn’t disappointing :( i liked it

  12. I think Harry Potter 7 belongs to this list. The book was so good, but the movie was a little horrible. A stupid patch of their own version.

  13. I agree with you on all of them but

    Battle: Los Angeles and In Time i liked both of those and they are in my movie collection. But the others yes very disappointing

    I wish SUCKER Punch would have been there but wasn’t and I’m really mad at Troy Nixey for making a Guillermo del Toro movie so f***ed up. Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite directors and Don’t be Afraid of the Dark sucked to. Great little creatures but just wasn’t there.

  14. hey sucker punch was bad ass! you gotta appreciate good movies like sucker punch cuz they dont come around often

  15. Whaaaat! Sucker punch is the best movie ever!

  16. b*******.

  17. Boolsheet – because sensor -_-!

  18. not bad

  19. Prometheus: #1 stinker of the year. Period!

    • Apparently you didn’t read the title of the article. We’re discussing movies from 2011, not 2012.

  20. Green Lantern put me to sleep and it should stay at number 1, In Time should not be on this list at all, Battle Los Angeles shouldn’t be on this list either, and Sucker Punch should be number 5 on the list.

  21. I actually really liked Sucker Punch. I even bought it on DVD. =^.^=

  22. 1) In Time, Sucker Punch = left a mark on myself, and blows my mind of the IDEA :O
    2) Immortals, Cowboys & Aliens = I loved them a lot :)

    THE OTHERS ARE REALLY GARBAGE FOR ME :@

  23. Apollo 18 was good.

  24. I don’t know what the writer is smoking, but Battle LA did really well at the box office. It wasn’t a summer blockbuster, but it made serious money. Of course Liberal film reviewers hated it, since we didn’t investigate the aliens’ affect on global warming, but audiences loved it.

    It was a solid flick that was very entertaining.

    • You DO realize how dumb you sound, right?

  25. okay i viewed some other comments and saw what ppl said….so far the writer who made this top 10 list has no idea what hes talking about! i’m sorry but this guy should lose his job or just not put in his 2 cents for reviews. i for one absolutley loved! don’t be afraid of the dark and thought is was awesome! yeah the kid maybe could have tried to act better but umm…dude it’s a kid…. you realise how hard it is for a child to grasp acting? theres a reason why pro acters are called just that! and it’s because they’ve had years of practice. the guy who made this list tsshhh… FAIL!

  26. those defending green lantern…

    green lantern was horrible!! the acting bordered on campy. hal jordan is a serious superhero, but if you cast a one dimensional actor as the lead i guess playing to that dimension is what you do. i still don’t understand how reynolds keeps getting lead roles. he has ONE, yes ONE, movie that was a hit. but that was a sandy bullock movie. EVERY other movie that he was the lead in was bad and did far less than box office estimates. so that’s point one.

    two, the plot rushed from one point to the next so fast that nothing got it’s just due. 10 minutes of training?? why did sinestro turn bad at the end? he wasn’t in conflict with hal long enough for him to be the reason. in fact why did the movie turn sinestro bad in the first movie at all?? the reason sinestro turning eveil was such a huge event in the comics was due to his and hal’s great friendship. why not establish that in the first couple movies?? second, even i you wanted him to turn bad why would he based on the rest of the movie?? the lanterns won fear was defeated. never in the movie was sinestro protrayed as some one just wanting power!! based on the the lack of chemistry between lively and reynolds on screen i was shocked they got married. of course neither can act and this is reynolds 3rd marriage and lively’s 8 relationship in the past 2 years so who knows.

    3. the effects were bad!! uniforms, dumb. made everyone’s head look giant. the poor use of his ring… i guess chalk that up to looking for laughs?? the villain? well, he kinda looked like my toilet after a night of too many drinks and spicy food. he looked like the poo-monster in dogma only a lot bigger.

    let me give you number one for 2012. prometheus!!!
    billed as an alien prequel it made alien 3 look oscar worthy.

    also, some of you are not getting what this list is. it”s disappointing movies, not worst movie!!! as in what was expected based on who directed, cast, screenwriters, subject matter and what was delivered!!!

    • …or you could simply be expressing your opinion, just like everyone else on this thread. This makes your statements no more valid than ANYONE else’s on this thread.

      Nice TRY at sounding like you have a deeper understanding of films.

      The ONE piece you got right was the nature of this article.

    • promethius was a joke.

  27. appollo 18 could have been good but who ever made obviously never watched a film before in there life!

    you could have copied the film MOON that was brilliant scifi appollo18 could have been that instead it was buck raogers or flash gordon rubbish from the 1940′s.

  28. I completely disagree with Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’s placement on the list. As someone who appreciates an accurate representation of mythical creatures, I applaud to this movie. Sure, there were times where I felt it was put together poorly but the beauty of the storyline outweighed it all. For me, it is a piece worth watching again.

  29. I completely disagree with Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’s placement on the list. As someone who appreciates an accurate representation of mythical creatures, I applaud to this movie. Sure, there were times where I felt it was put together poorly but the beauty of the storyline outweighed it all. For me, it is a piece worth watching again.

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

Be Social, Follow Us!!