We've celebrated our Top 5 Favorite Movies of 2014 and identified the 7 Most Polarizing Movies of 2014 but we haven't forgotten the films that fell to the opposite end of the spectrum. Film is a subjective medium, so picking the worst movies of the year is never an easy task.
Some outlets base their "Worst of the Year" lists on highly anticipated films that were especially disappointing or failed to make use of sizable budgets, talented actors, and intriguing scripts (example: The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
However, at Screen Rant, we focus our "Worst of the Year" list on movies that we genuinely believe were the worst mainstream releases of the year - theatrical releases that were intolerable bores, failing to deliver on even their most basic ambitions. These are the unfunny comedies, the not-very-scary horror movies, the superficial dramas, and the snooze-inducing actioners.
Of course, our list is not all-inclusive, so once you've read our picks, share your own choices in the comments. Read on for our list of the Worst Movies of 2014 (in order of release). NOTE: Films are listed in order of release - and not in order of terribleness.
11 The Legend of Hercules
Release Date: January 10, 2014
Director: Renny Harlin
Writers: Sean Hood, Daniel Giat, Renny Harlin, and Giulio Steve
Stars: Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, and Scott Adkins
From our Legend of Hercules review: Legend of Hercules feels like a glorified Syfy movie that lacks the cheekiness necessary to make the whole experience a so-bad-it’s-good B-movie viewing.
Overview: It didn't come as a huge surprise that director Renny Harlin's Hercules movie was the weaker of the two released in 2014, featuring dubious production values, amateur 3D filmmaking, and hokey acting/dialogue aplenty. What was disappointing, though, is that Legend of Hercules couldn't even provide the sort of B-movie camp entertainment offered by Harlin schlockfests such as Deep Blue Sea, and instead gave us another bland-as-sawdust swords and sandals adventures. Sadly, lead Kellan Lutz has to share some of the blame for his performance, creating a rendition of the son of Zeus with as little charisma or pizzazz as the movie that featured him.
10 Devil's Due
Release Date: January 17, 2014
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Writer: Lindsay Devlin
Stars: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, and Sam Anderson
From our Devil's Due review: Consider this one stillborn, and put your faith in better horror offerings to come. The devil is never viewing this.
Overview: Found footage done right (about 2% of the time) is interesting; found-footage done wrong (the other 98%) is just hard to sit through. Devil's Due was definitely found footage done wrong - on top of a pregnancy possession story that tore every page from the Rosemary's Baby copy-cat handbook. Awful.
9 Vampire Academy
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Director: Mark Waters
Writers: Richelle Mead and Daniel Waters
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, and Danila Kozlovsky
From our Vampire Academy review: Vampire Academy will probably only satisfy fans of the original books, who just want to see their favorite characters (and the world that they inhabit) brought to life.
Overview: Vampire Academy, had it been handled differently, could've been a clever addition to the YA fantasy genre - the Harry Potter series armed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer's wit and feminist values. Unfortunately, the actual movie suffers from shoddy filmmaking/editing, awkward attempts at "hip" dialogue that is already outdated, and a script that makes a mess of the source material's mythology. It's hard to say how much blame should be assigned to the Waters brothers (who, lest you forget, also gave us Heathers and Mean Girls) when it feels like the sort of film that the Weinstein Company may have chopped up in post-production - before dumping the movie into theaters.
Release Date: February 21, 2014
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writers: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, and Michael Robert Johnson
Stars: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, and Kiefer Sutherland
From our Pompeii review: In spite of a subject matter rife with potential, Pompeii does little to educate or entertain moviegoers.
Overview: It's been a rough year for swords and sandals action films (see The Legend of Hercules above) but with more ominous shots of Mount Vesuvius than intriguing moments of character drama or eye-catching CGI mayhem, Pompeii ranks among 2014's biggest misfires. While some viewers might have found guilty pleasures in director Paul W.S. Anderson's rehashing of Gladiator (with Kit Harington), it's hard to dismiss that, somehow, the Resident Evil series filmmaker, still managed to make both Kiefer Sutherland and a 24-megaton volcanic eruption boring to watch.
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Director: David Ayer
Writers: Skip Woods and David Ayer
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, and Terrence Howard
From our Sabotage review: If not for the strength of the cast and crew, Sabotage wouldn’t even be worth a mention.
Overview: It's still hard to believe that director David Ayer released a stinker like Sabotage the same year he released a great film like Fury - but here we are. Even with a great ensemble cast led by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, and one of the best mystery books around (Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None) as inspiration, all we got was a lackluster action thriller - and from one of the best guys working in that genre. Guess they can't all be winners.
6 A Haunted House 2
Release Date: April 18, 2014
Director: Michael Tiddes
Writers: Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Cedric the Entertainer
From our Haunted House 2 review: Moviegoers who enjoyed the first Haunted House as pure guilty pleasure viewing may get additional mileage out of the sequel.
Overview: This horror movie "parody" (making liberal use of that term) arrived just a year after co-writer/star Marlon Wayans' first Haunted House installment, so it (unsurprisingly) proved to be even more uninspired and slapdash than its predecessor. Horror genre cliches are not exactly yet difficult to make fun of, yet Haunted House 2 manages to be more predictable and inane than most of the films that it mocks - and by "mock" we mean reference while serving up lazy gross-out gags, sex jokes, and racist humor. Worse than that? A number of the jokes are directly recycled/ripped off from the first Haunted House. That's about as lazy (and unfunny) as it gets.
5 Brick Mansions
Release Date: April 25, 2014
Director: Camille Delamarre
Writers: Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri
Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, and RZA
From our Brick Mansions review: A handful of highlights prevent the movie from being a complete misfire but it’s hard to recommend Brick Mansions to anyone but filmgoers who just want to see Paul Walker on the big screen.
Overview: We don't like to speak ill of the deceased but there's no avoiding the fact that Walker's final non-Fast and Furious film was a downright convoluted and entirely unnecessary english remake of the (far superior) french original, District 13. Walker and (District 13 star) David Belle both provide fleeting moments of fun parkour but Luc Besson's attempts to re-fashion the original for American audiences, as well as a dystopian Detroit setting, was packed full of unfunny (and at times racist) jokes, flat characters, eye-rollin plot twists, and unforgivably underwhelming action.
4 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Directors: Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre (as Daniel St. Pierre)
Writers: Roger S. Baum, Randi Barnes, and Adam Balsam
Stars: Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammer, and Dan Aykroyd
From our Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return review: By the time this film draws to a close, it will have accomplished little more than being a glorified 90-minute distraction for kids.
Overview: Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is the sort of animated movie that you expect to be released directly to DVD/Blu-ray, rather than in theaters. Unfortunately, as a theatrical offering, this Wizard of Oz feature comes off as all the worse, with qualities such as cheap-looking animation, unmemorable and haphazard musical numbers, and a waste of so many talented performers' voices on a subpar kids' movie narrative. Obviously, it's a bit much to expect Legends of Oz to be on the same level as, say, the latest Disney or Pixar animated offering, but when it offers the sort of hollow life lessons this film does, then it's all the more reason to not rely on the defense it's "just for kids."
3 Into the Storm
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Director: Steven Quale
Writer: John Swetnam
Stars: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Matt Walsh
Overview: After some inventive (and profitable) found footage applications across multiple genres, the idea of Twister told in POV home video had potential. Unfortunately, Into the Storm failed to do anything new with found footage as a medium while also populating the movie with bland characters and questionable logistics. Proving that bigger isn't always better, Into the Storm's main EF5 twister (the most powerful category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) also fell short in delivering on the film's most basic promise: to provide an immersive account of mother nature at her most deadly. Instead, moviegoers spend the majority of the runtime indoors, underwater, or inside sewer drains - disconnected from the CGI storm as it knocks over CGI buildings and trees.
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Director: Stiles White
Writers: Juliet Snowden and Stiles White
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, and Daren Kagasoff
From our Ouija movie review: As a movie, Ouija is as silly and flimsy as your average store-bought Ouija board.
Overview: To put it frankly, if you had the cynical impression of a Ouija board movie being nothing but a cheap, silly, cash-grab gimmick... you were right.
1 Dis(Honorable) Mentions
Plus, here are five films that barely missed the (dis)honor of our list:
- The Monuments Men - From our Monuments Men review: Fans of historical dramas will likely find enough reason to enjoy The Monuments Men but the movie wastes a powerful source material story.
- Transcendence - From our Transcendence review: They must’ve titled this movie with total irony, because Transcendence stumbles hard in its attempt to rise above.
- Blended - From our Blended review: Enslaved to lowest common-denominator humor, Blended falls short of the dramedy sweet spot and offers little more than a chalky blend of undercooked drama and eye-rolling jokes.
- Planes: Fire & Rescue - From our Planes: Fire & Rescue review: Planes: Fire & Rescue is a better made film than its predecessor on a technical level, but otherwise just as generic (in some ways, more so) on a storytelling level.
- Sex Tape - From our Sex Tape review: Despite an intriguing setup, Sex Tape squanders its clever premise with an underwhelming combination of cheap jokes and ham-fisted family drama.
As we look toward what 2015 has to offer, make sure to check out other end of the year features that we've recently published:
Plus, take a look back at our picks from 2013: Screen Rant's Worst Movies of 2013.
We're interested to hear what films were on your "worst of the year" lists, so make sure to share your own choices in the comment section!
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future feature articles as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.
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