it stinks

Vulture’s Worst-Movie Critics Poll: The Complete Ballots

We know, we know: You’re thrilled over Vulture’s 2012 Worst Movie’s Critics Poll, but you still felt empty inside. The Raven may have been edged out of the top ten, but surely one of America’s tastemakers articulated what made John Cusack’s performance so horrible? Your misery deserves company. Read on for the complete lists and explanations from the voting critics, including all of their bloodletting, tears, and arguments for film distributors to not schedule advance screenings of Gina Gershon releases. Here’s where you’ll find Hunger Games described as “chintzy-looking, unconvincing, and totally chickenshit” and Anne Hathaway as “gasping and gulping like a fish on a dock.” (Methodology for how we compiled the top ten: Each mention of a film earned that film one point, with a bonus point awarded each time a critic specifically named the film the absolute worst of the year. A link associated with a critic’s name indicates that we pulled their picks from a previously published list.)

David Edelstein, New York Magazine

This Is 40. This is deadly. This is self-pity plus self-centeredness minus self-awareness. This is what happens when you’re a fantastically rich Jewish schlub who wants to show off to the world your blonde shiksa wife and kids in ways that in hindsight will seem like sabotage.

The Dark Knight Rises. Batman is back, for about twenty minutes. With the exception of Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman — no supervillain, really, more of a sexy, screwball cat burglar — it’s an epic canvas for stubbornly un-epic characters.

The Lorax. The Lorax speaks for the trees, but I must speak for The Lorax: This shrill, jokey treatment of Dr. Seuss’s mournful environmentalist classic sucked truffala peen.

Dark Shadows. Tim Burton’s surprisingly tone-deaf spoof of the frequently awful but much-beloved old vampire soap.

This Means War. High-concept rom-com action picture directed by the man called McG in a style that kills the romance, laughs, and thrills.

Alex Cross. Whorish, bottom-of-the-barrel serial killer movie in which beefy mini-mogul Tyler Perry climbs out of his panty hose to shoot bad guys. Amid the sick sadism are solemn church scenes.

Anna Karenina. St. Petersburg society was full of pseuds, so why not shoot Tolstoy’s masterpiece — a still-unequalled mixture of disapproval and empathy — as if it were a production in a crumbling theater. The movie is the evidence: It’s disastrously disjointed — unwatchable.

Cloud Atlas. Everything is connected, all right. It’s like watching six movies with someone who keeps changing channels.

The Paperboy. Once again, Lee Daniels makes a laughing stock of his actors. More proof that the critics who turned cartwheels over the grotesque Precious were cowed by the Oprah stamp of approval. Or have no taste.

Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

5. Gone

4. Good Deeds

3. One for the Money

2. Red Lights

1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Sam Adams, Philadelphia Daily News

Hyde Park on Hudson. Or, The Handjob That Saved World War II. The heartwarming tale of a venerated president getting hand jobs from a distant cousin would be one of the year’s worst movies were it, in fact, a movie. But over and above the seedy superfluity of its subject, Hyde Park is assembled with shocking ineptitude. The rare moments that aren’t saddled with Laura Linney’s slow-witted voice-over are slathered in Jeremy Sams’s saccharine score, which hits an ecstatic peak when Linney first wraps her hands around the presidential wang. (As if the focus on the First Weiner wasn’t enough, the film climaxes with the ingestion of a ceremonial hot dog.) After airing FDR’s dirty laundry to little insight, the film has the astounding gall to end with the suggestion that times were better when public figures were allowed to keep their private dalliances private. Presumably, the good-taste exemption lasts only until death, after which all bets are off.

The Impossible. Meticulously crafted and fundamentally obscene, The Impossible recasts a natural disaster that claimed 230,000 lives as a tension-filled thrill ride whose entrance bears a “Whites Only” sign. Literally relegating brown-skinned victims to the edges of the frame, the film zeroes in on an English-speaking nuclear family, whose traumatic separation and quest for reunion was deemed marketable enough to fund the pulse-quickening tsunami sequences. J.A. Bayona, who built his first film, The Orphanage, on the body of a dead child, ups the ante, shamelessly exploiting primal fears for cheap catharsis. It’s effective, but it’s loathsome.

Les Misérables. Wielding wide-angle lenses with enough insistence to make a walleye sick, Tom Hooper rides the misbegotten trend toward musical realism into the ground. As with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the tension comes not from the plot but in wondering if the director is ever going to drop his grating visual gimmick. (In both cases, no.) Anne Hathaway doesn’t sing “I Dreamed a Dream” so much as wrestle it to the ground, gasping and gulping like a fish on a dock, but her performance is of a piece with a movie that doesn’t try to pull viewers into its world so much as rub their noses in it.

Amazing Spider-Man/Total Recall. If there were any justice, or even shame, in Hollywood, these barrel-scraping retreads would mark an end to the industry’s perpetual reboot. Swiping the ending of Sam Raimi’s original with no regard for its poignant post-9/11 subtext, Amazing Spider-Man’s only innovation was making Peter Parker kind of a dick, and Total Recall managed to drive Paul Verhoeven’s mediocre original all the way into the basement. 

Daniel Bettridge, MSN

5. Battleship

4. John Carter

3. Alex Cross

2. A Thousand Words

1. That’s My Boy

Tom Carson, GQ

Cloud Atlas. I understand the impulse, honest I do. But praising this mess for its “ambition” is like praising the Hindenburg for its flammability.

Hitchcock. Just go on and stab me right now.

Killer Joe. I’m all in favor of movies that feature Gina Gershon giving head to a KFC drumstick. I just think they should be tender, not gloating.

Silver Linings Playbook. As I never tire of repeating, this is an Adam Sandler movie minus Adam Sandler. Personally, I missed him.

Total Recall. The perfect remake for anyone offended by the original’s zippy pace and mischievous jokes. Can someone please remind me who was offended by the original’s zippy pace and mischievous jokes?

Tom Charity, CNN

1. Hobbit

2. Total Recall

3. The Sitter

4. W.E.

5.  This Means War

David Fear, Time Out New York

5. Mirror, Mirror. The year’s other Snow White movie smothered a weak girl-power message with the worst aspects of Broadway musicals, painfully unfunny mugging, and art direction that suggested a vomitorium after an Easter-candy binge. If this was really Julia Roberts’s secret audition for a Whatever Happened to Baby Jane remake, please tell her she got the role.

4. The Raven. The concept is great: Grandfather of detective-fiction Edgar Allan Poe must catch a serial killer inspired by the author’s own fictional murders! The execution suggests: poorly conceived speculative pulp featuring John Cusack’s attempt to morph into late-career Nic Cage. You can stop rolling in your grave now, Mr. Poe.

3. Virginia. A gaggle of Oscar-winning actors, the screenwriter of Milk making his directorial debut, a torrid coming-of-age tale about a boy growing up with an mentally unstable free-spirit mother — to quote the film’s original title, what’s wrong with Virginia? Everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

2. This Means War. Take the most toxic aspects of modern surveillance culture, rom-com chauvinism, and lowest-common-denominator pandering. Add in two rising movie stars and one veteran star, all of whom, frankly, should know better. Throw in a little cringe-worthy Chelsea Handler sex-talk for gratuitous spice. Mix thoroughly, let simmer in a lumpy, steaming pile for two hours. Serves no one.

1. Red Lights. There are bad movies that, once you get past the initial car-wreck first viewing, can be enjoyed in a gleeful trash-tastic sort of way. (Make room in the Camp Pantheon for The Paperboy, gents!) And then there are films so mind-meltingly moronic and awful that you’re left slumped in your seat, drooling and twitching. This supernatural “thriller” about paranormal investigators belongs to the latter and trumps all comers. You not only don’t have to put on the Red Lights — you should find a way to erase the fact that this incompetent, incoherent excuse for an X Files rip-off exists at all.

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

5. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

4. Rust and Bone

3. House at the End of the Street

2. 2016: Obama’s America

1. John Carter

Ed Gonzalez, Slant

Compliance. Wherein a real-life account of class condescension is warped into a prurient war between a nottie and a hottie.

The Impossible: The most reprehensible this-is-what-it-was-like cine-simulation since United 93.

Hitchcock: Has any person this cool ever gotten such a gallingly remedial biopic treatment?

Les Misérables: Russell Crowe’s voice alone falls under the rubric of torture porn.

Jesus Henry Christ: Worst Wes Anderson drag show ever.

Piranha 3DD: A straight-to-video-grade letdown.

Nathan Heller, Vogue

1. This Means War

2. This Is 40

3. Hyde on Hudson

4. Men in Black III

5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Logan Hill

The Raven. Even Poe could not have contrived a punishment so gruesome as these 110 minutes.

That’s My Boy. The scariest thing I heard this year was Sandler’s horrifically inhuman, phlegmy infantile squeal of a speaking voice.

This Means War. Hollywood’s future leading men (Tom Hardy!) trapped in hoary high-concept hokum.

Dark Shadows. Burton’s career low was the worst film of the year by a great director.

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. I usually love the nutso absurdity of Tim and Eric (and will defend The Comedy), but the biggest shock of this film was that it was so repetitive and dull.


5. Gone

4. Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D

3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

2. Chernobyl Diaries

1. Piranha 3DD

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Bel Ami. Robert Pattinson’s wooden delivery was part of the allegorical shtick in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and irrelevant to his appeal in the Twilight movies, but this dry, mopey costume drama is perfectly in sync with the actor’s screen presence. In other words, they’re both plain terrible.

Hyde Park on Hudson. Bill Murray is a man of many talents who has lately struggled to find the right outlet for them. The latest example, Hyde Park on Hudson, finds Murray in a tame, mannered costume drama delivering his best FDR impression. The actor’s pathos and deadpan skills are buried in the material, which also suffers from a continuous lack of inspiration. It’s high-minded entertainment with low ambition. Remember when GZA, in Coffee and Cigarettes, identified the actor as “Bill Groundhog-Day-Ghostbustin’-ass-Murray”? That’s the guy who I miss. Who we all miss.

This Is 40. Long, bland, self-indulgent chronicle of rich white people problems. 134 minutes of them.

This Must Be the Place. The issue with Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino’s first English-language feature has nothing to do with whether it makes light of the Holocaust. That might be a worthy debate if it didn’t face other problems. Chief among them: an Über-campy Sean Penn performance, a gratingly quirky soul-searching plot, and character motives that barely make any sense. It’s far too much of a god-awful mess to merit serious moral scrutiny.

The Paperboy. A rare case of serious commitment to outright silliness. The director’s follow-up to Precious takes the mold of an investigative period piece set amid racial tensions in late-sixties Florida, but Daniels fries the dramatic content with a blazingly absurd grindhouse style as extreme as the humidity bearing down on his characters. It’s possible to enjoy aspects of The Paperboy if you assume a certain self-awareness behind the campier bits, but even then, the movie drowns in an overwhelming barrage of excess.

Dan Kois, Slate

I have but one pick: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. In retrospect, it’s remarkable that the movies in this series maintained the level of wit and craftsmanship that they did. But this is the one where I couldn’t take it anymore. I could no longer engage by imagining this leaden drama through a Twihard’s eyes. It was just awful. (Michael Sheen’s giggle excepted, of course.)

Michael Koresky, Reverse Shot

1. Bachelorette. Like some noxious cocktail of Todd Solondz–ish misanthropy and Apatow-era behavioral comedy, Bachelorette made me feel slimier than any movie in 2012. Leslye Headland’s nasty “comedy” seems to think it’s offering insights into female relationships by having three friends played by Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan (whose characters might as well be called Bitch, Idiot, and Mess for all the shading the screenplay allows) treat a fourth (Rebel Wilson, playing Fat) with more contempt and jealousy than one would bestow upon an enemy. I saw no recognizable behavior. And no, that’s not because I’m a man. It’s because I’m a human.

2. Prometheus. In retrospect, what were people expecting? This was teased as a blockbuster of Ideas™. But even the best Alien movie is little more than a terrific haunted-house fun ride. This one, on the other hand, didn’t even supply thrills. It was like a junk shop of random stuff, none of which works.

3. Beasts of the Southern Wild. The year’s biggest back-patter for art-house audiences who want to feel like they’re roughing it. Some saw transcendence — all I gleaned were fatuous voice-overs from an obnoxious wise-child; a camera-goes-anywhere approach that makes the environment feel more poked-at than lived-in; one very bad main performance from a baker-turned-filmmakers’-found-art-object the editors clearly were cutting around; and some muddled politics (so the government should just let alone these storm victims and let them live their noble lives of fairy-tale poverty?).

4. Friends With Kids. Best friends and abjectly hateful Manhattanites played by Adam Scott and writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt (who live in palatial apartments but never seem to work) devise a plan to have a child together with no strings attached, and we wait for an interminable 107 minutes for them to realize that, yes, they love each other after all. Cliché-riddled Hollywood junk masquerading as Sundance-indie honesty. Minus points for all the references to how tiresomely far away and trendy Brooklyn has become. (Was this made in 1999?)

5. Silent House. A rigorous single-take aesthetic couldn’t overcome the absurdly dramatized and frankly tasteless child-molestation twist of this endless-at-86-minutes horror garbage.

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

5. Mansome

4. A Little Bit of Heaven

3. The Three Stooges

2. John Carter

1. This Means War

Shawn Levy, The Oregonian

From worst to least worst:

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. I wouldn’t give you a nickel for the thing; only film I’ve walked out on in 25 years of reviewing.

The Words. A movie about writers and writing written by people who seem never to have read anything but a bank statement.

Red Lights. A truly, madly, deeply crappy psychological thriller

Dark Shadows. T. Burton and J. Depp have become the Poto and Cabengo of cinema, in a very bad way.

The Raven. Oh, Poe …

Nell Minow, Movie Mom

I think we can all agree that any year with an Adam Sandler movie means everyone else is playing for second. After That’s My Boy, I needed that scrub-down Meryl Streep got in Silkwood. It wasn’t just the jokes about incest and child abuse, the obese stripper, or the fact that the most appealing performance in the movie was given by Vanilla Ice. The worst part was the deeply unpleasant desperation of writer/star Sandler, who asked us to believe that his loathsomely scrofulous character was irresistible to everyone. Cluelessness about how unappealing the characters are was a theme in many of this year’s worst movies. Not coincidentally, they were often produced by their writers or stars as well, eliminating that all-important ego check. One for the Money had producer/star Katherine Heigl’s rom-com rhythms wildly out of place in a gritty detective story. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Wanderlust, and This Is 40 asked us to root for characters who are smug, selfish, spoiled, and superficial. And then there was Alex Cross, which asked Tyler Perry to show devastating grief and incendiary fury, make threats, throw punches, run with a gun, banter with his wife and partner, and take over a part played twice onscreen by Morgan Freeman. The six foot five Perry’s most believable moment is when his character has to reach something from a high shelf. That felt real.

Wesley Morris, Grantland

1. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

2. Intouchables

3. Compliance

4. The Devil Inside

5. The Campaign


5. The Possession/The Apparition

4. The Raven

3. Paranormal Activity 4

2. Chasing Mavericks

1. Alex Cross

The Onion’s AV Club

1. The Paperboy

2. Atlas Shrugged: Part II

3. October Baby

4. Silent House

5. Mansome

6. The Magic of Belle Isle

7. Piranha 3DD

8. Playing for Keeps

9. Assassin’s Bullet

10. Act of Valor

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

5. Prometheus“When fleeing this roiling mess, be sure to run in a straight line. That’ll definitely work.”

4. Dark Shadows“There’s a perfunctory vibe to the goings on, a weariness amid the weirdness.”

3. Rock of Ages“Wanted, dead.”

2. To Rome With Love“I eat your love like hate.”

1. The Words. ” … at least the audience at the book reading gets to leave now, whereas those of us in the theater have to continue watching as Quaid lures a pretty Columbia grad student back to his airless luxury apartment and she begs him—damn you, pretty grad student!—to continue the story, and he does … “

Mary Pols, Time

5. This Means War

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

3. Hyde Park on Hudson

2. John Carter

1. Cloud Atlas 

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

Cloud Atlas. Epic cosmic hooey, although Tom Hanks and Halle Berry’s postapocalyptic patois would make a great comedy sketch. And question: separated at birth — Lana Wachowski and Clementine Kruczynski?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. All this from that little book? Two hours and 49 minutes, with two more stealth video-game installments to come? The beginning, and end, of 48 Frames Per Second technology.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Fertility-clinic fantasy with Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, and a boy with leafy shins.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Dunno what’s worse, Keira Knightley’s fake hipster cool or filmmaker Lorene Scafaria’s fake Delaware and New Jersey locations. Gives the apocalypse a bad name.

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Even if you were stoned, this wouldn’t be funny. In fact, if you were stoned, this could be dangerous — you actually might really go ahead and stick forks in your eyes.

Rex Reed, New York Observer

1. The Master. Boring gibberish that couldn’t keep anyone except today’s alleged critics awake. The eye-rolling hysteria mixed with catatonic mumbling that Joaquin Phoenix called acting went down as the biggest laugh of the year.

2. The Dark Knight Rises. Not quite as insufferable as Inception, but the continuing slobber over Christopher Nolan is one of current cinema’s most unsolvable mysteries.

3. Cloud Atlas. Redefines pretentiousness. I asked readers to explain it to me, and the avalanche of responses all mirrored the same reaction: “Don’t know … walked out after an hour.”

4. Seven Psychopaths. They made it up as they went along, and it looks like it. Homicidal confusion is no more entertaining than the general confusion that typifies the rest of today’s movies. It’s just noisier. Is anybody as tired as I am of Christopher Walken’s one-note samba? That is the face of a serial killer.   

5. The Paperboy. Idiotic, time-wasting self-indulgence is everywhere at the movies, but in this pointless trash wallow, Matthew McConaughey gang-raped by drug dealers and Nicole Kidman peeing on a naked Zac Efron to keep the sleaze factor going is nothing for deluded director Lee Daniels to be proud of. The overrated McConaughey whistles through his teeth in this horror as well as Killer Joe, and is to acting what Boy George is to the NFL. 

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Alphabetically …

Dark Shadows. A would-be satire so satiresome that the Directors Guild should issue a restraining order against Tim Burton from getting within 500 feet of Johnny Depp.

Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. Candied lead balloon that kills both the appetite and brain cells.

Playing for Keeps. A charmless comedy about a former soccer star (Gerard Butler) that alternates between the salacious and family-friendly and ends up being inappropriate for both demographics.

Rock of Ages. Who knew it could take two hours to dramatize two lines of “Don’t Stop Believing”? Unwanted: dead or alive.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Made me long for the narrative depth of Valentine’s Day. It ain’t me, Baby.

Rene Rodriguez, the Miami Herald

5. The Hunger Games. Chintzy-looking, unconvincing, and totally chickenshit when it needed to be brutal. Why, exactly, couldn’t Peeta lose his leg?

4. The Expendables 2. The sight of a paunchy Arnold Schwarzenegger flinching as he fired a machine gun broke my heart. Bruce Willis didn’t even try to hide his boredom. Jean-Claude Van Damme should sue his plastic surgeon. And Sylvester Stallone’s close-ups were so gauzy, they looked like they were shot through a quilt.

3. The Grey. CGI wolves that jumped out of the shadows with better timing than Jason Voorhees. Endless scenes where characters bickered relentlessly, because the writers couldn’t come up with any dialogue. And a build-up to a fight between Liam Neeson and an alpha wolf that takes place offscreen.

2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The only time I’ve ever thought, Man, I can’t WAIT for Lincoln to go to the theater.

1) Snow White and the Huntsman. Tiny fairies riding bunny rabbits as if they were horses. Someone actually spent hours and hours making this special effect look real.

Matt Singer, Indiewire

5. Hyde Park on Hudson. The most misguided and least dramatic prestige picture of the year. President Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) does nothing but drink, smoke, and sleep with his assistants. His cousin (Laura Linney) does nothing but the president. The king of England (Samuel West) does nothing but all the stuff you already saw him do in The King’s Speech. In the big climax, one of the characters tries to get another to eat a hot dog (DRAMA!). Thirty years ago, this is the sort of movie Murray would have made fun of on Saturday Night Live. And with good reason.

4. Dark Shadows. What is this thing? A supernatural soap opera? A spoof of a soap opera? A goofy horror comedy? A terrifying monster movie? Correct answer: all of the above — and a huge mess.

3. Hick. Thirteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz runs away from home and hitches a ride from Eddie Redmayne’s crazy cowboy, who then spends the rest of the movie trying to rape her. Avoid this one at all costs — unless you’re curious whether Redmayne can top the scene in Savage Grace where he has sex with his own mother (spoiler alert: He can). And, yes, this is Moretz’s second movie on my list. Not a great year for her.

2. That’s What She Said. Set in a strange alternate-reality New York City where men are almost completely absent but constantly discussed. Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis, and Alia Shawkat spend a day wandering Manhattan coffee shops and bars, screaming at each other, getting into fist fights with senior citizens, and complaining about their yeasts infections. Exactly as fun as it sounds.

1. The Apparition. A high-concept horror movie about ghosts that can only hurt you once you believe in them. The only problem: Somewhere between the shoot and the release, the high concept got cut out, leaving one of the most generic horror movies ever made, plus so many scenes set at Costco that the film could legally qualify as an infomercial. Wretched.

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

1. Hitchcock. Fake fake fake phony phony, the mediocre cashing in on the great. Every line of dialogue a howler, the perfs by Hopkins and Mirren are imitations of an idea of perfs by Hopkins and Mirren.

2.  That’s What She Said. A.k.a. the one about the neurotic woman with the stubborn yeast infection and her horrible friends. Just because women can make raunchy crap like the men doesn’t mean they need to.

3.  Hyde Park on the Hudson. Tittery bio-drama for the Downton Abbey set. Rude, too. Plus, don’t make me see FDR getting a hand job.

4.  Butter. Gives Obama Nation a bad name, all the smug condescension to the conservative heartland. (Ha ha ha, Those People do butter carving!!!!)

5.  Trouble With the Curve. Trouble begins when Clint Eastwood talks to his penis in the first scene. A wholly derivative blah-blah-sports redemption formula movie.

Dana Stevens, Slate

The Words

Friends With Kids

Darling Companion


Taken 2

Asawin Suebsaeng, Mother Jones

That’s My Boy

Hit and Run

Liz & Dick

David Thomson, The New Republic 

The worst have to come from those that thought they could be the best:


Anna Karenina


Woody Allen Goes to Rome


Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood

5. Promised Land

4. The Words

3. Hyde Park on Hudson

2. Rock of Ages

1. The Oranges

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Alex Cross & Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection. In or out of a dress, ace detective or family matriarch, dick or no dick, Tyler Perry came off as a big drag. 

House at the End of the Street. 2012 was a kick-ass year for Jennifer Lawrence, what with Silver Linings Playbook and Hunger Games, then this horror rained on her parade.

Cloud Atlas. An overpaid cast (Hanks, Berry, Grant), overworked in multiple roles, transforms an overrated book into an overwhelming mess.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. K. Stew and R-Patz were the real deal in hot stuff. But that was offscreen when she cheated on him. All that emerged from the final chapter of their toothless vampire epic was the sound of a tired franchise breaking wind.

Battleship. Michael Bay did not direct a movie this year. I rejoiced until the fairly reliable Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) turned Hasbro’s naval combat game into a Bay-like spew of shrieking incoherence, sinking to the shallows of Armageddon and then digging to the brain-extinction level of the Transformers trilogy. Can you aim lower?

Alynda Wheat, People

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. The only film I walked out of this year — and yes, I even made it through the “used toilet paper store” presented as a legitimate business model. Actually, maybe it is. Where else could they have found that script?

Damsels in Distress. Heaven bless you, Whit Stillman, for giving me the perfect film to smash in someone’s face should they have the temerity to declare Wes Anderson “precious” and “affected.”

Cosmopolis. In which Robert Pattinson yammers incoherently through sex, business crises, an art sale, a riot, and a rectal exam, all from the comfort of his limo — and it’s still not the most interesting limo ride of the year.

The Bourne Legacy. Way to sully a beloved franchise by reducing it to a drug heist carried out by people who couldn’t have less chemistry, all while constantly mentioning the other, better hero who has not one second of actual screen time.

Killer Joe. Gross, misogynistic, with characters I could not care less about (even Matthew McConaughey’s hitman cop), but at least it adds “fried-chicken fellatio” to the national conversation.

Worst-Movie Critics Poll: The Complete Ballots