These represent what I thought were the ten worst films of 2010 that I got to see. There were a lot of films that probably would have made this list had I seen them, but you couldn’t pay me to see the likes of The Bounty Hunter, Grown Up, Life as We Know It or any other rabble of probable schlock that entered the theaters this year. There were other films that were trying to be something and didn’t work for me. An overrated list would include Kick-Ass, The American, Micmacs, RED, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Piranha 3-D and others. There were other films this year though that were a lot worse.

10. Monsters
Probably the most overrated film of the year, Monsters collapses under the weight of its own concept because it does not have interesting characters to support it. The acting is not up to par and the dialogue is flat and stale. The concept is interesting and Edwards is clearly a director with potential. This debut though, is bland and even painful to sit through.

9. The Wolfman
The Wolfman‘s biggest flaw is that it managed to make story of The Wolfman boring. Johnston’s lifeless and hollow direction and an intriguingly miscast del Toro make this a missed and forgettable opportunity.

8. Clash of the Titans
It was all over for Clash of the Titans the moment it decided to take itself seriously. Hitting every single trope of recent big budget fantasy action blockbusters, Clash of the Titans is impossible to take seriously from all the actors phoning it in to Sam Worthington’s game face to the video game structure. Worst of all is Ralph Fiennes who parodies his own Voldemort performance.

7. Machete
Being a huge Grindhouse fan, the idea of seeing this trailer come to life as a full length motion picture was anticipatory. The most disappointing film of the year for me, Machete failed on every level and managed to become laughable once it misguidedly tried to become a message picture. Trejo has the presence but not the chops to be a leading man even in a faux exploitation picture. I am shocked that this got more than decent reviews as it bored me out of my mind.

6. Ondine
Nothing about Neil Jordan’s latest worked for me. Using a modern day fairy tale sensibility as an excuse for existing, this film’s only saving grace is Colin Farrell’s solid performance. The third act is ridiculous and the first two thirds go in endless circles. The daughter character and her interactions with others is forced and hard to care for. Ondine herself is nothing but a damsel in distress for us to oogle at. The great Christopher Doyle’s cinematography was praised but I couldn’t get past it. I couldn’t get past anything in this film.

5. Alice in Wonderland
Tim Burton’s latest inspired a very long review from me as well as an essay for my screenplay class where I had to pick a film with a bad script and explain how I would fix it. There’s no end to the number of things wrong with this take on the Lewis Carroll stories. Burton’s creativity and ability to create new worlds has become diluted and neutered. Adding such a plot heavy ‘Narnia’ feel to it not only takes away anything Carroll originally meant to do but it becomes a rip off of the Narnia films and does not replace Carroll’s intentions with anything that justifies making it plot heavy. Furthermore, Linda Woolverton’s script is entirely built around the idea that the Mad Hatter is a central figure solely so Johnny Depp is front and center.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Another remake that mistakenly took itself too seriously. The decision to not make Freddie Kruger a jokester changes everything about the character and takes away what made him different from other serious minded slasher icons. Then the decision to make him a pedophile adds an unneccesary dynamic to the remake which comes off as a desperate attempt to change things up. Finally, the entire film is essentially the same scene over and over again. It soon becomes obvious exactly where each scene is going and the idea of not knowing what is or isn’t a dream is uncreatively trumped by the endless repetition of the film.

Featuring the worst performance of the year in the form of Christina Ricci, an unsuccessful gimmicky concept and a barely functioning film, is a travesty. Director Agnieska Wojtowicz-Vosloo’s own sense of cleverness destroys all the potential of the film. All of her effort is put into placing clues that will enhance the “is she alive or is she dead” mystery and then placing other clues to purposely throw us off the scent. In the process, she forgot to actually make a film. There is never any reason to care whether or not Ricci is alive and there are significant chunks of time where somehow nothing happens to either push the story forward or enhance any meaning within the film. Vosloo’s self satisfaction is  set in stone by the film’s special feature which has her going through the film, discussing each clue she put into place and talking about what we were supposed to take from it, answering the question of whether or not she was actually alive. Thanks Vosloo. Way to let your audience interpret a story their own way.

2. Jonah Hex
The last two films on the list are perhaps redundant choices. They got abominable reviews and this one was one of the biggest flops of the year. That this is atrocious cannot be overstated. At no point does this feel like an actual film. It looks like someone filmed some footage and it was never put together. Then, years later a random passerby finds the footage and decides to splice together some sort of story based on what’s available to him. This is the result. That this is not the case is shocking. Like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Clash of the Titans, the self serious tone is a big problem here. But so is the editing, acting, script and basic story. That’s what makes it so terrible. Every single aspect of it is outrageous. It must be seen to be believed. The only thought that comes to mind was “what were they thinking”?

1. Legion
What can even be said about Legion? One minute in and the stakes are already as high as they can be; the entire world is in danger. It expects us to be invested immediately and we have yet another film that takes itself WAY too seriously. Lighten up people. I don’t know how to convey why I thought this was the worst film of the year. It’s “end of the world” sensibility combined with its laughable group of stereotypical characters and attempts at speechifying were enough for me.




6 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Films of 2010 (that I saw)

  1. Good list. I managed to avoid most of these because either the previews revealed the movies were not good or I read enough reviews (although I also wish I had been warned away from The Black Swan). The Wolfman story is such a great story it is too bad that nobody has been able to do a decent remake.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I was pretty much aware that most of these wouldn’t be good but I always go out of my way to see several films I don’t think are going to be good every year. Either for guilty pleasure reasons or because seeing bad films are important for me because they provide different ways of thinking analytically. It’s so upsetting that Mark Romanek did not end up doing The Wolfman remake. I would have loved that.

    1. I’m with you on Paul Bettany. His involvement in films like Legion and the upcoming Priest are disheartening. He really is a very good actor. I hope he appears in better films in the future.

  2. “Burton’s creativity and ability to create new worlds has become diluted and neutered.” What a depressing sentence, but unfortunately true. I couldn’t articulate it better than that. Edward Scissorhands! The Nightmare Before Christmas! Tim Burton, what happened??

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