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2014 might not have been the best in terms of box office grosses or bums in seats, but there were a lot of really great movies across every genre.
These are not them. These are the fifteen movies that had me wanted my ninety-to-a-hundred-and-forty minutes back. A few did big box office; a few got many terrific reviews; most appalled all who saw them. I doubt any careers were ended by any of them, though some probably should have been.
Without any further ado, follow the jump for my least favorite films of 2014. Enjoy (if that’s the right word)…
15 – A Most Violent Year – an immigrant tries to succeed in a business mired in corruption during the most violent year in New York City’s history. Praised in many corners for being the kind of drama that made the ‘70s a golden age. Mostly it’s just dull
14 – Dracula Untold – the origin of the master vampire as a superhero story? Why not? Pity it was a crappy superhero story
13 – The F Word/What If – a mindless romantic comedy that tries for eccentricity and falls way short.
12 – Non-Stop – Liam Neeson as an air marshal being set up as a terrorist. Boring version of Die Hard on a plane.
11 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – somehow, the story leading up to Gwen Stacy’s death got turned into a paint-by-numbers fiasco.
10 – The Other Woman – three women band together to wreak vengeance on the man who cheated on them with each other. A great idea dumbed down to dog poop on a living room carpet.
9 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – super-sizing the Turtles and giving them super strength made them just another band of superheroes. Still, if the movie had focused more on them bantering than on HUGE action set pieces, it coulda been a contender.
8 – Expendables 3 – they blew up that franchise real good.
7 – Exodus: Gods and Kings – a new take on Moses leading the enslaved Jews out of bondage in ancient Egypt. Stultifyingly slow, long and boring.
6 – Horrible Bosses 2 – The schlubs from Horrible Bosses are even less ept as kidnappers than they were as murderers. Somehow, that turned out to not be funny.
5 – Ouija – interesting premise taken and driven into the ground by ignoring the premise; telegraphing all the thrills/scares/jump moments, and being generally dumb.
4 – Pompeii – historical romance with gladiators and lava. Killer combination in the hands of a good director. Not here.
3 – Let’s Be Cops – two guys discover that some girls suffer from a unique malady called blue fever and pretend to be cops. Then they stumble into some serious crime and things fall apart – though not a rapidly as this movie.
2 – Transcendence – Big idea, quasi-Christopher Nolan movie made by Nolan’s cinematographer. From the opening moments, it practically just lay there gasping for breath. Possibly the most disappointing movie of the year.
1 – Transformers: Age of Extinction – Bigger, louder and with Dinobots. Plus the blonde version of Megan Fox – Michael Bay’s discovery, Nicola Peltz. Mark Wahlberg has never been more boring. I’m not sure how destroying a major Chinese city got the film approved by the Chinese government. This movie equivalent of toddlers banging on kitchen pots and pans ran for 165 minutes. It felt like 165 days.