So far, 2014 has been a decent year for movies. Oscar season yielded a few movies destined to become genuine classics and there has been some solid blockbuster fare in amongst it all.
However, it’s not all good news. Cinema releases tend to follow Newton’s Third Law, meaning that every great film has an equal and opposite stinker. There have been some top-drawer releases this year, but also some truly terrible stuff.
Are you ready? Hold your nose and dive in.
5. Endless Love
The best film to remake is one that nobody remembers anyway. With that in mind, Endless Love had a rather simple job, given that almost no one has seen the 1981 original.
Despite a prime Valentine’s release and the obscurity of the original in its favour, the film is an awful mess. Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer are attractive, but vapid, leads without an iota of charisma between them. Lazy plot devices and a collage of clichés lead the narrative to an altogether predictable conclusion.
Plagued with film school direction and some utterly clunking dialogue, this syrupy romance never stood a chance.
Read my full review of Endless Love here.
4. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The central performances are awful, the build-up is dull and the pay-off is a bonkers ghost train ride that would struggle to scare an infant. Factor in some laughable effects work and it’s a true recipe for disaster.
Read my full review of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones here.
3. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie
Sneaking in at the end of June is the rather inevitable film adaptation of Brendan O’Carroll’s popular BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys. Everything that’s passably amusing about the TV show is channelled here into a generic narrative that is free of witty observations and heavy on cringeworthy racial stereotyping.
The ramshackle charm of the sitcom doesn’t transfer to the big screen, with few of the increasingly crude gags landing. Even the fourth wall breaking for which the sitcom is famed feels forced and out of place.
The only good thing to come of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is that it allowed Empire critic Chris Hewitt the chance to deploy the phrase “hastily sketched Irish stere o’types”. Genius.
Read my full review of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie soon.
2. God’s Not Dead
Hurried into an alarmingly large number of cinemas for a brief period, God’s Not Dead is a Christian movie that isn’t even especially nice to Christians. It seems to hate just about everyone and doesn’t care who it offends with its wafer-thin characters and finesse-free script.
The plot basically asserts that God is the answer to any turmoil that you may be experiencing. Its intriguing debate sequences are a mere sideshow to the theatre of meanness in which almost every character participates.
It does end with an excellent Christian pop number though. Just watch that instead. It’s shorter.
Read my full review of God’s Not Dead here.
1. That Awkward Moment
Sometimes films contain horrible characters. It’s an essential part of driving storylines and making other characters look even nicer than they are. However, it’s rare that a film is as full of breath-taking douchebaggery as That Awkward Moment.
The tale of three men who will literally do anything to avoid admitting to each other that they’re dating people is hideously offensive. The crass jokes are only half the problem as Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B Jordan compete to be more awful than each other.
The film was marketed heavily as a romcom that men can enjoy. If that’s the case, I have never been more ashamed of my gender.
Read my full review of That Awkward Moment here.
Do you agree with my top five? Which films would you like to have seen on the list? You can read about my best films of the year so far and look out for my films to watch in the second half of 2014.