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The Worst Ten Films of 2011

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Mark Kermode | 07:00 UK time, Tuesday, 27 December 2011

It's the time of good will to all men but for a film critic it's also the season of recrimination and settling scores.

Here I list the 10 worst films of the year - see if you agree with my choices.

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  • Comment number 1.

    I don't really get the Sucker Punch hate. At worst, it's just a bit dumb, but I don't think it's a real stinker.

    Off subject - did Mark like 'Super'?

  • Comment number 2.

    Have not had the chance to see all of the movies on the list and having seen what you say about them, I don't think I want to. Of the ones I have seen, I didn't really think they where that bad. I actually thought Transformers 3 was probably better than Sucker Punch. I also laughed quite a bit at The Hangover 2, but fully understand your reasoning for putting it here. Yes it is nothing more than a facsimile of the first one, but people who enjoyed the first would probably enjoy the second. Worry thing is that I bet my wife would enjoy New Years Eve. Better keep that one off the radar. Happy New year!

  • Comment number 3.

    I always look forward to this list more than the 'best of'. Only because it reinforces my take on how shallow parts of the film industry are and vacuous some of the audience can be. Still, horses for courses, etc, etc.

    Any chance of a podcast in the style of Film Socialisme? Something manageable for us to chew on and spit out after about 2 minutes? Happy New Year!

  • Comment number 4.

    I was at the premier of Transformers 2 in Dublin, and came away quite annoyed after it received a whooping applause from the audience. It was, in my mind, a sin against all humankind, especially considering the gross amounts of money involved, not least lack of all artistic integrity.

    Somehow, my younger brother tricked me into seeing Tranformers 3. He told me that it was 'more like the original animated film'. Myself and my older brother approached tepidly, and, when realising mid-screening that we had been duped, I simply gave up. There was no way for me to muster up the diety-like volume of rage require to squelsh this on-going train-wreck of a franchise. I've just given up hope. I hate these films, and I don't understand why the world hasn't, very naturally, come to ignore this rubbish and engage with cinema, and life in general, through much more intellectual, academic terms. Really, what's the harm in doing so?

  • Comment number 5.

    I thought Sucker Punch was just "ultra-silly fun". I fancy seeing Film Socialisme just to see what the fuss is all about. Even a trailblazer like Godard has off-days.

    Now back to my essay on Truffaut's L'Enfant Sauvage...

  • Comment number 6.

    Sucker Punch was like the fetid fantasy of a weird 14 year old boy. As shallow as it was it also managed to be deeply offensive to women with all the thrills being garnered by depicting a group of beautiful semi-clad girls who are under constant threat of being murdered or raped. You'd think that stylish visuals, endless action and half-naked ladies would be at the very least entertaining but it managed to be the epic mix of completely misogynistic and mind-numbingly boring. I have been accused of only hating the film because the hot women make me feel inadequate which is funny because if it was a fact I'd have a lot of films to remove from my top 10 if I hated anything with a hot lady in it.

  • Comment number 7.

    Wow, it really shows that you didn't see Something Borrowed, THE worst film of 2011, when your bottom 10 includes The Lion King (if it's just the same film as in 2D, then why does it belong anywhere near this list) and New Year's Eve (bad, yes, but not even as bad as Valentine's Day- surprised that you don't share my view that Zac Efron salvaged some of it, cos I don't like him as much as you do either). I'm still avoiding Filme Socialisme on your advice though.

  • Comment number 8.

    No "Jack and Jill" in your top ten Mark? That was without a doubt the worst Hollywood product in years. Adam Sandler needs to disappear, I don't care how.

    Sucker Punch is not even a film, it's just another long music video by Snyder. Snyder can't seem to get enough of scenes of women getting raped or abused in his films. And the whole set-up of the girls pretending to escape by pretending they work in a brothel while pretending they are superheroes... So misjudged.

  • Comment number 9.

    You know 'The Human centipede 2' is a nausiating piece of filth when Dr Horror says he doesn't even want it in his house so i'll give it a wide berth. There was speculation as to whether 'Film socialism' made sense with subtitles so thanks for answering that question.

    I haven't seen any films could be called terrible just ones that were
    Disappointing: In Time
    Boring: Moneyball, Wuthering Heights
    So not a bad year in that respect.

  • Comment number 10.

    Disappointed (but unsurprised) to not find the truly awful 'Kill List' in the bottom 10.

    Act I is a glacially paced kitchen sink drama which introduces to us the generally unlikeable characters - a great start.

    Act II comes on like a cross between an episode of The Prisoner scripted by Charles Manson and something out of Garth Marenghi. I don't mind gore, this was just nasty.

    As for Act III, you might feel like you've fallen asleep during Act I and woken up during whatever movie was on next - "eh? What?". You'll wish you had stayed asleep and missed the toe-curlingly bad attempt at foreshadowing presented at the climax.

    Had the movie's tone been tweaked a little to make it a comedy it could actually have been very funny instead of the po faced nonsense it actually is. Naturally, most critics lapped it up - though I was happy to see a fair few also called it out as what it actually was - at best a failed experiment, at worst, lazy writing.

    The only list of any note here is that of the the plot strands that remain unresolved - a list of every plot strand in the movie with a big tick against each.

  • Comment number 11.

    The worst film I saw all year was Seven Acts of Mercy (directed by Gianluca De Serio). A total waste of everyone's time, money and effort - bilge of the highest quality, lacking everything that makes a film involving or thought provoking - it was the type of film that gives art house a bad name. I want to say it should have gone direct to DVD, but too be honest it would be an insult to the DVD. In my opinion they should have got the Bear from the film Dendera (surely the worst SFX of 2011) to appear in it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Cowboys and Aliens, just because of the pedigree of the people involved means it should have been MUCH better. Ten writers and still no story. wtf

  • Comment number 13.

    This is the best thing about being an impoverished student: limited money means you have to pick your cinema outings very, very carefully.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think the worst film I saw was The Dilemma, but having skipped New Years Eve, I still think there were worse films than Transformers 3: Arthur, Trespass, I Am Number Four, Battle LA, Drive Angry, Immortals and Killer Elite were all even more boring than Bay's latest. And to render_this above, Kill List is uneven but nowhere near deserving of the strangely vitriolic abuse you've given it. Stick to the comedies butt!

  • Comment number 15.

    Mark, you didn't see 'I Melt With You'? this year?

  • Comment number 16.

    I have to agree with "Sucker Punch". What I hated even more than the movie itself was the attempt by the filmmakers and devotees alike to pretend there was some sort of feminist message of empowerment underlying the whole ridiculous plot. I would have preferred if they had gone for a full-on exploitation film rather than this teenage boy's wet dream of utter drivel.

    I would say "Zookeeper" was probably worse than "The Dilemma". I would also put "Red State" in that list - what a mess of a movie. "Big Fat Gypsy Gangster" and "Ghosted" provided ample justification for disbanding the UK Film Council. Also didn't like "The Guard", "In Time", "The Future" or "Flypaper".

    I avoided gems like "Transformers", "Friends With Benefits", "The Change-Up" etc. because, well, that should be obvious.

  • Comment number 17.

    Why did people go to see The Hangover Part II? Because they enjoyed the original, it's quite simple really.

  • Comment number 18.

    Is the "read more books" comment from the Good Doctor, a very early plug for his next literary masterpiece and 2012 picturehouse tour?

  • Comment number 19.

    Chris Nolan must see something in Zach Snyder to give him Man of Steel(god I hope so).

  • Comment number 20.

    No Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? You are slipping Dr K.

  • Comment number 21.

    I hope the good Dr. is not implying that by definition films have to make sense in order to be good. If so, I strongly disagree.

  • Comment number 22.

    Thankfully, I didn't see any of the films on your list, Dr. K, though I did see one outright stinker---"Cowboys and Aliens." Now, it's not the worst movie of all time by any stretch, but anything with a concept worthy of a "SyFy Channel Original Movie" and then, despite the talent involved, fails to rise above that level deserves a runner-up spot for worst movie of the year.

  • Comment number 23.

    Robert De Niro - what were you thinking?????????????????

  • Comment number 24.

    4th worst film of the year is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides because it is a flabby, dull, pointless, noisy sequel. I have a revolutionary idea for the fifth Pirates movie. Make the run time a maximum of 120 minutes because with the exception of the first Pirates movie, each sequel has the pacing of a crippled elephant. Cut the run time and make the film faster and cleaner with less pointless subplots.

    I am going to be very controversial but my third worst film of the year is Black Swan. What do people see in this film? It is the most over rated movie to win Oscars since Titanic! I found it dull and achingly prosaic.

    It was a close call but Sucker Punch is my choice of the 2nd Worst film of the year. It is number 2 simply because it is NOT a sequel which stopped it taking the number 1 spot. Despite this Sucker Punch is hateful, misogynistic trash. I call it Inception remade by troglodytes. For people to claim that the film has some sort of feminist empowerment message is a load of old horse plop!

    But the number 1 stinker of the year is Transformers: Dark of the Loon. Another loud, noisy, pointless, overlong sequel (like On Stranger Tides) but NOISIER!!! This year I have seen live gigs with Iron Maiden, The Darkness and Deep Purple but Dark of the Loon made them sound like a night in a library in comparison. The final hour of Transformers is poorly edited mess where I spent a lot of the time trying to work out what it was I was supposed to be looking at while being deafened by the gunshots, explosions and terrible dialogue. And just like Sucker Punch it was misogynistic as well. Finally it had John Malkovish and Frances McDormand slumming in it. I can only assume they needed beer money or a new fridge when they agreed to appear in the celluloid train wreck.

  • Comment number 25.

    My No. 1 for Worst Film of 2011 has to be The Roommate. Sara is starting college in America, she moves into her room with her new roommate, Rebecca. Of course, Rebecca is a murdering, rampaging schizophrenic. The film had terrible dialogue, predictable plot, no scares, and worst of all, no humour.

    By half way through, I was starting to contemplate whether the kitten's fate was so bad. *Spoiler*: the kitten is shoved in the washing machine. At least, it was spared the torture of having to appear in the rest of the film.

  • Comment number 26.

    The Change Up, not one of the worst of 2011, but one of the worst ever and I quite like Batemen and Reynolds.
    Also Zookeeper was far more terrible than The Dilemma and I only got 25 mins in before I turned it off..

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh, and I forgot Cedar Rapids. I used to like John C. Reilly, I cringe at the sight of him now..

  • Comment number 28.

    Mark, The Lion King 3D is in your worst of 2011 list, really?

    I strongly agree with your critique against 3D's gimmicky, pricey and superfluous presence, but there must've be worst films this year than a 3D version of a well-loved animated film.

    I still have my old Lion King tape at home, so I saw no need to see it in 3D or at the cinema as Disney re-release their old classics to cynically cash-grab from their audience, rather than concentrate solely on the quality of their future releases.

    My bottom of 2011 list (so far), would be:
    Sucker Punch - soporific, headache-inducing, listless, inane, pretentious and naseating.
    Transformers 3 - interminable and humdrum blockbuster
    In Time - wasted concept.
    Red Riding Hood - inept, plodding and predictable.
    PotC: OST - DULL and overall futile
    Final Destination 5 - a tired series
    Hanna - underwhelming
    Gnomeo and Juliet - annoying
    Scream 4 - rehashed elements, botox inhibited faces and OTT.

  • Comment number 29.

    Also, The Adjustment Bureau I'll add to my list, in at no. 10. Again, a wasted idea - wasn't bad, just mediocre that was made watchable mainly down to the main lead's chemistry.

  • Comment number 30.

    My Bottom 10 and there are many to choose from believe or not (you go and see anything if you've got a bafta card)

    10. Much rather seen a straight forward Western or sci-fi, than the mish-mash of 2 genres in 1. Also characters where a little bit predictable as well.

    9. Resistance - Just a bunch of Welsh villagers talking to each other and then doing a bit of farming. Unfortunately I've got the gift of not being able to go to sleep in a cinema auditorium, even when you've had next to no sleep and have to get more than 1 train to go to it. It's more of a curse than anything.

    8. Tower Hist - Didn't laugh once and I've forgotten almost all of the plot. Eddie Murphy just can't get himself back to his 80s success.

    7. Texas Killing Fields - I wish Danny Boyle would have stuck with this as he would have made it far more interesting than the boring piece of..... it turned out to be. When you have a film where Sam Worthington (he of Avatar and 'Titans will Clash' fame) pops up in scenes for no apparent reason for actually doing so it's not good.

    6. Paul - Enough with sci-fi references already!

    5. Contagion - (tune of happy birthday) boring-boring, boring, boring-boring, boring, boring-boring Soderberg, boring-boring, BORING!!

    4. Dream House - A plot that absolutely made no sense. Goes 1 way then goes back on it self then suggest things that don't make sense to. No wonder no one did any publicity for it.

    3. Human Centipede 2 - It would have been funny, if it wouldn't taken itself so seriously. At last the first 1 had some throwbacks to hammer horror with a mad German scientist and a house in the middle of nowhere.

    2. Super 8 - Was the top for me in august and still makes me angry to think about. I hated the characters, I hated the dialogue, I hated the relationships, I hated the lens flares and most of all I absolutely hated the ending. The only things that I remotely liked is the first shots of the film and the kids film at the end and I only liked that as a film student I get that.

    1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - Yes I went to see this and I'm ashamed of myself. Basically I owed someone a favour. Once Jacob had stripped off (in the rain!?) I knew I was in for a very very very long film. The plot is bonkers to the point of I can't believe people (especally the good Doctor K.) actually take this seriously. It was embarrassing in parts especially the name of the baby. The werewolves part was completely stupid and I had no idea what was going on. It reminded me of the Tom Cruise Scientology video where he speaks for 10 mins and doesn't actually say anything at all. Also anyone else think the "imprinting" was a bit dodgy? I'm sorry Mark, but you have got this one wrong.

  • Comment number 31.

    Suckerpunch made me want to rip my eyeballs out. It was essentially an indulgent music video. I don't get how something can be so low-brow and yet so pretentious.

  • Comment number 32.

    Wow, those films really must be awful if Pirates of the Caribbean 4 didn't make the list.

  • Comment number 33.

    What, no place for the wretched Immortals? Ugly, self-important and unforgivably dull, so much so that I fell asleep. Twice.

    As for Cowboys and Aliens, which seems to be a bit of a whipping boy in these comments, I, er, actually quite liked it. Surely I can't be the only one?

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm sure films like Hangover 2, New Year's Eve and Film Socialisme are all just as terrible as the films on my own list, Mark, but luckily, unlike you, I wasn't paid to have to endure them. I guess something like Human Centipede 2 proves that being a film critic isn't always a cushy job to have.

    My own list of 10:

  • Comment number 35.

    Crash at 34, I don't remember Atlas Shrugged being released here. I wonder why not? I loved the critic who wrote that "its backers should at least be proud that they lost their own money."

    I saw no films this year that I did not love. Mostly because I was too busy.

  • Comment number 36.

    My bottom five would have Transformers 3, Sleeping Beauty and Wuthering Heights vying for the bottom spot with Red Riding Hood and Zookeeper just ahead of them. Tower Heist gets a (dis)honourable mention.

  • Comment number 37.

    @Voigt-Kampff You've got me. I'm on the other side of the pond, so I'm used to listening to Mark give a review a week before or a week after a movie is released over here... Or sometimes much longer. I think I remember having to wait about a year for Shaun Of The Dead.
    That was an ppropriate quote for 'Atlas'. I don't think I had had time to take in any of the political points of the film. I think I blacked out about 8 minutes in.

    Great name (Voigt-Kampff) from a great movie by the way.

  • Comment number 38.

    @Crash Landen - I've not seen the first part of Atlas Shrugged but have heard a lot about it. Is it true that there's a part 2 in the works somewhere?

  • Comment number 39.

    Actually, can I add "Hanna", "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Paul" to my list of worst films of 2011. Absolute drivel from start to finish. I was also pretty bored with "Captain America". I am struggling to enjoy anything that has "Marvel Studios" written on it these days.

    Have to disagree with one of the above posters about "Cedar Rapids" though. Yes, it wasn't the greatest comedy of all times but John C. Reilly had some very funny lines - a good DVD rental, I would say.

  • Comment number 40.

    At first, I thought surely "The Dilema" should be higher - quite possibly the worst film I ever sat through, but then seeing what you put at No 1 - the trailer alone of which made me retch - congratulations, you're spot-on.

  • Comment number 41.

    good as always

  • Comment number 42.

    I liked Immortals and I emailed in saying so, I think aspects of it are astonishing visually speaking, it's very much inspired by Holy Mountain visually. The story takes great liberties with the mythology which due the astonishing visuals I let slide, some of the shots were just awe inspiring. I think the cast was fine in what they did. I liked it more than most people, I only know one other person who say it and agreed that is a fine piece of work, it's a much much better than that fascistic piece of garbage 300.

    I didn't see a bad film this year because I try to avoid bad films by listening to the good Doctor's advice, he was clearly wrong on Immortals but as he says "there are other opinions available, I just happen to be right".

  • Comment number 43.

    Limited viewing this year meant I missed out on all the hated movies above (although, I've also missed out much good). The two worst that I actually saw were Limitless, and John Carpenter's The Ward. Neither of these were hateful, just decidedly "meh".

    I'd take slight (almost pointless) issue with comments above:
    @Luke Smith if you're going to watch a film part written/starring Simon Pegg about an alien, I think you can't chide it for having sci-fi references. If ComicCon didn't exist Pegg would have to invent it.
    @PJ Hughes -- Jean Luc Godard has had a few bad decades, not days, having disappeared, possibly permanently up his avant garde fundament. Still very much enjoy his early "funny" films. A shame, a recent re-release of Pierrot Le Fou was one of my favourite films that year.

  • Comment number 44.

    Dreamhouse - Viewed like a film adapted from a book of short stories, where the producers only realised at the last minute that the stories were unconnected.
    Hanna - Trailer looked great, but ultimately the story was just too inexplicable in places. A real shame as it could have been a winner.
    Green Lantern - The writing was on the wall with this after the trailer. Could have been good fun, but badly realised.
    Friends with Benefits - 'It's a flash mob!' Bile inducing.

  • Comment number 45.

    I don't have a problem with having 1 or 2 references, but it far more that. Now I think of it maybe the story wasn't that engaging that I noticed everyone of them (plus I am a sci fi fan).

  • Comment number 46.

    Eight out of ten is bad. Can't be 100% all the time.
    I liked Sucker Punch and personally the I Spit On Your Grave remake was far better than the original, solving some of the problems I had with it. Spoiler: She uses sex to get back at them in the original but with the 2010 film it's a plain old, "I'm going to **** you up" and it went for it.

  • Comment number 47.

    @Rightflyer It ends with something like "End of Part 1" and I think I heard (from somewhere) that this is intended to be a trilogy. If they make enough money to make another, I would hope they hire a better director... And maybe just start over.

  • Comment number 48.

    An improvement for Michael Bay being in at number three? Hardly. Bay didn't get better, it's just others are racing past him to reach the bottom. (And the worst thing about New Years is probably that it'll get trotted out to TV screens every year from now on.)

  • Comment number 49.

    What about Fincher's 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' rehash? Stylish and all, but just an unashamed scene-by-scene remake of the better original. There have been so many of these American remakes of European hits recently (Let the Right One In, Rec. etc), and I think there's no excuse for them. They shouldn't recieve merit independent of their originals; we all know that these sorts of remakes, moments after the original is released, are a lazy approach to film-making. I know such films would never be included in these countdowns though, they're not ridiculous or cringe-worthy enough. But I think their praise is falsely earned through the strengths of their originals. How on earth do the cast and crew see themselves?

  • Comment number 50.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was very very good, describing Fincher as lazy is absurd.

  • Comment number 51.

    @ 49 Gwendolen89

    I'd hardly describe it as a scene by scene remake. Characters and scenes that weren't in the original film are in the American version (and to be honest give it a bit more sense as the original did rush the story in places). I saw it on boxing day and it thought at times it did top the original. I know I was up in arms about the remake, but I did grow agnostic towards it mainly because it's David Fincher and cos the trailer was quite good.

    It does have it's flaws (the bond style credit sequence didn't have any use for it and doing in Sweden with Swedish accents is pointless as well), but I look back at the original and so did that (as I say rushed in places and in some ways didn't link well to the net film). Quite clearly it's not better than the original as the original is done with Swedish people in Swedish (though I do have a point to make about that). That said does it stand on it's own next to the original as another adaptation and for me: it does.

    I'll admit it is better in the Swedish than American as Sweden is were it's set. However a couple of points:

    1. When you watch a live action film with talking animals we usually watch it with them talking in English, why couldn't the film-makers just film them in their own 'language' and put subtitles on it? Because that would be stupid I know, but doing that does put in the audience into the world of the film. Subtitles shouldn't effect this but it does. I'm a film student and I love world cinema, but there has been foreign films where I have to watch again as I missed it due to not getting what has been said as I'm watch what's action is taking place (though it is a rarity) and that's me. For Joe Bloggs out on the street, I'd imagine the subtitles will be distracting and they would miss bits out. They absolutely should NOT be, but let's face it; they are. Most people do just want to have escapism when the go to the cinema and do want to be spoon fed. Not good I know, but it is the way the situation is. I'd imagine this is what sound being used in films has done, made it less universal. Also to go back to my original point aren't some of Shakespeare's plays set in other countries (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet etc...), but all countries do those plays in there native language. In films of Shakespeare's plays are all done English, we're never up in arms saying that should be done in Danish or that should be done in Italian or that should actually done in Latin.

    2. The issue of why do a remake so soon after the original is a valid one, but it does have it flaws in the point it's making. For starters, everyone involved on it has said that it is a american adaptation of the book not a remake of the original film (characters and scene's from the original don't appear in the American version and visa versa). It's probably them trying to get people from having that its remake in mind, which is never a good excuse, but let's humour them. Firstly to say it's a scene by scene remake of the original is not to do it justice as both of them are based on a book that has got a complicated plot, so they're are going to be crossovers that are unavoidable. Secondly, how many adaptations do we have of different books/plays/characters. Isn't Sherlock Holmes the most ever played character? How many Dickens novels have been adapted for film and TV? Also going back to what I said before how many countries do Shakespeare's plays in they're native language? So in that sense, doing a 'remake' isn't that bad unless it is a shot for shot remake then you should be shot at dawn for it.

    In saying all that though I still like the Swedish version and I think it is at best superior to the American version. Although I do think that the American version does stand on it's own with the original beside it. Both have flaws and both top each other in certain areas.

    I feel that I've written enough now, feel free to destroy my points in 1 sentence. haha

  • Comment number 52.

    I think this man, got wrong twice, yo man, oyu cant agree with enjoying films... Transformers is masterpiece of 3D work design animation and special effects.. Go back and keep watching Partis texas films and Kubrick stuff... which I like them as well... but you seems to be a clasic critic that never will come out and enjoy technology... Thenk sucker punch is an enjoyable and fatasy boyo film.. young fellas who want to make their weekend liked it becasue its abut fun.. unfortunatelly your list sucks... New years eve more of the same and Lion King 3D.. come on....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! snobby and negative film critic... life is to enjoy!!!!! And that is what we do with this silly films... I had fun and put an smiled and happines at the end between my pop corn and coke.... END

  • Comment number 53.

    I enjoyed Transformers 3 so there. Im curious Mark and anyone else who didnt like it just because it was a MB film... do you think that it is easy to make a film like that? I would much rather watch robots smashing themselves to bits (Which takes more skill and effort to make than any stupid human drama) than a boring film with just a held two hour two shot about 'people'. I can sit in Starbucks and watch that for free. Give me Michael Bay over Mike Leigh or whoever ANY DAY OF THE YEAR.

    For me the worst was probably Skyline and Cowboys and Aliens mainly because I was so let down by them after the promise of the trailer.

    Also Mark, you TRASHED Immortals yet it isnt here!!! I kind of liked that as well actually.

  • Comment number 54.

    Just to confirm, here in Japan Skyline came out in 2011 not 2010.

  • Comment number 55.

    Oh and even though I found Red Riding Hood bad (the two love interests were SO wooden), Gary Oldman was hamming up a treat and seemed to be having fun! :D

  • Comment number 56.

    I don't know how 'battle los angeles' managed to escape the list this year. That was in my bottom 3! Wins the prize for biggest mess of a film, watching it is like a 100m sprinter racing with his/her shoe laces tied together - constantly tripping over itself.

  • Comment number 57.

    p.s. bang on with love's kitchen by the way (as droll as they come) and the "circle of life/sphere of life" pun was a dream.
    But what about pirates of the caribbean 4?!? Quite true that its not as bad as the third but thats similar to saying 'losing my right foot is better than losing my left foot because i'm right footed.' It doesn't change the fact I still hate hopping.

  • Comment number 58.

    Interesting that the Lion King made the list as both my kids have always hated it. As a joke we all tried to watch BrideWars to see if we could make it to the end.It got so bad half way through we coulnt take it anymore. So which is worse Bridewars or New Years???? Either way what ever you get paid Mark, it simply just isnt enough to endure that kind of pain!!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    @Size - I (and probably most of the people on here who) didn't like Transformers 3 not because it was an MB film. I didn't like it because it was a noisy, illogical mess. I agree it is not easy to make a film like Transformers 3 but it is not easy to make any film of any kind especially when Hollywood is fixed on churning out sequels and reboots because they're safer than trying to make something original.

    Furthermore, the problem with Transformers 3 (and most of MB's output) is that MBV shows absolutely no skill in making them. 16 years ago he made The Rock which is a good, enjoyable action movie but Bay has lost the skill in making good action movies. The final hour of Transformers 3 is relentless. It goes on and on and on. Bay thought he would just have an hour of constant action but good action film making needs 'beats', it needs to ebb and flow to allow the audience time to understand what is going on and why (it's why some of the best James Bond movies are not wall to wall action)). With a Bay film, there are no 'beats', there are no quiet parts. It's all CRASH, BANG, WALLOP. Once you've put up with an hour of that and seen one lump of CGI metal knock seven shades of shomething unpleasant out of another lump of CGI metal, you've seen it all.

    As for what you might call a 'talking heads' movie they can be as interesting as an all out action film. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a good spy movie even though there is very little of the tradiational gunshots and explosions you would normally expect to see in a traditional spy movie and most of it consists of people having conversations. To make a film like that can be just as difficult as to make one where you have to mix stunts and explosions and CGI on the screen at the same time.

  • Comment number 60.

    Wont be seeing New Years Eve.. obviously but here is the bottom 10 of the 27 films from 2011 I saw this year
    28. Scre4m - 4/10
    29. Super 8 - 4/10
    30. Your Highness - 3/10
    31. Hanna - 3/10
    32. The Hangover II - 2.5/10
    33. Rango - 2/10
    34. Green Lantern - 2/10
    35. The Lincoln Lawyer - 2/10
    36. Hobo with a Shotgun - 1/10
    37. Transformers 3D - 0/10

  • Comment number 61.

    37 I mean^

  • Comment number 62.

    I don't care if The Lion King is in 3D, it could be in black and white, or have half the screen missing. A great movie, no matter how it's viewed, can never be as bad as sitting through Pirates of the Caribbean 4.
    I can't believe the good Doctor omitted this awful film from the top 10

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm shocked to see Paranormal Activity absent from this list.

  • Comment number 64.

    The only films on this list that I was were Straw Dogs, which was fairly useless, and The Dilemma, which was a wet-fart of a movie.
    Oh, I also saw The Hangover 2 on a day when I quit my job and perhaps felt like punishing myself for doing so.
    Otherwise, I had a pretty good year in the cinema (a place I visit at least twice a week). And who do I have to thank for this? Dr Kermode, my very favourite critic, because I agree with him 95% of the time, and because he waves his hands around in the exact manner I do when talking about movies.
    Best wishes for the new year. Seriously.

  • Comment number 65.

    Only number 7 for Sucker Punch that is very generous, it was a completely awful film beyond all compare this year. (Granted I have not seen New Year's Eve). I really didn't mind the Hangover Part 2 either personally.

  • Comment number 66.

    It felt like a season watching 'Season of the Witch' starring Nicholas 'horse-face' Cage - it made watching paint dry quite thrilling!

  • Comment number 67.

    I've not seen any of them. Go me!

    Lion King 3D pointless, Love's Kitchen I've never heard of, Film Socialisme doesn't interest me. The rest it was obvious are trash.

    I maybe tempted to include Mission Impossible 4 in this list. What a load of nonsense. All it needed was a white furry cat, the Moonraker of Mission Impossible movies.

  • Comment number 68.

    Where is "Sleeping Beauty"? Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) yet again being sexually oppressed now by old men, and even though the idea is interesting in bringing up human's darkest desires, there's no point to the film. Blank characters. No message. It's just pure sexploitation, masquerading as an arthouse film.

    When even the producer is the only one giving praise qoutes in the trailers, you know your film is bad.

  • Comment number 69.

    Did anyone see Your Highness? I'm surprised this film hasn't received more notoriety for its sheer awfulness. Rarely have such high production values, oscar winning cast and cinematic virtuosity been combined to such spectacularly disastrous effect. I suspect MK never saw it - since it might have sparked an interesting rant - but it actually made me feel depressed i'd spent 7 quid when i watched it. . .

  • Comment number 70.

    the lion king really isn't great

  • Comment number 71.

    Love the good Dr K's choices of abysmal films for 2011.

    My worst film of the year was "Just Go With it". A truly atrocious remake of the wonderful 1969 "Cactus Flower".

    Why does Adam Sandler insist on making movies? Doesn't he realise how awful he is? He was a one trick pony and it's beyond ridiculous seeing his trite and trashy style of 'comedy' in the loosest possible sense, rehashed time and again.

    The same could be said for Jennifer Aniston. When has she made a decent movie? I certainly can't recall.

  • Comment number 72.

    The thing I hate about Sucker Punch is its opening. The sexual assault (well the suggestion of the sexual assault) by a father on his own daughter is filmed in slow motion, montage style, with rock music pounding in the background. How misjudged can you get?

  • Comment number 73.

    I don't go out of my way to watch bad films, but there's two...'The Thing' & 'Bridesmaids'

  • Comment number 74.

    @Rightflyer - My favourite film this year was Never Let Me Go which doesnt have a gun or explosion in sight and is all 'talking heads'. My point is, is that Mark and others (Emulating his opinions to get in his good books) WITHOUT QUESTION have a double standard with regards to films like Transformers. Case in point, the TWILIGHT movies.
    He (Mark) reviews the Twlight films with an eye as to how the TARGET AUDIENCE will feel as well as everyone else; ie 13/14/15 year old girls. However, as other people have pointed out too, he has NOT looked at Transformers or similar films through the eyes of fans (Like me) or the target audience of 13/4/15 year old boys and asked if they, as teenagers are going to like an hour of relentless action... which im sorry to say but they ARE. (Dont take my word for that, take the $1,123,745,628 which T3 earned) He reviews them seemingly by the same standards as he reviewed The Godfather, not as a summer action film about robots aimed primarily at teenage boys.

    He (Mark) then goes on to dismiss other people who DONT like the Twilight films as being snobbish saying they 'dont get it' and I cannot stand this arrogance (EVEN IF IT IS SARCASTIC) hence my vociferous defense of Transformers. I can say EXACTLY the same about his and many people's attitude here to Transformers. There is a knee-jerk reaction to it and despite what people may say it is just as valid in the cinema world as Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, Godfather, Exorcist or anything else.

  • Comment number 75.

    The problem is Bay's target audience is disgusting human beings. The lastest one was the worst andmost insulting film I have seen in over 6000 films seen. It garnered a whopping 0/10

  • Comment number 76.

    This is the first time I have seen enough films to actually make a Worst 10 list. Based on what I saw this year this is what I think:

    10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - I enjoyed the first Transformers, I admit that and I also admit I hated Revenge of the Fallen for being too slow, having to much focus on the humans, being a Republican fantasy, ignoring characters I liked and of course racist robots. Michael Bay did the smart thing about dropping the racist robots but why does he have to focus on a character no one is interested in, why does he have to look at the humans? All I want in a Transformers film is 90 minute to 2 hours of robot fighting. Is that so much to ask for?

    9. Limitless - This was a film that was all style over substance. Whilst Neil Berger does a good job trying to make this film visually appealing but I do not think there is much to the film, Bradley Cooper plays an unlikeable character, Robert De Niro may as well not have been in the film and there are just a number of plotholes throughout the film.

    8. The Three Musketeers - Not as bad as it should have been, but it still does not make it a good film. Matthew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson and even Orlando Bloom were good in their roles but Logan Lerman was a terrible lead, his relationship with the Lady in Waiting was like watching two 10-year-olds and I thought the 3D was a distraction. Also if they had cut out most of the swearing this film would have had more of a family appeal.

    7. Johnny English Reborn - It is just more of the same. The first Johnny English was not particular good and Johnny English Reborn is not going to be breaking any ground. I don't see why JER satirised the Bronsan era Bonds because it dated the film immediately. Its target should have been the new Bonds and The Bourne Trilogy. There were a few minor chuckles but that is not enough to sustain a film.

    6. The Tree of Life - I really disliked this film and I personally of the view that if it was directed by a first time/unknown person critics would have seen it the same why I saw it, pretentious twaddle. Whilst the acting, the cinematography and music was excellent, Tree of Life was a slow, draining experience, a film that goes no where and critics confused that for being profound. There were some ideas that could have been put into a better film. This is the type of film that shows the gulf between the Cannes crowd and real film fans. And it needed more dinosaurs.

    5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - I don't hate the Twight saga, I don't think its great but it there are far worst series out there. But Breaking Dawn is not a good film, it is a film that overstretches it material, a boring experience that is melodramatic and cheesy.

    4. Bad Teacher - I will put it this way, when I went to a busy cinema to see this barely anyone laughed. Never a good sign for a comedy.

    3. Season of the Witch - 2011 certainly started with a stinker. Season of the Witch shows Nicolas Cage will do anything for money at the moment, the plot and direction was generic and uninteresting. It was like the Seventh Seal for idiots. At least Claire Foy shows promise as an actress.

    2. Battle: Los Angeles - Talk about a horrible film. How Jonathan Liebesman is an in demand director is beyond me. The plot was cliched, this was a film filled war cliches and cardboard characters and worst of all the action scenes were some of the worst I have ever seen in a blockbuster. This was a film that took the worst elements of Michael Bay and Paul Greengrass and mixed them together. When you make film that makes Skyline look like a Oscar winning epic you should quit your day job. At least Aaron Eckhart got the paycheque he deserves.

    1. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World - This is just a cheap, unimagiative film that treats children like idiots. It has a pointless grimmick that did not even work, horrible pun based and toliet humour, an unsurprising twist and a predictable film all the way. Avoid at all cost. I just hope Robert Rodriguez finally makes Sin City 2.

  • Comment number 77.

    I haven't seen any of these films, only be reputation and by what I heard during Mark's many and legendary movie podcast rants. However, I shall always remember seeing the first TRANSFORMERS film. It literally made me nauseous. It wasn't motion sickness; it was my soul trying to escape through my nose.

  • Comment number 78.

    People defending the sexist nonsense in Transformers and Sucker Punch, on the base of their special effects merits or the "nonsensical fun" only is akin to people defending bad music because it is very loud, a painting because it is made by somebody very famous or a dance feature because dancers jump very high.

    I invite you to make a thought experiment: replace the female actresses with any female relations of yours as if they were acting in the movie, and please tell me if you still hold the same opinion about this "innocent fun".

    Dr K is right, there were plenty of other movies that provided great action and special effects, if that is your cup of tea, without the sexist patronising nonsense.

    I didn't pay a penny to these individuals to watch their trash. Thank goodness for the reliable critics that had to sit down through this demoralising nonsense so we don't have to...

  • Comment number 79.

    So you are fine with teenagers watching movies in which females are treated in a gratuitously in sexist, demeaning manner? Most fans of these "films" are so overwhelmed by the robot action that give a blank cheque to the directors and producers to be as demeaning and insulting to women as they wish to be.

    For once the censors are missing the point, this movies should be classed at least 16+ or even 18+ (and I am no prude mind you, I would have no problem for a teenager to watch either Girl of the Dragon Tatoo since the violence is clearly contextualised and is not grauitous). This is not harmless fun for teenagers, but sleazy trash aimed to some males that should grow up.

  • Comment number 80.

    @Size : most people will enjoy something they must be ashamed of.

    That is fine, as long as they grow up from that phase. Adults still defending this nonsense have been warned, but still they chose to go and recommend it to teenagers (they don't be surprised when they begin to copy the same behaviours).

    The problem is when actual professional critics (has any female critic actually liked either film?) give their imprimatur to stuff whose only "saving grace" can't possibly hide its ugliness by portraying fighting robots with great skill.

    At the end you can be a thinking person and judge the whole of the film, including its motivations, or you can give it a pass for anything just because you have a collection of Transformers toys and DVDs in your bedroom.... (and surely people are quick to throw the "you are a snob" card, which is a logical fallacy, but hey, I don't expect people that go to these movies to have read Carl Sagan for example).

    Most of these people will later on be whining about this country going down the drain due the feral teenagers that can't behave properly. Hey, you encouraged them by paying individuals to peddle their nasty cinematic wares...

  • Comment number 81.

    HEY! Why wasn't this on the radio show with Simon Mayo? The year end programme wasn't a patch on previous efforts. Sound bytes in the first hour, and only the BEST in the second hour? Many of us only listen to Mayo/Kermode to hear the best rants!

  • Comment number 82.

    The Inbetweeners Movie was the third biggest box office hit in the UK. But it didn't get a review from Mark.

    Also missed was the review for the movie Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within!

    I think Mark should do film reviews while he is on holiday!

  • Comment number 83.

    I only have two of Dr K's worst on my list - SUCKER PUNCH and TRANSFORMERS 3 - but I didn't go and see many of the others (three of them barely opened anywhere near me anyway). My absolute worst was HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN which I would probably have walked out of if I'd been on an aisle.

  • Comment number 84.

    So not Captain America then? A film only notable for featuring the best Don Estelle lookalike I've ever seen

  • Comment number 85.

    Worst Film of 2011?

    Tree Of Life.

    /End of thread.

  • Comment number 86.

    Hey Mark,

    I know this isnt relevant for this year but I was talking with a friend today about this video and while we were largely in agreement, we happened to bring up an Irish film from 2009 called Zonad which we never really felt was recognised for being as bad as it really was.
    Thing was, the Irish press over here are really bad for bigging up their mates films and whatnot so some of the reviews were "nutroll of a comedy" made from equal parts Pleasantville, The Quiet Man and the old Carry On films." while the rest were of the line of "Awful, and with a disturbingly sleazy undercurrent to boot" (unashamedly taken from wiki, but sites like and such gave it 5 stars and so forth).
    Id really like if you dealt with bad films and why they get these bad reviews more. Why is a steaming pile of you know what like Zonad able to get these reviews while some of the best cinema experiences we can invest our time to left to 1 column blurbs?


  • Comment number 87.

    Worst that I saw last year: Sucker Punch. I chose that instead of Source Code. Bad call on my part (having now seen Source Code).

    As a huge Transformers fan, no problem with TF3. Yes, it could have been better of course - but all this bile? Really?

    I've banged on about this before : I love Mark's reviews, opinion, and rants as much as anyone - but I simply do not agree with all of what he says, as he clearly let's his opinions and preconceptions influence his critical view.

    I agree with the thrust of Sizes comments. The Twilight analogy is good (not seen them, so I can't comment). A lot of people like Twilight. A lot of people like Star Wars. In Marks world, Twilight good, Star Wars bad (yes, I know I'm generalising).

    No problem with that - to each their own.

    But he refuses to generally accept that Star Wars may have merits, whilst defending Twilight to the hilt.

    Again, no issue with this - but from a film critic, does that mean we can trust his verdicts? He's telling us what he likes or dislikes, and letting personal opinion colour certain aspects.

    Once again, no problem with this - it's what we all do - but let's not pretend that one view is neccessarily better than the other, eh? It all comes down to like & dislike.

    I saw Transformers -twice - because I wanted to. I didn't see Twilight because I didn't want to. No more, no less.

    As Optimus Prime would put it, "Freedom is the right of all sentinent beings".

    And surely that includes freedom of choice, yes?

  • Comment number 88.

    As Optimus Prime would put it, "Freedom is the right of all sentinent beings".

    And surely that includes freedom of choice, yes?

    can't say it better but tf3 could have been better.
    I'm from holland but i will come after you!


    greeting from

  • Comment number 89.

    I am going to add Cowboys and Aliens to one of the worst.

    How can a film with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford be soooooo bad? A good idea utterly ruined.

    The only bright spark in this film is Sam Rockwell who once again turned a crap film (like Iron Man 2) into one that was merely poor.

  • Comment number 90.

    'Because that's what new years is all about'. hah

    Erm....'The Green Hornet'!?
    Michel Gondry really should've known better.

  • Comment number 91.

    The Roommate sounds like a remake of Single White Female.

  • Comment number 92.

    I’m a 19 year old girl from Norway, so I apologize if my English isn’t good. I just wanted to say thank you, Mark Kermode, for your wonderful film reviews and energetic, if not slightly compulsive film rants. But fore mostly: Thank you for everything you said about Sucker Punch…

    I don’t know how it is in other countries, but if you want to rent a film here, you can select between a few American Blockbusters and then the rest are variations of “slasher” films such as Bikini Girls on Ice and an American Orgy.

    I was at the local renting place yesterday. After 25 minutes of looking through all the garbage they had on offer I realized I wasn’t going to find anything. Just as I was about to leave a group of boys came in. They grabbed a few films with breasts and screaming women on the cover and the newest Transformers film and were out of there within in 2 minutes.

    Feeling bitter that they had found something so quickly and I hadn’t, dark thoughts started to form in my brain. What if we lived in a world where these kinds of films had half-naked, vulnerable boys my age being raped and tortured for women’s viewing pleasure everywhere. A world where Sam Witwicky had a young, beautiful gay boyfriend with an arse so perfect that mr. Bay just could keep the camera off it? Films where boys were seen as vulnerable and impassive victims and older women or men got off on torturing them.

    There is a film podcast in Norway, and the man who runs it nearly always ends his reviews with; “but there is a hot girl in a bikini, so for the eye candy I’m giving it a 4” His occupation is being a film critique and he genuinely believes that what women wants to watch are romantic comedies where a giggling Cameron Diaz/Kate Hudson fight over men and buy expensive shoes.

    Thank you, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo, for not assuming the same. This may sound silly, but thank you for talking to us as equals. Your interview with Lynne Ramsey is my favourite interview in the history of interviews and I’m just so thankful that women like her exist and that she makes films. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” was my favourite film of 2011. It dragged a little bit in the beginning with all the retrospective flashes, but watching the tension between the mother and Kevin is the most enjoyable film experience I’ve had, I think ever. It’s the kind of film that makes all my disappointing trips to the video store okay. Because at least that film exist.

  • Comment number 93.


    I have to agree with the addition of Cowboys & Aliens it was truly shocking!

  • Comment number 94.

    I think 3 spots in the worst movies of the year award should be reserved annually for the Star Wars prequels. I am still in shock at how bad they are,its like George Lucas deliberately wanted to insult the human race.

  • Comment number 95.

    Like last year life's too short to waste on films that I know are going to be bad (i.e. Transformers). Having said that, Cowboys an Aliens was poor. A film made by a committee, certainly written by a committee (all the "ands" in the writing credits should have told me!) and confirming that Harrison Ford can't even play reformed baddies.

  • Comment number 96.

    This year I predict What to Expect When You're Expecting will be up there in the worst of 2012.

    Looking back probably the worst film I saw in the cinema this year was Battle: Los Angeles.

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with the post above Battle: Los Angeles was true drivel but for me the biggest piece of tripe to be vomited out of hollywood this year was Jack and Jill.
    I almost can't comprehend how it took any money at all at the box office, surely anyone who payed to watch it would demand a refund? It's staggeringly bad and i can only assume it hasn't made everyones worst film list because they haven't seen it, which i suppose is some comfort.

    Adam Sandler hang your head in shame

  • Comment number 98.

    You probably want to consider investing massages.
    Phone Sex

  • Comment number 99.

    You probably want to consider investing massages?

    What the...



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