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TOH! Ranks the Worst Films of 2013

by TOH!
December 19, 2013 6:20 AM
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Alas, with every year-end "best of" list comes its evil cousin: the worst of the year. We polled six TOH! staffers and regulars anonymously for their submissions to the 2013 pantheon of the cheap, awful, pretentious and lousy. Surprising picks, which did not make the final ten, included Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" (gasp!), experimental sea doc "Leviathan" (the nerve!), "Spring Breakers" and "To the Wonder" (well, okay, maybe).

Here are the ten worst films of the year that did make the cut -- and should have been left on the cutting room floor.

1. "Diana" (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel)
What was once thought to be an Oscar hopeful for long-overdue Aussie actress Watts turned out to be a ghastly film that critics called a "squirmingly embarrassing," "cheap and chearless effort." Oy.

Kidman in 'Stoker'

2. "Stoker" (dir. Park Chan-wook)
Park's first foray into American genre films hit all the wrong notes -- from its clunky script and slapshod editing to the criminal under-usage of the otherwise unimpeachable Ms. Kidman.

3. "Man of Steel" (dir. Zack Snyder)
The pendulum swang toward too much action as Snyder's "Man of Steel" tried to compensate for the perceived weaknesses of the Bryan Singer "Superman Returns." 

4. "Oz the Great and Powerful" (dir. Sam Raimi)
The witches wear high heels and leather and fuss over James Franco. Why? That did it for us--although the china girl was fabulous. 

Jaden Smith in "After Earth."

5. "After Earth" (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
One of us watched this film silent on a plane and didn't miss a thing.

6. "Salinger" (dir. Shane Salerno)
From the portentous score to the film's seeming preference for tabloid fantasy over psychological inquiry, "Salinger" is an unfortunate eulogy for a man who wouldn't have appreciated the gesture.

7. "The Host" (dir. Andrew Niccol)
After her smash franchise "Twilight," some folks thought they'd wring another hit out Stephenie Meyer, and failed dismally. 

'Pain & Gain'

8. "Sal" (dir. James Franco)
Between this embarrassing ode to Sal Mineo's last days and the Hart Crane pity party "The Broken Tower," you stop remembering which biopics James Franco has directed, starred in, or if it even matters.

9. "Admission" (dir. Paul Weitz)
A rare misstep for Tina Fey, who did not ring true in this contrived comedy opposite Paul Rudd. Lily Tomlin stole the movie and someone should have saved her.

10. "Pain & Gain" (dir. Michael Bay)
Michael Bay's idea of tossing off a high-decibel, low-budget passion project-- about muscle-bound bumbling idiots. A soulless macho farce as ugly as it is depressing.

Dishonorable mentions: "At Any Price," "Last Vegas," "Beautiful Creatures," and "The Hangover Part III."


  • cadavra | December 21, 2013 1:28 AMReply

    Thank you for NOT including THE LONE RANGER. I'm glad people are beginning to actually look at the film and realize that the critics just had it in for this marvelous adventure.

    On the other hand, I would have included THE GRANDMASTER, a martial arts movie for people who know nothing about martial arts movies, made by a pretentious navel-gazer who doesn't understand that a fight scene is NOT about the rain falling in slow motion.

  • Mark | December 20, 2013 3:57 AMReply

    Before Midnight? Really? I guess that was someone who thought Star Trek Into Darkness was the best film of the year.

  • i <3 movies | December 20, 2013 3:18 AMReply

    the actor from SAL will probably be cast alongside dane dehaan as james dean in a biopic soon

  • JAB | December 19, 2013 6:18 PMReply

    "Man Of Steel" was one of THE BEST films of the year! This may seem borderline sacreligious, but Henry Cavill played Superman better than Christopher Reeves. The only real problem I had with it was that that almost every action scene could have used some trimming.

  • Mark | December 20, 2013 3:56 AM

    Laughing so hard at someone believing Cavill played Superman better than Reeve.

  • Salty Bill | December 19, 2013 6:02 PMReply

    Is "slapshod" a cross between "slapstick" and "slipshod"?

  • Joseph Angier | December 19, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    "Pain & Gain" appears on this and many other worst-of lists. Then the estimable Amy Nicholson puts in on her 10 best. The disjuncture tempts me to see it, but will I hate myself in the morning?

  • Jeff Heise | December 19, 2013 11:20 AMReply

    Totally disagree with the inclusion of MAN OF STEEL and OZ-THE GREAT AND POWERFUL on this list. The former was a definite improvement over the Singer reboot and Cavell was terrific in both roles, with kudos to Russell Crowe for a strong performance as Jor-El. The final third became an example of "we had to destroy this city in order to save it" to the nth degree, unfortunately, but up to that point it was still a marvelous film. OZ suffers from getting used to James Franco, but he does grow on you and you have to give credit to a film that actually succeeds in making Mila Kunis look ugly (for that alone, it should win the Oscar for Make-Up) plus some of the best 3D work in recent memory-love the opening credits. I would have included the remake of THE EVIL DEAD, which was nowhere near as fun as the original and with characters that are so stupid as to make one shake one's head that they are able to breathe involuntarily.

  • Stephen Monteith | December 19, 2013 11:19 AMReply

    Whoa, WHOA, whoa. "Man of Steel" on the worst list? I get not liking it, but worse than "This is the End"? Worse than "Grown Ups 2"? Worse than "RIPD" or "Movie 43" or any of the other crap you left off this list? Every one of you sucks.

  • Kevyn Knox | December 19, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    Um..I mean Best of 2013, obviously.

  • Kevyn Knox | December 19, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    Ooh, your number two is my number one...but on my Best of 2103 list. But I suppose we can't all see the harrowing beauty of such a film.

  • Ted | December 19, 2013 10:29 AMReply

    I probably wouldn't place "Stoker" or "At Any Price" on any "worst films list," largely because they have their moments despite their issues.

    Another thing. "Admission" is "a rare misstep for Tina Fey." Really? Are we forgetting "Baby Mama" and "Date Night," ?

  • tyler4all | December 19, 2013 10:18 AMReply

    Spring Breakers should have definitely made this list. It should have been heading the list. it should have had a picture on the front page instead of a still from Diana, which I haven't seen but it couldn't have been more annoying than SB.

  • Chris | December 19, 2013 8:47 AMReply

    I doubt I'll give an organization any critical credibility, especially advice on what and what not to see, when said organization can't correctly match up the director with the film. Nice one TOH. Sam Mendes, Oz. Nice editor you have there.

  • Ian | December 19, 2013 8:40 AMReply

    Stoker was an intense film, brilliant. This isn't a list of worst films, more than its a list the writer found to be let downs.

    That being said, Kidman was criminally underused in Stoker.

  • Ian | December 20, 2013 7:09 AM

    The director is complaining about Harvey Weinstein's editing, not the movie itself. Weinstein regularly cuts up auteur's films and they hate him for it.

  • dogville --to die for | December 20, 2013 3:20 AM

    rumor has it
    her Grace Kelly movie is so bad even the director hates it he calls it a piece of sh**

  • Rudi | December 19, 2013 7:29 AMReply

    I honestly believe Stoker is one of the best movies of the decade...

  • Mauricio | December 19, 2013 7:09 AMReply

    I'm pretty sure Oz The Great And Powerful was directed by Sam Raimi, not Sam Mendes.

  • Incremental Jones | December 19, 2013 8:03 AM

    Oz directed by Mendes would have been interesting. Bond directed by Raimi would also be interesting.

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