2013 Worst Movies

Please note that this list is based exclusively on movies we got the “chance” to watch and only focus on movies with decent production values … but there are of course plenty of other offenders that are probably worst and not worth our time (most particularly among B-Movies and Hollywood has-beens) – for more bad movies, visit our Razzie section

Movie 43

movie-43-posterA collection of short films directed by different filmmakers, Movie 43 follows a washed-out screenwriter – Dennis Quaid in another over-the-top performance – as he tries to pitch his bad scripts – the short films shown here – to a Hollywood producer (Greg Kinnear). From the first segment where a businesswoman (Kate Winslet) goes on a date with a successful man having balls hanging on his throat (Hugh Jackman), you quickly get the feeling that Movie 43 is going to be a bad, unfunny, excruciating experience … and it is. Follow a segment about a gay teenager being bullied by his parents, another one about the Ibabe (a naked girl with ipod-like functions)  and so on … One thing is sure, it’s all terrible and I’m still wondering how so many Hollywood A-listers ended up in such a mess. By far, the worst film I’ve seen this year so far.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

hansel-and-gretel-poster_sDirected by Tommy Wirkola, the Norwegian filmmaker who brought us the enjoyable Nazi zombie romp Dead Snow, this new take on Hansel & Gretel attempts to wink at the audience but proves to be plain bad with cheesy effects, annoying anachronisms and wooden acting from both – once again miscast – Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia).

I found this film to be pretty unbearable, from the beginning to the end, which is too bad since directors and actors have proved to have talent in earlier works.

Bullet to the Head

bullet-to-the-head-poster_sStarring Sylvester Stallone (Rambo) and directed by the great action director Walter Hill (The Warriors), this movie is based on a comic book. While Stallone has shown some self-derision in his latest Expendables saga, this entry is certainly one of his all-time lows, rivaling with some of his worst 80’s flicks. Not only Mr. Hill’s direction has the look and feel of a cheap straight-to-video work but I found the story morally disgusting with its gratuitous violence … and trust me, I enjoy violent films.

After Earth

afterearthposterThis is the movie where the Fresh Prince of Bel Air loses his humor, makes – constipated – faces to look serious and forces us to experience to it’s like to babysit his son for 100 minutes. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan whose latest pictures have been both critical and box office failures, the film itself isn’t as bad you might have heard but the problem lies in the fact that Will Smith and his offspring are carrying After Earth by themselves and that their performances are just plain bad. While Mr. Smith (Sr.) has proved he has plenty of talent otherwise, his son is another story – to me, he is to movies what Justin Bieber is to music …


vikingdom-posterTo make it simple, Vikingdom is to sword movies, what Sharknado is to shark movies. While, based on the trailer, I was expecting some dumb, fun Roger Corman-style B-movie, Vikingdom proved to be just a ridiculous bore. Starring Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) in full wooden mode as a Kevin Sorbo clone, this film aims at being epic,  upgrading the viking subgenre with 300 slow-mo and Clash of the Titans’ fantasy. Unfortunately, a couple decent action sequence aren’t enough to make you endure almost 2 hours of an inept journey. The only interesting thing here is that it proves you can make a period movie with just costumes from your local Halloween store – just have a look at all those nylon wigs and plastic helmets!

Frankenstein’s Army

frankensteins-army-posterWith a cool title and poster, the debut feature from concept/storyboard artist turned director Richard Raaphorst seemed to have what it takes to be a fun B-Movie. Unfortunately, right from the beginning I started losing interest quickly, not because of its modest budget – effects and actors are pretty decent – but simply I because I was bored by the bland script. Despite attempting to do some character development, the film isn’t able to make us care for the characters in the first part of the film. Once we finally meet Dr. Frankenstein and his creatures, the film suddenly switches to video game mode … but what’s the point to watch a film as a first/third person shooter if you can’t actually shoot? When it comes to the creatures, while the special effects department can be credited for creating realistic looking monsters, I actually didn’t find them appealing or horrifying either – once again, I just didn’t care. A disappointment at every level, Frankenstein’s Army kept annoying me and boring me, which is why it made it in this list.

Gangster Squad

gangster-squad-poster_sOld-fashioned gangster movies can be quite exciting – think Chinatown and The Untouchables and this film certainly had a lot going on for it, from the real-life Film Noir story to the cast – Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Nick Nolte. In the hand of filmmaker Ruben Fleischer, it however turned into some cheesy 80’s style shoot-them-up.  The movie also suffered from bad luck, as its central action piece (inside the Chinese theater) had to be re-shot, following the real-life killing inside a movie theater. Finally, let’s not forget Mr. Penn’s over-the-top performance and horrible prosthetic.

On The Road

on-the-road-poster_sWhile Jack Kerouac’s autobiographical novel was one of the most influential works associated with the Beat Generation, this adaptation by talented director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries ) proved to be a total dud, despite some interesting cameos. I’m still not sure how they managed to turn a story about sex, drugs, music and traveling into such a bore but they certainly succeeded. Read our full review here


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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.