Top 10 Worst Movies of 2012

10. Man on a Ledge
“Man on a Ledge” was one of the first movies released in 2012, back in January, and it really made me think that the year would be completely terrible for movies, thankfully I was wrong. Problems with “Man on a Ledge” were that Sam Worthington was a dull protagonist, Ed Harris was an uninspired antagonist, and the plan that Sam Worthington’s character puts together that makes up the plot is nonsensical.

9. Gone
“Gone” with Amanda Seyfried felt like a really rushed project all the way through. It’s predictable, unsuspenseful and gets to be boring after a short while. It’s one of those flicks that maybe if more effort and energy had been put in it could have been a better movie since the premise itself isn’t necessarily bad. Yet the dialogue is just bad here, it’s poorly paced and the acting is subpar from the cast.

8. Wrath of the Titans
Sam Worthington makes another appearance on the worst list for once again being a rather dull protagonist. There are quite a few problems with this one, but the biggest one for the most part is that through many parts of the movie I was bored. There was one section of the film where they spend the entire time in a big maze and it bored me to tears.

Like the first film, “Clash of the Titans,” this movie also has a final battle that felt anti-climactic. There were just a couple cool scenes where Liam Neeson was kicking ass, they should have made the whole movie about him doing that.

7. John Carter
This movie felt like it needed to go back to the editing room and get rearranged because the plot felt all over the place. It had moments where it felt like the story was finally moving forward, and then things would stop and t felt like it would go backwards. This led to having very little momentum going into a lame climax. Mix that in with a bad romantic subplot and a main character whose powers seem to be based on what’s going on in the plot at that moment and you get an unenjoyable, over long film. Maybe it could have been better if John Carter had been more interesting, maybe like Ash in “Army of Darkness,” a badass character being in a different world, but John Carter just comes off as dull and doesn’t have any charisma.

6. What to Expect when you’re Expecting
When making an ensemble romantic comedy, you have to write characters that you can like and humor that is fresh and funny. When it works, you get a movie like “Love Actually,” when it doesn’t you get something like this. In this movie, none of the characters are really likable, each subplot feels underdeveloped and the humor around pregnancy has been done in other movies and done better. Maybe if the film had been around just one of these couples, it could have worked, but they try to do too much here, it becomes overlong and things just fall apart.

5. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance
Nic Cage just loves showing up on my worst of the year list. The sequel to the first “Ghost Rider” made the major mistake of being PG-13. In a movie that wants to rely on Nic Cage going around taking out a big number of bad guys, this movie needed to be rated R. Being rated R is one of the things that made Nic Cage’s film “Drive Angry” work. The movie also needed a better villain, the one here was just to generic.

4. Resident Evil Retribution
This movie is actually a sort of accomplishment, it reaches a whole new level of stupid. The plot is recycled from previous movies, it doesn’t move the franchise forward at all, the characters from the video games that make appearances are in name and look only and the story of Alice at this point is just tired. They even bring back old characters from previous films and they are just WASTED here. The last shot of the film is possibly the most laughable one in history.

3. The Devil Inside
Look, found footage films can work. There have been good ones like “Chronicle.” However this is a prime example of one of the bad ones, a lazy, slapped together piece of junk that was only made to make a cheap buck. The film feels like it doesn’t even try to develop a story. There is a premise that is trying to be explored, but there isn’t a story that builds and ends with a climax. I really think in these found footage horror movies, a level of ambiguity would be good. Not to mention the ending is an insult to audiences.

2. Playing for Keeps
This film just managed to get in before the year was over, and boy was it bad. Gerard Butler really needs to start picking better roles. The film tries to take on to much, mixing a romantic comedy, romantic drama and a father son movie, and it fails at all of them. Many things are underdeveloped, the jokes aren’t funny and the characters feel to over the top. The terrible, generic ending of the film couldn’t come soon enough.

1. Hit and Run
For as bad as the first nine films on this list were, they don’t get as bad as this. For the over four years that I’ve been doing this, I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier with a film. At the very least the prior movies seemed to be attempts to make an actual film. This movie, written and directed by Dax Shepard who also stars, doesn’t feel like a movie, it feels like Shepard just wanted to record some cool things that he can do with a car and forced a story to revolve around it.

The dialogue is terrible, Shepard is a horrible actor who doesn’t have any charisma or believability which makes for a terrible protagonist who I don’t root for, Tom Arnold plays one of the worst comic relief characters ever, none of the jokes are funny and the thing that was supposed to be the selling point of the film, the driving, wasn’t anything that special. The driving and chase scenes looked like they were just trying to make something look cool, not to make it look suspenseful. The driving was the complete opposite of last year’s “Drive.” And this is just the tip of the ice berg, the villains are bad, Kristen Bell is awful and the plot has absolutely no structure. This is the worst movie of 2012 by a long shot.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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