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Top 10 Worst Films of 2010

As good as some films in 2010 were, there were also some stinkers – and thankfully we avoided seeing all of them. But over the course of our film-going there were still some unsavoury movies, and some unnecessarily bad ones.

The Lovely Bones, for instance, flopped badly, The Rebound was a hideous rom-com and Valentine’s Day and When In Rome provided further proof that there are more bad romantic movies than good ones when chemistry or plotting isn’t right. Oh, and then there’s horror fare such as The Human Centipede to have to endure… but which – if any – make our top 10 turkeys?

The Last Airbender

10) The Last Airbender

Starring: Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz

What’s the story? Two young water-benders discover a young boy named Aang (Noah Ringer) in the ice, who turns out to be a returning avatar. But the avatar in question is pursued by the ruling Fire Nation, as well as their renegade prince (Patel), who has his own reasons for settling a score with Aang.

Why so bad: What really undoes the movie is the irredeemably bad script, which foolishly attempts to marry elements of Asian (Inuit) culture with Buddhist traditions, Hong Kong martial arts movies and Hollywood blockbuster elements borrowed from Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. Hence, when audiences aren’t sniggering at laugh out loud lines like “she’s a bender”, they may be scratching their heads or yawning through pointless exposition about people’s place in the world, or the need to keep the various elements working in harmony.

Read our review l M Night Shyamalan interview l Dev Patel interview

Leap Year

9) Leap Year

Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode

What’s the story? Spoilt socialite Anna follows her long-term boyfriend (Adam Scott) to Ireland in the hope of proposing to him and thereby take advantage of an old Oirish leap year custom. When bad weather forces her to re-route to Cardiff instead, she is eventually forced to enlist the help of local publican and taxi driver Declan (Matthew Goode) to get her to Dublin… only to find their journey plagued with difficulties along the way.

Why so bad: Anand Tucker’s rom-com is as formulaic as they come, ticking all the usual boxes en route to its soppy ending. But it’s the depiction of Ireland as a backwards nation populed by kooky Guinness drinkers that really gets on your nerves… along with the notion that self-obsessed, neurotic female heroines are genuinely worthy of audience sympathy. Hell, even its star Goode trashed it!

Read our review l Photo gallery


8) Macgruber

Starring: Will Forte, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillippe

What’s the story? Former army hard-man MacGruber (Forte) as he comes out of self-imposed exile to gain revenge on the arch-enemy (Val Kilmer) responsible for killing his wife and stave off a nuclear threat. Helping him is a fresh-faced Special Forces grunt (Ryan Phillippe) and a potential new love interest (Kristen Wiig).

Why so bad: If the idea of seeing a naked man running around with a piece of celery shoved up his bum (by way of distracting villains), or offering to suck the c**k of anyone that lets him down appeals, then there is some mirth to be found. If, like me, you require a little more sophistication and intelligence surrounding your parodies, then seek out a re-run of Team America instead.

Read our review

Ninja Assassin

7) Ninja Assassin

Starring: Rain, Naomie Harris, Ben Miles

What’s the story? Raizo is a ruthless killer who was raised as an orphan to serve the secret Ozunu clan, but who has since escaped to vow revenge. Helping him get it is a particularly poorly equipped Europol agent (Naomie Harris) and her superior (Ben Miles) who subsequently wreak a violent trail throughout Berlin in order to expose and put a stop to the shadowy organisation.

Why so bad: James McTeigue’s homage to the ninja flicks of the ’80s should have been a guilty pleasure action vehicle that succeeded in spite of its faults. But by turning Ninja Assassin into a hyper-violent, plot-lite computer game derivative it’s a boring and distasteful effort that’s just plain stupid… The result is one long bloody, boring mess that can’t end quickly enough.

Read our review

Cop Out

6) Cop Out

Starring: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Seann William Scott

What’s the story? Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan star as NYPD partners Jimmy Monroe and Paul Hodges, who must balance attempting to bring down a Mexican drug dealer with their messy personal lives. For Jimmy, the ‘at home’ dilemma is how to pay for his daughter’s wedding, especially given that the rare, mint-conditioned baseball card he was going to use to do so has been stolen. Paul, on the other hand, must find out whether or not his wife is having an affair given that he’s away so much doing undercover work.

Why so bad: If Kevin Smith had set out to make the worst buddy cop comedy possible, he’s hit the target with all guns blazing. Cop Out is an absolute mess of a movie, a sorry homage to the action movies of the ’80s that squanders the talent of its leading men and tramples on the memory of just about everything it attempts to parody. [In short] nothing about Cop Out works… Willis appears to be on auto-pilot and playing off past successes, while Morgan threatens to undo all the good work he’s put in building his reputation on TV’s 30 Rock.

Read our review l Photo gallery l The best buddy cop movies

Old Dogs

5) Old Dogs

Starring: Robin Williams, John Travolta

What’s the story? Best friends and business partners – one an unlucky divorcee (Williams), the other a carefree bachelor (Travolta) – find their lives in disarray when they’re forced to babysit the former’s seven-year-old twins while securing their biggest ever deal.

Why so bad: Walt Becker’s Old Dogs looks like the type of film that was more fun to make than it is to watch. For Travolta, especially, the film represents a great family get-together given that his wife (Kelly Preston), daughter (Ella Bleu) and sister (Margaret) all feature too. For hapless cinema-goers unlucky enough to venture in, however, it’s an ordeal that’s every bit as bad as some of the leading men’s previous crimes against cinema – whether that’s Battlefield Earth, in Travolta’s case, or License To Wed in the case of Williams.

Read our review

The Collector

4) The Collector

Starring: Josh Stewart

What’s the story? Ex-con handyman Arkin is desperate to pay off his estranged wife’s debts to a loan shark, so decides to break into the home of his current clients while they are on holiday to steal a rare gem from the safe. Once inside, however, he finds that the home has also been visited by a serial killer (or collector) who has rigged the house with razor-wire, bear traps, guillotined windows and numerous fish hooks so that he can play a twisted game with the unsuspecting occupants.

Why so bad: The Collector is optimistically described as a high-concept home invasion movie with a twisted spin. Sadly, it’s also a painfully (and that’s literally) predictable, gut-wrenchingly awful Saw deviant that makes for particularly unpleasant viewing. It’s a movie that positively revels in scenes of gut-wrenching torture – from disembowelment to a woman having her lips sewn together – while insulting the intelligence of anyone who has the stomach to try and work out whether the film actually makes any sense. It doesn’t.

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Grown Ups

3) Grown-Ups

Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Rob Schneider

What’s the story? When their high school basketball coach does, five friends – played by Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider – head to the country for a weekend of relaxation and nostalgia with their wives and girlfriends – including Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Joyce Van Patten – in tow.

Why so bad: While undoubtedly great fun for Sandler and co to shoot, the ensuing comedy lacks any dramatic impetus, or any really funny jokes. It’s almost as though this collective ensemble – with director Dennis Dugan and co-writer Fred Wolf included – forgot to make a film! The jokes rely on the obvious or low-brow, with humour being derived from Kevin James’ weight or his character’s fondness for pee-ing where he’s not supposed to (in lakes or public pools), Schneider making out with an older woman repeatedly or Bello breast-feeding her four-year-old kid. You’ve been warned!

Read our review l Photo gallery

Resident Evil: Afterlife

2) Resident Evil: Afterlife

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Wentworth Miller

What’s the story? Alice (played, as ever, by Milla Jovovich) relentlessly searches for survivors of a zombie apocalypse while vowing to take down the ruthless Umbrella organisation responsible for unleashing the virus in the first place.

Why so bad: Paul WS Anderson’s Resident Evil franchise has long been one of the most creatively bankrupt exercises in filmmaking – and yet it still shows no sign of flagging… What passes for plot lacks much logic, or any real explanation, while there’s nothing resembling character depth or progression. Anderson, meanwhile, also appears alarmingly content to plunder other, better, action movies for inspiration for the innumerable encounters that follow (from The Matrix to Pitch Black and beyond).

Read our review l Photo gallery

A Serbian Film

1) A Serbian Film

What’s the story? A retired porn star, turned family man, who is lured back into the business by a lucrative deal that could set him up for life. He is not, however, allowed to know what fate befalls him. Once drawn into the world, however, there is no escape and after attempting to do so, the actor wakes up three days later, covered in blood, and attempting to work out what took place – scenes of appalling acts that unfold via flashback.

Why so bad: Srdjan Spasojevic, the director of the now notorious A Serbian Film, describes his shocker as “a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government”… Ironically, perhaps the most insulting aspect of Spasojevic’s film is its claim that it serves as a political metaphor that has something to say about the way Serbian people were treated by their government… His film smacks of hysteria and plays wildly over the top, so as to negate anything serious the director has to say. It’s also grotesque in the extreme.

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View the best films of 2010