Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Worst of 2009

posted by Nell Minow

New York Magazine has a great compendium of the worst movies of last year and they were nice enough to ask me for my choices.

All About Steve was the worst movie of the year. The films that made me feel I could hear my brain cells melt as I watched were Next Day Air, I Love You, Beth Cooper, Old Dogs, and Miss March.

As always, there were some on other lists I wished I had included like “Law Abiding Citizen” and “The Ugly Truth.” As always, there were some on other lists that I actually enjoyed like “Paper Hearts” and “Away We Go.” And it wouldn’t be a worst list if it didn’t have some contrarian provocateurs who just like to go after the big movies that are on everyone else’s ten best lists — there were some votes for “Precious,” “Up in the Air,” and “Avatar.”
It is one of the perverse pleasures of the job that I get to see more truly awful films than most people. But if you saw something truly terrible this year, I’d be glad to hear about it.

  • Alicia

    Thanks for linking to this, Nell – it’s hilarious. Amazing how many good and critically-acclaimed movies made it on to some “worst” lists. I particularly enjoyed what Dana Stevens said about “Antichrist” and David Edelstein’s characterization of “It’s Complicated” as “affluence porn.” Very funny.
    Loved your comments, too.

  • Tim1974

    I wish I had time to see more films to give me a broader base to judge both good and bad. However, even if I had, I can’t imagine any film more vile and disgusting than “Bruno” with its continuation of male exploitation and pornographic depiction of graphic male nudity and his complete obnoxious behavior and disregard for people’s rights. Complete garbage !!! In second place would be “Observe and Report.” Overall, though, I had an excellent experience at the movies this past year and 2010 seems to have started out in great fashion for me.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Tim!

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Alicia! Sometimes I think there is more passion behind the “worst” lists than the “best” lists. But all of us who are in this job like to think about why films don’t work as well as why they do work. And the fact that inevitably some of the films show up on different critics’ best and worst lists shows how much power there is in the stories and how many ways there are to react to what is on screen.

  • Alicia

    You are right, Nell. I love figuring out why a movie doesn’t work, especially if I had high expectations for it, or if it seemed to have potential to be good.
    BTW, funniest juxtaposition in yesterday’s “Express” (the free newspaper the WaPo hands out at the Metro) was an add for “The Tooth Fairy” next to an ad for “Legion” depicting similarly winged men in very different movies.

  • Nell Minow

    That is very funny! I made the same point in my radio spots. I wonder which one will do better at the box office.

  • Alicia

    Great minds, and all that, Nell. I hope “The Tooth Fairy” will do better. It sounds a bit silly but “Legion” sounds worse.

  • AKenjiB

    Well some films that i thought were pretty bad included The ugly Truth, race to witch mountain, new in town, transformers 2, and obsessed. Havent seen too many super horrible films of 2009.

  • Nell Minow

    Glad to hear you missed the ones I thought were the worst! Though “The Ugly Truth” was truly awful.

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