10 Worst Movies of 2014 – Rolling Stone
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10 Worst Movies of 2014

From a less-than-amazing Spiderman movie to brain-dead Bayhem, we look back at the year’s cream of the cinematic crud

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Various images provided by Paramount Pictures, ©Lionsgate, ©Warner Bros., ©Summit Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection, Pure Flix Entertainment

So many movie duds, so little time. The problem with listing the worst movies of 2014 is stopping at 10. I began by flushing those turds no sane moviegoer would see in the first place. I, Frankenstein? Please! I followed by ignoring debacles that wilted in shame on the box-office vine. Paul Haggis, Oscar winner for Crash, how could you conceive something as ponderous as Third Person? And Matt Weiner, creator of Mad Men, I wanted to believe an imposter put his name on the abominable Are You Here?

Instead, my 10 picks for scum-bucket immortality are limited to box-office hits and critical darlings that some people deluded themselves into liking.

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10

‘God’s Not Dead’

Christian evangelicals couldn't wait for Hollywood, so they're making their own movies. A question from this sinner: Why can't they be good movies? In a 2014 list, including Son of God, Heaven Is for Real, Persecuted, The Identical, Left Behind, and Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, the nod for worst goes to God's Not Dead, about a plot to silence Christians on campus. It grossed $62 million on a $2 million investment and, I swear to you-know-who, is bedeviled by an incompetence that's genuinely unholy.

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9

‘Annie’

The Depression-era musical that had tykes singing "Tomorrow" until their tonsils hurt receives a disastrous update from producers Will Smith and Jay-Z, with the beloved score getting rap-inflected arrangements from Sia and Greg Kurstin. Now my ears hurt. Quvenzhane Wallis, as the black Annie, is joined by Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz  in performances that may take years to live down. Too bad no one wrote a new song called "Trainwreck."

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8

‘Transcendence’

Johnny Depp literally phones in his performance as a murdered computer expert who can still communicate with the outside world because his digital self is available for download. It's hilarious, which is exactly the opposite of what this dead-serious cautionary fable is selling. The bright side? Transcendence could live on a camp classic.

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7

‘Divergent’

Here's a dystopian epic that rips off a successful franchise, The Hunger Games, and does it so badly and shamelessly that you question your belief  in the whole genre. Shailene Woodley, a spirited actress, tries her best to do what Jennifer Lawrence does in Hunger, i.e. give it a pulse. But she's defeated by a movie that substitutes marketing for creativity. Two sequels are on their way. You've been warned.

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6

‘The Judge’

Robert Duvall is getting lots of award attention for the title role, an Indiana hardass who hates on his hotshot lawyer son (Robert Downey, Jr.). Duvall is a legend. But how he and Downey got stuck in this meandering, melodramatic drivel is anybody's guess. I'm thinking paycheck.

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5

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

Is there another 2014 film as completely useless and uncalled-for as this sequel, the fifth Spidey movie in 12 years and one so unmoored to thought and feeling that it evaporates while you're watching it? Andrew Garfield is stuck doing the next one, but Emma Stone has escaped into movie bliss (Birdman) and a great Broadway performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. At least there's a silver lining in her playbook.

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4

‘Men, Women & Children’

A tedious, tone-deaf sermon on the evils of the Internet — dad Adam Sandler is into porn, mom Rosemarie DeWitt pimps the Web for sex, the kids never get off their smartphones. There was a time when filmmaker Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air) would have gleefully satirized this subject. Now he just wags his finger, relentlessly like a right-wing pundit blowing hot air.

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3

‘Godzilla’

I've got nothing against digital monsters, especially in 3D IMAX, but it takes two-thirds of this long, lumbering, stultifying bore of a movie for the big guy to make his entrance. Instead, we get bogus science, excruciating dialogue and execrable emoting from award-caliber actors — Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn — who should know better.

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2

‘The Expendables 3’

Sylvester Stallone, refusing to go gentle into the AARP night, drags his over-the-hill gang — now including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson — through their arthritic paces in the year's least probable and most desperate action movie. It's a bitch to watch the greats brought low. See it and weep.

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1

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

Thank you, Michael Bay, for never disappointing. The start of the second trilogy in your smash metalhead franchise exceeded even your own previous ineptitude and created a stench cloud over the global multiplex that no 2014 epic could match. Bay, you are The Man — a definition of "hack" for the ages.

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