The Worst Movies of 2012 - Rolling Stone
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The Worst Movies of 2012

Peter Travers puts the year’s on-screen abominations in the Scum Bucket

worst movies 2012

This is the time of year you all long for: the worst, scummiest movies of 2012. But first, some awards: The Hobbit had the worst technical advance with 48 frames per second; Katy Perry: A Part of Me managed to be worse than Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, thanks to horrendous retrofit 3D and Silver Linings Playbook was one of my favorite movies of 2012, but it cast a curse on its actors: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro all had movies go straight into the Scum Bucket. Taylor Kitsch appeared in three bombs (John Carter, Savages and Battleship) and Quentin Tarantino was the worst actor in a great movie – his own Django Unchained. When it comes to single performances, Taylor Lautner's acting in the Twilight finale was bad enough to win him worst male actor for the second year in a row, while Rihanna earned worst female actor for her on-screen debut in Battleship.

By Peter Travers

abraham lincoln vampire hunter

Alan Markfield


‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Seth Grahame-Smith, following his 2009 book success with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, came up with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and hit the charts again, this time by mashing up vamps with real Lincoln history. It was a fun escapist read. The movie version, with a script co-written by Grahame-Smith, is almost no fun at all, even as young Abe declares war on vampires for killing his beloved mom. That's because Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) won't leave a good gimmick alone. Just when the story sort of gets going, Bekmambetov brings out Abe to swing his silver-tipped axe and decapitate every vamp in sight with the athletic abandon of a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. It looks fine the first two or three times you see it, then the acrobatic repetition seeps in and bores you breathless. The tacky, retro-fitted 3D doesn't help either. Spare Benjamin Walker, who deserves to go on to better things. But the movie deserves a stake through the heart.

The Vow and The Lucky One

Kerry Hayes SMPSP; Alan Markfield


‘The Vow’ and ‘The Lucky One’

Which is the worst chick flick hell? It's a tie between The Vow, with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, and The Lucky One, in which Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling are supposed to be in love. I can't even talk about it.

That's My Boy

Tracy Bennett


‘That’s My Boy’

The worst comedy of the year, by far. Adam Sandler always distinguishes himself at the end of the year – last year it was Jack and Jill, where he played the woman version of himself. This time he's only playing himself, with Andy Samberg playing his son. It's so bad it makes the runner-up, Here Comes the Boom with Kevin James, look like a masterpiece.

Alex Cross

Sidney Baldwin


‘Alex Cross’

I had a choice for the worst Tyler Perry movie. He did Madea again in Witness Protection, where he's in a dress. Then he decided he could get out of the dress, and he did Alex Cross. I prefer him in the dress: Alex Cross gets the title.

The Lorax

Universal Pictures


‘The Lorax’

Why does Hollywood keep screwing up the iconic work of Dr. Seuss? Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda direct strictly for short-attention spans on a fruit-loopy palette that made me want to puke. Had Dr. Seuss lived (he died in 1991), I'm confident he would have puked as well. This year saw good animated movies, like Frankenweenie, but this made more money than anything.


Francois Duhamel



Savages is a movie by Oliver Stone, whom I've hated for years. He's got Blake Lively, poor Taylor Kitsch, and people like John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro. They all sucked.

Cloud Atlas

Jay Maidment


‘Cloud Atlas’

This is the biggest disappointment that I had this year, and I saw it twice. David Mitchell's 2004 novel is an uphill battle incarnate. And nobody makes it to the top. Like Mitchell's book, the laudable attempt by Matrix directors Andy and Lana Wachowski and their Run Lola Run buddy Tom Tykwer is to show we're all connected. But audiences may only unite in their confusion.

Twilight – Breaking Dawn Pt 2

Andrew Cooper


‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’

Five movies were squeezed out of four Stephenie Meyer Twilight books. All of them redefining cinematic tedium for a new century. And now, It's Over! It's Over! The final chapter of Twilight could have been Number One on this list – it's almost completely bad. There was a lot said about Breaking Dawn Part 2 being the best of the Twilight movies. That's like saying a simple head cold is preferable to swine flu. They'll all make you sick.


Universal Pictures



Confession: I'm usually in Peter Berg's corner. Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom and Hancock all show a director with a wild streak Hollywood can't totally tame. But Battleship, based on Hasbro's naval-combat game, shows Berg trying to transform into demon box-office machine Michael Bay. Can you aim lower? Battleship is all noise and crashing metal, sinking to the shallows of Bay's Armageddon and then digging to the brain-extinction level of the Transformers trilogy.

In This Article: Scum Bucket

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