February has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and once again the month exhibited one of the most peculiar phenomena in the world – no, not a leap year, but cramming the the largest number of terrible movies into the shortest month possible. Peter Travers is, of course, on the case, breaking out his prized scum bucket to dispose of the worst of the worst, and for everyone’s sake he’s limited himself to just ten awful February films.
First into the scum bucket is Vampire Academy, which Travers held out some hope for: Its director, Mark Waters, was behind Mean Girls and its writer, Mark’s brother Daniel, penned the 80s classic Heathers. Not even those credentials could save this movie. Next up is Barefoot, about a janitor who falls in love with a mental patient, kicking of a February trend that continues with Repentance, in which Forest Whitaker – whom Travers says is now tied with Nicolas Cage for making the worst choices in movies – plays, you guessed it, a mental patient who attacks someone to learn their secrets.
One of the worst Valentine’s Day offerings this year, Endless Love, a remake of the 1981 Brooke Shields flick of the same name, cheeses it up at number seven and features yet another movie with a mental patient for a main character. Next, In Secret wastes a ton of talent, starting with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series) who plays a mentally challenged man with a domineering mother (Jessica Lange); he’s wed to an unwilling Elizabeth Olsen, who, in turn, conspires with her secret lover – Inside Llewyn Davis‘ Oscar Isaac – to kill Felton’s character. “Everybody goes insane, they all have meltdowns,” Travers says, adding, “The movie doesn’t work, not for one second.”
At number five is another miserable Hollywood remake, Robocop (though Travers recommends you check out the original, which still holds up), while the number four spot boasts 3 Days to Kill, which Travers theorizes Kevin Costner made because he was jealous of how much Liam Neeson was cashing in with the Taken movies.
Kit Harrington, who plays Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, moves to the big screen in Pompeii playing a slave-turned-gladiator trying to protect the woman he loves – and then Mount Vesuvius erupts. “And I couldn’t even care less,” Travers says. “I was so bored by this story. I’m thinking, ‘This is the guy from Game of Thrones he can do better than this. Volcanos should explode all over the month of February.”
At number two is the epically awful, time-bending Winter’s Tale, in which Colin Farrell plays a man who can’t age, Russell Crowe plays a demon, and none other than Razzie winner Will Smith appears as Satan. But not even that movie was bad enough to top the worst movie of Febraury, Son of God, the History Channel’s condensed version of their hit, 10-hour mini-series The Bible. “This is the greatest story badly told,” Travers says. “This is such an insult to anybody that has any religious feeling. Anything that would touch you about this movie is gone. It’s just cheap and banal and stupid.”