Unless further email leaks from movie studios prove otherwise, no film production aims to deliberately make a truly awful movie. Every now and then bad movies with terrible writing, acting, and directing can provide entertainment by being accidentally hilarious, causing audiences to laugh at the ineptitude of the entire production. At the very least, these types of films contain some sort of entertainment value while allowing other filmmakers to learn through their mistakes. However, sitting through a terrible movie that also bores is like paying to watch a cup of water evaporate.
The worst reviewed movies of 2014 were considered both bland and without artistic merit, even though some of these productions feature fantastic actors, writers and directors who have produced some of the best television and film in the past couple of decades. This list of the damned includes a surprising amount of Academy Award winners and is derived from critics gathered by the Rotten Tomatoes website. Listed beside the movies are the percentage of favorable reviews given by a variety of established film critics.
15. Ride Along – 17%
Ice Cube stars in another movie where a female family member becomes romantically involved with a subordinate member of his police squad. In this case, it’s Kevin Hart attempting to join the police force to prove his worthiness to his lover’s brother, already an heroic detective, played by Ice Cube. What worked in 22 Jump Street didn’t click in Ride Along, as critics eviscerated the Kevin Hart vehicle as “a badly told joke, rather than an insult to its audience”
14. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – 16%
Despite a cast of quality voice talent that includes Dan Aykroyd, Lea Michele, Martin Short, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer and Bernadette Peters, this return to the Wizard of Oz bored critics to the point that one reviewer responded by stating “the film’s biggest crimes are its crimes against cinema and literature.” Audiences stayed away, with the newest Oz film making $8.5 million in U.S. Box Offices.
13. Endless Love – 15%
A remake of the 1981 film which was inspired by the novel published in 1979, Endless Love, received limited affection from critics and audiences alike, making $24.4 million at the box office. The story follows a wealthy girl and a magnetically attractive boy struggling to overcome their parents attempt to keep them apart. One reviewer sarcastically exclaimed, “finally, a love story for attractive white people.”
12. Rage – 14%
According to critics, the second worst Nicolas Cage movie of the year is Rage. Billed as a “heart-stopping thrill ride that shows no mercy”, critics spared no pity on this film, describing it as “self-serious”, “lazy”, “hilariously awful” and without “an original frame or line of dialogue”. The film was released into a limited amount of theaters before being quickly whisked away from the big screen.
11. Blended – 14%
One of the most cherished Hollywood traditions are Adam Sandler films, described by his own employer, Sony, as mundane and formulaic. The 2014 calendar was no different, as Sandler earned the title of “Most Overpaid Actor” by Forbes for the second consecutive year. His latest romantic comedy stars Drew Barrymore and tells the tale of a disastrous blind date that somehow ends up continuing on an African safari resort.
10. Winter’s Tale – 13%
An adaptation of the popular yet divisive novel by Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale is a story set in an alternative imagining of New York over the span of a century, following an epic narrative arc about good and evil, love and destiny.
Despite a cast and crew boosted by numerous Oscar award winners and nominees, Winter’s Tale was thoroughly hated by critics and was ushered out of theaters quickly due to a lack of audience interest.
9. The Nut Job – 10%
This animated feature aimed at kids follows the adventures of Surly the squirrel, who plans to steal a lot of nuts along with his pal Buddy the rat. Along with teaching children the ‘funny’ side of theft, The Nut Job unleashed a CG version of Psy’s Gangnam Style during the end credits, causing critics to either run to the exits or applaud the fact that the movie was finally over.
8. Vampire Academy – 9%
Despite a huge potential audience of vampire lovers, Vampire Academy failed to attract audiences or kind words from critics, making only $7.8 million at the box office. According to critics, this mix of Twilight, Mean Girls and Harry Potter managed to miss the thrills of all three popular films, with one reviewer stating that Twilight and Harry Potter are “eternal monuments of world culture by comparison.”
7. Grace of Monaco – 9%
Grace of Monaco received a rough reception from critics, who almost universally panned the film for its lack of emotional punch and an overall sense of boredom that deadens the potentially fascinating source material of Grace Kelly’s life.
Incredibly, the movie starring Nicole Kidman has a running time of only 1 hour and 11 minutes, which makes its bore-inducing power even more of a dubious achievement.
6. A Haunted House 2 – 8%
The world needed another A Haunted House badly enough to demand a sequel, which, like the original, is one of the worst-reviewed movies of its time. A Haunted House 2 decided to improve on the original by making an even worse movie: despite the original receiving a 10% “fresh” rating from critics, the sequel managed to lower its score to an impressively low 8%.
Somehow, the producers have created a successful franchise by giving audiences more of what they never wanted in the first place.
5. Are You Here – 7%
This one was the most unpleasant surprise of 2014, as movie goers had high hopes for Are You Here given the cast and production team involved. Mad Men creator and The Sopranos writer Matthew Weiner somehow managed to scribe and direct one of the year’s biggest flops, Are You Here, which audiences and critics responded to with a resounding “nope”. Despite his skill creating epic television narratives, reviewers noted that the cinematic storytelling in Are You Here fails as comedy or drama, wasting the talents of Amy Poehler, Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson.
4. The Legend of Hercules – 3%
Because one movie in 2014 about Hercules wasn’t enough, The Legend of Hercules differentiates itself from The Rock’s Hercules by creating a notably worse version of the Greek myth.
The wittiest part of The Legend of Hercules is Eric D. Snider’s assertion that the live action version is “somehow more cartoonish than Disney’s version, which actually was a cartoon.”
3. I, Frankenstein – 3%
Based on a graphic novel in which “Adam” battles demons and gargoyles for the secret to his immortality, I, Frankenstein stars Aaron Eckhart, who attempts to breathe life into this production about a scientist who breathes life into corpses. Unlike scientist Victor Frankenstein, Eckhart wasn’t able to animate this film through his brand of genius.
2. Left Behind
Nicolas Cage makes his second appearance on the list of the worst reviewed movies of 2014, this time in Left Behind, a Christian epic about God leaving heathens behind to suffer the consequences of their immorality. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the film is its ability to turn the rapture of humankind into a dull apocalypse.
1. Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas – 0%
Not a single critic dared to rate Kirk Cameron‘s Saving Christmas in a positive manner, even by accident, achieving a full 0% rating from Rotten Tomatoes’ archive of critic reviews. One critic determined the movie to be “one of the least artful holiday films ever made”, which is an impressive achievement considering the overwhelming number of terrible Christmas movies that have plagued cinematic history.