Not even close.
The five worst movies of 2014 represent a range of subjects and approaches, but they all fail mightily at keeping us entertained.
- “Happy Christmas” – This Mumblecore meets Yuletide feature packs the least interesting dialogue of any film in recent memory, much of which appears to have been improvised. The slip of a story finds a wobbly 20-something (Anna Kendrick) trying to bounce back after a rough break up. Need more story? Look elsewhere. And even “Girls” devotees won’t care that Lena Dunham shows up for a few mediocre moments.
- “A Haunted House 2” – This franchise makes us long for the sophistication of the “Scary Movie” films. You’ll need a sponge for the flop sweat soaking stars Marlon Wayans and Jaime Pressly as they strain to make us laugh. Yes, puppets having sex can be funny, just ask “Team America: World Police.” Here, it’s just another agonizing gag you’ll pray to end ASAP, cuz.
- “The Nut Job” – How bad could an animated kiddie movie be? Watch “The Nut Job” and find out. Most animated fare delivers a few witty characters, some meta-jokes for the adults and enough slapstick to keep kids awake. This “Job” fails on all counts, making it the year’s dreariest babysitter.
- “Blended” – The third pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore isn’t flat-out awful. It’s the laziness that sticks in one’s craw along with wasting two stars with bona fide chemistry. Years from now, it’ll be known as the movie that preceded Sandler’s Netflix movie deal, a move that will either invigorate his film career or confirm its decline.
- “Sabotage” – He’s ba-ack, and audiences are positively indifferent to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career reboot. He still delivered the watchable “Escape Plan” and “The Last Stand,” one of 2013’s most underrated romps. Then came “Sabotage,” and the futility of Schwarzenegger’s action hero reclamation project became clear. The final scene seals the film’s inclusion here, a moment that an in-his-prime Schwarzenegger would have snuffed out in the screenplay stage with a lit stogie.
Dishonorable Mentions: “The Equalizer” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
DID YOU KNOW: Adam Sandler admitted during a chat with Jimmy Kimmel that he took “Blended,” in part, so he could spend time in Africa. Exotic locations are often part of his filmmaking decisions, he says.