Top 10 Worst Movies of 2015

2015 is coming to a close. It’s about that time to recap the good and the bad movies of this year. And also what has yet to come out in 2016. 2015 has been one hell of a year for movies. As a matter of fact, there have been more surprises than last year. I’m happy I went to see what I ended up seeing this year.

But, 2015 has been known for getting more box-office disappointments than the last five years. Out of the 66 films I’ve seen, I’m going to start off with the ten movies I regret seeing in 2015. Bear with me, I haven’t seen every single bad movie. Don’t expect to see movies like Terminator: Genisys, Vacation, Jem and the Holograms or Ted 2 on this list. Without further ado, let’s start my top ten list of the worst movies of the year.

Dishonorable Mentions: Blackhat, Everest, Pixels, Poltergeist

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10. Chappie – Starting off the countdown is Neill Blomkamp’s third film after District 9 and Elysium. He gives some great ideas into this movie. Concerning how crime in a not-too-distant future. Taking place in Blomkamp’s native Johannesburg, the government agrees to create a robot police force to decrease the crime rate. For a movie with a $50 million budget, the effects are pretty good and Sharlto Copley brings the title character to life through motion capture. That doesn’t make up for what is wrong with the movie. Playing fictional versions of themselves, the popular South African rap duo Die Antwoord play two of the most annoying characters ever. It rips off many sci-fi films including Robocop, the tone is all over the place, the action is obnoxious, and the cast featuring Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver is wasted (not to mention Hugh Jackman being absolutely painful to watch). It almost plays out like a two-hour Die Antwoord music video. Let’s hope Neill Blomkamp redeems himself when he directs the Alien prequel (if it ever gets made).

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9. Child 44 – Before he played Mad Max, Tom Hardy stars as a Russian agent in this unfocused mess. Starring alongside Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace, the accents are distracting to the point where I couldn’t take anything seriously. The movie has no idea if it wants to be a mystery or a political thriller. Either way, Child 44 is neither thrilling nor surprising. From start to finish, it’s downright boring.

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8. The Woman in Black 2: The Angel of Death – The first Woman in Black is a solid haunted house picture featuring an eerie atmosphere and a breakthrough performance by Daniel Radcliffe. The sequel forgets everything on what the original mastered. Instead, it makes it rely on those stupid jump scares. I’m not a big horror buff, but this movie sums up on what is wrong about today’s horror movies. But I’m glad the movie didn’t have unnecessary blood and gore. I feel so bad for everyone involved especially Jeremy Irvine (War Horse).

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7. Aloha – As you could tell, 2015 had a lot of movies featuring an all-star cast. With Aloha, director Cameron Crowe presses the autopilot button from the beginning. The movie stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone (who plays someone who is 1/4 Hawaiian; don’t ask), Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinki, and Bill Murray. Neither of them had any chemistry whatsoever. It has no idea what it wants to be. Is it supposed to be a romantic comedy? A family drama? A subplot involving a satellite launch? What the hell is going on!? The movie is not funny, not romantic, and not surprising. Aloha? More like Good Riddance!

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6. Hot Pursuit – Boy, is this an annoying experience!? It looks like Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara had a great time making the movie. But, Hot Pursuit doesn’t showcase any of their talents at all. The jokes fall flat, the writing is beyond lazy, and there is little to enjoy. I chuckled a couple times throughout the 90-minute duration. Hearing Sofia Vergara yell at the top of her lungs throughout the entire film drives me up the wall.

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5. Jupiter Ascending – When The Matrix was released in 1999, the Wachowskis brought the science fiction genre to a whole new level with its groundbreaking effects and a thought-provoking narrative. In Jupiter Ascending, one of the biggest flops of the year, they rip off every single sci-fi film in the last 40 years (Star Wars, Blade Runner, Signs, the list goes on). The decent chase scene through Chicago doesn’t save it from being a cluttered mess. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis are both likable actors. But they manage to take their roles way too serious (their “romance” is like something out of Twilight). Don’t get me started on Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the villain. He speaks in this stupid, quiet monotone throughout the entire film, and has sudden outbursts (“I CREATE LIFE! . . . And I destroy it.” is among one of the many awful lines). I feel so bad for everyone involved.

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4. Mortdecai – Remember this movie back in January? Before tackling the part of Whitey Bulger in Black Mass, Johnny Depp plays the title character (similar to Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther) who tries to get his hands on a Nazi bank account. He has played the same quirky character over and over. When he overacts, it gets tiresome. The stupid action, the lame jokes, and the huge waste of talent makes Mortdecai a good place as one of the worst movies of the year.

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3. Serena – Welcome back, Bradley Cooper. After their first on-screen appearance in Silver Linings Playbook, he and Jennifer Lawrence star in a movie that it as lifeless, derivative and unintentionally funny as Serena. Filmed in 2012 and got delayed for three years, Susanne Beir gives the Depression-era setting as something pleasing to the eye. However, everything feels rushed and unfinished. With a supporting cast involving Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones, there is no chemistry between any of the characters whatsoever.

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2. Fant4stic – Everyone — including myself — was looking forward to seeing the reboot of the Fantastic Four. I couldn’t imagine a better cast to play the group of superheroes than Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell. When I heard Josh Trank (Chronicle) directing this, I was sold. I wanted to enjoy this movie bad. After seeing what I saw, I wanted to take everything I said before seeing it back. Fant4stic is nothing but exposition. None of the four characters worked as a team (don’t get me started on the “action-filled” climax), the effects are absolutely awful; not to mention the painfully obvious green screen, Dr. Doom and the supporting characters are a bore. I don’t know if a director’s cut will make that much of a difference. But I’m glad there isn’t going to be a sequel to this pile of garbage.

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1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – Kevin James is a likable talent. He is mostly remember for getting his big break on The King of Queens. However, with the unnecessary sequel to the 2009 hit (which wasn’t any good but not entirely awful), it doesn’t showcase any of his talents at all. Seriously, how can a scene involving Paul fighting an angry peacock be funny? Not a single joke works, every single character is stupid, the villains aren’t intimidating (I feel sorry for Neal McDonough–yes, “Dum Dum” Dugan–for being a part of this mess), and the action is just embarrassing to watch. Also, it feels like every Happy Madison production, starting with Grown Ups, is a vacation disguised as a movie. Why can the actors use the money to take a vacation without needing a film crew?

I hope you enjoyed what my picks of the worst movies of 2015 are. Feel free to leave a comments on what movies you regret seeing this past year. Stay tuned for my list of the best movies of 2015. Have a happy new year!

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Movie Review: Brooklyn

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Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) starts her new life in “Brooklyn”

Being one of the biggest hits to come out of this year’s Sundance, this is a movie about embracing an alternative culture while having the native one on the side. This is what Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan, in an award-worthy performance) faces as she arrives in Brooklyn. She gets a new job at a department store, takes bookkeeping classes at a local college-set up by Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), and lives in an Irish boarding house, run by Madge Kehow (Julie Walters). Eilis begins feeling homesick until she falls in love with Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen), an Italian-American plumber. With another life at home, she must choose between America or Ireland.

Based on Colm Tóibín’s book of the same name, Brooklyn sounds like a movie that would go into soap-opera territory. But through Nick Hornby’s miraculous screenplay and John Crowley’s brilliant direction, the movie doesn’t come close to it. Instead, they bring the 1950s to pure life with enough wit, charm, beauty, and raw emotion. It pays homage to Crowley’s native Ireland as well as the movies of that time. The cinematography reminds me so much of Her. The vibrant colors set the tone so wonderfully that every shot looks like a moving painting. Brooklyn is one of the 2015’s absolute best.

4/4

Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur

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Arlo and Spot try to make their way home in Disney/PIXAR’s “The Good Dinosaur”

Have you ever seen a movie you liked but made you feel cold? Unfortunately, The Good Dinosaur is one of those movies.

The movie asks: What happens when the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago misses?

Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is a young Apatosaurus living as a farmer. As he gets washed away by a flood, he is far from home. He encounters a Neanderthal boy named Spot (Jack Bright), who becomes his mentor. While going on this breathtaking journey, Arlo must overcome his own fears.

It saddens me this movie might be PIXAR’s first box office flop. PIXAR is one of the biggest production companies working today. 2015 is the first–definitely not the last–year to release two movies. Inside Out is unarguably their most ambitious and most creative film to date. It’s also one of the best films of the year. Even though it went through production hell, I liked The Good Dinosaur, but if you compare it to PIXAR’s previous film, it is a slight disappointment.

This movie has some of the most gorgeous animation from PIXAR (not surprisingly, the 3D actually works). However, mixing realistic landscapes with cartoonish characters didn’t necessarily fit. Its heart is the right place, it’s amusing than funny, and when it gets weird it gets really weird. The voice cast is quite solid (the big standout is Sam Elliott). Definitely not PIXAR’s best, I’m glad I went to see it.

3/4

Movie Review: Creed

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Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) trains Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) in “Creed”

Ten years after Rocky Balboa, Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler brings the franchise back in the ring. Sylvester Stallone returns as our beloved protagonist Rocky Balboa. He has officially retired from boxing, his wife Adrian and still owns Adrian’s Restaurant. As he is about to close, he meets Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) looking at a photo of Rocky fighting against his former rival Apollo Creed. Learning that Donnie is following his father Apollo’s footsteps, he reluctantly agrees to train him prior to his fight against the light heavyweight champion of the world, Ricky Conlon (Tony Bellew) of Liverpool.

Even though I have only seen Rocky, Rocky II, and Rocky Balboa, these movies are more than just about boxing, they are about life. Coogler perfectly blends old-fashioned drama with great boxing scenes (the first one consists one 5-minute long take) and the fantastic chemistry between Jordan and Stallone. Creed ranks up with the first Rocky movie.

4/4

Movie Review: Room

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5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and Ma (Brie Larson) spending time in “Room”

There have been few movies in 2015 that hit me hard. Room (not to be confused with Tommy Wiseau’s cult “classic”) is one of those movies. Going into this movie with almost no expectations, it made the experience so much better for me. Director Lenny Abrahamson creates a raw, suspenseful, humble, and ultimately heartwrenching movie about taking the big step in life. It also features the best performance I’ve ever seen by a child actor (if Jacob Tremblay doesn’t win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, I don’t know who will). Brie Larson has come a long way since starring in Hoot; this is the performance of her career. Without giving away too much, I think I found my favorite movie of 2015.

4/4

Movie Review: The Peanuts Movie

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Snoopy lives in his own fantasy world in “The Peanuts Movie”

In today’s society, kids have been obsessed over the latest technology. They would rather stay inside than hanging outside with their friends. The Peanuts Movie sticks to its traditional roots of Charles Schulz’s comic strips and the TV specials.

It reintroduces the characters I know and love–Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and of course, Snoopy and Woodstock (who are the best silent comedy duo since Tom and Jerry). The Little Red-Haired Girl moves into the neighborhood. Charlie Brown develops a crush on her, even though he’s too shy to talk to her. Meanwhile, his beloved dog Snoopy (using Bill Melendez’s archival recordings) is in a world of his own. He fantasizes himself as a World War I pilot fighting the Red Baron. With the help from Woodstock, he tries to win the heart of Fifi (Kristen Chenoweth).

It’s simply a crime not to stick with the original source material. Once this was greenlighted, everyone including myself was worried about whether this will be any good or not. The Peanuts Movie is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Given the sons of Charles Schulz are among the producers, this pays tribute to Schulz. With unique computer animation, this is a warm, funny, moving film about accepting who you are. It gives something kids and adults will enjoy. Schulz would have been so proud.

3.5/4