Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

The worst films of 2015

This is the list where we say the year's cinematic nadir was "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," not "Fantastic Four."
Me and Earl and the Dying GirlThe CobblerEntouragePixelsAvengersRock the KasbahStonewallThe GallowsHuman CentipedeFantastic Four

We’re not negative people. We like to think of ourselves as understanding. We were sympathetic to films populating plenty of “Worst of 2015” lists. Hell, we even defended Cameron Crowe’s “Aloha.” But there were plenty of films worthy of the scorn they received. Here are 10 we really, really, really hated in a year we’d argue was still really strong.

RELATED: The Top 10 films of 2015 (and 20 more that were great too)

1. ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’
It doesn’t think it’s evil. It doesn’t think it’s yet another White People Problems movie. It doesn’t even think it’s being casually hipster racist. And yet, just as it winds up being more sentimental than it initially lets on, this Sundance hit was all these things and more. Following a sarcastic high school loner (Thomas Mann), it plays like the dying gasp of an entire subsect of humanity raised to believe it was the center of the planet and realizing it's not. Except that our hero is: Pushing people with actual problems — RJ Cyler’s low-income black “acquaintance” Earl, Olivia Cooke’s “dying girl” Rachel — off to the sidelines, it winds up with him learning that things will always, even in 2015, work out for the white dude. That the film is technically well-made and well-acted makes it even worse, especially when the only major black character talks about almost nothing but “dem titties.” This is where we call this movie some f—ed-up repugnant s—. (Our review)

2. ‘The Cobbler’
Has this happened before? Writer-director Tom McCarthy ended 2015 by releasing the highly-regarded (and, we think, really very good) “Spotlight,” which may win the Best Picture Oscar. But he started the year out with “The Cobbler,” which should win the Worst Picture Razzie. Epically, unforgettably misjudged, it casts Adam Sandler, in his now-permanent comatose mode, as a depressed cobbler who learns he has the ability to change into people by putting on their shoes. Does he learn what it’s like to walk a mile in other people’s shoes? Nope! He uses them to steal swanky meals, almost rape a hottie, foil a ridiculous real estate plot and go on a date with his mom. The twist ending is the most jaw-dropping thing I’ve seen at the movies all year. This is an anti-masterpiece. (Our review)

3. ‘Entourage’
Movies allow one to see how others live. To watch the “Entourage” movie is to see the world through the eyes of a filthy rich bro. Like the “Sex and the City” movies, the further adventures of Adrien Grenier’s superstar actor and his even worse boys is a plotless wallow in pure wealth. It’s everything that’s bad about America, but on the other hand, at least it’s not boring. (Except that it kind of is.) (Our review)

4. ‘Pixels’
Adam Sandler is not in a good spot. When he makes his usual product ("Grown Ups 2," “Blended”) he hits new lows. Even when he goes indie (“Men, Women & Children,” “The Cobbler”) he burrows even lower. Used to low-watt comedies made with his buds, he tried to go the big budget high-concept blockbuster, battling alien forces that take the shape of ’80s arcade games. But even fighting Pac-Man or watching Q*bert urinate couldn’t wake him up, and he dragged the whole thing down to his sleepy level. (Our review)

5. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’
Same-y as they can get, we like Marvel. But this was bound to happen eventually: Faced with too many characters and too many ancillary films to set up, even Joss Whedon completely whiffed, churning out a noisy block of just stuff happening, and sometimes things. It was a joyless din, and it made the modest pleasures of the subsequent “Ant-Man” even easier to overrate. (Our review)

6. ‘Rock the Kasbah’
How do you make Bill Murray annoying? This Afghanistan romp found a way. A riff on the secretly very good “Ishtar,” it sent him to the Middle East to indulge in some light political satire and some very heavy Ugly Americanism. The low point of Murray’s career isn’t the movie where he romps about the U.S. on an elephant; it’s him annoying Afghanis with an obnoxious rendition of “Smoke on the Water.” He's already rebounded, though, with Sofia Coppola's "A Very Murray Christmas," so all's good. (Our review)

7. ‘Stonewall’
Honestly this should have been a slamdunk: the maker of stupid, outsized, ensemble blockbusters like “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow” takes on the splashy, in-earnest birth of America’s gay rights movement. And yet Roland Emmerich’s latest is boring, stiff and laughable. When our lily-white hero (Jeremy Irvine) screams “GAY POWER!” during the anticlimax, all you can do is snicker. (Our review)

8. ‘The Gallows’
If the rigor behind “The Blair Witch Project” was ever in doubt — and it often, regrettably is — take a look at when people with no talent try to do found footage. Bought up by Warner Brothers, this microindie about a haunted high school play (creepy!) botches every boo and set piece. Pure amateur hour. (Our review)

9. ‘The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)’
We will defend the first two “Human Centipede”s maybe not to the death but not far from it. But Tom Six’s finale is the movie the series’ detractors think the others are: a series of stupid, witless provocations, unpleasant in unproductive ways. That it's the only one to actually try to be a comedy is the problem. A little of star Dieter Laser went a long way in the first, but here he’s encouraged to go beyond 11, sinking a ship already suffering from a massive gash. (Our review)

10. ‘Fantastic Four’
You wouldn’t kick a dog when it’s down, and so let’s take it somewhat easy on this obviously bad film, which is actually instructive in showing what happens when everything that could go wrong on a movie, especially a pricy would-be franchise starter, goes wrong. It starts off simply dull before turning incompetent and finally cataclysmic. It can’t be much worse than the 1994 Roger Corman version, which was made only to drive up the royalties and was never intended to be released. Its stars and even, perhaps, its tyro director, Josh Trank, deserve to move on, so let’s never speak of this again. (Our review)


Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 

Consider AlsoFurther Articles