May 07 2010

The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of the Last Decade (1999-2009)

Published by at 2:50 pm under Lists,Movies

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I think I’m pretty decent at predicting which movies are going to be good and which ones are going to suck.  I base my predictions not so much on a movie’s trailer, but instead on who’s directing (perhaps the most important factor), who wrote the screenplay, the actors involved, and the source material to the extent that any exists.  Sometimes, I’m horribly wrong, though, and there’s few feelings worse than getting all pumped up for a movie only to have it vomit all sorts of suck right into your face.

This list of disappointing movies is necessarily subjective, and some of them I actually like.  All of these movies, however, fell well short of my expectations and left me utterly disappointed.  Your results may vary, but as for myself, these are the 10 most disappointing movies of the last decade (1999-2009).

By the way, does the fact that it’s already May 2010 make this list somewhat overdue?  Eh.

Lady in the Water (2006)

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Unlike most people, I thought Signs and The Village were both very good movies, and I consider Unbreakable the best superhero movie ever made.  In my book, Shyamalan was more than just an up-and-coming hot director; he had made his mark and deserved to be in the discussion of the best directors working today.  The preview for Lady in the Water didn’t reveal much, but a creepy score and the inclusion of Paul Giamatti – a terrific actor – gave me high hopes for whatever Shyamalan had in store.  Would there be another twist?  Would there be scenes so suspenseful that I could hardly breathe?

No.  Not even close.  Instead, Lady in the Water was a silly story that went nowhere.  Between the not-so-subtle pot shots at movie critics, some dude with a giant arm, and a totally unscary wolf creature made out of grass, this movie was awful.

Watchmen (2009)

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The graphic novel (or comic book, for those of you who are somehow offended by the term “graphic novel”) Watchmen is one of my favorite pieces of literature, and for years many argued – including Alan Moore – that it would be unfilmable.  But when Zack Snyder announced that he intended to shoot the film as faithfully as possible and production photos showed how incredible the costume and set design looked, I believed that something epic could be in store.

I still remember watching the movie in the theater and being blown away by the opening credits.  The Comedian’s murder was slightly less impressive than the credits, and the movie became more unwatchable as time went on.  Eventually, it was more than I could take.  And getting rid of the squid???  Come on.  I’ve tried to watch Watchmen again when it came on cable, but I just can’t.  It’s dreadful.

Terminator Salvation (2009)

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Look, I’m well aware that Terminator 3 was awful, but all signs pointed to Terminator Salvation restoring the franchise’s glory.  McG said all the right things concerning Cameron’s mythology, Christian Bale was fresh off his role as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight and seemed to care deeply about the script and, best of all, this Terminator movie was going to be set in the future.  What could go wrong?

I saw Terminator Salvation at a midnight showing at a theater in the East Village.  Nothing says “owned” like leaving a theater at 2:00 am, having to work the next day, and being full of regret that you got excited for a shitty movie directed by a guy named McG.  I really should have known better.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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A Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Gavin Hood – a film director who didn’t regularly direct superhero movies – sounded like a great idea if the idea was to explore the psyche of Wolverine.  I loved the idea of having Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth, too, as he’s a talented, accomplished actor and could bring further credibility to the project (I saw him as Henry V in Central Park one summer and have been a big fan ever since).  And the casting of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool?  Perfect.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn’t just bad, it was abysmal.  It was one of the worst superhero movies I have ever seen.  All the ingredients should have made for a cinematic feast of epic proportions, but instead we were left with rotting meat filled with maggots.

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

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You may be asking why I have Revolutions on this list and not Reloaded.  The answer is, quite simply, because I really, really like Reloaded.  A lot.  I think the action is incredible – the fight in the chateau is one of the best ever – and the mythology of the Matrix is expanded, revealing depth and philosophy not normally associated with most films.  If you hate it, cool – I know I’m in the minority – but I don’t.  When Neo stopped the sentinels in the real world at the end of Reloaded, it was a mind f*ck the likes I hadn’t experienced since…well, The Matrix.  

And look – I actually like Revolutions.  I don’t think it’s anything great, and it can get a bit cheesy at times, too.  It’s also pretty predictable, considering the Wachowskis wrote themselves into a corner with the whole Neo-as-Christ theme.  It’s still a decent way to tie up the trilogy, but it’s also the Return of the Jedi to A New Hope that is The Matrix.  Again, I don’t think Revolutions sucked, but I was sorely disappointed and expected a hell of a lot more.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

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The return of Harrison Ford in Indy’s trademark fedora coupled with Steven Spielberg directing was more than enough to get me excited for the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones trilogy.  I mean, Spielberg doesn’t make crappy movies, and Ford would never agree to return as Indy without a story worth telling, right?

Had I known that Shia Labeouf would be swinging from vines like a monkey and that Indy himself would survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator, I never would have seen this in the first place.  South Park really hit the nail on the head when Spielberg and Lucas were having their way with Indy.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

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Unlike the rest of the modern world, I didn’t read the book…but everyone who did told me how incredible it was.  Plus, you can usually trust Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, so there was every reason to believe that The Da Vinci code would be pretty good.  I mean, if the book entertained as many people as it did, surely a film adaptation – no matter how rigid or loose – would be entertaining as well. Uhh, well, not so much.  Hanks’ hair was the most interesting thing on screen at any given time, so the movie was ultimately quite forgettable.  I think there was something about Jesus getting it on with a chick named Mary, but honestly, I wanted this movie to end after about 30 minutes into it.

The Phantom Menace (1999)

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Alright, seriously: do you think there was a Star Wars fan in this entire galaxy who wasn’t disappointed with The Phantom Menace?  To me, this is easily the most disappointing movie of all time.  I don’t think I need to explain why, and the picture above has a lot to do with it.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

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Bear with me for a moment.  Stanley Kubrick is my favorite director of all time.  I think he’s better than anyone working today, and his films are true works of art.  There’s more depth and nuance in a Stanley Kubrick film than there are in most novels, and calling the man a genius simply doesn’t do him justice.  Before Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick’s most recent film was Full Metal Jacket, which came out in 1987 (I was just 9 at the time).  So you can understand my excitement when a new Kubrick film was finally going to be released when I was an adult.  It didn’t matter that Tom Cruise was in it and it didn’t matter what it was about.  It was Kubrick, and that was enough for me.

Like Revolutions, I don’t hate Eyes Wide Shut.  In fact, I think it’s pretty decent (with the caveat being that Kubrick died during post-production, and if you know anything about Kubrick, you know that he had a hand in all and every aspect of his films).  A lot of people hate it, but I don’t care – it’s better than 99% of what passes for film today, of this I am certain.  Still, when compared to movies like 2001 and A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove, Eyes Wide Shut doesn’t hold up very well at all.  In fact, it doesn’t belong in the conversation with those aforementioned films.  Thus, its inclusion on this list isn’t because I think it’s a bad movie (although I am sure many of you do).  It’s because for a Stanley Kubrick film, it’s just not very good.

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

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Sam Raimi had shown with Spider-Man 2 that he was capable of making a great superhero movie, so hopes were high for Spider-Man 3.  Plus, Venom!  But Venom was horribly miscast, too many villains – as too many villains often do – forced character development to come to a screeching halt, and…what was the other thing that bugged me?  Oh yeah – Emo Parker.  Maybe I should have seen the writing on the wall, but this movie was so bad that it effectively killed the franchise.

And there you have it – the 10 movies of the past decade that disappointed me the most.  I’m pretty sure we’ll have a bunch in common, but what are some movies that you were really fired up to see that disappointed you?  Let me know!





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99 responses so far

  • Muppet Baby

    …..THE HAPPENING, hands down.

  • Kamy

    I must disagree with Watchmen, Indy and Matrix. I really enjoy them. Wolverine, Terminator and Star Wars werent disappoining. They were exactly as i thought they will be.

  • sylky

    Im sorry this list is almost 100% correct except for Watchmen. How can you dislike a movie that was completely faithful to the graphic novel until the end. And lets be rational the alien squid in the comic is stupid and the nuclear-like Dr. Manhattan attack is much more believable and even make much more sense.

  • knowItAll

    Agree on ‘Spider-Man 3′ and ‘Terminator Salvation’. Those movies we made with zero thought for the viewer.

    ‘Watchmen’, I thought was actually great. I read the graphic novel when I was too young, so the movie presented the story in a refreshing way. Octopus was just a gimmick in the end, so its replacement didn’t bother me.

    ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ wasn’t quite a disappointment, so I wouldn’t have put it on the list. Much like other Kubrick films, you sometimes don’t know what to make of it.

    All other movies I expected to suck, so wasn’t disappointed when they did.

  • http://www.inlineoutline.com AlfRGB

    I whole heartedly disagree with the Watchmen and Revolutions. The Watchmen, including the Graphic Novel, was — still is — a perfect representation of modern corporations, powerful entities at hand, and non-conformity. It may not have been 100% the graphic novel, but it was still a great film. Perhaps i’m looking too far into a meaning that isn’t necessarily there.

    But, the Revolutions was a perfect end to The Matrix trilogy. If you want a frame of reference, read “The Book of Revelations” which basically portrayed Jesus cleaning house. Something Neo did exactly.

    All-in-all, great list. Fully agree on everything else.

  • Bandit

    The Happening looked like it had a LOT of potential. Then pffffft.

  • Joker357x

    no movie disappoints me, ..hey if they can go through the shitty trouble of making , than you wasted your time just going to see it, save your self the trouble and don’t see any of the movies that you know are going to be shitty.

  • Cheryl

    I have to agree about The Happening, I was so pumped for that movie and the beginning showed promise but then got silly…like laughable silly.

    I want to vote for Bruno too…I LOVED Borat, but what made Borat so funny was the utter shock of ‘regular’ people where Bruno felt way too scripted and it’s like the movie was trying to be over the top vulgar/crude in hopes people would love it (which is my common complaint against South Park, I’ll never understand the appeal of that show…but that’s just me)

  • Laura

    Way to be on top with the list with it being May and all…

    OH man, Da Vinci Code. Have you ever wanted to see a movie so bad, yet week after week you just don’t manage to go to the theaters to see it? That was Da Vinci Code for me. Read the book, was really excited to see it. My friend and I ended up seeing it LAST year, on like Starz, and just looked at each other like “we were going to PAY to see this?”. It was horrid. The main actress distracted me because I thought a gust of wind would blow in and she’d be swept away.

    I still refuse to see Indiana Jones. I have so many good memories of watching the first three as a kid growing up (Last Crusade is my favorite) and after all the crap I heard about it, I don’t want it to ruin my experience with the series.

    I was disappointed with Funny People (even thought it was supposed to be comedy and drama…right??). I was crying laughing during the opening credits with the prank calls, but not so much after that. Seems like a good chunk of the disappointing films tend to be comic book/superhero films, but comedies really drop the ball a lot, too.

  • knowItAll

    Some movies I’d add to the list:

    Quantum of Solace (2008)
    After a great Casino Royal, I thought I’d get the gritty bond back. Instead I got a jittery movie edited by five kindergarden children with ADD. Also he bond had trouble fighting a tiny french guy in the desert in the middle of nothing. The bond I know would have stopped the whole plot with one bullet.

    Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
    Trailers made it looks so kick ass! Medieval crusades, great settings, middle-eastern motif that seemed to be used correctly. Liam Neeson and Ridley Scott made it promising too. Instead I got an epic that went nowhere. Didn’t see the director’s cut, which is supposed to be better. But that’s because I’m still bitter I lost three hours of my life on a regular movie.

    Ninja Assassin (2009)
    This was a G-rated movie with NC17 action. Trailer made it look so slick. I was going to unleash my inner-child and enjoy this movie. But instead I had to watch a movie written by a five year old with action scenes done by a 13 year old. It definitely needed way more grittiness, nudity and toung-in-cheek humor to match the gore in the fights. Oh, and the fact that a main guy looked like a feminine dancer didn’t help. Movie would have been great with someone like Tony Jaa

    Shrek the Third (2007)
    First two were great. This one was written by stock screenwriters were they checked off and reused every cliche in the book.

  • http://www.unicornbacon.com evilcupcakes

    I have to agree with the others. I loved Watchmen, and while it was a little stiff and awkward at times, I think that was actually a failing of trying to be TOO faithful to the graphic novel (some of it just didn’t translate well on screen). And I actually thought the new ending was waaay better than the squid, which I HATED in the graphic novel. I think the new ending a drove the moral dilemmas of the story home better.

    Oh, and Malin Akerman was absolutely, team-switchingly GORGEOUS as Laurie Jupiter, but man her performance sucked. Total tampon commercial acting.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Wow, I agree with every single one of these. Great list man.

    I maintain that while Watchmen was somehow disappointing, I really don’t think it could have been done any better. I just don’t think it should have ever been made in the first place.

  • Madison

    @ evilcupcakes

    I think you’re correct in that Watchmen was TOO faithful to the graphic novel (aside from the missing squid, of course) and that it just didn’t translate well to the screen.

    @ KnowItAll

    Great call on Quantum of Solace. It was wretched.

  • Alex

    You actually wanted a squid in Watchmen? It was silly enough that they got the blue guy(I mean come on that might work for a comic but it looks just silly on a movie) but a giant squid would have made it just even more silly

  • Madison

    @ Alex

    Yeah, I did. But I should be clear – I wasn’t disappointed because there was no squid. I was disappointed because the movie had zero soul. It was tedious sitting through it.

  • U SUCK

    DUDE U SUCK WATCHMEN ,THE MATRIX,AND XMEN ORIGINS WERE GREAT MOVIES AND IM TIRED OF UR BULLSHIT HALF THE MOVIES U HATE ARE AWSOME SO U SUCK UR A STUPID ASS BITCH WHO LIVE IN HIS PARENTS BASEMENT AND HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN RAG GOOD MOVIES SO IN CONCLUSION U MY GOOD SIR ARE A FUCKING DICK
    PS BURN IN HELL AND I MASTURBATE TO THE MATRIX
    HA HA HAH HA !!!!!!

  • Uncoolaidman

    Where the Wild Things Are: The trailer was better than the actual movie, in my opinion.

  • Bobby

    SUPERMAN RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SUPERMAN RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HOW IS THIS NOT ON THE LIST??????

    btw I loved Revolutions, Watchmen and was entertained with Wolverine. All the rest were fairly on point.

  • Uncoolaidman

    I’m sorry but any person who thinks that Wolverine was a good movie is a completely wrong. Pretty much any movie where Will.I.Am plays a crucial role will be terrible. As for you, U Suck, if you don’t like or at least respect the opinions of the people who make this site, then why the hell are you here?

  • Madison

    @ Uncoolaidman

    Yes! Great call on WTWTA. I was sorely disappointed; I expected a lot from Spike Jonze.

    @ U SUCK

    Honestly, dude, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

  • Sam

    Revenge of the Fallen. Sure the first transformers wasn’t great, but it was fun as all hell. But the second one took everything that made the first one good and took it away.
    Avatar, I was totally on the whole James Cameron has never made a bad movie. I was super excited for Avatar even though I kept hearing on the internet that it looked like ferngully, and the story sounded like dances with wolves. But I was like “no, no, no, it has to be good. James Cameron is far too talented to just put out some generic piece of crap” oh, man I was wrong.
    Also what’s the point of using “f*ck”? Why not use the actual word? It has the same meaning.

  • IcemanD

    The biggest problem with the DaVinci Code was Silus (sp?)

    In the book he was a monster of a man and you actually feared him.

    In the movie? he looked like Powder…

  • Laura

    You left the caps lock on, buddy

  • Henrik

    why are there two movies from 1999 on the list?

  • brg

    We should watch movies together because I agree with every single thing you said.

  • NY not NYC

    Lots of angry folk here….

    I saw “watchmen” twice; once with a dude friend that read the comics, the other with my wife. Dude friend was like, this movie is great. Wife was like, this movie was interesting, sort of.

    I think that sums it up.

    I haven’t seen a lot of movies on this list, because mainly those movies had no right thinking they were going to be good in the first place.

  • Matt

    Notice how a lot of theses movies are sequels or spin offs that just shows how Hollywood will try to milk anything popular until it will bring in only one 1 viewer? The old Indy movies are classics, but the new one was just downright atrocious. There was no reason to bring him back and throw him in such a crazy story. I couldn’t watch all of Spider Man 3 because I’m convinced Raimi just got bored and tried to see how much ridiculous shit he could fit in (emo Spider Man?) And Wolverine? Could have been awesome. Turned out to be garbage. This list is dead on except for The Watchmen which I actually enjoyed…but I didn’t read the graphic novel so I can’t make an argument against those who did. Great List.

    oh and at @U SUCK, you are why movie discussions are so frustrating now adays. People don’t understand that opinions are different and just assume that if they don’t like it, everyone else shouldn’t, making it impossible to have a good conversations about why and why not you thought a movie was well done. A review is not fact, it’s opinion. If you don’t agree, at least present your argument with at least a smidgen of intelligence and maybe someone will listen. Until then, keep watching every American Pie spin-off, which based on your comment I can only assume you find utterly hilarious, and shut the fuck up.

  • Pat

    I would have thought Aliens VS Predator and AVP Requiem would have made this list. So much hype and hope when people first caught wind of these films and then they offer up just cheesy fight scenes. Not to mention dry plots and some pretty stiff acting. All the trailers made it look like sci fi wet dream then you saw it and it was just..eh okay so they blew up crap and killed each other who cares? It was almost as bad as Freddy VS Jason which should also be included on here. Again all they hype and build up and what was the pay off? A retarded script of Freddy resurrecting Jason so he can get his gloved groove on. Just a mindless excuse to cross franchises that should have waited for a better script. I mean come on overall Godzilla vs King Kong had more going for it than either of the above mentioned Vs movies.

  • EJ

    Disagree with the writer bigtime in regards to Watchmen. Re-reading the novel now and dreading the octopus shit coming up. By far the movie’s ending was better. However we both agree that Signs and the Village were good flicks, and that Unbreakable IS the best superhero movie ever.

    As for Phantom Menace, you must realize that the first trilogy were actually bad films too. The acting is atrocious, the SFX merely meh (especially since they’ve been revamped for what most people watch nowadays), and the plots and plot holes are ridiculous. They appealed to many of us because we were kids when we first saw them- they are essentially kids movies. The political overtones of the new trilogy are far more annoying than anything. Really! Why didn’t Lucas film “The Clone Wars” instead with some actual excitement?!?

    Di Vinci Code and Wolverine were OK, I thought, though I never expected much from Wolverine anyways. As for Silas, Rutger Hauer can’t be the badass in every movie…

  • MacGyver1138

    Good list.

    I’m with you in that I like Reloaded and Revolutions for the most part. They were a bit too pretentious, and probably a bit too morose for their own good, but they weren’t terrible. I would say that Revolutions was disappointing, if only because it didn’t take what Reloaded had started to a satisfying conclusion. There was a good opportunity for a better story that was mostly missed.

    I was pretty disappointed with Hancock. It even had a decent first half, ruined by a crappy second half.

  • Levi

    Hahaha U SUCK that was awesome! Nice comment. Dont think anyone got it though.

  • Candee

    …I actually liked the Wolverine movie…

    I dunno…maybe it was Hugh Jackman. Aside from that and Spiderman 3 (I thought the “emo hair” was hilarious), I haven’t seen these other movies.

    I’ve been getting more and more disappointed by the kinds of movies coming out today. They’re starting to re-make eighties movies…What’s that about?

    I think I’ll just stick with Chaplin.

  • Lagrange

    You should also make a list in the opposite direction. Movie you thought would suck but surprised you.

  • skikes

    You have a very strange idea of what a decade is. If you start at the start of 1999 then it would end at the start of 2009 and 3 of these movies wouldn’t have made the cut.

    Also… Wheres the fucking list I suggested bitches? 10 most difficult games of the last decade? ;P

  • chelsea

    there are a lot of ignorant people posting on this ha ha…

    i can’t say i was disappointed by any of these for many reasons… either i didn’t have any expectations or thoroughly enjoyed them…. some comments:

    lady in the water – had low expectations because i thought the village was the biggest turd ever…. the “twist” took me all of the first 20 minutes to figure out. i actually thought lady in the water was way more entertaining.

    indiana jones – i’m sick of people bitching about the corniness and unrealistic parts of that movie… did you even SEE the other ones? they had just as many ridiculous parts. seriously, re-watch them because i don’t think you understand that ridiculousness is a giant part of the saga…

    speaking of sagas… i loved phantom menace. i was 14-years old when it came out and, if i recall… all of the writers on this site are like early 20-somethings…. so, you can’t say that as a kid, you were disappointed. yeah, jar jar was lame but not enough to ruin the rest of the movie. don’t get me wrong, the original trilogy kicked the ass of the new one but it delivered.

  • zomgmouse

    Kick-Ass. I walked away feeling so cheated, when I was expecting so much after the two trailers.

  • Madison

    @ chelsea

    Early 20s? I wish. 32.

    @ skikes

    Honestly, the last thing I want to do is argue about the semantics of what makes a decade, which is why I put 99-09 in the title. That’s the criteria, deal with it.

    And as for your suggestion…I like it. I’ll see what I can do. Bitch.

  • Madison

    @ Pat

    I waited my whole life for an AvP movies, and both were atrocious. AvP absolutely belongs on this list.

    @ zomgmouse

    Really? I thought it would be decent at best and I loved it. In fact, I may do an article on the 10 most pleasantly surprising movies of the last decade…

    Funny how we had the opposite impression from the trailers.

  • jaromir

    @ Zomgmouse; my brother felt the same way about Kick Ass, too bad I thought. I think it was b/c he was expecting so much from it, whereas I wasn’t expecting anything at all.

  • http://unrealitymag.com Cal

    The happening was some poop stain that i’ll never be able to wipe off. I fell for the mystery and the “we can’t talk about it” secretive nature the actors held. Mark Wahlberg was doing his panting SNL caricature in full force, and the story was again, poop.

    And how the Fudge is Transformers 2 not on the list?

  • Aaron Movie man

    The Simpsons movie just didn’t click for me.

    Shutter Island was only “ok” dispite the names on the poster.

    Avatar should be considered disappointing in terms of story and acting. I looked forward to that one for over 2 years. Then after I actually saw it I was sad in a weird way.

    After it won the Oscar I watched who wants to be a millionaire, that movie Was SOOOOO bad.

    Food Inc. was like “hi, I’m a moron. I’ve never read anything about what I eat ever. wow this movie blows my mind!” There was only like 2-3 things in that movie that I didn’t already know.

    @transformers 2: Anyone paying attention knew that movie was going to suck.

  • http://www.neiltantay.com Neil

    Spiderman 3 is my favorite compared to 1 and 2. Too many villains is a bad thing? Not enough villains is a problem…

  • Professor Statik

    Right on, man. Great list! In an era which has give us some truly great films (science fiction or otherwise), it’s good to know others feel the same disappointment at monstrously hyped movies. Lets keep the bar set high.
    I agree with you on every point…loved the 2nd MATRIX, SIGNS is a fantastic and underappreciated thriller, and I refuse to believe ANYONE cherishes THE PHANTOM MENACE the way we cherish truly original and inspired works like EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, BLADE RUNNER, et al. WATCHMEN looked great, but…and lets be honest…it’s not a story that needs to be a movie. Ever. Like a lovingly constructed Christmas window display at Macy’s…easy to look at, but when you’re staring at it alone at 3am, it’s just creepy…
    Thanks for sharing your (very accurate) observations!

  • ivander

    I must agree with the rest of the people, Watchmen was really good, for my taste the only one not deserving to be in this list… the rest very accurate.

    Also, Superman Returns is missing

  • khiuiug

    everyone who i tell that crystal skull was the first indiana jones movie i’ve seen…they tell me they feel bad for me..

    and i totally agree with you on the wolverine movie, but im a total nerd. they cut out scott…just so wolverine and jean grey could have some kind of relationship…

    yea…i just nerded all over this article…

  • Bob

    The worst part of Spiderman 3 wasn’t the casting, it wasn’t the number of villains, it wasn’t the lack of character development or Emo Parker. Sure, all of those things were bad, but the worst part of Spiderman 3 was the writing, especially the plot holes. Why didn’t Mary Jane mention to Peter that Harry regained his memory, and that he threatened her? They were on the bridge together, it would have been the perfect time to mention something so life-threatening important, the dumb bitch. And of course there is the part at the end where Harry’s butler tells Harry the secret he had been keeping for all of those years, that Spiderman didn’t kill his father, and handled his dead body reverently. And why was he keeping it a secret? Because the writers are douches, and just didn’t know what they were doing.

  • NO_HEART

    I would go with Ichi the killer, being a massive fan of the manga the film disapointed me, and i really wanted to love it.

  • NStyles

    Seriously where are the terminator movies in this list? Aside from ‘Phantom’ and maybe ‘Salvation’ (which at least still had cool ass shin cycles) no other movie has so destroyed the epic vision I had of these things as a child. And yes The Matrix was a great movie but there were even hints of philosophical laziness in the first one that didn’t bode well for them being able to follow through with the story so my disappointment with them was almost expected. Wolverine is somewhere in this scale of my vision of how awesome it should be and then… wtf?! Have to politely sort of disagree with you on The Watchmen – ultimately a good and faithful rendition of the great work it was based on but somehow fell flat as you intimate. I think ultimately it proved everyone right, despite a great director and good cast (for the most part), it could not be made into a movie of the same caliber. But damn I wanted it to be the greatest of all time!
    In the same vein as Watchmen I would offer V for Vendetta. Despite a good film rendition ultimately did not live up to amazing work it was based on.
    And just noticed the comments about AvP. Didn’t even know they made a movie about that… guess that proves their point.

  • Walrus


    amazingly, I actually agree with this list in its entirety. Wow. No complaints. Excellent job.

    Also, excellent recall of the Phantom Menace. Sometimes, that movie slips away like a nightmare dying to be forgotten, but, yes, you are right: objectively, one of the most disappointing movies in the history of cinema. Had such high hopes for that one. Such high hopes. It wasn’t just its badness; it was that Lucas had bespoiled formerly virgin territory. Once he screwed things up, there was no going back for a ‘do over.’ That made the ether burn all the more.

  • Robert Paulson

    Why ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ is brilliant and Madison is an idiot:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VtpTZlmPvc

  • A guy

    Agree with the whole list. Watchmen was not a good movie.

    The Golden Compass really, really let me down. It had a great cast (Craig, Kidman, that little girl was really good, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, the guy who always plays a badass cowboy, Sam Elliot, etc.) but they totally messed with the story by giving it a happy ending. Also the film’s pacing and adaptation of an amazing story made something beautiful confusing and uninspiring.

    It was so bad, it killed the possibility of completing the trilogy, which could have been truly epic if done well. The Dark Materials Trilogy is one of my favorite works of literature. Screw you , Chris Weitz. I banish you to the hell that is being the director of the Twilight schlock and may you never return.

  • Hank Fox

    Eh. To me you sound like a self-involved jerk, the type of guy who’d get a million dollars dropped on his doorstep and then bitch because some of the bills were wrinkled.

    Watchmen became “unwatchable”? It was more than you could take? Oh, boo-hoo. To think that those wicked, mean people foisted that unwatchable movie on poor you.

    I thought this would be an INTERESTING article, filled with insights and useful commentary. Instead … gah.

    I hope you got a good grade for it.

  • Madison

    @ Robert Paulson

    Sooo….did you know all that before watching the video?

    Anyway, great, great clips, thanks. But unless you created those vids, let’s not pretend that you’re so much smarter than everyone else. What you’re doing is essentially regurgitation. Congrats.

    But seriously, thanks for the link.

  • imjrt

    I’m surprised that “Planet of the Apes” didn’t make the list. I loved the original movies, but the 2001 version completely trashed the storyline IMO.

  • http://youryogi.com YourYogi

    What a great list of stinkers and bombs. I hate to say it but I have seen all of those movies and they all were crap. Doesn’t anyone screen these things before they release them?

  • Madison

    @ Hank Fox

    Wow, sorry dude. What a dick I am for writing this article.

  • dan

    I TOTALLY disagree with the first 2. Watchmen and Lady in the Water are both a couple of my favorite movies. The rest, yes, blew.

  • Lauren

    The Harry Potter franchise disappointed me in the same way The Da Vinci Code disappointed you. For one of the best selling book(s) of all time, they cold have at least found actors that could act to portray the characters.
    Also, The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy was THE most disappointing book to film adaption I have ever seen.

  • Ant2206

    I actually don’t get the hate for Salvation. I watched it way after it was on at the movies, and was fully expecting to hate it along with everyone else… but then actually quite enjoyed it. Much better than T3.

  • http://underdifferentstars.wordpress.com/ Dan

    Great list, especially Spidey 3 and Phantom Menace. I haven’t seen a few of these, since I kind of figured they’d lousy anyway. I actually liked Lady in the Water. And I’m with you on liking Signs and the Village. I think the problem is people go into Shyamalan’s films with a certain expectation of what will happen, or they’re looking for the twist or whatever. If they went into the film more open-minded, I think the result would be different. But then again, there’s The Happening, so my argument might be void.

    A few that weren’t on your list: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Had all the right elements, turned out pretty awful.

    The first Hulk, and to a lesser degree, the second one.

    I disagree with the poster who mentioned Superman Returns. I thought it was great, though I could have done without the kid subplot. Just my two cents.

  • Douken

    Nah, you gotta be kidding, The Phantom of Menace is still one of my favorite Star Wars movies, second and third episode weren’t as good.

  • Matty

    For the record, Alan Moore himself was one of those people offended by the term graphic novel.

    It sorta seems inappropriate whenever people use it to describe Watchmen.

  • LawlessVictory

    V For Vendetta. Hands down, the most disappointed I’ve ever been leaving a movie theater. And that includes Spider-Man 3. As Cracked said a few years back, “nothing captures the spirit of anarchy better than a mob of people in identical uniforms unquestioningly obeying one man.”

    Upon a second viewing, there were a handful of excellent moments and I liked the acting, it’s just that the overall product was so… simplified, even softened. Good was completely good, bad was completely bad, and all the moral ambiguity that made the original story anything more than a standard “one guy vs. the world” tale was gone. Say what you will, at least Watchmen retained the story’s characterizations.

  • Kaeyne

    I’m going with sylky, regarding the Watchmen.
    And I might add that the director’s cut version (DVD / Bluray) is an even better film than the “shorter” one.

    Everything else on the list – I wholeheartedly agree.
    Poor Indy… *sigh*

  • Sanchez

    The love guru

    it was combining my fav sport with my fv comedic actor from when I was a kid

    I loved wayne’s world an Austin powers and I love hockey but… Fail

    ps If your uncle Jack helped you off an elephant would you help your uncle Jack off an elephant?

  • Laura

    @ Madison

    Man, you are getting a lot of love from readers! Bet it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I wish there was a sarcasm font…

  • Madison

    @ Laura

    Ha. I’m pretty used to it at this point. It’s amazing that sharing your opinions with others elicits so much hostility.

  • Levi

    A guy, I completely agree that that movie sucked and ruined the book, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Sort of like Eragon: you know it COULD be awesome, you know the COULD do a perfect adaptation of the book, but somewhere in the back of your mind you know that they’ll fuck the plot and PG-13ify it.

  • Bruno

    I desagree with alot movies on that list. In first place, alot of the movies posted there are like superhero’s or fantasy movies and the second thing is that the majority of the films are best known or popular films. I think that are really movies that suck but I don’t think that none of this movies be part of that list.

  • Watchman

    Watchman wasn’t bad, in my opinion (although I did miss the squid as well).

    You should have known Indy was gonna suck.

  • Betty

    You must be mad mate. Watchmen and MatrixRev are incredible films…

  • YourMother

    Wolverine was a great movie. Don’t believe how people didn’t like it. Probably comic book fags

  • Olu

    I think Watchmen’s pretty dope, and I thought Wolverine was at least watchable. But then again, I still haven’t finished watching the dark Knight, and I think the Matrix and Star Wars films are utter crap… BUt that’s just me… I’d say in terms of disappointment, the DeathNote films and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 are the most disappointing films I’ve been to see.

  • Rhawk187

    I loved the Watchman (film), Malin Akerman’s acting was a little off, but besides that it was fantastic. I didn’t mind the ending change either. Considering the parts stripped from the book, this ending actually made a lot more sense.

  • Max

    Wow, did you just cal Shamylamilan one of the best directors working today? His films past Signs are just masturbation on celluliod thats widely distributed. Next Watchmen, you hated, really. I’m not going to go out and say it was an epic greatest ever film or anything but it was great. Yes it has cheesy scenes and some thing that don’t work,but every time I watch it just has that magic that all great movies do. Good acting (for the most part), Billy Crudup and Jackie Earl Haley should have been oscar nominated. The film was beautiful, well paced and so on. Also think about it, the squid would’ve sucked on screen I guarantee you, it would’ve been like taking TDK and throwing in Clayface and Poison Ivy in the last 20 minutes of the film. Aside from that its a pretty solid list, although you did forget some big ones:
    Quantum of Solace, pretty much spat in the face of everything Martin Campbell did to bring back the Bond franchise from Halle Berry’s pit of doom (Campbell’s possibly the best reboot guy in the buisness today, at least when it comes to Bond).

    Fanboys, seriously after all the fanboy picketing and prodding of the Weinstiens we get this, a great big turd sandwich thats supposed to be an ode to star wars fans everywhere. Fuck you Kyle Newman for raping my hopes and dreams.

    War Inc., the supposed succesor to Grosse Pointe Blank turned out to be a boring and unfunny movie where Hillary DUff showed the world that she could be a slut and still there was nothing to see.

  • Max

    PPS. Superman Returns, holy fuck did that suck assberries. Superman fights a rock. Really Mr. Singer thats the best you could do? God what a wasted oppertunity.

  • Max

    PPPS. Kingdom of Heaven, yes the directors cut is good, I loved it actually, but the theatrical cut is terrible and exemplifies why Ridley Scott is an overrated director. He can’t convince the studios of his vision when it comes to passion projects (ie Blade Runner). And in the 2000s he made like what two good movies, maybe Black Hawk Down (also gladiator if you count from 1999), but the rest was shit.
    American Gangster might as well be added too. The movie looked so damn good. Denzel playing a mobster, Crowe working with Scott again, which generally didn’t disappoint. Instead we got a technically acceptable film with zero soul. Denzel and Crowe were just going through the motions without their regular tenacity. The script seemed to packed, like it was really meant to be two films instead of one.

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  • gorton2

    *cough* Eragon *cough*

  • Josh

    I really don’t get why people love the book Da Vinci Code so much. I’ve read all three of the series and that is BY FAR the worst one.

    Yes, very little to do with this article but it need to be said.

  • Joseph

    Good list. Only disagree about Spiderman 3, which was the only good Spiderman. The first two were dull but the third one, which got all the bad reviews, kept throwing stuff at you, which made it the best of the bunch.

  • Robert Paulson

    I know enough not to bash a film just because I don’t understand it. Especially a film made by one of the greatest directors of all time. Here’s the site of the guy that made the video (Rob Ager):
    http://www.collativelearning.com/FILMS%20reviews%20BY%20ROB%20AGER.html

  • Kaeyne

    Say, Madison, did you expect such a big bash-fest when you wrote the article? I think this may be the most controversial entry in Unreality for quite some time. ;D

  • Madison

    @ Robert Paulson

    I didn’t bash Eyes Wide Shut. Not even close. Unless saying it’s better than 99% of movies today is bashing it.

    Anyway, thanks for the link.

    @ Kaeyne

    I’m really pretty used to it by now. You’re never going to please everyone.

    Still, it amazes me that people think I’m an asshole or douchebag or whatever for really liking movies and writing about them, all while really not knowing the first thing about me.

    This is one article; this entire site is devoted to movies, TV, and video games. We write about this shit because we love it, not to present ourselves as some type of authority. But whatever, like I said, can’t please everyone.

  • Shaya

    I’m gonna have to say you’re wrong on Eyes Wide Shut, it will stand the test of time. I’m interested to know how you would compare it to Barry Lyndon, they are both really really good Kubrick films that involve romance.

  • Madison

    @ Shaya

    Well, it’s not really about being right or wrong – how can I be wrong about being disappointed by a movie? It’s opinion, not fact.

    Anyway, after following some links posted in the comments above, I’m eager to watch Eyes Wide Shut again with a new outlook. Remember, I never said I didn’t like it – I always knew there was something there.

    As for Barry Lyndon, it’s not one of my favorites, and I haven’t seen it in years. I do own it on DVD though, so maybe I’ll give it a whirl again soon.

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  • http://nerdaverse.com theButterFly

    Awww…leave Madison alone folks. Perhaps you misread the title. These were movies that disappointed the author. Quite frankly there isn’t much I can fault on this list. However, I do personally disagree on the most recent Indiana Jones film. I enjoyed this movie a lot. Certainly, it was crazy and over the top, and I am not forgiving it for a few moments. Now, I first off want to take nothing away from the original Indy films. I enjoy them all. For me, when I viewed the Crystal Skull, I felt very enraptured by it’s self awareness, and acknowledgement of it’s pulpy roots. On that level, I think the movie succeeds to be very entertaining. The thing about Crystal Skull that really stuck out in my mind was the sense that we were watching a final cast reunion of the original players and creators of this much beloved franchise. Quite frankly, it looked like they were all having a blast revisiting these roles for what I assume will be the last time for Harrison Ford and perhaps Speilbergh. I felt that Crystal Skull was wonderfully self-referential, and I really enjoyed how aware of the franchise’s history the film was. It really was a good send off to these characters that we’ve lived with for oh so long. I know I am in the minority of this opinion, but I really enjoyed this movie.

    Also, Madison, your assesment of The Watchmen is pretty spot on with my impressions. I saw the film opening night. Enjoyed it, and was impressed with how well it was able to bring such a complex work to the screen. I too was blown away by the opening credits, and visually the movie was big and pretty and looked like Watchmen. It was the best version of the story that I think you could put on the screen. I agree that upon additional viewings, when I was watching with the hopes of being entertained more then evaluating the movie as a presentation of the source material that the movie starts to fall flat, and it becomes very obvious just how darn long the movie is. I have always appreciated The Watchmen as a literary work, but reading it (to me at least) always feels like “homework”, and I struggle to get through it. The film version takes on that same feeling for me after the initial glow faded. Both became something to “get through” as opposed to enjoyable experiences in and of themselves.

    Keep up the great articles Madison, and don’t let the bastards get ya down.

  • Madison

    @ theButterFly

    Thanks, dude.

    That’s a great point about Watchmen – to me, it gets worse with additional viewings, not better. I’m honestly pretty shocked so many people consider it a great movie.

    I wonder how audiences would have responded to Crystal Skull had it been released, say, 10 years ago…

  • J5

    I firmly believe that Eyes Wide Shut paved the way for The Hills’ use of extremem ackward silences to tell a story, which makes me hate it with a passion.

  • http://wf wefr

    “havi9ing said that. I will then talk as much shit as possibly

  • http://cintagambarpanas.blogspot.com/ cintagambarpanas

    I personally like all the Matrix and X-Men movies. However, i do agree that Lady in the water was really bad. Another movie which i consider disapointing was Drag Me to Hell..

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  • http://www.myspace.com/katiegeltz kat

    all i can really say is that going to see “watchmen” on a second date with a dude you’re not really into is a bad idea…. bad bad idea.

  • Symone Marquez

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with Spidey 3 and Wolverine. I found the acting to be superior and the plots and twists relevant to the overall conclusion. Some odd parts sure, but every movie has those, it’s what keeps them interesting; The more predictable, the less exciting.

  • Max

    Symone, how can you say the acting was superior. Franco completely gave up one trying to make Harry Osborne an actual character and instead just over acted everything as if he was turning the role into a joke. Topher Grace was incredibly miscast not only in the physical sense (Brock is supposed to be built) but also in the physiological sense, he a jock asshole not some insecure hippie and Grace doesn’t know how to play that. Dunst as usual can’t play serious so for all the dramatic parts she plays a crying ditz instead of a person. As for Maguire well he just didn’t have that something that made his first two outings so good. As for Wolverine then you must be just yanking on chains. Hugh Jackman was on cruise control, and everyone else treated the material like it was a b movie joke, and hence thats what we got. The only good thing about the movie was Ryan Reynolds who was awesome as Deadpool. As for the action and special effects well lets put it this way; I watched both the workprint and the theatrical versions and I’ll take the workprint version over the theatrical any day. The theatrical edition had such bad special effects and action sequences that it was annoying too watch. At least with the workprint version I could tell myself that they’ll fix it in post, sadly they didn’t.

  • emcoffey3

    Shyamalan’s movies are garbage. Also, I loved Watchmen. Besides that, everything on your list is crap.

    • Madison

      I seem to be in the minority of not liking Watchmen. Ah well. Thanks for reading.

  • Mr. Hazmat

    I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to punch you in the face with extreme force for uttering the statments about Stanley Kubrick being the best director of all time, and being MORE than a genius, and his films having more nuance than any novel, and saying he’s better than anyone working today when people like Joel and Ethan Coen still walk this mortal coil. You sir, FAIL at movie criticism, and I can’t tell you enough how much I hate you.

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