My picks for the 10 WORST films of the year

Posted by · 1:55 pm · December 30th, 2008

Emile Hirsch in Speed RacerAs always, this list was no trouble to write.  There is always an abundance of bad films in a given year.  I tend to go for the films that should have been stronger, that had a good director or fine actors, but still came out smelling like sewage.  There’s no excuse for that.

1. “88 MINUTES”
It only felt like 88 weeks.

2. “10,000 BC”
What really needs to be said?

And again…is there anything I can say?

Shyamalan continues to disappoint.

Great looking girls with money bitching about their poor lives…awwww.

Spike Lee’s war epic, horribly acted by a central character with an annoying child…stupid and boring. Worse, Lee’s own racism was never more evident.

Just bloody awful.

More from Eddie Murphy as his career spins round and round the toilet bowl.


Cage can act…so why doesn’t he??

(Check out my list of the year’s best here.)

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44 responses so far

  • 1 12-30-2008 at 2:12 pm

    McGuff said...

    Proud to say that I avoided every single one of those movies. And the nice thing about this time of year is that with so many good movies left to be seen, I am hoping I don’t have another bad movie left in 2008. I always separate my list into tiers, and there’s only 5 movies on there right now that are under “AVOID AT ALL COSTS”, aka, don’t ever see:

    41. “21” – Mailed-in performances from Kevin Spacey and Lawrence Fishburne, a poorly designed romance, an adaptation that doesn’t do its source material justice, and a subject that isn’t cinematic.

    42. “Seven Pounds” – The idea that Will Smith’s likability is made of Teflon is tested here, as Ben Thomas sets out on a horrid journey that takes us to horrible places. Written terribly, directed terribly.

    43. “Leatherheads” – John Krasinski is in way over his head here, and George Clooney just can’t stop the silliness. This is a practice in it, but never works. If it’s not funny, then what is it?

    44. “Indiana Jones…” – I stopped taking it serious when the monkeys came in. And waiting that long was difficult.

    45. “Smart People” – A disaster. Not a single character that is even remotely nice to follow, with a script that tries to be infinitely more witty and high-brow than it really is. An insult to its audience.

  • 2 12-30-2008 at 2:37 pm

    D said...


    I’m surprised “The Spirit” did not make your list. It’s apparently one of the worst comic book movies ever made and one of the worst of this year overall.

  • 3 12-30-2008 at 3:03 pm

    Patrick said...

    Kris knocks it out of the park here. The only addition I would make is “Vantage Point.” That cast should have smelled that piece of crap.

  • 4 12-30-2008 at 3:10 pm

    JAB said...

    the only film on this list that i saw was sex and the city, which I thought was okay, for what it was. I have to say, Indiana Jones was the worst movie i saw this year. Closely followed by Stop Loss.

  • 5 12-30-2008 at 3:33 pm

    The InSneider said...

    I’m with JAB. Sex and the City was, in my humble opinion, pretty damn good but I was a big fan of the show. Meanwhile, Stop Loss was awful. How Peirce took 9 years after Boys Don’t Cry to make that hunk of shit is completely beyond me. Didn’t bother seeing Indy, probably the most overrated franchise since Star Wars.

  • 6 12-30-2008 at 4:25 pm

    Josh said...

    I avoided all but two of those: Speed Racer, which I’ve seen on almost all the worst-of lists, and Sex and the City. Kudos to you, Kris, for sitting through it and properly acknowledging its awful status. I could not stand this movie, but you’re dead-on. In fact, if you’d fit Mamma Mia on the list as well, it’d be perfect.

    Finally, I missed Stop-Loss…it’s really that bad? I’d wanted to check it out in theaters, but now I don’t know if I should delete it from my Netflix queue.

  • 7 12-30-2008 at 4:39 pm

    John Foote said...

    For the record, this is my list — check the link going directly to my best — this is John’s ten worst list.

  • 8 12-30-2008 at 4:51 pm

    Casey F. said...

    i cant believe you actually saw the love guru… are you okay?

  • 9 12-30-2008 at 5:00 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    I fucking love Speed Racer, and I don’t care.

  • 10 12-30-2008 at 5:02 pm

    dan said...

    Some of the worst films of the year:

    Step Brothers
    Speed Racer
    Mamma Mia
    Indiana Jones 4

  • 11 12-30-2008 at 5:16 pm

    Davidraider88 said...

    that little kid in Speed Racer was extremely annyoing.

    My pick for the worst film of the year? An American Carol

  • 12 12-30-2008 at 5:29 pm

    Bryan C. said...

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned Hancock, yet. Wasn’t this movie supposed to be funny? I didn’t laugh even once and this entire “head up your ass” thing was pretty annoying (like it wasn’t enough to talk about it all the time, but then he actually did it and that was just so embarrassing and so not funny). I wasted two hours of my life that I won’t get back on this witless piece of crap!

  • 13 12-30-2008 at 5:49 pm

    BOJoe said...

    The top four are indeed about as bad as it gets. “Sex and the City” I didn’t find to be god-awful, just awful.

  • 14 12-30-2008 at 5:57 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    I agree with BOJoe: “Sex and the City” was bad but not insufferable. Might I suggest “Australia” instead? That was actually painful to sit through.

  • 15 12-30-2008 at 6:06 pm

    Patrick F. said...

    Bedtime Stories
    Indiana Jones.
    Stop Loss.

    I hated hated hated hated hated hated hated Stop Loss.

  • 16 12-30-2008 at 6:12 pm

    michael mckay said...

    Mama Mia was just grating…

  • 17 12-30-2008 at 6:19 pm

    David R. said...

    Mama Mia was just god awful

  • 18 12-30-2008 at 6:28 pm

    Mr. F said...

    From that list I’ve only seen The Happening, Sex and the City, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Speed Racer. The Happening is my guilty pleasure of the year; “Sex and the City” and “The Other Boleyn Girl” are also in my list of the ten worst; but “Speed Racer” is in my top 10 of the year. To each his own I guess.

  • 19 12-30-2008 at 6:34 pm

    Simone said...

    OMG, I watched 88 minutes just the other day and I wanted to slap myself for renting it.

    The Happening wasn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. And the Other Boeyln Girl was pretty good – like a medieval Days of Our Lives.

  • 20 12-30-2008 at 6:55 pm

    Mark G said...

    I, as well as my brother and friends, have love in my heart for Speed Racer. The people that bash it should perhaps WATCH it.


  • 21 12-30-2008 at 7:01 pm

    Adam G. said...

    I feel ya, Brian- Speed Racer was incredible. I love that movie, and I don’t care who knows it.

    Worst movies I saw this year:
    – Seven Pounds
    – The Crappening
    – The Mummy 3: Here we go again… again
    – Indiana Jones 4 and the Kingdom of the Swinging Shia
    – Wanted
    – Pineapple Express
    – The Day the Earth Stood Still

  • 22 12-30-2008 at 7:39 pm

    evan said...

    I’ve been able to avoid most of those, but I was dragged to The Spirit and it’s definitely my worst of the year, along with The Day the Earth Stood Still.

  • 23 12-30-2008 at 7:43 pm

    Zan said...

    My worst:

    1. Get Smart
    2. The Strangers
    3. Valkyrie
    4. Hancock
    5. The Happening
    6. Speed Racer
    7. Indiana Jones 4
    8. Cloverfield
    9. Step Brothers
    10. Tropic Thunder

  • 24 12-30-2008 at 8:58 pm

    Josh said...

    Oh, I’d almost forgotten about The Mummy 3. Goodness, that was awful. On Speed Racer, I can’t say I found it that bad, I just found it incredibly pointless. And long. And dreary. And too candy-colored. And badly….OK, it was that bad.

  • 25 12-30-2008 at 9:09 pm

    Patrick said...

    Hamlet 2 was a mess.

  • 26 12-30-2008 at 9:36 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    FYI, screw up on my part…this is JOHN’S worst list.

  • 27 12-30-2008 at 9:38 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    My five worst, you might recall from my article, are The Day the Earth Stood Still, Speed Racer, Mummy 3, Doomsday and The Happening.

    (Sorry John)

  • 28 12-30-2008 at 9:51 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Is Stop-Loss really that terrible? What was I watching? I thought it was decent, and still by default one of the better Iraq movies.

  • 29 12-30-2008 at 10:11 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    Some people have said it before, but thank you John for having the balls to not only notice, but also point out Spike Lee’s hypocrisy. For the record, I certainly think he’s a good director, although a little over-rated. But his constant and near endless issues with race, especially in the media, outside of his movies, gets to be anoying, almost Terrel Owens like. Like the saying goes, race isn’t an issue unless you bring it up. Spike, it’s fine if you want to make films portraying black people, but blaming others for a lack of black people is stupid. Spike always points out racism in the world, yet strangely, you could soundly argue that Spike is the most racist person in Hollywood, in that he hardly ever portrays non-blacks. I personally don’t believe that the situation is this extreme, but I do think there are some racist bones in Spike. I almost thought I was alone John, so again thanks for pointing this out.

  • 30 12-30-2008 at 10:18 pm

    Zan said...

    I don’t mind films having racial undertones and whatnot, but Edward Norton’s randomly inserted racial rant in 25th Hour, an otherwise fine film, was pointless and cringe worthy.

  • 31 12-30-2008 at 11:44 pm

    Zach Heltzel said...

    Speed Racer was a much better film than some of your best listers, namely Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Changeling, and The Dark Knight. Your blistering commentary (“???”) just hammers that in there don’t it.

  • 32 12-31-2008 at 12:01 am

    JAB said...

    yes, Stop Loss was that bad.

  • 33 12-31-2008 at 12:15 am

    Tivius said...

    Speed Racer belongs on the BEST OF list. Sorry chap; you called that one wrong.

  • 34 12-31-2008 at 1:36 am

    Scott Ward said...

    Opinions are opinions, but I think we all need to pray to everything holy that Zach H. is being sarcastic.

  • 35 12-31-2008 at 5:23 am

    John Foote said...

    Kris — no worries — you da boss…honest error —

  • 36 12-31-2008 at 7:36 am

    Kokushi said...

    Speed Racer wasnt that bad (the little brother was horrible and the CGI was sometimes too much) btu i liked.

    Worst of 2008:

    The Happening
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
    One Missed Call
    The Eye

  • 37 12-31-2008 at 7:39 am

    dan said...

    Just saw this here:

    Pete Hammond talked to some veteran AMPAS member and he is how this guy filled out his ballot for Best Picture: Get ready to puke

    1. The Reader (??????)
    2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    3. Slumdog Millionaire
    4. Frost/Nixon
    5. Defiance (WTF)

    I certainly hope other AMPAS members aren’t voting like this.
    Guess no love for Milk or TDK

  • 38 12-31-2008 at 8:19 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Zan you’re talking about one of the greatest moments in Edward Norton’s career, in a film that is more than fine, and will in fact one day be regarded as the definitive 9/11 reaction in cinema.

  • 39 12-31-2008 at 2:09 pm

    Chad said...

    I’m sure the real worst movie of 2008 escaped my eyes but of everything I’ve seen, nothing comes close to matching the all around failure of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Terrible enough to single-handedly change my opinion of Steven Spielberg

  • 40 12-31-2008 at 6:33 pm

    Henry said...

    Did you actually see Sex and the City or did you just hate the idea? The objection you raise seems to be with the premise that professionally succesful women could have anything to complain about. If you thought the writing was poor, fine, but if you’re just pissed about the economy please try to seperate your movie reviews from your jealousy. If you think that anyone who has a succesful career and earns a good income should be happy and shut up and never want for anything then you put a much bigger emphasis on material things than most people who have them. I’d like to think most of us are mature enough to realize that everyone from the street sweeper to the president has reasons for unhappiness. People who aren’t capable of that kind of human insight and understanding have a real obstacle to fitting in at work places where many groups of people interact. Since you’re not, I have to assume there’s no way in hell you’d buy a ten dollar ticket to sit through two and a half hours of rich girls with rich clothes whining about their problems, boo hoo, and it’s therefore very unlikely you’ve actually seen the movie you’re whining about. Next time why don’t you stick to trashing movies you have seen?

  • 41 12-31-2008 at 11:13 pm

    Glenn said...

    I was going to bring up the same thing as Henry. I don’t quite understand people harping on about the “superficiality” of Sex and the City because if they had money themselves they too would be spending it, but they don’t and they’re not. If you’re so upset over the CHARACTERS of this movie spending money on clothes, why not get upset over the tens of millions of dollars being spent on 4.5hr movies that will gross less than $5mil. WHAT A WASTE!!! ugh. Sex and the City, for all it’s faults, is a fantasy, it’s not pretending to be the “Frozen River” of NY cosmopolitan life. And, sure, their problems may pale in comparison to those in the real world or “worthier” films released this year, but, essentially, you’re saying that relationship dramas are not worth getting worked up over and aren’t worthy of cinematic treatment, and if that is indeed the case then there’s something very wrong with you.

    Dislike it for bad writing, bad acting, bad clothes, bad direction, etc, but don’t hate it purely because it deals with attractive people and their love lives as opposed to such great socially important things like death, war and violence. “Sex and the City” wasn’t trying to be “The Dark Knight” or “Che” or whatever Clint Eastwood threw onto the screen to instant cries of “MASTERPIECE!”

  • 42 1-01-2009 at 2:27 pm

    Patrick F said...

    Stop Loss astonished me because it had the best first 20 minutes of any film this year and ended up being just a horrendous film. It had no idea what it wanted to be about and somehow thought that everybody who goes to war suddenly goes apeshit the minute they get back to the US.

  • 43 9-10-2009 at 7:13 pm

    Alice Keymer said...


  • 44 8-23-2010 at 8:35 pm

    MovieMan said...

    Yes, I’m aware of how late this comment is, John (if you’re still floating around here commenting), but here’s my list of the worst from ’08, as well as comments on your inclusions. :)

    1. “Disaster Movie”
    2. “Meet the Spartans”
    3. “An American Carol”
    4. “The Forbidden Kingdom”
    5. “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale”
    6. “The Spirit”
    7. “Righteous Kill”
    8. “Semi-Pro”
    9. “Diary of the Dead”
    10. “Space Chimps”

    Of yours, here’s what I think, movie by movie:

    “88 Minutes”: For me, it was mediocre rather than awful, and at least holds the distinction of being miles better than the other collaboration between Jon Avnet and Al Pacino, “Righteous Kill.”

    “10,000 B.C.”: Pretty much a terrible, terrible movie that just escaped my worst list. Roland Emmerich has only done one worse film in “Godzilla,” but still…this was a loony misfire.

    “The Love Guru”: Far from offensively bad, in my opinion, but certainly meaningless trifle at the end of the day that has little reason to exist at all. But at least Mike Myers was at the top of his game.

    “The Happening”: I kind of loved this movie for 45 minutes, but the remaining minutes are downright maddening in the choices made and the execution given. Ultimately a cop out, but not the worst thing in the world.

    “Sex and the City”: As a big, big fan of the show, this was a great disappointment that felt like a marathon of a seventh season that never should’ve been made. But taking everything into consideration, it’s not a bad movie.

    “Miracle at St. Anna”: I did not see this film, so no comment.

    “The Other Boleyn Girl”: Not Oscar-worthy or anything, but I actually kind of liked it. Natalie Portman deserved an Oscar nomination, and the whole thing was sumptuously entertaining even when flawed.

    “Meet Dave”: This is the case of a film being miles better than its trailer, and I ultimately fell for its charms. It’s one that I would’ve worn out on videotape as a young boy, and I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    “Speed Racer”: Pretty much the most underrated gem from summer 2008, and a film I’ve watched a good many times. Phantasmagorically entertaining but not without some surprising emotional pull.

    “Bangkok Dangerous”: At least gets some points for its gritty-yet-sumptuous cinematography, but overall a rather terrible film, I think. Nicolas Cage has since made better decisions, but this was the end of a bad era for him.