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‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Die Hard’ Top The A.V. Club’s Worst Films of 2013

'Man of Steel,' 'Die Hard' Top The A.V. Club's Worst Films of 2013

If Top 10 lists are aspirational — not least because a good portions of the movies on them have yet to open — worst-of lists are cathartic, a way to retrieve something from the wreckage of time wasted and expectations dashed. The A.V. Club’s “Worst Films of 2013” favors the time-wasters, little-known (and less-loved) movies that for the most part barely made a dent in our collective consciousness. (Disclosure: I contributed to some of The A.V. Club’s year-end features, although not this one.) Remember Dario Argento’s Dracula or Dealin’ With Idiots? Didn’t think so.

That said, in at Number Four is a choice that’s bound to generate plenty of controversy — sorry, I mean “polite discussion in the comments section” — Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. “With this single movie,”Scott MacDonald writes, “the trend toward ‘serious’ superhero stories officially achieves entropy.” The overall winner? A Good Day to Die Hard, which even devout John McClane aficionados acknowledged was one yippee-ki-yay too far. 

The A.V. Club’s Worst Films of 2013

1. A Good Day to Die Hard

2. Dealin’ With Idiots. “The out-of-nowhere finale concludes with Garlin and the cast dancing in a circle around the camera, perhaps as part of some ritual to ask for the viewers’ forgiveness.”

3. And While We Were Here

4. Man of Steel

5. A Haunted House. “Working in the contemplative tradition of contemporary art cinema, Marlon Wayans and director Michael Tiddes fill A Haunted House with long stretches of inactivity and visual empty space, affording viewers ample time to think about all of the terrible decisions the’’ve made in their lives — like, say, watching A Haunted House.”

6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

7. Austenland. “This Sundance-approved rom-com seems less informed by the best of English literature than the worst of Saturday Night Live.”

8. Gangster Squad

9. The Big Wedding

10. Dario Argento’s Dracula

11. Wrong

12. Battle of the Year. “It’s probably a bad sign when a large chunk of a movie consists of the characters watching a different, better film about the exact same subject.”

13. Planes

14. Hatchet III

15. Girl Most Likely

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I would move a couple around, but that list matches pretty closely with my own. I think Man of Steel has enough positive qualities to get it off the list, although the SCRIPT is certainly bad enough to be worthy. And while the only thing "true" about Gangster Squad is that there really was a guy named Mickey Cohen, the look of the film and Sean Penn's performance argue in it's favour (Plus Frank Darabont's similar TV series about the same subject matter is SO MUCH WORSE). And I would probably move Plane's closer to the top, since it was also my most disappointing movie of the year. I know Cars was an animated remake of Doc Hollywood, but it was still a really entertaining film. Then Cars 2 came out. At least, I thought, Planes couldn't be any worse than THAT. Boy was I mistaken. Even my KIDS didn't like it and they've sat through multiple viewings of Doogal!


"Hmmm, if I put a good and popular movie up here, I'll generate views. BRILLIANT!"

Unfortunately it works. Well played, but it doesn't make Man of Steel bad, sorry.


For your consideration: Jack the Giant Slayer, The Host, The Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, The Getaway, The Counselor, 47 Ronin, RIPD…


Man of Steel was AWESOME!


As of this writing, "Austenland" is the only one on the list that I have seen. Given the large number of Sundance submissions, I'm still baffled that this film made the coveted "Sweet 16" of the dramatic competition. Perhaps it was the film's "Napoleon Dynamite" pedigree.

Jonathan Dresner

Apparently this list was compiled before anyone screened Keanu Reeves' "47 Ronin."


Snyder directing Superman is like Frank Miller directing The Spirit: a Christian NeoConservative adapting the work of Jewish humanists — OF COURSE it's going to turn out bad, because the former ideology can't help but despise (consciously or subconsciously) the latter.


Man of steel are you kidding me
That was easily one of the ten best of the year
Half a Terrence mallick film and half seeing what we've wanted to see coming out of comics for years
I hated sucker punch but this and watchmen are two of the best comic book adaptations I've ever seen

Henry Whistler

Agreed, putting Man of Steel here was click bait bullshit. I find the movie only improves upon subsequent viewings, and has an emotional richness and authenticity that only enhances the action. It's rather ironic that critics rated Superman Returns more highly, because that was a completely atrocious film with possibly one of the worst plots in all of cinema. Straight to DVD titles have more sensical plots. Everything people hated about that movie, which did NOT age well, was fixed for Man of Steel. Yet MoS is constantly exorciated for giving us the sorely needed action that SR did not.

I mean, okay, fair enough, you weren't blown away by the movie. But worst of the year? That's just someone trying to be a contrarian asshole.


This list is drivel. It's the only list in existence where MoS deserves to be at no. 1


I'd probably put MOS in my worst of year list. Appreciated more on a second viewing, but its still very noisy, inconsistent, over serious cgi heavy guff.

Sonny Crockett

"Seventy-five percent haircut and twenty-five percent lilting lament."
That was the NY Times review of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Point is, Man Of Steel was a terrific film and will stand the test of time.
Who cares what the av club says…
Who are they anyway?


Man of Steel was by far the best movie in a very long time – not just 2013. This article is baseless and false. According to IMDB users, Man of Steel is the best film by far this year.


OH come on…Man of Steel was the only enjoyable comic book movie this year.It really stuns me to see how the only CBM this year that actually had some great themes behind it is being judged so hard while Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 ,two movies that had no message at all and all they did is throw jokes for 10 year olds all the time,get a free pass.And no it's notDC vs Marvel…but Marvel was over the top this year with the whole "humor" thing.They movies seem like they were made ONLY for kids.


Man of Steel is a bait for us to come here. No Grown Ups? Come on! No one makes worst films than Adam Sandler.


Wow seriously? Whoever wrote this stupid list is a phsyco. Man of Steel was a great film, deffinitly not one of the worst of 2013. Im speechless, this is the most insane thing ive read on the internet in a while.


I wasnt a fan of man of steel, it belongs up there.


Man of steel is in this list just for reason to get some clicks. I ask to the genius that made this list if he or she saw. The hangover 3, After earth, grows up 2, white house down, the purge, R.I.D.P, gateway, paranoia and many more. i don't get, why is the hate to Man of steel.


I actually agree with having "Man Of Steel" here. BUT…do we really need a worst films list? And if so (though I don't see why) couldn't they keep it limited to large studio films and not pick on smaller fare, like, say, they perfectly fine "Austenland".
All this said, where is "The Hangover 3"?


They debidelatery put Man of steel in this list to get some clicks. I do not understand the evil of some blogs and bloggers. How can be some people so losers.


The rest of the world didn't knew who A.V. Club's was until they put Man of Steel has one of the worst movies of the year.


I know everybody's worst of the year lists are going to be different and everyone has a right to their opinion, but if you genuinely think 'Man of steel' 'A good day to die hard' and 'Gangster Squad' were worse films than 'Movie 43' 'Scary Movie 5' and 'Inappropriate Comedy' then how could I possibly take your list seriously?

And if you're going to tell me that you didn't watch those 3 films, then I would say that you should make an attempt to watch some of the worst films of the year if you're going to make a list of them.


Disagree with Man of Steel, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Doesn't deserve to be on this list.

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