Alas, with every year-end “best of” list comes its evil cousin: the worst of the year. We polled six TOH! staffers and regulars anonymously for their submissions to the 2013 pantheon of the cheap, awful, pretentious and lousy. Surprising picks, which did not make the final ten, included Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” (gasp!), experimental sea doc “Leviathan” (the nerve!), “Spring Breakers” and “To the Wonder” (well, okay, maybe).
Here are the ten worst films of the year that did make the cut — and should have been left on the cutting room floor.
1. “Diana” (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel)
What was once thought to be an Oscar hopeful for long-overdue Aussie actress Watts turned out to be a ghastly film that critics called a “squirmingly embarrassing,” “cheap and chearless effort.” Oy.
2. “Stoker” (dir. Park Chan-wook)
Park’s first foray into American genre films hit all the wrong notes — from its clunky script and slapshod editing to the criminal under-usage of the otherwise unimpeachable Ms. Kidman.
3. “Man of Steel” (dir. Zack Snyder)
The pendulum swang toward too much action as Snyder’s “Man of Steel” tried to compensate for the perceived weaknesses of the Bryan Singer “Superman Returns.”
4. “Oz the Great and Powerful” (dir. Sam Raimi)
The witches wear high heels and leather and fuss over James Franco. Why? That did it for us–although the china girl was fabulous.
5. “After Earth” (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
One of us watched this film silent on a plane and didn’t miss a thing.
6. “Salinger” (dir. Shane Salerno)
From the portentous score to the film’s seeming preference for tabloid fantasy over psychological inquiry, “Salinger” is an unfortunate eulogy for a man who wouldn’t have appreciated the gesture.
7. “The Host” (dir. Andrew Niccol)
After her smash franchise “Twilight,” some folks thought they’d wring another hit out Stephenie Meyer, and failed dismally.
8. “Sal” (dir. James Franco)
Between this embarrassing ode to Sal Mineo’s last days and the Hart Crane pity party “The Broken Tower,” you stop remembering which biopics James Franco has directed, starred in, or if it even matters.
9. “Admission” (dir. Paul Weitz)
A rare misstep for Tina Fey, who did not ring true in this contrived comedy opposite Paul Rudd. Lily Tomlin stole the movie and someone should have saved her.
10. “Pain & Gain” (dir. Michael Bay)
Michael Bay’s idea of tossing off a high-decibel, low-budget passion project– about muscle-bound bumbling idiots. A soulless macho farce as ugly as it is depressing.
Dishonorable mentions: “At Any Price,” “Last Vegas,” “Beautiful Creatures,” and “The Hangover Part III.”