2010 IN REVIEW: Worst of the Year and Special Awards

Since I am not a paid film critic who has a specified schedule of reviews that I must complete, every movie that I saw this year was one that I consciously chose to see. Usually that means that I went into the films with some sort of expectations that I would not be completely wasting my time. However, unfortunately it was frequently the case that my trips to the cinema made me wish I had chosen instead to pick up a book and stay home.

Kicking of the 2010 Year in Review at Film Misery, here are the Worst Films of the Year and the Special Awards.

Worst Films of 2010

5) Valentine’s Day

Not only did this film pack in every star they could afford, but also every bad romantic comedy cliche they could fit. The sloppily thrown together plot structures were laughably bad and they almost made me despise the holiday that I otherwise hold very dear. If I would have gone to this movie on a first date, I would have assumed it was a bad omen for the relationship.

4) The Spy Next Door

Jackie Chan is adorable in The Spy Next Door and that is an adjective that I never want to associate with one of the greatest film martial artists of our time. The film is directed at children and families, but the relationships on the screen are so cold that there is little family bonding to be had.

3) The Wolfman

I actually had moderately high expectations going into this film and they weren’t even close to met. The CGI was choppy and unrealistic, the acting was bad, and the plot line would look something like a drunk person scribbling on a wall. Will somebody give Sir Anthony Hopkins a decent role, for goodness sake?

2) Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

After seeing this film I am certain that the only purpose for its existence is because screenwriters Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich were sitting atop a pile of glorious cat and dog puns that had to be shared with the world and a feature film was the perfect vessel to do so. I can’t wait for the threequel.

1) Jonah Hex

I laughed at myself when I looked back and saw that Jonah Hex was once in my top ten most anticipated films of the summer. There was hardly enough plot in this entire film to make up a movie trailer, let alone a feature film. Megan Fox proves her complete inability to show any type of real emotion and Josh Brolin was cruelly never given a chance.

Most Overrated Film of 2010

The Town

My first impression of Ben Affleck’s The Town was not incredibly negative, but the end of the year praise it has been getting and a second viewing earns it the title of most overrated film of 2010. It’s a film with one or two strong scenes that are assembled together with a lot of mediocre or bad ones. I hate that mainstream films can portray criminals as sympathetic heroes and we are therefore just supposed to ignore when they kill a number of police officers and innocent people in order to achieve their ends. To me, The Town is a huge step backwards for Ben Affleck after his superb Gone, Baby, Gone and I hope that his next film takes a different direction.

Most Underrated Film of 2010

Robin Hood

A lot of critics and online writers were hating on Robin Hood when it was released earlier in the summer, but I thought many of the criticisms were off-base. The film was intentionally slow-paced and more cerebral than similar action movies with more interest in presenting a metaphor for the founding of modern government in Britain than in thrilling audiences. It is definitely a re-watchable film and one of Ridley Scott’s best in the past several years.

Guilty Pleasure


It’s a two-hour dialogue-free film that observes the interactions of four babies with the worlds around them. Essentially it is two-hours of adorable hilarity that I will probably revisit in the future whenever I’m feeling particularly sentimental.

Biggest Surprise

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I knew nothing about this film before it started to get hype at Comic-Con and I did not know what to expect going into the film on opening night. It ended up being one of the most fun experiences I have had in a theatre this year and it was a smart and well-made homage to video games new and old.

Best Year for an Actor/Actress

Andrew Garfield

Never Let Me Go, The Social Network, Announcement of Spider-Man

Worst Year for an Actor/Actress

Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron Man 2, Due Date

Breakthrough Performer of the Year

Hailee Steinfeld

True Grit

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  • Worst Films of the Year (That I Actually Saw):
    5. The Other Guys
    4. The Wolfman
    3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    2. Saw 3D
    1. The Last Airbender

    Most Overrated Film: The Fighter
    Not that’s actually a bad film, but it’s not as great as everybody is pushing it to be.

    Most Underrated Film: Megamind
    It may just be me, but I found this film to be funnier, more emotional, and more entertaining than “How to Train Your Dragon”. It’s probably just me.

    Guilty Pleasure: Let Me In

    Biggest Surprise: Red

    Breakthrough Performer of the Year: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

  • I have not seen any “bad” films this year… yet.

    I will say that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” was highly underrated (at least by many critics). I thought it was the best in the franchise since the third one (and even pretty close to the first two).

    Overrated: maybe “Kick-Ass”? But I thought it was actually rated just about right. That film would also fit into the “guilty pleasure” category.

    Alex, you just gave “Black Swan” a B-. It’s gotten better reviews than “The Town”. How can that not be your “overrated” pick?

  • Most Overrated Film = The King’s Speech and The Kids Are All Right (tie)

  • Ooh, them’s fightin’ words, Davin. You’re not going to like my top ten list.

  • Chris

    Well done. Obviously these lists are all relative to what we’ve seen. Many of us avoided certain movies, for good reason.

    Worst Film of 2010 =

    Most Underrated Film = Winter’s Bone
    I know quite a few disagree, but I thought the film itself (not just Lawrence and Hawkes’ brilliant performances) was fantastic. I am stunned that there isn’t more indy buzz for a KNOCKOUT performance from Dale Dickey. She was fearlessly brilliant.

    Most Overrated Film = Iron Man 2
    It was dreadful. Boring. Dull. Tired. Played out.

    Guilty Pleasure = Tangled
    The wife dragged me into seeing it, and I may have enjoyed it more than her.

    Biggest Surprise = How to Train Your Dragon
    I hate to go animated again, but it was fantastic. Not nearly as formulaic as I expected. Great cast, too. (Unlike Megamind.)

    Best Year for an Actor = Garfield does seem the logical choice.

    Best Year for an Actress = Natalie Portman was UNREAL in Black Swan; however, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone was my top performance.

    On a side note, I really need to see Never Let Me Go.

  • Chris

    Left worst film off of my list. Maybe it’s a good thing that I couldn’t immediately think of one.

    I suppose Clash of the Titans takes my award. What a boring mess. I’m embarassed I saw it, honestly.

    On a side note, my scene stealer was definitely in Toy Story 3. The scene in which they basically accept their death, hold tight, and embrace the moment.

    Coming out of an animated film, Pixar or not. That was On the Waterfront-type emotion. Unreal.

  • I’ve only seen 3 films this year that I would consider bad:
    1. The Tooth Fairy
    2. The Spy Next Door
    3. You Again

    What?!?!? “The Town”?!? Not overrated at all! I love “The Town”. For me most overrated would be…probably “Secretariat”. Which actually isn’t overrated really, I just haven’t seen any movie this year that are really overrated.

    Most Underrated would probably be Megamind. Not as good as Toy Story 3, of course, and not even as good as Despicable Me, but I thought it was a lot funnier than most family movies lately, and very entertaining, like Duncan said.

    Guilty Pleasure is maybe Easy A. I loved that film though, so I don’t know if its a GUILTY pleasure, though.

    Biggest Surprise I guess is also Scott Pilgrim. I was expecting it to good, but not as good as it was.

    Best Year for an Actor or Actress:
    Leonardo Dicaprio – Incpetion, Shutter Island

    Worst Year for an Actor or Actress
    Johnney Depp – Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist

    Breakthrough Performer of the Year
    Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
    RUNNER UP: Emma Stone for “Easy A”

  • Jose

    Most overrated Films
    1) The Town
    3)The Kids Are All Right
    4) The Ghost Writer
    5)The Fighter

  • a Jose and Duncan – Why did you think “The Fighter” was overrated?

  • Anessa

    I agree on The Fighter being overrated, I mean it was really well acted and had a great atmosphere throughout the entire movie, but that can only get me liking a movie so much. I for one don’t feel it’s a really re-watchable movie(which is something I consider greatly when determining likability) So yah, I do think it deserves most of the acting noms its receiving, but in the end it’s nothing really groundbreaking.

    But Jose, The Ghost Writer as overrated? If anything it’s not getting the attention is deserves!

    Also Scott Pilgrim wasn’t a surprise for me, mainly because I’m a fan of Edgar Wright and followed it closely since I love video games and the comics.

    Tron: Legacy is my definite guilty pleasure. Watched the original long ago, I love Daft Punk, and most importantly Michael Sheen.

  • Jose

    Quinn, the film was just nothing special for me, I felt that it was the same as every other bland inspirational sports film but Walhberg and Bale are the highlights of the film. And I’m probably alone in thinking that Leo and Adams do not deserve the accolades that they’re both receiving though.

    The Ghost Writer, well when it was released in the spring it did have its fair share of attention, but for me its on my list because I felt that there was no real payoff, and the film is

  • Jose

    well respected for some reason.

  • @Quinn – I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy the film, because I did. It’s just that I enjoyed it in the way so many people enjoyed “The Blind Side” last year. The performances from Bale, Adams, and maybe Leo are the main attraction, but it’s not a truly gripping or memorable film, and in a field of five it wouldn’t even be in the conversation. It just didn’t manage to go that extra mile.

  • Also, even though it isn’t my favorite breakthrough performance of the year, I was extremely impressed with Kieran Culkin’s performance in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”.

  • Brandon Cooley

    Just saw The Kids Are All Right. Great movie. I’ll have a hard time choosing between it and The Social Network for my favorite of the year. Sadly it won’t succeed much at the Oscars because unfortunately the academy probably isn’t open-minded enough to give an independent movie like that a chance.

  • Andrew R.

    BOTTOM 4:
    4. Remember Me (worst ending ever)
    3. Cats vs Dogs (uuuuuuggggghhhh)
    2. Last Airbender (what a disappointment when you consider the cartoon. Not disappointing when you consider M Night’s career)
    1. Eclipse (for the third time, a Twilight movie makes my Worst Movies List. New Moon was #1 too, and Twilight wasn’t #1 but I forget what it was. Sadly, Eclipse is better than Twilight)

    MOST OVERRATED: Get Him to the Greek (The Town!? WHAT?)
    RUNNER UP: The Fighter-it wasn’t #1 because Bale, Leo, and Adams will have earned their awards. But the rest of the movie? Just OK.

    MOST UNDERRATED: Girl Who Played With Fire and Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (tie). Both are very good, though not as good as the original film.


    BIGGEST SUPRISE: The Town, because when I saw the ugly nun masks I thought, “There goes Affleck’s directing career.”

    BEST YEAR FOR AN ACTOR: I agree, Garfield

    WORST YEAR FOR AN ACTOR: Pattinson. He may have made millions off of Remember Me and Eclipse, but sadly he has no talent. Johnny Depp also had a bad year.

    BREAKTHROUGH ROLE: Hailee Steinfeld by far.

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