Hey look, they can't all be gems, right? While there were plenty of legitimately great movies that emerged in 2015 there were just as many which made me want to retire early. This is when the job isn't quite so much fun. I can't simply forget that a movie like Hot Tub Time Machine 2 exists (why does it, anyway?), it has to be written about and considered. Ugh. But it's only fair that if we're going to tell you what the best of the year was, we kind of have to do the same with what sucked.
So check out my list below, heed my warnings, and be sure to follow all of our "End of 2015" coverage here!
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence do their best to make you forget all the good shit they've done together with this comical misfire, which had the stench of failure over it for months. Directed by the normally reliable Susanna Bier, this Depression-era drama about a timber magnate and his maniacal wife has the appeal of old driftwood and is twice as dry. You know it's terrible when a Cooper/Lawrence collaboration can't get into theaters. Good thing they bounced back with Joy.
Juno Temple and Quicksilver go on a coastal road trip to look at lighthouses. It's as exciting as it sounds.
I had the misfortune of sitting through this turgid, genuinely baffling "thriller" at about 1am, thinking Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Vincent Cassel would keep me awake. Wrong. I'm pretty sure this was about a serial killer in Stalin's government, but I was too bored to be absolutely certain.
The first of two skid marks left by Taylor Lautner on this list, Tracers is an action relic about parkour, which was really popular for about five minutes a decade ago. Then again, Lautner was really popular about a decade ago. Shit, they should have promoted this as a period piece!
6. 5 Flights Up
The most low-stakes comedy...maybe ever, Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton haggle over the resale value of their Manhattan apartment while there's a traffic jam outside. That's about it.
5. The Cobbler
Adam Sandler literally walks around in other people's shoes in the worst fantasy/comedy about gentrification ever. It took me four attempts to finally be able to finish The Cobbler, and only was able to do it because Melonie Diaz showed up every once in a while, which just made me sad for her. And the craziest thing is this comes from director Tom McCarthy, who later in the year would be on the other end of the quality spectrum with Spotlight, which may win Best Picture.
Stanley Milgrom's shock therapy "obedience experiments" of 1961 are incredibly interesting and say a lot about our need to appease authority figures. Too bad Stanley Milgrom is boring as stale toast, and Experimenter focuses on him rather than the important discoveries he made.
Only one film can lay claim to setting an entire movement back decades, and not surprisingly it's Roland Emmerich's Stonewall, which blows up a seminal event in gay rights like aliens blowing up the White House.
2. Rock the Kasbah
We all love Bill Murray, but there's no love for Rock the Kasbah, an unfunny, miscalculated comedy in which he plays a rock manager trapped in Afghanistan. The shortcuts come fast and furious as we're introduced to one terrible American character after another, with Murray the most aggravating of them all. The film is dedicated to a woman who bucked societal norms and sang on national television, but I'm guessing she'd rather not have her story associated with this piece of crap.
1. The Ridiculous 6
I only just reviewed this a couple of days ago but it has been stewing in my brain for weeks. Embarrassing even by Adam Sandler standards (and somehow worse than The Cobbler), it somehow managed to offend even its own cast who walked out in droves rather than be part of the debacle. But the jokes about Native Americans are just a small part of this totally laugh-free experience which shits on the entire Western genre like an incontinent donkey....which happens to be the film's one recurring gag. Netflix, who signed Sandler to an exclusive deal, have taken to hiding The Ridiculous 6 from their main page out of total embarrassment. $60M down the drain, or up a donkey's ass.
Other films worth avoiding: Obviously Fantastic Four is the "Negative Zone" of superhero movies; Monsters: Dark Continent is a dopey sequel to Gareth Edwards' breakout film; Ryan Gosling's unfathomable directorial debut, Lost River; Hot Tub Time Machine 2 should've stayed unplugged; Cameron Crowe's Aloha still doesn't make sense to me; Jared Hess' blasphemously unfunny Don Verdean actually makes Napoleon Dynamite seem not so bad; Jem and the Holograms is truly outrageous for all the wrong reasons.