Shawn Kotzen’s Bottom Ten Movies of 2013 (or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Sit Through These Bombs)

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The (all-star?) cast of "The Big Wedding"

Words can’t describe how horrid this film is… but I wrote about it anyway!

(Throughout this week, our critics are sharing their thoughts on the movie year. Here’s Shawn Kotzen with his worst films of the year:)

Now, I’m not saying I saw EVERY film that came out in 2013, but I did see a fair number of them and I must make a confession… it was much easier to find ten films that I absolutely hated more than it was to find ten that I loved.

That being said, these are the “Ten Absolute Worst Pieces of Cinematic Trash I Watched in 2013.”

Or to put it another way…


We’ll start with the tenth worst movie and go up (or should I say down) from there.

10. “The Last Stand”



Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville in "The Last Stand"

Arnie’s back (yay!) in “The Last Stand”

This was supposed to be Arnie’s big comeback movie. You know, his return from governing Cah-lee-for-nya for all those years. Well, I’m here to tell you that after watching this movie about a small town, desert sheriff (Schwarzenegger) who foils a bad guy escaping across the border, it’s like he never left. And that’s not a complement, either.

9. The Lords of Salem

Sheri Moon Zombie (aka: Rob's wife) in "Lords of Salem"

Worst prisoner costume ever!!!

As we wait with curious anticipation for rocker-turned-auteur Rob Zombie (“The Devil’s Rejects,” “Halloween”) to tackle his upcoming biopic regarding the Stanley Cup-winning Philadelphia Flyers hockey teams from the 1970s (aka: my beloved hometown Broad Street Bullies), we had to let him to get one more horror film out of his system. I’m just sayin’… I wish he would’ve stopped at “Halloween 2.”

8. “Safe Haven”

Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in "Safe Haven"

Maybe if we bury the only print in the sand nobody will ever see this film. Whaddya mean by “digital copy”?

Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel star in this typical Hollywood schlockfest about two lost souls who find each other in a small out-of-the-way fisherman’s village. She’s running away from an abusive relationship. He’s getting over the death of his wife. I’m still recovering from sitting through 90-minutes only to experience one of the CHEESIEST endings I’ve ever seen on film.

7. “Runner Runner”

Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck in "Runner Runner"

Don’t worry,Justin. They won’t dare pan this movie. I made “Argo,” dammit!

You’d figure that a post-“Argo” Ben Affleck and a pre-“Inside Llewyn Davis” Justin Timberlake would make this movie worth watching simply through osmosis. Well, you’d be wrong. Loosely based on a true story about some rich kid (Timberlake), that gets swindled on an internet gambling site, who proceeds to break-up some rich dude’s (Affleck) Ponzi scheme. Slow-moving, pointless and a criminal waste of talent.

6. “Grown Ups 2″

Spade, Sandler, James and Rock in "Grown Ups 2"

Sometimes an actor’s career is like a roller coaster… it all hits bottom eventually. Oh, it’s TOO easy.

You know a movie is bad when the main character has a deer urinate in his face and the audience cheers for the deer. Starring a washed-up group of comic actors (Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade, while Rob Schneider was too busy to reprise his role from the first film — that is not a typo), who I can’t help but think are trying desperately to hold on to their careers from the 1990’s. Give it up guys, before it gets any worse than this.

5. “R.I.P.D.”

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in "R.I.P.D."

Worst movie of 2013, huh? We’ll give you the count of 3 to take it back. 1…. 2….

Severely ripping-off the “Men in Black” concept, this film features Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges (who simultaneously channels both The Dude and the Sam Elliott cowboy-drifter character from “The Big Lebowski”) as otherworldly police officers from the “Rest in Peace Department” who chase after Kevin Bacon and a bunch of shockingly bad computer-generated demons/ghosts. Based on a comic book that should’ve remained on the page, I’m seriously embarrassed for Bridges and Bacon. I would think that Reynolds is used to this kind of failure by now.

4. “Dead Man Down”

Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace in "Dead Man Down"

This is what happens after you make a movie like this: no more limousines and stretch Hummers. It’s the subway for you.

They should’ve called this “Dead Movie Down.” Colin Farrell continues his downward spiral into acting obscurity, while Noomi Rapace severely slows HER momentum after parts in moneymakers “Sherlock Holmes 2″ and “Prometheus.” Rapace reunites with Danish director Niels Arden Oplev (after they collaborated on the original “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy) with not-so-fabulous results. This tepid thriller  also underutilizes the talents of Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper in the acting department.

3. “Homefront”

James Franco and Jason Statham in "Homefront"

Let’s have a staring contest. 1, 2, 3, GO!

You know your film doesn’t have a chance when the words “Written by Sylvester Stallone” flash across the screen during the opening credits.

Originally set to be another entry in the saga of John Rambo, it was repackaged into a vehicle for British karate-chop king Jason Statham instead. Another indication that your film will flop: James Franco is your villain. While I didn’t see “Spring Breakers,” I also DIDN’T SEE IT on any critic’s “Top Ten Films of 2013″ lists either. So, I’m putting two and two together and figuring out that if Franco is the bad guy in your film… recast it.

Like I stated before in my review, I’d LOVE to see Franco’s “Homefront” character, Gator Bodine, engaged in a man-to-man conversation on Skype with Alien, his “Spring Breakers” role. It would be epic.

2. “The Getaway”

Selena Gomez, Ethan Hawke and Jon Voigt's voice (not pictured) in "The Getaway"

You better get used to this P.O.V., cuz this is all you’re gettin’ in this flick.

Screeching tires.

Blistering explosions.

The rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns.

Ethan Hawke.

Which one of these things DOESN’T belong?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s the one that co-starred in this film, “The Purge” AND “Before Midnight”… ALL IN THE SAME YEAR — two of the worst films of 2013 (“The Purge” would’ve checked in at number 11 on this list, if my this list had 11 entries, that is) and one of the best (I still have yet to see it, but I’m just going by the critical trends). Like I asked in an earlier review, will the real Ethan Hawke please stand up?

However, he can’t stand up while he’s in this particular film… since the whole movie takes place in a car. I’m not kidding, THE WHOLE MOVIE IS ONE, BIG CAR CHASE. Also along for the ride is pop star icon and Disney Channel mainstay Selena Gomez as a plucky, rich girl (what a stretch) and Jon Voight’s voice as… well… Jon Voight’s voice with a foreign accent. Never before has a movie been so aptly named, yet no one heeded the advice.

And finally…

The film you’ve all been waiting NOT to see…

1. “The Big Wedding”

The (all-star?) cast of "The Big Wedding"

Words can’t describe how horrid this film is… but I wrote about it anyway!


You know, I could review this film and simply end this paragraph with this single, solitary word. Then I could ask YOU to watch the film for yourself and wait the 89 minutes for YOU to return and ask YOU what YOU thought and I’m pretty sure YOU would turn to me, with that same, blank, drained look on your face, uttering that familiar, sarcastic remark, “Wow.”

It’s difficult to imagine such a talented group of actors, with SO many years of experience under their belts, getting together to create such a horridly unfunny, mind-numbingly monotonous  pile of cinematic doo-doo… but they did-did.

I guess it’s appropriate that in addition to Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl, this film also stars Robert De Niro. No actor in La-La Land had a worse 2013 than De Niro. Not counting his blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo in “American Hustle,” De Niro also starred in this film, the absolutely awful “Killing Season” (opposite John Travolta with an atrocious Eastern European accent), the tolerable-at-best, old fogey flick “Last Vegas” (with Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas), as well as Luc Besson’s comedic letdown “The Family” (co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer). His other film, “Grudge Match” isn’t as bad as you think it is and if you’re curious check out my review tomorrow.

DeNiro’s 2013 was not at all what we’ve come expect from a guy with “Raging Bull,” “Casino,” “Goodfellas,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Deer Hunter” and “The Godfather: Part II” on his resume. It looks like Leonardo DiCaprio has now officially now Bobby D’s place as Martin Scorsese’s go-to-guy and DeNiro is relegated to his role in the unavoidably apparent “Re-Meet the Fockers.”

At least he didn’t follow Al Pacino, his co-star from “Heat,” into the worst movie from TWO years ago, “Jack and Jill.”

Now, if it was only as easy to come up with 10 GOOD movies.

Honorable Mention (aka: Worst Movies number 11 through 20 — in no particular order)

“After Earth,” (soooo close to being in the Top Ten), “The Lone Ranger,” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” “The Purge,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “The Last Exorcism Part II,” “Red 2,” “Movie 43″ and “Free Birds.”

Disclaimer: If it sucked and it’s not on the list, it means I haven’t seen it. So, that doesn’t mean that I LIKED films such as “The Host,” “The Internship,” “Baggage Claim,” “We’re the Millers,” “Beautiful Creatures,” both “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor AND Peeples,” “A Haunted House,” “Scary Movie 5,” “Snitch,” “Pain and Gain,” “Girl Most Likely,” Stand Up Guys,” and “The Family”… or any other film released in 2013 that was universally panned by critics and audiences alike.

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