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10 Most Disappointing Films This Century

Casino Royale Daniel Craig

We're officially 15 years into the 21st century, which means it's time for some serious reflection. It's really been an incredible 15 years for film lovers, to the point that Hollywood at the outset of 2016 seems more capable than ever. But that's not to say there haven't been plenty of low points. In fact, the massive budgets and hype cycles we've gotten used to have almost made it harder for movies to live up to expectations, resulting in more disappointments. 



So just for fun, and with Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice right around the corner, here's a look back at my 10 most disappointing films of the 21st century so far. 



10. Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones



I actually think Attack Of The Clones is among the worst three or four movies on this list. I'm in the minority camp that thinks this was actually worse film than The Phantom Menace, aka Episode 1. But it wasn't quite as disappointing as the other films because Episode 1 basically lowered the bar. Impressively, this film was recently made even more frustrating when an interview with Shortlist revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio almost played Anakin Skywalker instead of the disastrous Hayden Christensen. To be fair, Anakin's lines were atrocious, and Christensen never had much to work with. But he still ruined the movie, and Leo might have saved it. 



 

9. Your Highness



Maybe it's my own fault for expecting this medieval spoof comedy to be good. But fresh off the brilliance of Pineapple Express, not to mention his dramatic coming of age in 127 Hours, James Franco seemed reliable at the time. But in the end, this disappointment felt more like something a few friends did in the backyard with a camcorder than a legitimate Hollywood comedy.



 

8. Elysium



Elysium isn't that bad, but boy could it have been better. District 9 director Neill Blomkamp guiding Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley through a sci-fi epic about an oppressive upper class on a utopian space station orbiting Earth? It sounded like it couldn't miss. But in the end the script was disjointed and, due respect to her career as a whole, Jodie Foster was distractingly awful as the uncompromising head of the Elysium station. 

 



7. Cowboys & Aliens



This whole concept has always been weird. It first came up back in the late-'90s before being converted into a graphic novel in 2006. In the years since, it was even adapted as one of Gala Casino's slot reels, many of which are designed with historical settings and backgrounds. But eventually it finally became a film. With Ron Howard listed as an executive producer, Jon Favreau directing, and Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde starring, it felt like it could be boatloads of fun. In the end, however, it was sloppy and forgetful. Trust me: you're better off spinning the Cowboys & Aliens slot game or checking out the graphic novel (both of which aren't bad at all) than checking out this movie. 





6. Man Of Steel



Zack Snyder had a tough challenge crafting a Superman film on the heels of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and suffice it to say he didn't do very well. Worst of all was the stone-cold performance delivered by Henry Cavill, who seemed to mistake Superman's alien aloofness and general strength for a total lack of charisma. It was a dreadfully uninteresting movie.



 

5. Transcendence 



Johnny Depp is one of the most talented actors alive, but he's been grasping at straws for a while now in search of the right role. Transcendence paired him with first-time director Wally Pfister, best known as the favored cinematographer of Christopher Nolan, in a movie about a human consciousness being uploaded to machinery. It turns out first-time directors can't be trusted just because of who they've worked with. This movie was beautiful, ambitious, and ultimately awful. 



 

4. The Counselor



Cormac McCarthy is one of the finest living American authors, and he's had his share of Hollywood success through the adaptations of his novels The Road and No Country For Old Men. But this one was a bit different, as McCarthy wrote the script directly. As  Awards Circuit's review put it, that script was "a huge misfire." This film had plenty of engaging scenes that didn't fit together at all, and a cast including Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Javier Bardem couldn't save the writing. 

 



3. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest



I actually believe that this series gets a lot of unfair criticism because people forgot just how much fun the first film was. Johnny Depp got a freaking (well deserved) Oscar nomination for playing an eccentric pirate in a Disney movie, for cryin' out loud. It was good. But Dead Man's Chest? It was so bad that it pretty much erased the world's fond memories of the original, so there you go. 





2. Spider-Man 3



Sam Raimi's first two Spider-Man films were very well received and loved by fans. Then Spider-Man 3 came out, and it still has a strong argument as the single worst superhero movie ever made. Raimi was even quoted at Vulture admitting that the movie was awful.  Enough said. 



 

1. Quantum Of Solace



There are worse films on this list, but after the incredible success of Casino Royale, this movie was bitterly disappointing. Daniel Craig's second outing as James Bond felt unnecessary and forgetful. It also seemed as if it was designed entirely to wrap up loose ends from Casino Royale rather than advance the franchise or try something new.

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