ScreenAnarchy's Best Of 2013 - Biggest Disappointment

U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California (@benumstead)
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The year that was 2013 has almost run its course, so the time has come for Team ScreenAnarchy to pool its ever-growing troupe of contributors from the four corners of the planet, gather its collective thoughts and pay special tribute to those films that have made a particularly strong impact over the past twelve months.

No matter how grand a year it was at the movies, we all have those disappointing and diminishing experiences in the cinema. And those can still make quite the impact. Whether it was the latest tentpole production that dashed our hopes at a smart popcorn flick, a festival favorite or awards darling we just couldn't help but scratch our heads at, or a favorite director dropping the ball, here are the films of 2013 that made us frown or feel rather furious. 


Todd Brown, Ryland Aldrich, James Marsh, Brian Clark, Ben Umstead, Jaime Grijalba Gomez, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Ard Vijn, Andrew Mack, Patryk Czekaj, Joshua Chaplinsky, Eric Ortiz Garcia, Niels Matthijs, Kurt Halfyard, Christopher O'Keeffe, Dustin Chang, J Hurtado, Jim Tudor, Ben Croll, Pierce Conran, Jason Gorber, Ernesto Zelaya Miñano and Kwenton Bellette contributed to this story.

Pacific Rim

James Marsh - Asian Editor
There is some fun to be gleaned from Guillermo del Toro's mecha-on-kaiju mash-up and some of the design work is sensational, but the film is a vacuous empty exoskeleton of what might have been. The plot itself makes no sense (big guns or bombs would've faired better against giant monsters, no?), the characterisation is minimal and the dialogue downright risible, leaving even talented performers like Idris Elba and Ron Perlman with little to do but stand there and snarl. Add to this some of the worst accents in the history of acting, and it compounds into a force capable of sinking the entire project. Pacific Rim is not terrible, but it's a crushing disappointment.

Kwenton Bellette - Contributing writer
Del Toro is vastly overrated. Pacific Rim's story is like Evangelion-light with added stupidity. Yes the effects and fights are great, but everything in between is all sorts of awful.

Dustin Chang - Contributing writer

Kurt Halfyard - Contributing writer
I love Guillermo del Toro. I do. To hear him lecture on the cinema he loves is a joy. So why didn't we get something smarter than this fireworks show? So much could have been done with the idea of the "drift" or Ron Perlman's band of organ salvagers. Instead we just get glossy, but banal monster and robot punching.

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More about ScreenAnarchy's Best of 2013

Samot MarquezDecember 18, 2013 11:57 PM

BEST MOVIE 2013

pinoypower1234December 19, 2013 1:24 AM

Damn RIGHT!!!

pinoypower1234December 19, 2013 1:25 AM

Pacific Rim was awesome!! Del Toro should have done The Hobbit!!!

sCARfiNGerDecember 19, 2013 3:34 AM

It's not that Pacific Rim is a bad movie, it's entertaining and visualy impressive as it gets. Most people are disappointed because of huge waste of potential the movie had. Mecha lovers think it's shallow, because shows like Gundam or Evangelion are basically character-driven, and characters in PRim are undeveloped. Non-nerd people think the movie is made for specific audience (honestly, giant robots fighting giant monsters aren't everyone's cup of tea). So, Pacific Rim is stuck in the limbo. And that's why it's such a disappointment, it tried to please everyone and failed.

CineMayoDecember 19, 2013 4:32 AM

only.god.forgives. the biggest meh in the history of filmmaking

D.Z.December 19, 2013 5:01 AM

FYI, Pacific Rim is inspired by Go Nagai mecha shows which predated Eva by decades. Also, Gundam.

cuttermaranDecember 19, 2013 7:09 AM

Everything Twitch hyped in 2013 is now disappointing at the end. You guys also forgot to mention Special ID.

omnisemantic1December 19, 2013 7:16 AM

OK, I can see the disappointment angles for all the movies that you guys have listed, but not "The World's End" - how could that one possibly get any better than what it was? I sense someone had really wrong expectations going in the theater ^^

Marc ClementDecember 19, 2013 8:20 AM

You forgot The Hobbit: The desolation of Jackson. I couldn't make any of the fight scenes and the static shot (so called) gave me vertigo most of the time. Someone needs to get that camera out of Jackson's hand.

Marc ClementDecember 19, 2013 8:33 AM

basicaly, it's another Cowboy vs Aliens.

Mateusz R. OrzechDecember 19, 2013 10:02 AM

I agree with those I've seen (maybe not so in the case of the Stoker, which isn't great but I wouldn't call it disappointing - maybe because I didn't have high expectations to begin with). I'm happy for inclusions of Pacific Rim and Iron Man 3, but where is Star Trek Into Darkness? For me it was the biggest let down as far as big-budget sci-fi is concerned, even if I suspected a stinker after the first JJ-Trek. And even if Pacific Rim and IM3 are quite dumb, STID is too highly illogical to bear.

KurtDecember 19, 2013 10:41 AM

VERY well put.

BenUmsteadDecember 19, 2013 12:17 PM

The issue here is that only a handful of us have seen that one. Also, the ballots were due the weekend it came out. As for me, I didn't even catch the first. And I loved much of LoTR.

BenUmsteadDecember 19, 2013 12:17 PM

I'm guessing many of us didn't even see it.

Marc ClementDecember 19, 2013 2:51 PM

I'm still wondering if it's a IMAX screen size issue. maybe the immersive feel of the IMAX format is too immersive for quick camera moves

The Seafairy December 19, 2013 3:54 PM

Gotta disagree with CANDELABRA, but I understand. I do not agree with ONLY GOD FORGIVES, or MUD. Loved both, and I've officially shifted from a Matthew McConaughey hater, to a lover over the 2013 year. His string of interesting, diverse indie roles have been fantastic.

Hiroaki JohnsonDecember 19, 2013 5:05 PM

I think if anyone went into it with hopes of Gundam or Eva, they either didn't pay attention to any of the marketing or didn't listen to what Del Toro said he was trying to do. It's not meant to be anything like them. He set out to make a movie that was optimistic and would create a new generation of kaiju film fans. I personally grew up with a lot 70's Godzilla/Mothra movies on Saturday afternoons, and it was very much in that spirit. I understand people not liking it, but I think it pretty much remained faithful to the genre.

MichaelDecember 19, 2013 7:31 PM

My favorite Siskel and Ebert episodes were the worst of year shows. They often spent minutes explaining a movie's failure. So it's appropriate that a list of disappointing movies is itself a disappointment. Several of these contributions provide no explanation at all, just a title is given. If you're going to be able to contribute to Twitch you should be able to articulate your reasons. We just keep getting lazier as a society.

Dave BaxterDecember 19, 2013 8:30 PM

STOKER. Yes. I have no idea what wtf they were thinking with this one. It's such a simple bloody story at the end, but filmed as though something enormous is happening in every scene. It's like a 90's erotic thriller done by Paul Thomas Anderson.

tM4kerDecember 20, 2013 12:39 PM

you're kidding, right?

omnisemantic1December 20, 2013 12:48 PM

Nope, actually I'm not lol
I've seen it three times and its my favorite of the three they did together ^^

Mateusz R. OrzechDecember 21, 2013 8:46 AM

That's a shame, that film was made especially for lists like this one.

Teddy TinsleyDecember 22, 2013 12:45 AM

Rim was okay but not all that. The Mechs were lumbering behemoths that had to be air lifted , they should have been more agile and the Kanji were not that imposing and the battles not that epic.

Brian ClarkDecember 28, 2013 1:45 AM

I expected to laugh a lot. Like, a whole lot. And I only laughed a little. That's pretty much it. The movie was fine, I enjoyed it. But the whole body-snatchers rip-off thing was kinda uninspired and -- I just wanted to laugh! I haven't thought about it much beyond that.