Worst movies of 2015

I didn’t see enough movies in 2015 to make a ten-worst list, but I saw enough to make a five-worst list. My moviegoing is limited mostly to serious films aimed at an adult audience. Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse was therefore not in the running. Neither was Zombeavers nor a host of others you either never heard of or don’t need to be warned away from. I avoided several films that otherwise qualified for this list because I knew I would hate them. I want to single out these five films with pretensions to seriousness for my dishonor roll at year’s end. From the bottom up:

5. Far From the Madding Crowd: I’m reaching to come up with a fifth for this list. In the spirit of the “Danish handshake” that disfigures this film, I’m reaching out to director Thomas Vinteburg’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Stick with the 1967 version directed by John Schlesinger and starring the luminous Julie Christie.

4. Bridge of Spies: Turns Soviet Communist spy Rudolf Abel (William August Fisher) into some kind of a stoic hero. What gives? Kyle Smith explains what gives in “Bridge of Lies.”

3. Trumbo: Hollywood loves Communists and the kind of “history” George Orwell warned us against in 1984. Tinseltown can’t resist; the movieogoing audience can. What gives? Ron Radosh explains what gives in “Red Star falling: The Trumbo train wreck.”

2. The Big Short: Excruciatingly boring, ridiculously repetitive and overlong, pathetically stupid, the film draws deeply on the wit and wisdom of Elizabeth Warren. Intelligent viewers need to be warned to stay away from this reeking bomb. What gives? Kyle Smith explains once more in The Big Short is a lot of Hollywood bull about the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008.”

And the worst movie of 2015 is…

1. Truth: Speaking of Orwell: Truth is lies. Starring Robert Redford as Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes, the film turned the perpetrators of the greatest journalistic fraud of our era (“Rathergate”) into heroes. What gives? John and I explain what gives in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful” and I take another whack at it in the Star Tribune column “Lies upon lies.” A loser at the box office despite the best efforts of the New York Times, it adds a massive dose of Schadenfreude to our recognition of it as the worst movie of the year. (Now the Los Angeles Times takes the baton from the New York Times here. Unbelievable.) Was this incredibly overhyped film “underrated,” as Variety asserts? I’m giving Dave Weigel the last word below.


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