The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2013

This time of year, you’ve probably seen at least a few “worst movies of 2013” lists. I may or may not write one, but that isn’t what this list is. The worst movies of the year included R.I.P.D. and Movie 43, but neither of those examples hit me in the gut. I knew they were going to be bad, or I didn’t care about them in the first place. Those movies don’t matter.

The most painful movies you watch are the ones you were looking forward to that failed to live up to your lofty expectations. You may not agree with the list below, but you know exactly what I mean: whether it was Star Trek or Man of Steel, or even Gravity, you have at least a couple movies in mind that left you disappointed.

Here are the top ten most disappointing movies of 2013, according to me:

10. Star Trek Into Darkness

I face-palmed myself. I literally face-palmed myself. And my friend swore out loud in a packed theater. We did that as J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated sequel, after an hour and a half of entertaining action pieces, imploded with a cheap turn that unnecessarily retreads on material from The Wrath of Khan. A second viewing lessened the pain, but there is no denying that Star Trek Into Darkness fails to surpass its predecessor (oh, and The Wrath of Khan).

9. Gangster Squad

In the summer of 2012, the star-studded Gangster Squad was scheduled to be released that fall. Buzz was… buzzing. But after the Dark Knight theater massacre, the film, which featured a climax where a shootout occurs in a movie theater, was delayed for a massive reshoot. When the Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone-starring thriller finally hit theaters, we found out that the reshoots didn’t matter – the Untouchables wannabe is just that–a loud, violent and hollow mess of a gangster film.

Pacific Rim

8. Pacific Rim

There was a time that I was extremely excited to see what Guillermo del Toro would dish up with his robots vs. monsters extravaganza. Then the marketing kicked into high gear, and that enthusiasm waned. Still, it was only until the movie actually hit theaters was it revealed that Pacific Rim was nothing more than a movie about robots fighting monsters. That’s more than enough for some – and they are a passionate bunch – but the movie fails to take advantage of its premise or ideas. The movie is moderately entertaining but more often obnoxious, and the more I think about it, the more I realize just how stupid Pacific Rim really is.

7. Now You See Me

This thriller about magicians-turned-thieves was not high on my radar list until it began to outperform in theaters to glowing audience reviews. Needless to say, I was intrigued. But Now You See Me is not a good movie. In fact, it’s a very bad movie. Because it makes no f**king sense. Literally. The filmmakers gloss over major plot holes with special effects and incoherent explanations, using “magic” as a scapegoat for the film’s poor writing.

6. Oz, the Great and Powerful

Walt Disney Pictures went all in to start a new franchise under the Wizard of Oz brand, and their efforts (and $280 million of their money) succeeded: Oz: The Great and Powerful earned nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. And yet the Sam Raimi-directed prequel is a bloated, boring and unimaginative mess that lacks the wonder and charm that still exist within the original.

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Comedies, Drama Movies, Featured, Top 10 Movie Lists
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  • Dan

    Elysium has a 69% on rotten tomatoes and made 290 million on a 115 million dollar budget not exactly a commercial an critical failure

  • eriksamdahl

    Dan, you’re right, thank you. It was more of a
    disappointment. The movie only earned $90 million domestically against a $155
    million budget, but of course overseas revenue hardly made it a “failure”
    – it just underperformed expectations, even with almost $300 million in the
    bank. Critically, it was a bit of a letdown as well – this is where Rotten
    Tomatoes’ black-and-white algorithm can be a bit misleading. It wasn’t a
    terrible movie, but if you read the positive reviews that lead to the 69%, many
    of them call it a disappointment without calling it outright bad. I’m in that
    camp as well… and that’s why the movie made the “most
    disappointing” list. However, thanks for pointing out that “failure”
    was a poor choice of words. We will make that change.

  • Sirajuddin

    Yeah, always happens to directors who have very good first movies! Some of the things in Elysium seemed just too rushed and incohesive.

  • JW

    I agree with you about Iron Man 3 except I thought it was a complete joke.More like Rush Hour 5.
    Man of Steel blew it away

  • merle

    well please make a list of movies that you thought were great in 2013 cause according to you there were no good movies ..but like they say haters gotta hate

  • johnjohnphenom

    Oz made “nearly half a MILLION dollars world wide” on a “280 million dollar” budget? Wouldn’t that set like a record or something?

  • keuna

    Finally….someone who saw that iron man was a let down as compared to MOS. It rode the avengers wave to make money.

  • Hatorian

    Excellent list that almost exactly mirrors my 2013 viewing experience. Couldnt agree more with the top 3.

  • hatorian

    Cuz there were only 10 movies that came out last year? Dont be butt hurt one or more ofvthe movies you liked made the writers list.

  • mike b

    Couldn’t agree with you more on your list, especially with your #1 choice, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. I have been such a fan of the John McClane series that I could not wait for this movie to come out. Half way through, I was so embarrassed by the results that I wouldn’t have recommended this movie to my worst movie watching enemy. First movie I’ve walked out on in 25 years.

  • GuyFeore

    I have a hard time taking this writer seriously since the article has so many spelling errors. It’s actually surprising, never seen so many from a supposed critic/writer


    what the hell this guy talking about? Iron Man 3, Disappointing? Fuck NOOOOO! You Sick Shithead Doesn’t belong to the cool guys, i think you want movies like little mermaid and stuff UR SICK!

  • Saph

    Oz, the Great and Powerful according to IMDB: budget 215 m grossing 234 m. They made no loss, actually 234 million more than this article says.

  • eriksamdahl

    Thanks for your support! And yeah… Die Hard was shameful.

  • eriksamdahl

    Awesome, glad you agree!

  • eriksamdahl

    We are not alone… just in the minority.

  • eriksamdahl

    Thanks, John – I’ve fixed that mistake.

  • eriksamdahl

    This is just one of many lists we’ve produced – check out

  • eriksamdahl

    Editors do wonders for even good writers. Unfortunately, we can’t afford one. Please point out any mistakes and we’ll get them fixed, thanks.

  • eriksamdahl

    We get our numbers from for consistency.

  • Bigbry

    Yeah you are wrong about Iron Man 3. And you REALLY expected Die Hard to be anything but terrible?

  • Bigbry

    Lol ALWAYS? Ever heard of Pulp Fiction?

  • Boydnar

    Must you be so unbelievably immature AND illiterate?

  • Boydnar

    Die Hard was BAD. The director, John Moore, and writers Skip Woods & Roderick Thorp are all on my excrement list.

  • Boydnar

    I agree about Elysium. I don’t need political sermons from Hollywood.

  • Sirajuddin

    I was talking about directors, not visionaries!! 😉

  • Luis Romero

    Iron Man 3, OZ and Pacific Rim don’t belong to this list.

  • Luis Romero

    Star Trek Into Darkness neither belong here, even if I didn’t like a lot of things, it was not that disappointing.

  • Luis Romero

    IM3 was very well done film and it was a rescue to the franchise after IM2 mess.

  • Boydnar

    I thought Identity Thief was actually pretty decent, even though I wanted to choke Melissa McCarthy’s self-righteous character to death during the first half of the movie. It’s funny how self-righteousness in an evil person is doubly infuriating.

  • Boydnar

    Erik . . . I haven’t figure out how “Broken City” DIDN’T make this list. Have you seen it? It’s the worst movie since “Atlas Shrugged.” Hands down. Let me put it this way, “Broken City” should be used in film schools to illustrate the shortcomings of bad stories, bad screenplays and bad story-telling in film. (“Atlas Shrugged” could also work here.) In story-telling class it should be juxtaposed against a great film for comparison.

  • Boydnar

    The word “create.” Second sentence under “Die Hard.”

  • eriksamdahl

    The other four movies range from great to good/entertaining, so no, I didn’t expect it to be terrible.

  • eriksamdahl


  • Donte Simms

    I enjoyed gangster squad and pacific rim superman was good as well