The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2013

Identity Thief

5. Identity Thief

One of the biggest letdowns of 2013 is Identity Thief, a comedy that looked pretty damn hilarious in the trailers—primarily thanks to the genius pairing of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, two of the funniest actors working today. Unfortunately, the movie itself is one of the least funniest comedies ever made. Literally, I didn’t laugh once in the entire movie – and I wasn’t alone.

4. Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was a surprise box office and critical hit and continues to garner talk of awards and other recognition. Why? How? The movie is more fiction than the fact it suggests (going so far as to fabricate the murder of the main character’s father and creating a second son to actually have enough material to make a full-length movie), and the fiction plays out like a boring version of Forrest Gump.

3. Elysium

Neill Blomkamp’s highly anticipated follow-up to his hit film District 9 was a mild critical and box office disappointment, and for good reason. While built upon an intriguing premise, Elysium features a heavy-handed political message and takes a long time to get going. And when things do get going, Blomkamp goes the least interesting route possible with his story.

Iron Man 3

2. Iron Man 3

This follow-up to last year’s The Avengers was one of the biggest movies of the year and also received plenty of praise. After watching the movie twice, I still find it to be sloppy filmmaking; the movie relies too heavily on slapstick humor and the third and most critical act doesn’t make much sense. Many disagree with me on this (and even more with the fact that, conversely, I was one of the few who didn’t find Man of Steel to be disappointing), so we’ll have to agree to disagree.

1. A Good Day to Die Hard

One thing that most people agree on is that A Good Day to Die Hard is a terrible, terrible movie. John McClane is one of the best action heroes ever created, but it appears that the people responsible for this monstrosity had never watched a Die Hard movie before – or understood what makes the Die Hard movies so good. As a huge Die Hard fan and thanks to some highly entertaining trailers, I was looking forward to this movie more than any other in 2013 – and for it to be one of the worst movies of the year was just soul crushing. Soul crushing, I tell you!

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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!! đŸ˜‰

  • 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