50 Most Disappointing Movies Of All Time

Great expectations

The Tourist (2010)

Why People Were Excited: Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie were an impossibly glamorous pairing to head up this globe-trotting caper, with audiences hoping for some of the sleek Hollywood escapism served up so well by the likes of Ocean's Eleven .

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Jolie and Depp may well be sexy, but when they're sleepwalking their way through proceedings as they are here, the effect is somewhat diminished. It undoubtedly looks nice, but the script is so leaden, you'd do just as well watching it on mute.

Congo (1995)

Why People Were Excited: The last big-screen adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel had been the boundary-breaking Jurassic Park , so expectations were understandably high when the author's African adventure was announced to be on its way to cinemas.

Why They Ended Up Disappointed:
Whereas Jurassic Park managed to make the return of the dinosaur seem plausible, Congo 's talking gorilla never seems anything but ludicrous, while her co-stars do their level best to make her look like she trained at RADA. Tim Curry and Ernie Hudson are particularly grievous offenders.

Shrek The Third (2007)

Why People Were Excited: The first film had been a snarky antidote to Pixar's cutesier animated fare. The second film had managed to improve on that template with stronger visuals, just as many gags and the introduction of Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots. Could the third film raise the bar yet again?

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Sadly, this is where Dreamworks began to get a bit sloppy, with witty asides replaced by generic slapstick bumbling and a plot devoid of any real urgency. Fine to keep the kids happy, but accompanying adults will be bored well before the end.

Speed Racer (2008)

Why People Were Excited: An adaptation of the celebrated Japanese manga had been in the pipeline for some 15 years before the Wachowski Brothers (with their track record of thrillingly kinetic action sequences) got their hands on it, so anticipation was feverish by the time this one hit cinemas.

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: As we noted at the time of release, "it's like being sucked into the ADHD-addled imagination of an eight-year-old." If you can sit through the entire thing without reaching for the sick bucket, you'll be doing well. Our poor, poor eyes!

The Lovely Bones (2009)

Why People Were Excited: Alice Sebold's acclaimed novel was a surprise best-seller, staying in the New York Times list for over a year, while Peter Jackson's track record needs no introduction. An eclectic cast including Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg looked to be the icing on the cake.

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: It wasn't a total washout, but in comparison to Jackson's earlier work on the similarly fantastical Heavenly Creatures , this one is a far blunter proposition. Wahlberg is chronically miscast as the grieving father, although Saiorse Ronan offers some redemption as the deceased heroine.

The Lady In The Water (2006)

Why People Were Excited: At this stage, a new M Night Shyamalan movie was still a significant talking point. The village had had its critics, but we'd argue that film wasn't half as bad as people tend to make out, and the supernatural premise of The Lady In The Water appeared to be right up the director's alley.

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Where The Sixth Sense had been spare and spooky, The Lady In The Water was saccharine and sappy. A grown-up "bedtime story" that will have you nodding off within minutes.

The Avengers (1998)

Why People Were Excited: No, we're not talking about Hulk and co. but rather the late '90s update of the classic TV show. Well-loved for its style and off-beam sense of humour, fans of the original could look forward to Uma Thurman stepping in for Diana Rigg as the supremely sexy Emma Peel.

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: This uber-camp crapfest was predominantly sunk by its ludicrous plot, which involved a cackling Sean Connery seeking to gain control of the weather. It's every bit as rubbish as that brief synopsis would suggest.

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Why People Were Excited: Put simply, the original film was (and remains) one of the best loved comedies of all-time, thanks to the superb chemistry between messrs Aykroyd, Murray and Ramis. Oh okay, and Hudson!

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Ghostbusters 2 is the archetypal lacklustre sequel, with an inferior script and approximately half the energy and enthusiasm on the part of the cast. There's a reason Bill Murray isn't keen on a third outing, and this is it.

Alexander (2004)

Why People Were Excited: Oliver Stone is a filmmaker whose projects always pique the interest of critics and audiences alike. Love him or loathe him, his films are usually fairly difficult to ignore, and the prospect of seeing him helm a historical epic was an intriguing one…

Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Taking Colin Farrell's ridiculous hairdo out of the equation, the film is full of its own importance from beginning to end, labouring over a series of interminable discussion between ruler and advisors, before limping to the next overblown battle sequence. And then there's that truly awful sex scene between Farrell and Rosario Dawson… yeesh!

Public Enemies (2009)

Why People Were Excited: Michael Mann, Johnny Depp and Christian Bale team up to bring the tale of renowned crim John Dillinger to the big screen. Powerhouse performers plus acclaimed director multiplied by meaty subject matter equals thrilling end product!

Why They Ended Up Disappointed:
It's not a bad film at all, but it doesn't come anywhere close to the sum of its parts, largely because it's so unremittingly dour. Bale in particular is given little to do but growl, but Depp too appears to have been briefed to keep things taciturn at every turn. As a result, it's difficult to get behind either man in their game of cat and mouse.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.
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