Pop Culture

The 10 worst films of the year

Awards season is upon us. Hollywood will soon begin handing out nominations and trophies to some of the finest movies released in 2004. Lavish praise will be dispensed. Acceptance speeches will drone on. Many will be thanked. Champagne will be consumed by the vat.

But bad movies matter, too. They cost just as much money to make, sometimes more. They often star some of the biggest names in the business. They open with great fanfare, although they usually close quietly and without fuss.

They deserve our respect. Well, maybe not respect exactly, but certainly they deserve some sort of recognition. After all, it isn’t easy to make movies as bad as these. It takes a special knack.

Here is a list of the 10 worst pictures from 2004. This was compiled after taking a highly unscientific survey of academics, cinema historians, casual movie-goers, fast-food cashiers, bus drivers, mental patients and slobbering morons. The margin of error in the poll was plus or minus a lot:

Vin Diesel plays an escaped convict who is the last hope for the human race before it is annihilated. Why bother? If a picture like this can get made, humanity doesn’t stand a chance. “Riddick” is one of those projects whereby the producers figure if they can just create a lot of cool special-effects it will make up for a lame-brained story and lifeless characters. This isn’t a movie, it’s a video game, and they would have been better off opening the script with “Game Over” rather than “Fade In.”

Dishonorable mentions:  “Van Helsing,”  “Dodgeball,”  “Napoleon Dynamite,”  “The Village,”  “Dogville,”  “The Alamo,”  “Saw,”  “New York Minute,”  “A Very Long Engagement,”  “The Butterfly Effect” and “Garfield.”