Sitting through so many terrible movies is the one major downside to this otherwise wonderful job. But at least all that laborious work pays off when I write my annual list of the year's absolute worst films. It's time to scrape the bottom of the barrel that consists of unattractive CGI robots, glittering vampires, and the Antichrist himself, Adam Sandler.
10. "The Smurfs:" Even at a very young age I found "The Smurfs" to be a rather lame franchise. So as you can imagine I had no affection whatsoever for the live-action "Smurf" movie. Not even a dedicated performance from Hank Azaria as Gargamel can save this unnecessary feature from a plot ripped off from "Elf" and "Enchanted" and really bad jokes. I officially gave up any hope that this movie may improve when a Smurfette voiced by Katy Perry said, "I kissed a Smurf and I liked it."
9. "Just Go With It:" Adam Sandler plays a plastic surgeon that jokes about his patients' deformities, wears a fake wedding ring to pick up twenty-year-old bimbos, abuses small children, and concocts a needlessly extravagant lie to win over his dream girl. And despite all this, we're really expected to like this character? In addition to the forgettable Sandler, Jennifer Aniston continues to waste her talent, Brooklyn Decker fails to establish herself as anything more than a beautiful statue, Nicole Kidman searches for a purpose, and Nick Swardson proves to be the most expendable comedic actor since Rob Schneider. It's hard to believe that "Just Go With It" isn't even the worst Adam Sandler movie of 2011.
8. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1:" Rushed sex scenes, talking CGI werewolves, and a grotesque child birth, what more could a man want? "The Twilight Saga" continues to be one of this generation's most futile series with no interesting characters, meaningful romances, or life lessons. It does succeed however in setting woman's lib back another hundred years and making young girls insecure about not having a boyfriend. On top of all that, did we really need such a trashy and brainless franchise like "Twilight" to tackle an issue as serious as abortion? It's like if "Transformers" tried to work in a message about life support. They just don't go together.
7. "The Change-Up:" As much as I like Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, the two shared no chemistry in "The Change-Up," a drab, formulaic body-switching comedy. The film is heavy on mundane gross out humor and forced four-letter words, but lacks any genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The attempt at adding some emotional weight to the equation just feels uneven, especially when it follows a scene in which Reynolds is forced to kiss the breasts of a mummified porn star.
6. "Your Highness:" David Gordon Green showed such promise early on in his filmmaking career. Now it appears that the director is on a tailspin to early retirement with idiotic messes like "Your Highness." While this comedy is visually impressive, the screenplay reads like it was written by 12-year-olds who spend a majority of their time peeking into the girl's locker room. Danny McBride and company utter their lines in crude English accents as they crack jokes about masturbation, child molestation and Minotaur penises. That's right, apparently the genitalia of mystical creatures passes as comedy nowadays.
5. "Sucker Punch:" If there ever was a movie that epitomized a video game meets a music video, it would be "Sucker Punch." When the characters aren't walking in slow motion to music, they're fighting dragons, soldiers, robots, and rock titan samurais. The plot is incredibly stupid and makes absolutely no sense. What's really insulting is that "Sucker Punch" doesn't even succeed as the campy, self-aware fanboy daydream that it desires to be. In addition to being incomprehensible, loud, overly long and visually nauseating, "Sucker Punch" evokes sexist undertones with men that are all grimy sadists and females that all dress like schoolgirl hooker goddesses. Director Zack Snyder seems to think that he's made a movie that embraces women. Rather, he's made a movie that's unappealing to both genders. "Sucker Punch" is a royal punch to the crotch.
4. "Zookeeper:" Another year means yet another movie about aggravating talking animals. While not quite as horrendous as last year's "Marmaduke," "Zookeeper" managed to claim 2011's title for dumbest children's film. This misguided comedy exists in an offbeat universe where animals can communicate with humans and, even more shockingly, Kevin James has managed to win the affection of Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb. The jokes are stale, the plot is as thin as they come, and the voiceover performers are all greatly miscast, save Nick Nolte as a Gorilla.
3. "Red Riding Hood:" If getting another "Twilight" movie wasn't enough, this year also burdened us with numerous "Twilight" wannabes, the worst of which was easily "Red Riding Hood." This tripe doesn't even attempt to distinguish itself with opening shots of tall trees, a male lead with gelled-up hair, an uninspired love triangle, and a cheesy CGI wolf. As awful as "Red Riding Hood" is, the film does at least provide some of this year's most unintentionally hilarious moments, most notably a bedroom scene between Julie Christie and Amanda Seyfried.
2. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon:" This past summer, millions of single mothers around the world let their forty-year-old sons out of their basements to see "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." While the film might have been the biggest of Michael Bay's relentless franchise, it was also the most joyless, pointless, and boring. In traditional fashion, all of the transformers either have no personality whatsoever or talk like black street thugs. But they're far from the most irritating characters in the film. That dishonor goes to the human actors, who all give such disjointed performances that you begin to wonder if they're the ones from another planet. Leading this pack of tools is Shia LaBoeuf as an insufferable jerk who screams his dialog even when he's not in combat. If you like explosions, choppy editing, unimaginative stories, and lackluster characters, this is the movie for you. To me, this doesn't even contend as mindless entertainment.
1. "Jack and Jill:" There's not a doubt in my mind that this year's most unnatural and painful cinematic experience is "Jack and Jill," a comedy so agonizing that I'm still having headaches merely thinking about it. The premise is dead on arrival with Adam Sandler playing Jack, an advertising agent who works in plenty of gratuitous product placement, and his ghastly twin sister, Jill. Sandler gives unquestionably the worst cross gender performance of all time, turning Jill into a clingy, obnoxious, reprehensible, and revolting abomination. What's even more insulting is when the film becomes sentimental and tries to make Jill out to be a lonely woman who just needs to be loved. To that I say, "Bite Me!" With senseless direction, witless humor, the most annoying end credits of recent memory, and the most embarrassing role of Al Pacino's career, I hereby condemn "Jack and Jill" to the underworld of motion pictures. What were they thinking?
• Nick Spake is a college student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for the past five years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.