It's been a good year for Bradley Cooper but he'll want to forget this pretentious and fatally hackneyed stab at a literary tearjerker -- a convoluted but predictable yarn involving three novelists, a lost manuscript and Jeremy Irons pruning his petunias.
9. 'The Lucky One' —
"The Paperboy" is an atrocious movie -- in part because 24-year-old Zac Efron is too old to play a virgin teen. But Efron is even less convincing as a Marine just back from three tours of Iraq in this sappy, soft-in-the-head Nicholas Sparks romance, a non-story that shies away from any potential excitement.
8. 'Act of Valor' —
A laughable and reactionary military recruitment commercial posing as an authentic slice-of-life, so real the filmmakers cast bone fide Navy SEALS to perform scenes no actor could duplicate. (Trouble being: SEALS can't act.)
7. 'Hyde Park on the Hudson' —
It's not that this is a terribly-made movie -- in fact Bill Murray is excellent as FDR -- but it's such a calculatedly tasteful piece of post "King's Speech" Oscar bait that it makes light of the president's sexual peccadilloes and a terrible hash of the King eating a hotdog.
6. 'People Like Us' —
Alex Kurtzman is famous for his scripts for "Star Trek," "Transformers" and "Cowboys & Aliens." His first feature as writer-director is a "personal film" about a cynical salesman (Chris Pine) sorting out his daddy issues and discovering a half-sister he never knew about. Nice message, shame about the tone-deaf movie.
5. 'This Means War' —
Sorry Chris Pine! Here he's one of the two CIA agents -- the other a miscast and palpably uncomfortable Tom Hardy -- romancing the double-timing Reese Witherspoon in a mercenary anti-romantic action-comedy directed with maximum energy and zero feeling by McG.
20th Century Fox
4. 'W.E.' —
Andrea Riseborough gives a fine performance as American divorcee Wallis Simpson in Madonna's misconceived, but probably sincere vanity project. It's the modern day story, with Abbie Cornish as a neglected doctor's wife who haunts Sotheby's exhibition rooms where this flimsy, trite effort falls apart.
The Weinstein Company
3. 'The Sitter' —
Technically a late 2011 release, David Gordon Green continues his downward spiral in this R-rated stab at a John Hughes comedy, a kind of mis-Adventures in Babysitting starring Jonah Hill and a bunch of whiny obnoxious kids -- including an adoptee who wishes he was back home in El Salvador. Twenty minutes into this mirthless crock you will know just how he feels.
20th Century Fox
2. 'Total Recall' —
Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger already did this movie right -- so it's especially aggravating to see how Len Wiseman has taken a smart post-modern sci-fi thriller and turned into an inane and muddle-headed action flick. Rubbing salt in the wound, the movie blatantly rips off the design elements of sister-Philip K. Dick movies "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report."
1. 'The Hobbit' —
Whatever you think of the film itself (and with at least one-third of the running time given over to padding, it's pretty indefensible), hands-down the worst experience at the movies this year was suffering the plastic high-definition 48 frames-per-second 3-D version of Peter Jackson's box-office smash. The technology made one of the most expensive movies ever made look like a PS3 game. Check out the 10 best movies of the year here.