The most disappointing movies of 2011

By Columbus Alive
From the December 27, 2011 edition

This is what I get for getting my hopes up.

As the predictable lists of the worst films of the year roll in — What? The movie where Adam Sandler plays his twin sister in drag wasn’t very good?! — I decided to look at the disappointments.

These movies weren’t necessarily bad (some actually good, some awful), but they all had a whiff of wasted potential that made them somehow feel worse.

“Cowboys & Aliens”

Cowboys + aliens = coolest movie a 10-year-old Brad can imagine. But Jon Favreau — fresh off the success of the “Iron Man” movies, no less — just couldn’t bring it all in for a landing.

“Contagion”

Steven Soderbergh’s (distractingly) star-filled thriller about a deadly virus broke off into too many directions. Plus, it wasn’t much fun to watch in a theater during the start of cold season.

“The Hangover Part II”

The quickie sequel to the surprise comedy hit of 2009 just felt like a less-funny retread of the original.

“The Descendants”

It’s easily the best movie on this list, but a muddy plot left me wanting more from usually stellar director Alexander Payne (“Sideways”).

“Sucker Punch”

Director Zack Snyder (“300”) finally let his visual and stylistic excess get the best of him. The result was a noisy and disjointed mess.

“J. Edgar”

Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio’s biopic of the controversial FBI director seemed like a sure-fire Oscar contender, but it couldn’t whittle down its focus enough to keep it interesting.

“The Muppets”

I know a lot of people loved it. I wanted so much to love it. It just didn’t work for me. Sorry, Kermit! I’m the grouch.

“The Ides of March”

George Clooney rostered an absolutely stellar cast for his political drama, but as it continually beat the idealism out of politics, it was a drag unless you’re a real politico.

“Scream 4”

It seemed a bit odd that Wes Craven was dusting off his witty slasher series. Even odder how “been there, done that” the whole thing was.

“Green Lantern”

The Green Lantern is pretty low on the superhero cool meter, but, wow, this was a convoluted mess.