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Top 10 Terrible Movies by Great British Directors

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Robert Barnott Palin
You Win Some, You Lose Some. And these directorial disappointments are definitely less hit, more miss. Hello and welcome to WatchMojoUK, today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Terrible Movies by Great British Directors. For this list, we're looking at films that just don't live up to the standards set by their British (or part-British) directors. Whether they instantly flopped, were ultimately forgotten, were critically derided or became box office bombs, if they're the dud in a director's otherwise impressive canon they're up for consideration today.
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Top 10 Terrible Movies by Great British Directors
You Win Some, You Lose Some. And these directorial disappointments are definitely less hit, more miss. Hello and welcome to WatchMojoUK, today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Terrible Movies by Great British Directors.

For this list, we're looking at films that just don't live up to the standards set by their British (or part-British) directors. Whether they instantly flopped, were ultimately forgotten, were critically derided or became box office bombs, if they're the dud in a director's otherwise impressive canon they're up for consideration today.

#10: “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (1994)

Kenneth Branagh
Although widely considered to be one of the closest adaptations to the book, Kenneth Branagh's reimagined literary classic was still not well received. Resembling something more like a Meatloaf video featuring a sewn-together Helena Bonham Carter, it certainly wasn’t bursting at the seams with anything close to the iconic levels of horror it promised – with the Frankenstein tale feeling more ‘monstrosity’ than ‘monster’. So much was the disappointment, the original screenwriter, Frank Darabont, even stated that it was the best script he had ever written, but the worst film he had ever seen.


#9: “Domino” (2005)

Tony Scott
The late, great Tony Scott made some seriously good films during his career, with hits including “Top Gun” and “Crimson Tide”. This movie, however, will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. A biopic of model-turned-bounty-hunter, Domino Harvey – a part played perhaps surprisingly well by Keira Knightley – it was heavily criticised upon its release. A lot of the reviews took aim at the overuse of Scott’s otherwise trademark fast cuts and camerawork. Overall, the film’s quick pace and probable over-editing make it an uneasy watch, especially as its over 2 hours long.


#8: “The Brothers Grimm” (2005)

Terry Gilliam
Certainly a subject full of potential, the former Python's presentation of the famous fairy tale siblings fell way short… And was far from enchanting or magical. Usually known for creating visually appealing movies full of quirky details and captivating stories, Terry Gilliam failed to conjure up such charm for this one. Led by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, the end product is messy and disjointed. Though perhaps victims of their own success, with such a high calibre cast and director, everyone expected much better. And that self-regenerating mud monster who swallows a small boy is one of the most bizarre movie creatures ever!


#7: “Waltzes from Vienna” (1934)

Alfred Hitchcock
Remembered much more for his iconic horrors and thrillers, this is one film that rarely gets a mention when Hitchcock is brought up in conversation. Well, this, and his similarly subpar “Juno and the Paycock”. A far cry from “Psycho” and “The Birds”, “Waltzes from Vienna” was Hitchcock’s venture into musicals. But, it was also both soppy and dull. He even admitted himself that the film was made during the “lowest ebb of his career”, and that the only reason he worked on it was because he had nothing else in his schedule for that year.

#6: “The Beach” (2000)

Danny Boyle
Boyle has since stated that halfway through shooting this, he realised that he “didn’t like any of the characters”. Which says it all, really. The turn-of-the-millennium washout is based on the thrilling Alex Garland novel of the same name, but it fails to match Garland’s pulsating high drama. Although visually appealing, critics called it a rushed and shallow story, as it seemed to muddle genres but satisfy none. Compared to Boyle’s typical high standard, it doesn’t come close to the likes of “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later”. “A Life Less Ordinary” might’ve featured today, but “The Beach” disappointed just a little bit more.


#5: “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010)

Mike Newell
What could be more visually confusing than Jake Gyllenhaal with an English accent dressed like a Middle-Eastern warrior? It’s hard to believe that this is from the same mind as the man who directed “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. On the very surface, it has elements of entertainment, but lacks any sort of depth… And it ultimately goes down as an especially lacklustre video game adaptation. Overall, it’s a movie that relies too heavily on action and long, drawn-out fight scenes, which eventually become overkill… and isn't remotely reflective of Mike Newell's best work.

#4: “Pan” (2015)

Joe Wright
It's the origin story that nobody ever asked for! Joe Wright’s, and everyone else's talents for that matter, were wasted in this production. Its jumbled story is all over the place and, at times, it just feels a bit too weird and nowhere near as captivating as the makers probably hoped it would be. Even a bearded Hugh Jackman couldn’t save it from being commercially unsuccessful, with “Pan” reportedly grossing less than its production budget. Ouch. If the hackneyed CGI isn’t enough to put you off, then the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sequence will likely make you seasick.


#3: “A Good Year” (2006)

Ridley Scott
Devoid of all the humour and charm that you’d usually expect from a rom-com, Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s often solid pairing fell completely flat here. Even worse than when they paired up for “Robin Hood”, “A Good Year” was anything but ‘good’. Despite Crowe’s acting pedigree, it’s almost painful to watch him attempt light comedy in an English accent – he just seems so far out of his depth, you have to wonder why anyone thought this would ever be a good idea. “A Good Year” did receive an EDA Special Mention Award, but it was under the category of “Hall of Shame” – need we say more?


#2: “Swept Away” (2002)

Guy Ritchie
From the man who provided us with iconic gangster beat 'em ups like, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”, comes this shocking piece of cinema. And, while Madonna’s acting isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, it’s not the only thing wrong with this film, which is miles away from Ritchie’s best. A remake of a well-regarded 1974 Italian picture, it possesses none of the original quality – leaving audiences breathing a quiet sigh of relief once the end credits roll. Saying that, not many people even saw the film. It bombed at the box office, and five Golden Raspberry Awards in one year show just how much of a shipwreck it was.


#1: “Lay the Favourite” (2012)

Stephen Frears
Multi award-winning Stephen Frears will, with little doubt, always be remembered for his finest films. But, this wasn’t one of them. An out-of-character, disappointing drama, it boasts a stellar cast, which includes Hollywood heavyweights Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones… But, it never really gets going, before limping toward a desperately dull finish. The story sees the free-spirited Beth, played by Rebecca Hall, become entwined in the world of gambling. But then the blandness takes over, and the slim storyline fades. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so we’ll just leave this movie there – and move on.
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