Creating a list such as this is difficult, because perceptions are so clouded by expectations. These films are all big disappointments, but considering their sources, they are still better than many, many films out there. So none of these films are as bad as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but they’re all far more disappointing because we hoped for more from the directors. Or, if the film was never salvageable, we wish the directors had utilized a little foresight and picked another project that had more potential.
Of course, this a very subjective list, so feel free to leave your vitriol and death threats in the comments.
A great example of what I discussed in the introduction. This film isn’t awful, but it’s very unmemorable. It bears very little of Spielberg’s flourishes, other than it’s a huge production that’s competently directed. Of course, the same thing could be said about a film like Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow, or even 2012. There’s not much of a story to be told here, and instead of getting a moving relationship between Tom Cruise’s character and his children, we get sap and explosions.
And here’s one that doesn’t need the context of expectations to disappoint. This is just a bad movie. Directing Robin Williams, especially in a film like this, can’t be fun. The man swallows all the attention around him, except in the most reserved roles. Watching a 40 year-old Williams play a 10 year-old boy who copes with his problems by getting drunk doesn’t play to sentimentality, and isn’t all that interesting of a story. The whole thing plays to the fact that Jack is going to die young, and that looming fate makes it hard to view the movie as anything but sad.