As you watch Flight, you get the impression that Denzel Washington might have made a phone call to Robert Zemeckis, to the tune of, “Bob, it’s me, Denzel. I want to get an Oscar nom…I was thinking I would play a drunk. Let’s do this!” Sorry, Denzel. His pilot-with-demons Whip Whitaker is one of the most unsympathetic film characters ever to grace the screen, as he taps some flight attendant ass, consumes inhuman amounts of alcohol and drugs and seldom learns from his many mistakes. While the plane crash scene is certainly well-executed and James Badge Dale turns in a brilliant supporting performance, the film is overlong, buckles under its heavy-handed direction, and features the most obvious soundtrack ever. Take note, dear readers – according to this film, all you have to do to sober up from a bender if just snort a few lines of coke. -Caitlin Hughes
That’s My Boy
Remember the days of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore? Silly, maybe a little inappropriate, but always funny comedy that left you feeling good in the end? Despite being led by the same actor, That’s My Boy clearly does not remember either of these films and instead ditches their charm for raunch with no real reason why. More confounding still, That’s My Boy plays like it was pulled from years past rather than being one of this year’s recent releases. Played out jokes and un-funny gross-out humor makes That’s My Boy seem like an SNL sketch that never should have made it past the table read. But what is most offensive are the racist, sexist, ageist, and simply inexcusable digs thrown at anyone in the cast that happens to be of color, over-weight, or possibly suffering from a mental disorder. That’s My Boy is bad enough when the two leads are constantly picking on and harassing each other, but when you begin belittling serious situations, the film quickly goes from abhorrent to disconcerting. -Allison Loring
When Sacha Baron Cohen jumped to feature films with Borat, he seemed like one of the most vital, important comedic voices to hit the scene in a long time. His comedy was bitingly satirical of American ignorance, and it mixed fantasy and reality in ways that felt dangerous. All of that potential has very quickly faded away since he’s started making movies like The Dictator, though. Gone is the satire and danger of his early stuff and in their place is outdated gross-out humor and desperate attempts to shock with witless sexism and racism. The Dictator is profoundly unfunny. -Nathan Adams
(Dis)honorable mentions: A Thousand Words, Alex Cross, Lockout, Red Hook Summer, Won’t Back Down, Lay the Favorite, That’s What She Said, This Means War.