Sameen Amer

Sameen Amer

The author is a Lahore-based freelance writer and critic. She tweets as @Sameen (twitter.com/Sameen)

10 Hollywood movies of 2016 that should have never been made

Films fail in different ways. There are financial failures – good movies that earn critical praise but just don’t excite audiences, thereby disappointing at the box office. Then there are critical failures – bad movies (like Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and the downright shambolic Suicide Squad) which earn the ire of critics but still interest viewers and make bucket loads of cash. And then there are films that hit the double whammy of failure – critics hate them and so do moviegoers, making them derided box office bombs. Here are 10 such movies that simply couldn’t please anyone and ended ...

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Allied: Average, unexciting and forgettable

The hoopla around the real life of thespians can occasionally overshadow their work, but few films have been upstaged quite as ferociously by gossip as Allied has. The movie found itself being thrust in the middle of the Jolie/Pitt split (quite like Mr & Mr Smith landed in the centre of the Aniston/Pitt divorce around a decade ago). It doesn’t bode well for the film, however, that its alleged – and categorically denied – involvement in the Brangelina breakup is perhaps the most exciting thing about this otherwise mediocre project. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Robert Zemeckis’ romantic thriller tries to evoke ...

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Keeping Up with the Joneses is dull and devoid of any significant laughs

There are two basic things that you can logically expect from a film that is marketed as an action comedy: action and comedy. That detail might seem pretty obvious to you, but somehow Hollywood still hasn’t quite managed to grasp this fairly straightforward concept. The least an action comedy can do is entertain you with its excitement and wit, but ever so often, the movies that supposedly fall in this genre fail on both counts. The latest project is Keeping Up with the Joneses, a spy adventure that despite being powered by an impressive, talented cast (and Gal Gadot) is ...

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The Accountant just didn’t add up

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that seems to exist just to remind you of other big (and small) screen projects. That pretty much appears to be what The Accountant is trying to achieve. The same way Dexter meets Jason Bourne by way of A Beautiful Mind, Gavin O’Connor’s action thriller comes off as an amalgam of various (significantly better) projects that have preceded it, as it jumps haphazardly from one familiar plot point to the next. The film tells the story of Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), an autistic math whiz with extensive combat training who is running a shady accounting firm ...

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These Storks just couldn’t get their job done right

The recently founded Warner Animation Group hit it out of the park with its first release, the joyously zany The Lego Movie, in 2014. The animation division of Warner Bros. has since been busy preparing the many sequels and spin-offs in this prized franchise, two of which – The Lego Batman Movie (2017) and The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) – are slated to come out next year. In the meantime, the studio has tried to keep its audience entertained by releasing the lively Storks, an amicable but unexceptional offering that pales in comparison to the significantly more imaginative (and, of ...

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Skiptrace isn’t a ‘good’ movie by any metric

The success of action comedies like Rush Hour (1998) and Shanghai Noon (2000) helped Jackie Chan gain international recognition. For his latest cinematic endeavour, the star from Hong Kong has teamed up, yet again, with an American actor for another action comedy, Skiptrace. Joining him for the buddy adventure this time is Johnny Knoxville, the Jackass crewmember who may not have the star power of Chris Tucker or Owen Wilson, but still manages to deliver the requisite comic relief in a movie that is considerably more enjoyable than it has any right to be. Jackie Chan and ...

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