And that’s saying something.
Let me preface this by saying that I was absolutely in love with the idea of a new Annie movie for this new generation. I was also glad that they were willing to take creative risks with the story, characters, and even original music.
Ironically, none of that is what makes the film the worst Annie movie of all time, as well as one of the worst movies I’ve seen in years.
That said, the new story is inventive and even gutsy. I actually bought that it was “Annie” for the modern day. It was a little jarring to be taken out of the 1930s, but I stuck with it.
No, what brings this film down is the fact that someone decided to release a post-2005 Disney Channel Original Movie into theaters, masquerading as a tribute to one of the most celebrated stories of the 20th Century.
I’ll state outright that anyone who even remotely dislikes the post-High School Musical Disney Channel will be disgusted by this movie. For them (and me), it’s unwatchable.
And even if the Disney Channel is your thing, I suspect you’ll still be put off by various other gaping missteps this movie takes, from countless
potholes plotholes to unwittingly preachy left-wing messaging that felt incredibly out-of-place.
The major sins of Annie (and trust me, I hate to even call the movie Annie) include some of the things a movie based on a major broadway play should make priority #1. The first is the sound recording. None of the characters even look like they’re actually singing, and the recordings are so “polished,” there isn’t an ounce of immersion.
The closest the film came to decent choreography and sound was during “It’s a Hard-Knock Life,” but that was only thanks to the fact that you couldn’t really see the characters anyway. And other classic numbers are so poorly done, you’ll wonder why they even included music in this movie at all.
Jamie Foxx does what he can with this script, along with Rose Byrne and Quvenzhane Wallis as Annie herself. Strangely, these three main characters deliver fine performances, and it was their chemistry that made the trailers seem promising.
But the acting falls apart nearly everywhere else. Cameron Diaz is clearly phoning it in as the persistently drunk Ms. Hannigan, and her overacting makes me think she was actually wasted on set.
And the children from the orphanage couldn’t deliver a single believable line, despite the fact that countless other young (and competent) actors would be chomping at the bit for a role in Annie. Where were they during auditions?
None of the humor worked for me (yes, they save the few funny lines for the trailer), and as I mentioned earlier, the plot holes are too huge to ignore, no matter how old you are.
SPOILER WARNING (though, it’s related to pretty much every other Annie plot):
One of the biggest plot holes of the movie left me with my jaw so wide, I couldn’t write this without pointing it out. Toward the end of the movie, Annie gets kidnapped by two people claiming to be her parents.
We clearly see her leave her room with her phone on her, but when she’s later locked in the car with her kidnappers, she doesn’t use the phone to call for help. We just don’t see the phone at all (the phones in this movie, by the way, look bizarre to the point where I feel compelled to bring up how strange they look).
Now Jamie Foxx plays the CEO of a cell phone company, and we find out early in the movie (by the chauffeur of all people) that the company spies on everyone. You know, like Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight.
But when they try to use this technology to find Annie, they just give up and decide to use recent pictures of her posted on Instagram and Twitter.
Guys, can I just say that I am sick and tired of these movies made by people who try way too hard to incorporate modern technological phenomenon in their movies. It’s to the point where “going viral” is the plot device of almost every single movie since The Social Network, including objectively good movies like Birdman.
Bottom line: it’s lazy. And incredibly overused.
Another gaping plot hole is that the kids in Annie’s orphanage know that Ms. Hannigan is auditioning people to pretend to be Annie’s parents. We see them admitting people into the orphanage for tryouts as they practice their lines. These are Annie’s closest friends, and they don’t say a word to anyone about it.
I could go on, but I think you get my point. It’s very rare that a movie infuriates me to this level. I can shrug off a bad movie. They happen. But when you mess with a legacy like Annie, which has legions of fans of all ages, and ruin it for an entire generation, you do something cinematically unforgivable.
This is saying something, but Annie (2014) is so terrible, I’m actually glad that it strays so much from the original Annie. At least this way, fewer people will confuse the two.
My advice? You’re better off watching the TV movie version from 1999.
56 thoughts on “Review ‘Annie’ Is the Worst Movie I’ve Seen All Year.”
I haven’t seen the new Annie yet, but now that I’ve read your review, I don’t think I ever will. I hated Teen Beach, with the lame songs and dances, so I doubt I’ll like Annie.
Thanks for the heads up!
What about the biggest plot hole of all? She spends her days reading her parents’ letter … oh hang on, isn’t one of the main stories in the fim that she can’t read?
I honestly feel like all of you “hate” the movie because it’s not the original all-white version. I loved the movie and even shedded a couple of tears. Also, to those who are saying she could read the letter but not anything else. She got the resturant owner to read it. She just associated the letters on the back of the letter they left with the sign. Then the owner read it to her. She doesn’t even read it everynight, she looks at it.
Do I hate this movie because it’s not the original all-white version?
Well, that depends on which one you’re talking about. The 80s version isn’t very good but I’d watch that over this one. The 90s version? Well, it’s smart, clever, well-acted, and the music is superb. So, yeah, I do hate this new one because it doesn’t have any of those things.
She was asked to change the expiry dates, so apparently she can write but not read … Really?
I actually found this version to be tolerable, mostly because of the performances of Wallis, Byrne, and Foxx. I even liked Cameron Diaz — look at every Miss Hannigan, they always are cartoonish and over the top. Diaz at least brought warmth to the character and a redemption that you never find in the character. I also liked a lot of the new music that was written for this version. Stylistically, it does have the same look and feel as a lot of the Disney Channel musicals, but that doesn’t bother me.
you can say what ever you want but as for me, this version is very good, interesting and well acted. It comprises of great sense of humour and deep tragedy…. I always laugh but I cry most of the time. for me, I love it
The 1980’s version of Annie and the 1999 version of Annie are amazing(1980’s version has always been my favorite movie of all time) so I was excited to see a new version of Annie. I just couldn’t get through it .. the acting was bad and I really don’t like when they mess with the era that classic movies like Annie take place (1930’s) but I. Thought maybe this will be cute. I do admit that I miss annoe with red hair and mrs Hannigan I’m the first version was hilarious. The little girl was precious who played Annie in the new version but too much technology and not enough heart for the movie (although I love her in other movies!) I think kids would love this movie becaue they may relate to it more than the original but I would recommend showing them the ones placed in the 1930’s first because the singing and acting of all of the cast was amazing! Not the worst movie ever but I wouldn’t watch it again.