Review ‘Annie’ Is the Worst Movie I’ve Seen All Year.

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.

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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.

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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.

annie movie

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.

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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):

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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.

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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.

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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.

  1. I’m not surprised. Just look at who produced this movie (the Smiths)

  2. “from countless potholes to unwittingly preachy left-wing messaging”
    Well, it’s set in New York. There are bound to be lots of potholes.

  3. This is such a shame! I’ve been looking forward to catching this on DVD (I may still rent it). But I’ll admit the trailer did throw a few red flags. I guess that’s what happens when we let Will Gluck and Jay Z make a kids movie.

  4. i saw this just last night and was RIDICULOUSLY disappointed. There was no production value, a huge lack of talent, and I’ve never seen such a cheap movie pretending to be extravagant for the hell of it. It shows just how important post production is for ANY movie, especially musicals.

  5. Wow, I feel sorry for everyone who expected stuff from Annie and then came out hating it. The trailer looked good and felt like seeing it, but considering everything else, I had decided that I will not watch it.
    In other news, Sony is really screwed up here. They cancelled The Interview and the hatred of Annie, etc. is really giving Sony a ridiculously negative image. Don’t worry, because of Sony’s reception, Annie will not make a lot of money at all.

    PS Check out my comments on Chapter 18 of the Pixar Detective. It has stuff about a spinoff series and might help me on where to post it when I finish some episodes.

  6. Major groan. I wondered if it was going to bomb. Thanks for the truthful review. I will save my money.


    (this is the only thing i have disagreed with you on ) love this Pixar theory and your book

    • Well first off, the caps button is to your left.

      I’ve been to Brazil (and other countries), and I’ve brought my phone every time. You know why? Because you use them at the airport.

      Also, your phone does a lot more than just make calls. In Haiti, for example, my non-connected cell phone was one of my most important tools. It’s a flashlight, picture/video taker, and all around good device to have in case of an emergency, because yes, there are other cell phone countries besides the ones in America.

      As for your mother, I’m incredibly overjoyed at the fact that this movie has not infuriated her and ruined other Annie movies that she has enjoyed in the past. However, your mother’s happiness does not prevent this film from being a monstrous, unrelenting, pile of corporate garbage. At least for me and 99% of everyone else who watches this.

      • I saw this movie twice with my daughter. We both loved it. I have seen the original and agree that this does not hold a candle to it, but your review is rude and uncalled for. This is a decent film and worth watching. And the poster you responded to points out a very valid and clearly defined plot point. Annie clearly had a conversations with Mr. Banks about leaving the phone because it didn’t work in Brazil. He said they had coverage in Columbia, but not in Bogota because it was a hard market to get into, to which Annie responding that she had heard that before.

        She left her phone with him before leaving with her “parents” thus creating the need to use social media to track her. An idea her friends came up with.

      • @Silver Rude and I should know rude 😜

  8. I am actually a fan of the movie, sure there are plot-holes galore ad some jokes weren’t that funny, but I am actually a fan of Cameron Diaz’s performance. Hear me out before a riot breaks out on my block. I only like her performance on “Little Girls”. I am even brave enough to say proudly that I found it better than the original. However, at times I think she tried too hard. Other than that, I agree with most things. Good article overall.

    • I agree. I think the point of Cameron Diaz overacting is actually that she was mimicking the stage acting. Most stage actors are over the top so I think she was trying to be true to that. However I thought it was a huge plothole that Annie couldn’t read but somehow knew everything it said in that note her parents left her. Didn’t she read it to her friends in the beginning of the movie? Or am I fuzzy on the details?

      • This is movie 4 kids.. Ummm don’t really think be paying much attention to dat good point doe

  9. I wouldn’t even bother watching this film – I adore the original and hardly ever see a need for a remake. So thanks for confirming it to be as terrible as I imagined! 🙂

  10. Thanks for warning us about this film. For some reason, I already knew just from watching the trailers that this movie is going to be bad.


    • No. I’m not going to validate a movie because you “like” it. If you really need someone to make your opinions seem important, please go elsewhere.

  12. There was something about the trailers for this that really put me off of it. It’s good to hear that my hunch was justified. I’m also sad to hear about the focus on cell phones and technology, because that is so not the point of Annie. It’s like how BBC’s Sherlock is so obsessed with cell phones that it misses the whole point of Sherlock Holmes. Oh well, I’m gonna save my money!

  13. Completely disagree with your review. The movie was excellent. Sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder for some reason. Anyone who grew up on this movie – as I did – is going to love it. This movie is not at all like High School Musical or a made for TV movie.

    • “Anyone who grew up on this movie is going to love it.”

      See, that’s a really bold statement. It’s too absolute and is quickly disproved because I’m someone who grew up on Annie and didn’t love it.

      It’s great that you enjoyed the movie — that’s totally fine — but not everyone feels the same as you. We clearly have different tastes. The only chip on my shoulder is that this is a terrible movie that I was honestly looking forward to. I wrote this review feeling very disappointed in a missed opportunity.

      • U have great writing dude can u be my English teacher :3

      • You are right. Not everyone will feel as I do. But the same goes for you. Just seems you’re a bit harsh and closed minded. I truly enjoyed it. Everybody is always going to view a movie differently appealing to their own personal life experiences. Not two people will ever feel exactly the same on a movie. You can’t base your decision on whether to see a movie on if it got great reviews.

        • My job is to review the movie, which means I have to be honest about my experience with it. Being soft on it because there’s a chance this movie will be enjoyed by a select group of people is completely unethical, as well as unfair to the vast majority of readers who are specifically looking for my perspective. Because I’m consistent, they can get a sense for which movies they should see, even if I didn’t like said movie.

          My job isn’t to please everyone, so they can feel good about a movie they like.

          I understand the frustration you seem to be having. There are many movies I consider under-appreciated, and for good reasons. We’ll disagree, and move on. There’s probably a handful of movies that you and I both love a great deal, because there’s common ground among all types of viewers.

  14. I would like to also say that the 1999 remake was completely pointless – why redo a movie without changing anything up ? This 2014 Annie was fresh and current, and still in touch with all the original songs to bring on the sentimental tears….

  15. I have so much more respect for people who can come right out and say why they really hate the movie. I saw it, and it wasn’t bad at all. Be honest, you dislike it because it was taken by black producers and cast with black characters. The Smith’s are professionals and have produced some really good films. This was a really good film. Your dislike for the film is racially motivated and nothing else. If you weren’t such a coward this review co hi ld have been one paragraph of truth rather than this long, drawn out lie.

    • I’m confused, Dan. Am I racist because I think white people are better than black people? So Annie was better with white people? Is that what you’re saying?

      If so, your accusation makes no sense considering I’m 100% Puerto Rican.

      Look, Dan. People aren’t racist because they dislike a movie you happen to like. Relax.

    • I respect you brah tru tru. 😎😝

  16. Plothole with SPOILER:

    What about the whole “I can’t read” thing?! How in the world did she read the note about her parents? how did she know how to change the expiration dates? How did she fill out the forms?


  17. Despite your review, I saw this movie anyway and I enjoyed it greatly! The very problems you found with the film made the film charming to me. Plus, the part where you said Annie had her phone and did not use it was incorrect. She gave her phone to Stacks when she left his home so she had no phone.

  18. “Annie” is a modern day retelling of the acclaimed Broadway Musical and 1982 musical film based on the show, which was based on the 1924 Comic Strip “Little Orphan Annie” which in the original show and movie, takes part during the Great Depression, telling the story of Orphan Annie – a pre-teenage hoping for a return of her parents, who disappeared after they left her on the steps of of an orphanage as a baby. In this version, which again takes place in the modern day, it is revealed in the early part of the film that Annie, played by Quvenzhané Wallis (Academy Award Nominee for the “Beasts of Southern Wild”) was left as a baby at a restaurant by her parents, and is now a foster kid, under the care of Miss Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz. The Billionaire character “Daddy Warbucks” of the classic story, has been replaced by the character of “Will Stacks”, played by Jamie Foxx (Academy Award winner for “Ray”), who is also a Billionaire from his cell phone business, and is running for Mayor of New York City. So – leading up to this film, the predicted expectations were of gloom and doom, presumably I think because this version does not take place in the original time line, and because some people’s now negative views (not mine) towards Actor/Rapper Will Smith, who co-produced the film with among others, his wife, Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and Rapper and Business Mogel Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, whose sampled one of the Musical’s more populars songs “It’s a Hard Knocked Life” in his hit song “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”. So what did I think – While I admit – the movie does became a mess to a great deal, it is not a total mess, and could have been a lot worse. A lot of songs that many of us love are there and performed well by the cast, some with variations, some of which are understandably, and some which may have probably weren’t necessary. There are some new songs as well, including the very touching “Who am I?” – sung by Diaz, Foxx and Wallis’s characters in the later part of the film. Some of the modern day jokes, just some of the humor in general works well, and some falls flat. Kids should like this version of “Annie” just fine. Adults – I think most who are fans of the original are going to be annoyed by it. I myself am I fan of the Broadway show and 1982 Movie. While I obviously didn’t love this version myself, again, While it does become a mess to a great deal,it’s not a complete one. My rating is for the music, and some of the humor – 2 ½ out of 4 Stars (The ½ star is for the previously mentioned new song “Who am I?”).

    • I respect your review/analysis, and your sentiments are spot on. Only difference between us is that you were far more forgiving and accepting of the film’s few bright spots.

      • Or you older people could be grading the movie too hard and be looking for the slightest thing that sets this away from the original 😋😏

        • True, but keep in mind that I regularly watch movies made for children. A good kids movie doesn’t need to use its genre as an excuse for being a terrible movie.

  19. I was excited to see this movie with my nieces but the acting was horrible on q’s part .Aileen Quinn was awesome she could act,sing and dance..they should have used willow smith I think she would have done a better job we gave the movie a big F+👎👎👎

  20. Hi Annie I think your movie was nicee I was wondering could I have your phone number please and I like Mr.Stacks he was very nice and that foster mom of yours she thinks she is all that and your friends are so nice I was also wondering could I be your BFF

  21. Srry to all yall h8ing on this Annie, I personally enjoyed watching this Annie along with a few friends. I’ve never watched The original Annie because I wasn’t born yet, I think we’ll stay with this Annie and you can stay with yours 😛

  22. I realized, I don’t think there have been any good Annie adaptations. Correct me if I wrong (and if you do, use rotten tomatoes).

    • The only one I like is the TV adaption from the late 90s. Both of the movie adaptations (the latest and the one that came out in the 80s) have been pretty polarizing, I think.

  23. This movie has a underlying, disturbing agenda. When one thinks of “Annie”, most people visualize the iconic red haired girl in a red dress. What if a Little Rascals movie came out and “Buckwheat” was played by a white actor? I can visualize Will Smith, Jay Z and Jamie Fox sitting around a Sony Studio boardroom discussing how to push thier agenda on politically correct, brainwashed, white América.

    • Sorry, Mr Negroni. Got ahead of myself, just tired of being force fed politically correct bullshit. Thanks

    • That’s a pretty harsh assessment with no basis. Clearly, the producers of this movie were looking to expand the original story to a bigger, more global audience. It makes plenty of sense from a business perspective and is probably why the film was financially successful. If being politically correct means offering more roles to a wider group of talented actors, then in this case, I wish Hollywood was more politically correct.

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