Since December 17 we’ve been counting down our genre favorites for 2012, leading up to our Year in Review issue. Now it’s time for the year’s worst films, and may God have mercy on their souls.

  • The Avengers

The Avengers In his capsule review for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Jonathan Rosenbaum began by saying, “Not bad for a toy commercial,” a pithy but no less apt assertion regarding a film driven by marketing dollars and brand recognition. A little over a decade later, The Avengers represents the pinnacle of commercialized Hollywood. Its lack of imagination is one thing, but I’m left most uneasy by its disconcerting depiction of a nuclear weapon as a force for good. The fact that Joss Whedon directed it seems almost illogical, considering his previous work (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is often critical of the same things The Avengers promotes, namely the marginalization of females in popular culture and the glorification of militarism. —Drew Hunt