The Worst and Best Movie Titles of the 2010s

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You thought I was dead, didn’t you? Acting!

Anyway, I still have plenty of 2010s wrap-up material that I want to put down before I move forward on this blog and how fortunate that certain unfortunate global circumstances have brought movies to a halt. I will try to make the most of things to catch up in spite of the rest of my life’s schedule.

Anyway, the words say it all and without further ado… The Best and Worst Movie Titles of the 2010s.

THE WORST MOVIE TITLES OF THE 2010s

25.

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All You Need Is Kill

24.

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Edge of Tomorrow

23.

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Live. Die. Repeat.

One movie for the price of three titles. One of these feels painfully Engrish-y (it’s actually the title I am least fond of but in last place given that the movie was never released under the title so it felt unfair), one of these is generically undescriptive, and one of these clomps a whole bunch. What a mess of a promotional campaign! If Warner Bros. really wanted to sell this movie, they should have used my proposed title: Groundhog D-Day.

22.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

This one is just out of pettiness. Implying that the MCU is the true home of anything wilds me out, especially for Spider-Man when we had a trilogy of dope movies (and a later masterpiece) made outside of the MCU. I’m also still mad their idea of Spider-Man is “second Iron Man”.

21.

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Atlas Shrugged: Part One

Ha ha ha, this movie actually thinks it’ll get another pa… wait, we gave it a sequel?… we gave it two sequels? Clearly the least expectant instance of this awful post-Harry Potter trend of splitting single books into multiple movies. (I apologize, by the way, for how hard the “Part One” is to read in that awful typeface for the poster).

20.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

So we got “saga” in the title (which is the most ridiculous choice of word to establish Twilight as a series, like it’s Dragonball Z or Saga or something? It’s an outrageously cosmic-sounding term) and that already establishes a story being told in multiple parts and then we have to split the story even further (because again curse Harry Potter for doing this)?! Is this fractions?! I was told there’d be no math!

19.

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Insidious: Chapter 2

Insidious is the last franchise that should be using “Chapter” in their titles. And given how they came to their senses by the very last installment, I assume they agree with me.

18.

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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

I get it. I get the pun, but it ain’t making me laugh because of how awkward it is fitted in. But I get it.

17.

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John Carter

How do you go from a title as brilliantly evocative of the mysterious and exotic as A Princess of Mars to the blandly masculine name of John Carter? I get that he’s the main character, but even if it remained John Carter of Mars, it would still smack of trying to appeal as a “boys film”.

16.

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Hugo

Same issue as John Carter, an unfortunate painful demise for such an exciting title as The Invention of Hugo Cabret to… this bland poop.

15.

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Is that “Fast & Furious Presents” really necessary? It makes the title look ridiculous with the double ampersand and it’s not like The Fast and the Furious aspect is the main draw (in fact, I appear to be the only Fast and the Furious fan who dug the movie, to be quite honest).

14.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Listen, I know the word that’s missing, you know the word that is missing, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg and Paramount know the word that is missing. We can’t be silenced.

13.

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Little Fockers

Haha ok. Recycle the exact same joke you’ve been dragging through this franchise for 10 years. Not to mention how abandoning the Meet the… format immediately suggests that this franchise knows it’s past its expiration date.

12.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It kind of hurts more that such a wonderful subtitle as There and Back Again got turned into the bland action movie title of Battle of the Five Armies, but at least that one doesn’t have attached a very made-up word as Smaug.

11.

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Vampires Suck

Yeah, I get it. Haha, your movie sucks more.

10.

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Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

In the words of James Bond when he had to deal with the ridiculous name of Goldfinger’s Bond Girl which this children’s movie is evidently too cowardly to quote fully as a character name: “I must be dreaming”.

9.

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Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

There is just… a lot going on here. A lot.

8.

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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

“Call case number BD-0695 Batman v. Superman, please proceed with opening statements, counsel.” And the Dawn of Justice subtitle just makes it more convoluted.

7.

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Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

I get it. Return to Oz was taken and that title now has too much cult commodity in it to be misused but… why does this have to sound so clunky?

6.

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Star Trek Into Darkness

There is no need to take the “Trek” in Star Trek so literally. Sure, Star Trek Beyond gets into trouble with me for this, but Into Darkness did it first and did it worse. At least Beyond is a cool subtitle.

5.

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Shaun the Sheep Movie

The usage of articles in this title makes my brain hurt. Is Shaun himself the Sheep Movie? Why are we stingy on a definite (or even indefinite) article to keep us from recognizing where the components end.

4.

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Collateral Beauty

Listen, it’s very valiant of this movie to try to make up its in-film explanation but that is a very nonsense pairing of two words to sound profound.

3.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Having Cri– and Gri– in so close a proximity for me to mix them up is the real crime, not to mention what a nonsense word Grindelwald is, not to mention the futility of maintaining Fantastic Beasts in the title of a movie where they have practically no relevance.

2.

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Stuber

You get it? His name is Stu and he drives an Uber.

  1. Let me tell you a story. Around the time that I was drafting my 2017 Year-End Wrap-Up, I was gonna rewatch several movies I love and hate and I bring up this movie’s copy at the local library. Except for some reason, scanning it at the self-checkout led to an error message saying to take the movie to the librarian desk for them to check-out. At which point, I dropped the movie and walked out because there is no way I will be put in a position for a librarian to read the title of the movie I’m checking out and laugh at me.
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The Bye Bye Man

Alright, we got all the awful stuff out of the way, now the real cream of the crop:

THE BEST MOVIE TITLES OF THE 2010s

25.

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The Birth of a Nation

I am definitely being a little bit generous to a very awful movie (to say nothing of the character of the filmmaker), but I do enjoy the ballsiness of appropriating the title of one of the foundational works of cinema as a whole and quietly taking it to task for its racism. If only the rest of the movie was up to the task.

24.

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Inside Llewyn Davis

Llewyn Davis is – to start with – a lovely character name to look at and say. It feels like a more elegant counterpart to the name Llewelyn Moss from No Country for Old Men. And then there’s the usage of Inside – which has a double meaning! It establishes this as a deep character study (which it is) and also plays as the Coen brothers’ choice to be direct about the movie’s basis by naming it after Greenwich folk singer Dave Van Ronk’s album. Quietly literate as a title.

23.

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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

What a wonderfully descriptive title. It reminds me of the likes of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, like the title is trying to tell a full story on its own. And then there’s the entry of the mystical by the “Recall His Past Lives” element. If the Palme d’Or could be given for titles, this movie would deserve every one.

22.

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Un Beau Soleil Intérieur

Kind of cheating here by specifying the movie’s original French title instead of its English language title Let the Sunshine In – which definitely translates literally but doesn’t roll off the tongue as well – but like… say it! Great title.

21.

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Everybody Wants Some!!

Something about the choice in punctuation – not one exclamation mark, not three, specifically two – just amuses me. It feels well-humored amongst the exuberance that the title expresses.

20.

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Cowboys & Aliens

I have literally no shame. It says what it is on the tin.

19.

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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

I’m a real weirdo who loves to read – not just specifically to hear but to read – Southern colloquialism, it grants a rustic character to the literature for me. And particularly this titles’ choice of words – reading like a morbid canonization – feels nostalgic and evocative of something I really can’t parse out.

18.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

Same “what’s on the tin” principle as Cowboys & Aliens, but it’s such an exciting and absurd high concept jumble of phrases with a nice rhythm to it. The least-deserved title for a movie on this list, how dare it?

17.

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Brawl in Cell Block 99

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit A.

16.

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Dragged Across Concrete

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit B.

15.

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Bone Tomahawk

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit C. It is wild that this guy doesn’t write more songs than his lame garage metal from back then and his excellent credit songs.

14.

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“I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”

I mean… Sure, it’s cheating because the title is literally just a historical statement but I even adore the usage of quotation marks in such an infamously callous declaration, as though the speaker is trying to absolve himself of such a terrible thing to say.

13.

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Easy A

Now this is the sort of pun I can actually get behind. Everything from the worst titles list wishes it could touch this self-assured genius. (I am pretty annoyed that the source I had to use had that “easy girl” underneath, though).

12.

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The Kids Are All Right

I’m just that much of a Who fan, what can I say?

11.

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What We Do in the Shadows

Ha ha ha, it’s phrasing, y’all. And given Clement and Waititi’s talent for it, I’m very much looking forward to whatever year We’re Wolves comes out so I can say that has the year’s best title too.

10.

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Support the Girls

Unassumingly warm, gets right to the heart of what this movie is about, and feels like a quietly imperative command of the audience in turn. It’s an easy command to obey with such a likable cast of characters.

9.

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Crazy, Stupid, Love.

It’s the punctuation that kills me most (something which frustratingly so much of the promotional material does not retain) and the way that it’s presented in the film itself only adds more stress to it – each word is a beat dropped in anguish before the period at the end of “love” just closes the matter altogether.

8.

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Zero Dark Thirty

I mean, even if you understand the exact literal meaning – thirty minutes after midnight – there’s still a sense of secrecy from such a descriptive time of dark night. It doesn’t need to be cryptic to maintain a sense of withholding from us.

7.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

Just the perfect mix of the rustic and the mythic to get me diving head first into whatever this title is describing.

6.

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The Dead Don’t Die

I have to admit that for a moment I was worried this was an instance of cheating before learning that the Sturgill Simpson song that appears throughout the movie was written specifically for it. But even if it was named after previously existent material, that rhythmic stomping alliteration matched with the contradictory phrase composition is just too good for me to resist.

5.

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Only God Forgives

Vengeful and cosmic, angry and violent without being a direct threat, and I’m personally tickled at how it feels an inversion of the infamous anthem for fools “Only God Can Judge Me”. Granted only God can forgive the movie it’s attached to, but still…

4.

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Only Lovers Left Alive

What can I say? Jim Jarmusch knows great titles. Losing a definite article in this makes it feel so much more empty and incomplete while the description feels eternal and unending. I don’t know that you could tell it’s a vampire movie from the title but I do know that you can tell it’s tragic and romantic at once.

3.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A fine establishment of the what and the where before all the other complicated (if not, to be quite honest, complex) elements of the film come into play. It is frankly very clear that the writer of this film came from a theatrical background simply based on this title and I think that’s a wonderfully novel air to give.

2.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I actually haven’t seen this movie yet, but the title always gets me a good chuckle. It’s not like you need to work to get it, but just imagining how somebody under such stress would work to apply the military alphabet to such an exclamation gets me quite heartily amused.

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    It Follows

Frustrating enough given that it’s my favorite movie title of the 2010s (and possibly one of my favorite titles ever), I’m not certain how to really explain why. It just appeals to something primal about me, the ambiguity and the alarm mixing together to deliver something so immediate and present. The perfect title to give to a horror film, home of the unseen and the stalking.

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