Every year, there are a fair share of winners and losers when it comes to going to the movies. There are those films that everyone remembers for years to come, some films that are popular for a couple of months/years but eventually die out, and those films that we don't talk about.
The latter group is the one we're here to simultaneously honor and dishonor today, as not all films we've forgotten are necessarily critical duds. After all, last month's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a summer box office gem, and yet hardly anyone has seen it - dooming the film's chances of being remembered as the true fun it was.
We've combed through the box office records from 2000 up to 2012, and we've un-earthed 15 films you might still have tickets stubs for in your favorite pair of jeans -- yet still don't actually remember. Refill your popcorn, top off your refreshments, and kick back as we're about to go back in time with the 15 most recent movies that you probably don't remember, starring some of the biggest stars known to humanity.
The Watcher (2000)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, James Spader, and Marissa Tomei
Plot: An FBI agent (Spader) on the trail of a serial killer (Reeves) gets fed up with his inability to nab his nemesis and moves from L.A. to Chicago. He goes into therapy, tries to move on with his life, and sure enough the killer has moved right along with him - ready to resume the game they never finished.
Is It Worth Remembering? No, it really isn't. Keanu Reeves was weirdly unbelievable as a methodical serial killer, and as good of an actor James Spader is, he can't save every film he's in. It wants to be a cat and mouse game, but ends up playing like a Garfield strip.
Murder By Numbers (2002)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling
Plot: A pair of teenage murderers (Gosling and Pitt) commit what they believe is a "perfect murder," until a detective (Bullock) becomes obsessed with the case and begins poking around. Cue the mind games between the murderers and the detective, as well as between the murderers themselves.
Is It Worth Remembering? Yes. This low key pseudo remake of Rope is an early show of talent from Pitt and Gosling, with both playing off of each other incredibly well. Also, this is one of Sandra Bullock's better films from the early '00s, despite being sandwiched in between some of her more notable accomplishments.
The Core (2003)
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Tchéky Karyo, and Delroy Lindo.
Plot: With the Earth's magnetic core at a dead stop, the world is in peril... which means it's up to a rogue professor (Eckhart,) a NASA astronaut on probation (Swank,) and a handful of eccentric geniuses (Tucci, Karyo, and Lindo) to venture into uncharted regions of the planet, restart the core and save everyone.
Is It Worth Remembering? Yes! The science is shaky, and the writing is B-movie at best - but in a world where we can accept B-movies that are good at their job, while playing it totally straight, The Core is one of those few pioneers that were doing it before it was cool. Also, Tucci's blowhard scientist is worth the trip by himself.
After The Sunset (2004)
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek, and Don Cheadle
Plot: Jewel thieves never retire, they merely fool themselves into thinking there isn't another score worth their time. Max Burdett (Brosnan) doesn't know this, FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Harrelson) thinks he knows this, and the two adversaries come to blows in paradise.
Is It Worth Remembering? Not really. It's not that After The Sunset was a horrific disaster, despite Brett Ratner's best efforts; it's just that nothing particularly stands out about the film. It makes for a good watch on TBS one Sunday afternoon, when nothing else is on, but nothing more.
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004)
Starring: Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie
Plot: When the evil Dr. Totenkopf starts to abduct persons and resources with his evil robot army, it's up to Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Law), top aviator of The Flying Tigers, to save the world. Of course, he'll need help from ace reporter Polly Perkins (Paltrow) and fellow badass Commander Franky Cook (Jolie) if he thinks he's going to win the day.
Is It Worth Remembering? Yes, if only because of the technical wizardry on hand. While Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow is a fun 1930's sci-fi romp, it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. So at the very least, the first film to use all digital sets with live actors is something that this film should be championed for. Also, the film's pretty damned fun.
The Family Stone (2005)
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Clare Danes, Rachel McAdams and Luke Wilson.
Plot: Over the course of one Christmas holiday, Everett (Mulroney) plans to take his girlfriend Meredith (Parker) to meet his family (Keaton, Nelson, Wilson, and McAdams) - as well as to propose to her with his grandmother's ring. Naturally, chaos ensues, Meredith's sister (Danes) gets dragged in for support, and in the end, a whole bunch of surprises are waiting under the tree - as well as some gifts.
Is It Worth Remembering? No, unfortunately. Even with its amazing ensemble, the story in The Family Stone just doesn't get off the ground. Undecided on whether it wanted to be a comedy or a tearjerker, the film tries to split the difference - coming up short in both departments. The film is too busy, and really could have used some tighter focus.
Cinderella Man (2005)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti and Craig Bierko
Plot: Cinderella Man tells the true story of James Braddock (Crowe), a depression era boxer who comes out of retirement, only to begin a whirlwind streak of wins that crowned him "the Cinderella Man." Braddock goes from being a boxer with a broken hand to the man who defeated Max Baer in his prime, and his triumphs and setbacks are all chronicled here.
Is It Worth Remembering? Definitely. Ron Howard's underseen masterpiece was instantly recognized as an underdog, and it's one of the best sports films of the modern era; possibly of all time. If you ever need inspiration in life, and sports movies are your thing, this is the movie you should be watching.
Rumor Has It...(2005)
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Shirley McClane, Mark Ruffalo, and Kevin Costner
Plot: Sarah (Aniston) has just come home for her sister's wedding, which should be a time of joy and good memories. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way, as her grandmother (McClane) not only divulges information that makes her question who her real father is, she also informs her that she might be "the" Mrs. Robinson that inspired the character in The Graduate.
Is It Worth Remembering? Between the production problems, the shockingly dull handle on the subject matter, and the beginning of a really rough streak for Rob Reiner's previously illustrious directing career; we're going to say no. In fact, pretend you didn't read this paragraph.
Just Like Heaven (2005)
Starring: Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon
Plot: David (Ruffalo) has lost his wife, and is trying to pull his life back together. Unfortunately for him, he ends up being saddled with a ghost (Witherspoon) who refuses to cross over. Together, they'll get into some wacky hijinks and fall in love. But how do you love someone who's on the other side of the metaphysical spectrum?
Is It Worth Remembering? In this particular case, it's worth asking the very important question: do people you know remember this movie? You answers lies at the end of this important query, but if you want a cheat sheet, here it is: No. There's a reason.
The Sentinel (2006)
Starring: Michael Douglas, Kim Basinger, Eva Longoria, and Kiefer Sutherland
Plot: Secret Service agent Peter Garrison (Douglas) is on the run after his affair with the First Lady (Basinger) has inadvertently made him the target of a mole hunt. Trying to prove he's not involved in the suspicious death of a colleague, which could be a prelude to a presidential assassination attempt, he'll have to outrun the agent he trained himself (Sutherland).
Is It Worth Remembering? No. Despite Douglas and Sutherland's presence, the action and the intrigue are subpar in both respects. The most you'll get out of this movie is a sly joke about how character actor Martin Donovan and Douglas played characters at odds before they ever set foot on the set of Ant-Man.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, Rosamund Pike, and David Strathairn
Plot: An engineer (Hopkins) is accused of killing his wife, and decides to defend himself in the impending criminal trial. With a hot shot deputy district DA (Gosling) opposing him, both men will try to make a name for themselves in this courtroom drama with tons of twists and turns.
Is It Worth Remembering? No. Despite the casting of two actors as solid as Hopkins and Gosling -- in addition to flanking them with an extremely talented supporting cast - the entirety of Fracture is a big mess. The excitement isn't there, the mystery isn't all that grabbing, and the acting talent in the film is not served by the subpar material on display.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, and Frank Langella
Plot: Years after his release from prison, Gordon Gekko (Douglas) is back in the financial world. Only this time, he's actually helping out a young financial player (LaBeouf) save the stock market! Or at least a small corner of it, after it's been damaged by lies, rumors, and mud-slinging.
Is It Worth Remembering? It depends on who you talk to. While the return of Gordon Gekko might have been welcomed in a prior decade, his re-emergence during the post financial crisis box office may not have been the best move. Though, to be fair, if you're going to make a movie about Wall Street and its various dealings in a climate that has changed vastly since its last era of good fortune, who better to see it through than Gekko himself? The context of this way may have changed with time.
How Do You Know? (2010)
Starring: Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson
Plot: Lisa (Witherspoon) and George (Rudd) have a series of coincidental bump ins and misfortunes as they deal with the problems of their lives. Meanwhile, Lisa has a baseball player boyfriend (Wilson) who likes seeing other women; and George is being indicted for his father's (Nicholson) financial crimes.
Is It Worth Remembering? As a work of film, no. Out of all of the movies that tried to take on the financial crisis of 2008, this has to be one of the most awkward. Surely there must be a competent way of mixing a romantic comedy with the worlds of finance and sports, but this isn't it. Though if you do want to remember this film, remember it as the last time Jack Nicholson graced the silver screen, and one of the most unmitigated financial disasters of the 2010 box office.
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (2011)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, and Max Von Sydow
Plot: Oskar's father (Hanks) was a brilliant man, who would send his child on scavenger hunts throughout the city that tested his mind. Unfortunately, Oskar's father died on 9/11, as he was one of the office workers in the Twin Towers. With one last puzzle left behind, Oskar pursues closure in his father's death, with some help from a mysterious old man (Von Sydow,) his mother (Bullock,) and a random stranger (Wright.)
_Is It Worth Remembering? _No. If the annoying child protagonist doesn't turn you off from this movie, the extremely pandering 9/11 subplot most assuredly will. It's amazing that a film like Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close could be made and somehow wind up in the running for a Best Picture Oscar, as all it really has to trade on is its star-powered cast.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBoeuf, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, and Guy Pearce
Plot: Prohibition may have stopped the liquor from flowing, but it didn't stop the Bondurant boys (Hardy, LaBoeuf, and Clarke) from making and moving moonshine on the backroads of Virginia. They love, they fight, and they deal with both the mob and the law (Pearce) coming into their neck of the woods -- in this historically based drama.
Is It Worth Remembering? Yes, it surely is. Lawless was one of the unfortunate casualties of summer 2012's box office, and it's a damned shame. This flick plays up the slick outlaw angle to no end, and even makes hay with a cameo supporting role from Gary Oldman as a local gangster, as well as Guy Pierce's psychotic lawman.