Here we go.
I will start off the list by saying that this was a great year of cinema and that I had a difficult time reaching 25 films. In fact, there are films on this list with star ratings that would not have wound up on this list in past years.
So because of that, I decided to narrow the list down to the Top 20 instead of 25. The five that I dropped off were: Little, Point Blank, The Kitchen, Greta, Madness in the Method. Call them the dishonorable mention (I had MIB: International on the original list too, but I did not hate it near as much as others did).
As a rule, the star ratings themselves mean nothing outside of helping qualify what may be on the list. There are films that have higher star rating that are lower than others because of the idea of reflection. I also did not pay any attention to where things wound up on the Top 100 Worst of the Decade list so there may be some with flipped positions there. That’s just the way it is going to be.
Of course, this is only the films that I have seen this year. There may be some bad ones that I just chose not to see and so they are not here.
With that done… here we go…
#20. 21 Bridges. Chadwick Boseman starred in this movie that featured a group of cop killers and the police shutting down the 21 bridges that lead into Manhattan. Very predictable and no where near as exciting as it needed to be.
#19. Gemini Man. A good idea that suffered from poor execution. Will Smith is being chased by a younger version of himself. The CGI was some times good and other times terrible and that can’t happen in a movie where the CGI is so important.
#18. The Intruder. I ignored this film for the longest time until I finally saw it on Vudu. The biggest reason I skipped it in theaters is because it seemed as if the trailer had given away everything. After seeing it, I was right.
#17. Penguins. This is the first Disneynature nature documentary that I hated. I was so bored by these dumb penguins and the whole voice over storytelling technique just felt so forced and silly. It was the longest short film of the year.
#16. Charlie’s Angels. I did not hate this because there were women leads as director Elizabeth Banks insinuated. I hated this because the story was dumb and the characters were one-dimensional. Heck, I criticized Patrick Stewart for his Bosley role.
#15. Bennett’s War. Marshall Bennett returned from the military to race motor cross to save his family farm. Some of the acting in this film was just terrible and the movie was dull as can be.
#14. Between Two Ferns: The Movie. Another film I picked up late on Netflix. I wish I hadn’t. The fact that this is a feature length film made from a short skit should tell you everything you need to know. Stretched way too thin.
#13. Playing with Fire. Ah John Cena… you were on such a roll. Then you did this movie. This story of fireman Cena finding three kids in a cabin that had been on fire was so juvenile and brain-numbing. This film is really more of a target for children.
#12. Rambo’s Last Blood. I hated this movie. Stupid story. Worst villains of the year. Just an excuse to have Rambo kill people. What a waste.
#11. Hellboy. Another waste of a solid job of casting. David Harbour made a very good Hellboy even within this mess of a film. It makes me wish that they actually had a story or a thought of what they wanted to do.
#10. Dark Phoenix. The final FOX X-Men film before the rights revert to Marvel… not good. The second time the Dark Phoenix saga had been ruined by writer/now-director Simon Kinsberg. What exactly was Jessica Chastain’s role in this? Could Jennifer Lawrence give a bigger crap? I guess Nightcrawler is a killer. Going in with low expectations did help a little, but not enough. Go get them, Marvel Studios!
#9. Captive State. A dull science fiction story that kind of kept its science fiction on the back burner. John Goodman is in this movie. It is very much forgettable.
#8. Playmobil: The Movie. The worst animated movie of the year, Playmobil wanted to be the next Lego Movie, but instead turned into something totally different. One of the biggest flops of all time. Well deserved.
#7. Goldfinch. What they heck was this thing? A Pulitzer Prize winning novel turned into one of the most boring movies of the year. You could tell the actors knew this was not a winner. What was up with Finn Wolfhard’s Russian accent? Oakes Fegley did his best. His is a name to watch. Otherwise, this is …woof.
#6. 6 Underground. There could not be more of a Michael Bay movie than this. This is the pinnacle of Bay-ness in a movie. Everything that Michael bay always includes in a movie is here in spades. I had early hopes, but I lost interest early on. I’m sure Michael Bay fans loved this one. It couldn’t get over soon enough for me.
#5. Replicas. Keanu? What are you thinking? I mean… seriously, this movie has him cloning his dead family to try and bring them back. That was never going to go wrong. One of those films where you have a hard time rooting for anyone because they all are being stupid.
#4. Jexi. Adam Devine winds up in a relationship with his phone, an app named Jexi. You know, like Siri, but not. And this movie is like Her, but not. It is a comedy, but… you know. not. I hated so much of this movie.
#3. Serenity. Yes, this one could be a cult fandom eventually like a Birdemic or The Room. It needs RiffTrax to riff it or MST3K to use it on its show. It is complete nonsense and would work wonderfully for that. It has the worst twist in a movie ever. I’m not even joking.
#2. The Fanatic. This was going to be number one on this list until Christmas. After that it slipped to number two. John Travolta plays a mentally challenged fan who stalks a celebrity, breaks into his house, ties him to the bed, torments him… but I really think the film intend him to be the hero. It feels like a career low for Travolta. It is certainly a career low wig.
#1. Cats. Yes, it is the Jellicle number one. The movie that is such nightmare juice that I still think about it. The worst CGI you’re gonna see…so bad that they were still fixing it a week after it came out in theaters. Human hands on cats. Dancing mice with children’s faces. Cockroaches with human faces. What could they have been thinking. Thank God for Ian McKellen, who knows the movie that he is in. He is hamming it up all over the place and is clearly the highlight. Jennifer Hudson sure can sing. The problem is she is horrendous to look at when she is (and I mean that with all due respect. I love Jennifer Hudson… she is beautiful and to see her look like this is a travesty). If I would have seen this in time, I think it would have been #4 on the worst of the decade list, just behind Last Knight, Holmes & Watson and Movie 43, but ahead of Birdemic. It is almost worth seeing again just to see if the horror is real or if it was something I dreamed about in a fever nightmare. Cats is the worst movie of the year, by a good distance.