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These Movies Earned The Lowest Ratings On Rotten Tomatoes In 2017

While some are of the opinion that review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes is leading to the death of film criticism, most recognize that it's a pretty good jumping-off point if you're curious as to how a new release is doing with the critics. Boiling down all existing reviews of a film to a black-and-white "Rotten" or "Fresh" rating can seem a bit unfair, and there are plenty of examples of films with "Rotten" scores that are totally worth watching—which is why it's always a good idea to actually read some of the reviews. 

But in order to achieve a score of 10 percent or lower, your film has to be a very special kind of crappy. While there are surely filmgoers out there who enjoyed these flicks, they're the movies the critics could not stop heaping scorn on in 2017—the stinkiest, moldiest Tomatoes of the year.

Fifty Shades Darker - 10 percent

It started life as Twilight fan fiction, but for better or worse, Fifty Shades of Grey has become a cultural phenomenon. The novels shattered sales records, and the first book's 2015 film adaptation did respectable box office while somewhat predictably disappointing critics, earning a paltry 26 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. But that didn't stop the inevitable adaptation of the second book in the series, Fifty Shades Darker—which failed to live up to even the meager standard set by its predecessor.

In addition to continuing the tradition of presenting questionable moral messages—one critic labeled it the story of "how much a woman is willing to accept being owned in return for beautiful clothes and cars and planes and houses"—the film committed the unpardonable sin of being deadly dull, with zero chemistry between leads Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Moviegoers looking for an erotic thrill were left wanting—but, on the bright side, those looking for unintentional comedy were duly rewarded, as one of the few positive reviews pointed out. 

Critics' Consensus: "Lacking enough chemistry, heat, or narrative friction to satisfy, the limp Fifty Shades Darker wants to be kinky but only serves as its own form of punishment."

The Emoji Movie - 9 percent

Perhaps more than any other wide release in 2017, The Emoji Movie was expected to be bad—the only question leading up to its release was just how bad. Unfortunately, the answer to that question was "catastrophically so," and not even the beloved Sir Patrick Stewart—voicing the poop emoji, for crying out loud—could spare this film the wrath of fans and critics alike.

Taking place in "Textopolis," where living emojis work and play, the film found so many ways to disappoint and offend that it's tough to pin down a consistent criticism. Sure, the film was panned for its substandard animation and derivative plotting—one critic called it a "second-rate version of Pixar's Inside Out"—but many reviewers were downright savage in their assessments. Time Out's Tomris Laffly didn't hold back, urging parents to "Keep your children far away from director Tony Leondis' vile animated faux-comedy" and adding, "Beneath its trippy surface lurks an insidious philosophy hazardous to impressionable minds." Laffly went on to suggest that the film seems to want to aggressively dumb down its young viewers, but suggesting that The Emoji Movie has even that much on its mind may be giving it too much credit.

Critics' Consensus: An Emoji that looks like a red circle with a slash through it.

Rings - 7 percent

An adaptation of a little-known J-Horror film with a bonkers premise, 2002's The Ring surprised pretty much everyone by being very, very good—one of the best American horror films of the last two decades. Its 2005 sequel The Ring Two made the mistake of continuing the original's story with a half-baked plot and substandard scares; it was a modest box office success, but was savaged by critics. In 2017, a full 12 years after that maligned entry, we were presented with the threequel Rings—in which the "videotape that kills you when you watch it" premise struggles to find footing in an era when VCRs are totally obsolete. Needless to say, it did not go over well.

The film was trashed as an unnecessary rehash at best and totally incoherent at worst, featuring a new cast free of charisma (with the exception of the criminally miscast Vincent D'Onofrio, looking lost in this film). Rolling Stone's venerable film critic Peter Travers opened his blistering review, "If crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then Rings would merit a death sentence." Facing off at the box office against the far better SplitRings only managed to barely make back its budget domestically—meaning that at least there should be no further risk of tarnishing the brilliant original's legacy.

Critics' Consensus: "Rings may offer ardent fans of the franchise a few threadbare thrills, but for everyone else, it may feel like an endless loop of muddled mythology and rehashed plot points."

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature - 9 percent

If you don't remember the 2014 animated feature The Nut Job, you're not alone. A caper comedy centered around a nut store heist dreamed up by a squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett), the film made the wrong kind of impression with critics—but managed to do decent enough box office to justify a sequel, 2017's Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. Unfortunately, the sequel managed an even worse Rotten Tomatoes score than its predecessor's dismal 11 percent, while bringing out maximum snark in many of the critics who endured it. 

The New York Times' Monica Castillo deadpanned, "The jokes are thin, the computer animation is wanting and the inane plot is a series of set pieces strung together," which might as well have been the entire review; on the opposite coast, Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times proclaimed it "a searing indictment of capitalistic government corruption," with tongue planted firmly in cheek, noting the film's strangely Communist worldview in service of "violent, carnivalesque mayhem." The stellar cast, which includes Arnett, Maya Rudolph and Jackie Chan, are uniformly wasted on unlikable characters—and to top it all off, there's not even a heist or any '90s rappers, making the title a double non-sequitur. 

Critics' Consensus: "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature may be a slight improvement over its predecessor, but its frantic animated antics still offer minimal entertainment to all but the least discriminating viewers."

Hangman - 7 percent

The premise of Hangman sounds like the first one any novice screenwriter would come up with based on that title: a police detective (Al Pacino) and criminal profiler (Karl Urban) track a serial killer whose MO is based on the classic children's game. If that seems a tad bit uninspired, the film's brutal reviews suggest it's even worse than it sounds. 

Critics generally dragged the film for being rote and familiar—one even called it a "cheapo Se7en knockoff"—with an uneven, unfocused performance from Pacino, an unquestionably great actor who has confounded critics with misfire after misfire for the better part of 20 years. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "routine thriller which makes a typical episode of Criminal Minds look sophisticated," and many of his peers weren't nearly as kind. Film Journal's Maitland McDonagh took the film apart with surgical precision: "[the script] is built around a by-now tired trope—a brilliant sociopath murdering his way through some personal obsession—and does nothing original with it. Partnered with a cast of stereotypes, the result is a slog of a movie, an instantly forgettable rehash of genre rehashes." The film sat uncomfortably at 0 percent before a sympathetic review or two trickled in, including one from the great Roger Ebert's former partner Richard Roeper.

Critics' Consensus: None.

The Snowman - 7 percent

Crime thriller The Snowman, based on a well-received Norwegian novel, boasts an absolutely amazing cast: Michael Fassbender stars as yet another detective on the trail of a serial killer, and the supporting cast includes Charlotte Gainesbourg, Chloe Sevigny, and J.K. Simmons. But saddling Fassbender's brooding detective with the name Harry Hole—it must sound a lot different if you're Norwegian—is only the beginning of the film's problems. Writing for Roger Ebert's website, critic Glenn Kenny opened his review by musing that it may take the field of film criticism 50 years to explain "just why a movie assembled by a group of mostly first-rate talents wound up such a soggy, slushy mess." 

The film got off to a rough start by featuring one of the weirdest, most misguided advertising campaigns of the year, and audiences stayed away in droves—which is just as well, because by director Tomas Alfredson's own admission, they wouldn't even have gotten a finished product as he simply didn't shoot portions of the script. What was shot apparently couldn't be salvaged in the editing room, as the "finished" film doesn't so much have plot holes as massive, gaping plot chasms. Critics were utterly perplexed—especially those who'd read the source material—and The Snowman flopped spectacularly, pulling in less than $7 million domestically.

Critics' Consensus: "A mystery that feels as mashed together and perishable as its title, The Snowman squanders its bestselling source material as well as a top-notch ensemble cast."

Tyler Perry's Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween - 6 percent

Tyler Perry's Madea movies always find their audience, and 2016's Boo! A Madea Halloween was no exception. It withstood an inevitable critical bashing to gross well over triple its budget at the domestic box office alone, and nobody doubted that there would be an awkwardly-titled second installment. Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween didn't disappoint in that department, but it did in virtually every other—the critics that bothered to review it (Rotten Tomatoes counts 16) absolutely lambasted it, with all of one friendly review listed on the aggregate site.

The other 15 were openly hostile and sarcastic, with one calling the film "a profoundly miserable low point for the franchise," and another noting that the film seems like the work of a filmmaker who is "actively starting to resent his job." All singled out the crude, rote gags and shoddy production values, but there was one bright spot: the film failed to double its $25 million budget, meaning that this might not become a yearly tradition. 

Critics' Consensus: None.

Just Getting Started - 5 percent

On paper, Just Getting Started seemed like a can't-miss: a breezy action-comedy from writer/director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Tin Cup), featuring Morgan Freeman as a former FBI agent and current luxury resort owner who falls into the crosshairs of the Mafia when military badass Tommy Lee Jones checks in. The two do some chest-bumping while competing for the attention of a lovely guest (Rene Russo) before begrudgingly teaming up to take care of the threat. Just putting Freeman and Jones in the same frame to butt heads and exchange snarky one-liners should have been a recipe for comedy gold—and if anybody involved had had the slightest interest in the film they were making, it might have been.

Critics were absolutely savage, citing Shelton's listless direction, the amateurish cinematography of lenser Barry Peterson (which one critic said makes the entire cast "look considerably older than they are"), and the phoned-in acting of all the leads—particularly Jones, who in every frame he's in would visibly rather be getting a colonoscopy than participating in the movie. The film was Shelton's first since 2003's only marginally better-received Hollywood Homicide, and if it's any indication, his tank may have run completely empty at this point.

Critics' Consensus: "A thoroughly unfunny misfire, Just Getting Started manages the incredible feat of wasting more than a century of combined acting experience from its three talented leads."

Flatliners - 5 percent

Joel Schumacher's 1990 thriller Flatliners isn't exactly the director's most beloved work. While it wasn't really panned (critics were pretty much split down the middle), it was viewed as a slight and unnecessary addition to Schumacher's résumé, and a waste of a hot young cast that included Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon. For some reason, however, somebody decided that a remake was in order 27 years after the fact—and it went about as well as you'd expect.

The remake likewise sported an interesting cast including Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev, and even Sutherland makes an appearance; although he originally stated that he was reprising his role from the original, the film doesn't make this clear. But while competently made, negative reviews tended to focus on the film's lack of a reason for being: Entertainment Weekly proclaimed it "perhaps the most unnecessary" of all recent remakes, and one critic went so far as to suggest simply staying home and renting the original "if you find Flatliners to be conceptually interesting." While none found it as offensively bad as some of this year's other stinkers, the film also had the misfortune of opening near the end of one of the better years for horror movies in quite some time, and critics weren't inclined to cut it any slack.

Critics' Consensus: "Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival."

The Last Face - 5 percent

With The Last Face, director Sean Penn and writer Erin Dignam seem to have been unsure whether they wanted to produce a grim wartime drama or a sweeping, melodramatic, romantic adventure—so they tried to do both, and the result was an unmitigated disaster. The story of a humanitarian aid worker (Charlize Theron) and a doctor (Javier Bardem) whose star-crossed paths intertwine throughout the years in some of the the bloodiest, most exploited regions of Africa, The Last Face doesn't hold back on the brutality or the melodrama—attempting a tonal balancing act that Penn appears to have woefully ill equipped to handle. 

RogerEbert.com's Christy Lemire succinctly summed up the film as "a two-hour perfume commercial," which "veer(s) between gauzy impressionism and shrieky melodrama." Many critics blasted the film's tendency to show African refugees and survivors of war and famine through the eyes of its privileged, beautiful, Western stars; Roeper complained that it "spends so much time on the on-again, off-again romance between [the leads], the African victims are all but nameless and faceless backdrops." Nearly every aspect of The Last Face, from its time-hopping script to its shaky camera work and choppy editing, was singled out for ridicule; even its phenomenally talented actors earned rebukes for their uneven performances. In a year with more than its fair share of stinkers, this may have been the worst of all.

Critics' Consensus: "The Last Face's noble intentions are nowhere near enough to carry a fundamentally misguided story that arguably demeans the demographic it wants to defend."