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Action Movies That Bombed With A Zero Rating On Rotten Tomatoes

You never know what's going to eat it hard on Rotten Tomatoes. Sure, there are plenty of times when you can spot a critical bloodbath coming from a mile away, but some of your favorite movies might have been the victims of less than stellar reviews. After all, art is subjective. There's no wrong answer. (There is, apparently, a right answer, but we're not here to talk about Paddington 2.)

No, this is about the outliers; the truly, unabashedly trashy flicks that unanimously bashed by film critics. It takes real thoroughbred incompetence for a film to be panned by every critic that comes across it, but darn it, they're out there, and action movies — never a particularly critic-friendly genre in the first place — have born the brunt of the pundits' wrath on plenty of occasions. They say a good blockbuster needs a big explosion, so to put that theory to the test, here's a list of some action movies that truly bombed hard. 

You know those lists of a hundred movies to watch before you die? Yeah, this is the opposite of that. Let's take a look at some action movies that bombed with a zero rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Jaws: The Revenge

The sequel that nobody asked for to the sequel that nobody asked for to the sequel that nobody liked. While most of America was asking why they would possibly need another Jaws movie, Jaws: The Revenge bravely asked the question "why not?" and then shrugged and presumably did a bunch of that sweet mid-'80s cocaine off the back of an animatronic shark.

How did everything go so wrong? It didn't help that the movie was pretty rushed, with a total of nine months between the director signing on and production being wrapped. It's also worth mentioning that the series' chief antagonist is essentially a giant mouth that dies if it goes on land. It's kind of hard to write more than one movie around that.

Michael Caine was once asked why he lowered himself to performing in this monstrosity, and was quoted as saying that he'd never seen the film, but he saw the house that it paid for, and that was "fantastic." On the other hand, he missed the 1987 Academy Awards ceremony where he won Best Supporting Actor because he was busy making Jaws: The Revenge, which... bites.

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever

If you've ever heard of Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, it's probably for only one reason: with an astonishing 116 critics branding it "rotten," it holds the record for the most negative Rotten Tomatoes reviews of all time. Clearly, this mangy puppy's something special.

Lucy Liu plays Sever, a vengeful ex-DIA agent. Antonio Banderas portrays Jeremiah Ecks, a former FBI tracker with just the coolest facial hair. Together, they wear a lot of form-fitting black outfits and shoot at things and do martial arts while the director keeps lookout to make sure nobody catches them stealing The Matrix's aesthetic. Choice words from reviews include "abysmal," "eardrum-puncturing," and "like watching a movie version of Mad magazine's Spy vs. Spy, but minus the humor."

It's not all bad, though. The Gameboy Advance tie-in game received rave reviews, no doubt in part because it came out a year before, and had almost nothing to do with the movie.


Some movies stand out as a product of their time. The Breakfast Club doesn't belong anywhere but the 80's. Watch Casablanca and you can just make out the 1940s through the cigarette smoke. Well, Redline is the mid-2000's version of that — just in the worst ways possible.

Released in 2007 and starring largely nobody, Redline was a blatant and unapologetic attempt to cash in on the success of the Fast and the Furious franchise. The plot, such as it is, isn't nearly as exciting as the story behind the film: it was 2007, and if you had a bad idea, chances were you could get it financed with a little subprime lending. Usually, that idea wound up being a house you couldn't afford, but in the case of the people who made Redline, it was Redline.

So not only was the picture a ripoff of a Vin Diesel movie, but the whole thing was funded by the same lending practices that brought you the 2008 housing market crash. It's like eating a slice of 2007 pie!


Oh yeah. It's time to talk about Derailed. Not the Derailed from 2005 starring Clive Owen or the Korean Derailed from 2016 or the Canadian Derailed from 2017 or the Danish Derailed from 1942 or... jeez, is it really that hard to come up with a new name for a movie? Anyway, the point is, we're talking about the real Derailed. The one from 2002, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

If disposable action movies had a face, it would undoubtedly be Van Damme's. The guy has dozens of credits on his IMDb page and a startling 20-year streak of rotten films that started in 1988 and wasn't broken until he poked fun at his own public image with the meta action satire JCVD in 2008.

2002's Derailed was the cake topper — a tale of kicking things, trains, and kicking things on trains. Honorable mentions: The Order and Desert Heat, JCVD's other two movies with 0 percent scores.

A Low Down Dirty Shame

It can be hard to remember now, but there was a time when the public hadn't yet learned to distrust the comedic stylings of the Wayans family. In Living Color was fantastic, after all, and we hadn't been burned by White Chicks or Little Man yet.

Keenan Ivory Wayans' A Low Down Dirty Shame was the sketch star's attempt at an action comedy which he wrote, starred in, and directed. The title alone invited more than enough easy jabs from critics, and the contrived writing and clichéd shootouts took this flop the rest of the way to universal critical failure.

What separates this movie from some of the others that have suffered the same fate is the stark difference between reviews by critics and audiences. While the pros couldn't seem to find enough bad things to say about it, crowds apparently gave it a thumbs up, handing the picture a 71% approval rating with nearly 30,000 reviews. The fact that none of the critics could be swayed to their way of thinking is... a low down, dirty shame.

Dark Tide

Undoubtedly trying to cash in on the Halle-Berry-in-a-bikini artistic movement of the post-Die Another Day era, Dark Tide is one more entry in the catalogue of films that didn't realize sharks only work onscreen when you add a "-nado" to the end of their movie's title.

Berry stars as Kate, a shark expert. They call her "the shark whisperer" in the movie, which is a lot funnier than it was probably supposed to be. With her shark expert business running inexplicably low on funds, she agrees to take a wealthy family on a shark tour to a place called Shark Alley, a shark habitat that's just lousy with sharks. You might be wondering whether the excursion runs into shark problems. Spoiler alert: totes.

Shark Tide (er, Dark Tide) pulled in less than half a million dollars at the box office and somehow managed to be even more poorly reviewed than Catwoman.

Max Steel

If we learned one thing from Transformers, it's that you can turn a line of action figures into a multi-billion dollar franchise. If we learned one thing from Max Steel, it's that it helps if people still care about the action figures in question.

This is another in the line of poorly thought out adaptations based around the always artistic premise of "Kids love toys. Let's make a movie out of toys." The story follows Max McGrath as he goes on a journey of self discovery and robot-suited hijinks, all based around a toy franchise from the late '90s that clearly never had the popularity to inspire nostalgia-based races to the box office. A total bummer of a movie, Max Steel was produced on a relatively tiny $10 million budget and made back less than two thirds of it, all while critics reamed it as a blatant Iron Man ripoff. Fun fact: Taylor Lautner was originally slated to star, but dropped out to make a Stretch Armstrong movie that never found its nightmarishly stretchy legs.

Precious Cargo

This movie has it all: Bruce Willis, and... Actually, that's the end of the list.

In Precious Cargo, Willis stars as basically the same guy he's often played in downmarket action movies filmed during the inexplicably barren latter years of his once-mighty career. When he's betrayed by a fellow tough-as-nails shady character, he hunts her down, swears a lot, and shoots guns at things. It's sort of like what would happen if you wrote "Bruce Willis" into one of those screenwriting AI algorithms and then spent $10 million producing its screenplay.

Also starring Claire Forlani (a.k.a. the lady from those Dewars commercials) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (a.k.a. Zack "Saved by the Bell" Morris,) Precious Cargo was universally hated by critics who called it, among other things, "just another VOD craptacular." Sorry, Bruce. Not everything can be as well received as three-fifths of the Die Hard franchise.