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Are Ryan Reynolds' Worst Movies Still Worth Watching?

Since "Deadpool" became a massive hit, people everywhere have been asking themselves what Ryan Reynolds can't do. As it turns out, very little. He's even good in some otherwise bad films, as this list will attest to. For several years, Hollywood had a hard time figuring out what to do with the handsome funnyman. He's been in comedies, dramas, action movies, sci-fi epics, even horror flicks — and he's done a great job in many of them. However, despite his best efforts, a number of his films have failed spectacularly.

We've taken a deep dive into Ryan Reynolds' worst-rated movies so you don't have to. There's a little bit of everything in this pool, from the gross-out comedy "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" to the vampire flick "Blade: Trinity," from the family drama "Fireflies in the Garden" to the supernatural action film "R.I.P.D." Reynolds has been in a surprising number of terrible films and has somehow come out the other side unscathed. But which of these movies are actually worth your time?

National Lampoon's Van Wilder takes gross-out comedy to whole new levels

2002's "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" has a score of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, and, quite frankly, that's very generous. This is a crude sex comedy that doesn't have much going for it. The film revolves around Ryan Reynolds' Van Wilder, a college student in his seventh year who just can't leave his university. Along the way we get a character from India named Taj Mahal (played by Kal Penn with a thick accent), a well-endowed bulldog, and a scene involving Van Wilder's rival that has to be one of the grossest things ever put to film. It's offensive and disgusting in equal measure.

This was Reynolds' first major role after coming off the show "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," and, to be fair, he does an admirable job. The movie, however, is horrible. "The film belongs to that dying comedy sub-genre, the gross-out flick," David Nusair of Reel Film said in a scathing review. "And this one takes things particularly far, forcing characters to eat dog semen. That'd all be fine, if any of this stuff was in the least bit funny." While Reynolds does his best to make the film enjoyable, his character just isn't likable. Even those who like a bit of toilet humor will probably find themselves rolling their eyes at this one.

Ryan Reynolds carries Blade: Trinity

2004's "Blade: Trinity," the third entry in the "Blade" film series, has all the great fight scenes of the first two films. However, it suffers from a distinct lack of Wesley Snipes' Blade, the human-vampire hybrid these films revolve around. Apparently, Snipes and director David S. Goyer fell out, and this led to an awkward shoot. According to Patton Oswalt (who played Hedges, a member of the Nightstalkers), Snipes filmed "Blade: Trinity" in a bizarre way, only coming out of his trailer for close-ups. Snipes has denied that this was the case, pointing out that he helped get Goyer hired in the first place.

Whatever the reason for the lack of Blade, the winner in this situation was Ryan Reynolds, who is said to have been given more lines as a result. His character — the vampire hunter Hannibal King — is one of the best parts of this otherwise forgettable threequel. "Reynolds is in excellent form as his cock-sure demeanor and unwelcomed perfectly timed banter bounce against Blade's unflappable and ill-tempered stoicism," Collider said in a review. Despite Reynolds' best efforts, the film didn't do well with critics. It holds a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though viewers were kinder — "Blade: Trinity" has an audience score of 58%, and we're siding with the majority of regular moviegoers on this one.

The Amityville Horror is a surprisingly good remake

This 2005 remake of 1979's "The Amityville Horror" is a sleeker entry than the original film, and, despite only getting a 24% score on Rotten Tomatoes, we think it's the second-best "Amityville Horror" movie ever made. The remake boasts Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz in a performance unlike any we've seen from him before or since. He's terrifying as the one who's most impacted by the house and is very convincing in the role, with no hint of his typical wise-cracking persona on show. He's great at showing the scary effects of his increasing possession, like when he makes his step-son hold the logs he's chopping or as the victim himself when he's pulled under the water in the bath.

While we recommend giving this one a go, be warned: There's an especially unsettling moment where Reynolds' character appears to go after a demon and instead ends up killing the family dog. Of course, the dog dying is a time-tested horror trope, and it's ultimately gore-hounds who will get a kick out of this one. Reviewing the movie for the website Daily Dead, horror movie critic Heather Wixson said: "Not only does the remake give us deeper characters to invest in, better scares, and made the act of chopping wood absolutely one of the most horrifying things ever, but it also does what all good cinematic retellings should do — respect its roots but also steps out and does something different."

Waiting... is outdated and offensive

2005's "Waiting..." stars Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long as a pair of waiters working at a chain restaurant called Shenaniganz. It's an apt name given the behavior of the staff at this particular branch, but the mischief they get up to is neither clever nor funny. Monty (Reynolds), Dean (Long), and the other male staff are constantly playing something called the Penis Showing Game, which is exactly what it sounds like: Immature men showing other men their privates and calling them a pejorative for gay because of it.

This kind of humor was widespread in Hollywood comedies in the mid-00s, but, even at the time, critics found it tiresome. "To me it seems more like a catalyst for desperate shock value from a filmmaker who is trying to pump energy into a dead scenario," Roger Ebert wrote. Debuting writer-director Rob McKittrick set out to make a slacker comedy in the same vein as Kevin Smith's "Clerks," which is a far better option if this is the kind of vibe you're after.

Needless to say, this is one Ryan Reynolds film that hasn't aged well. After revisiting the movie in 2023, film critic Nathan Rabin wrote: "It's essentially a gay panic film whose humor is rooted in the intense horror and disgust heterosexual men are supposed to experience when faced with things they consider gay." While it has a cult following among people who work in the service industry, the majority of viewers will hate this unfunny and offensive flick.

Chaos Theory is a breezy delight

2008's "Chaos Theory" stars Ryan Reynolds as author and so-called efficiency expert Frank Allen. He lives by a time-tested routine, but that all changes when his wife Susan (Emily Mortimer) tries to play a joke by setting his clock back 10 minutes — only she accidentally sets it 10 minutes ahead, instead. The consequences of that prank end up being huge: Frank's meticulous schedule falls apart and his life spirals out of control an inch at a time. It's not the best Ryan Reynolds film you'll ever see, but, despite its 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Chaos Theory" is actually pretty funny, and it holds up surprisingly well.

Perhaps this romantic dramedy is more enjoyable these days because you don't see too many films like this anymore: Sadly, mid-budget movies about adults living regular lives are a dying breed. That's a real shame, but if you miss this kind of thing, then you should definitely give "Chaos Theory" a chance. It feels real, and in the age of superhero dominance, that makes for a nice change of pace. "By creating likable characters and putting them in situations that seem plausible, if a bit of a stretch, the film succeeds," Ruthe Stein wrote in a review for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fireflies in the Garden is a boring slog

"Fireflies in the Garden" boasts an impressive cast, but, even with all the talent involved, it's still a complete snooze fest. Ryan Reynolds plays another bearded and bespectacled author here. This time around, he's a romance novelist, one who has a complicated relationship with his English professor father (Willem Dafoe). Old wounds are reopened after a sudden death in the family, though, as tragic as this particular moment is, it's hard to care about the Taylors and their drama, because none of them are the least bit interesting.

What attracted the likes of Dafoe, Julia Roberts, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Emily Watson to this project is a mystery that critics puzzled over. "This histrionic family drama must have looked good on paper to attract such a big-name cast, but on the screen it comes off as glib, rushed, and underdeveloped," wrote J.R. Jones of the Chicago Reader, one of many reviewers to trash the film (it has a measly 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). "Fireflies in the Garden" actually premiered at Sundance four years before it hit theaters in 2008, so producers clearly knew this wasn't a winner. The New York Post called its eventual release "a token theatrical burial."

Green Lantern is a total mess

When it premiered in 2011, the DC film "Green Lantern" bombed at the box office and was hammered by critics, earning a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, one of Earth's Green Lanterns. In this big screen adaptation, Reynolds' Jordan is recruited to the Green Lantern Corps, the first human to join its intergalactic ranks. Like many of the films on this list, it looked great on paper, but "Green Lantern" flopped so hard that it almost derailed Reynolds' career. "I represented the death of the superhero for a while," Reynolds told Taraji P. Henson as part of Variety's Actors on Actors series. "After 'Green Lantern,' I was pretty much unhireable."

But what makes "Green Lantern" so terrible, exactly? Fans of the character could fill several pages answering that question, but perhaps the main reason that the film failed so spectacularly is that it looks terrible. For some reason, the powers that be decided to render Reynolds' superhero suit with CGI rather than just making a physical costume, and the result was cartoonish. Of course, Reynolds went on to find superhero movie success with his "Deadpool" films, in which he mocks "Green Lantern" several times. When an actor is taking stabs at their own project, you know it's not worth watching. The only reason to stick this on is for a look at Reynolds and Blake Lively pre-marriage — they met while making the movie in 2010 and were married two years later.

The Change-up is a terrible body-swap comedy

"The Change-Up" is like "Freaky Friday" in that it's about two people who swap bodies, but that's where the similarities start and end — "Freaky Friday" is funny and charming, and "The Change-Up" is anything but. It follows two guys named Mitch Planko and Dave Lockwood (played by Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman) who magically end up in each other's skin after peeing in a fountain while wishing that they had the other's lives. With a set-up like that, is it any wonder the movie scored just 26% on Rotten Tomatoes?

This flat comedy flick comes from the director of "Wedding Crashers" and the writers of "The Hangover," both of which did considerably better with the critics. Those two films knew exactly what they were aiming to be and were unapologetic in their approaches. "The Change-Up" comes with a lesson: It's supposed to be endearing in a frank sort of way, with both men learning what they appreciate about their lives. That's all well and good, but the lack of laughs leading up to this moment means it fails as a comedy. As Will Leitch wrote in a review for Yahoo! Entertainment, this film is "cynical, tone-deaf junk."

R.I.P.D. should stay buried

The worst movie on this list in terms of Rotten Tomatoes scores, with a rating of just 12%, is 2013's "R.I.P.D." This supernatural Ryan Reynolds flop found a second life on Netflix at one stage, but it seems like that was more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. On top of a ridiculous name (which stands for Rest in Peace Department), the film has little going for it in terms of plot. Reynolds plays a Boston cop who gets killed by his partner and is subsequently recruited into the titular force, which hunts for souls that have escaped judgment. Nick's new partner, played by Jeff Bridges, is Wild West lawman Roy Pulsipher.

It isn't particularly funny or clever, and the real mystery here is why Jeff Bridges is slumming it in such a silly movie. "Who wouldn't be dispirited by this script," asked London's Evening Standard," adding that the film "plays out like an episode of 'Doctor Who' aimed at dumb, fascistic teens" and that it contains "expensive visuals that you can't believe cost more than a penny." Though Bridges and Reynolds make a good team, the material and visuals let them down big time. It's no wonder "R.I.P.D" bombed hard at the box office: It lost in the region of $140 million.

Self/less isn't as smart as it first seems

"Self/less" is another body swap movie starring Ryan Reynolds. In this one, Ben Kingsley's Damian Hale jumps into a younger body (that of Reynolds), which he's assured was grown in a lab. Of course, this isn't true, and soon the younger Damian is having flashbacks to the family and military service of his body's original owner. One of the biggest issues here is that the whole body swap thing isn't pulled off by the actors, with Reynolds apparently making little effort to match Hale's accent and mannerisms.

This is a movie that would like you to question the morality of changing your body, but the plot is so vapid and cliched that it doesn't make you want to ruminate on it. Reviewing the film, Kathi Maio of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine wrote, "I do wonder what [the filmmakers] might have done if they had avoided the trite, explosive tropes of an action film for something that actually touched upon the many issues raised by their basic body swap plot." In the end, "Self/less" reveals itself to be a dumb movie masquerading as a clever one.

Criminal is a confusing thriller

Technically, the main character of 2016's "Criminal" is CIA agent Bill Pope, played by Ryan Reynolds. However, Pope's memories are implanted into a convict named Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) after his death: He was killed on the job before he could reveal to his superiors where he hid an important informant, and now it's up to Jerico to fill in the gaps. Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones also feature here, which makes the fact that "Criminal" stinks even more, well, criminal. With so much talent, how did this picture end up with a score of 30% on Rotten Tomatoes?

For one thing, "Criminal" never really explains what's going on. It's not clear what plot Pope was trying to foil or why Jerico is suddenly a nice guy (after all, he retains all of his own memories and is still the same guy). The goals of the big bad are murky at best, and the film can't decide how serious it is. In a two-star review, Sara Michelle Fetters of MovieFreak wrote: "Douglas Cook and David Weisberg's science fiction-flavored scenario attempts to have it multiple ways, on one hand playing events with deathly, bleakly murderous seriousness while at others crafting a comic book flavored absurdist vibe where anything and everything is suddenly possible."

Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is a rip-roaring good time

2021's "Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" is a follow-up to "Hitman's Bodyguard." Like the first film, the sequel didn't score well with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but (also like the first film) it did better with regular moviegoers, notching an audience score of 79%. We're siding with the viewers on this one — though the plot has some holes, seeing Ryan Reynolds share the screen with Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek is a joy, and you'll be happy to go along for the ride if, like us, you appreciate these actors.

Let's get this straight: "Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" is not an Oscar-worthy movie by any stretch. However, it's certainly an entertaining one. It's packed full of exciting action sequences and is very enjoyable if you're willing to suspend your disbelief for 100 minutes. While the majority of critics were unable to do that (the film scored a disappointing 26% on the Tomatometer), Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times had a good time watching it. She wrote: "'Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard' is loud, lazy, profane, and well nigh incoherent. It's also at times quite funny, with a goofy vulgarity that made me giggle."