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The Worst Movies Of 2017

Here's the sad truth about the movie business: much as we might hope for a classic viewing experience every time we step into our local theater, not every movie can be Vertigo or Citizen Kane. You're always going to have a few disasters mixed in with the masterpieces, and 2017 isn't any different. While the year produced some truly great films, it also had its fair share of clunkers, from malformed horror movies and badly made biopics to overbearing blockbusters that just might give you a migraine. Here's a look back at some of the least inspired releases that Hollywood put out between January and December—a real rogues' gallery of misbegotten ideas, flawed execution, and straight up mistakes. Maybe time will prove the critics wrong about a few of these films, but at this point, it doesn't seem likely—and they're the most (un)popular picks for the absolute worst movies of 2017.

The Bye Bye Man

With movies like Split, Get Out, and It Comes at Night, 2017 was a pretty solid year for horror. But on the flip side, we also had movies like The Bye Bye Man. Written by Jonathan Penner and directed by Stacey Title, this January fright flick has been described as an "insult to horror fans," an "unbelievably inept movie," and last but not least, "one of the emptiest, nonsensical haunted thrillers ever to fail genre audiences."

Of course, The Bye Bye Man totally deserved the drumming it took from critics. As a movie, it fails on every level imaginable, from the acting to the directing to the laughably bloodless kills. And worst of all for horror fans, the bad guy's mythology doesn't make a lick of sense. What's up with the coins? What's up with the train? What's up with the CGI mess of a hellhound? We never find out, and thankfully, we probably won't get a sequel for any more follow-up.

So yeah, don't think it. Don't say it. And definitely don't watch it. We're probably not the first to make that joke, but it's pretty sound advice nevertheless.


Directed by Baran bo Odar, Sleepless is an American remake of a French thriller called Sleepless Nights, but while the foreign film has been hailed as "one of the best action films of the 21st century," the English-language adaptation is the worst kind of movie in the world: it isn't good, but it isn't laughably bad either. Instead, it's middle-of-the-road bleh. Or as critic Matt Zoller Seitz put it, Sleepless is "funny sometimes but not funny enough, exciting sometimes but never exciting enough," which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

The plot follows a Las Vegas cop named Vincent (Jamie Foxx) who steals a sizable shipment of cocaine from local drug dealers; naturally, the criminals aren't happy, and they kidnap his son; Foxx goes into Taken mode, but his rescue attempts are hampered by a persistent internal affairs officer (Michelle Monaghan) and a nasty knife wound in his side. Sure, it sounds like a promising premise, but you'd probably be better off checking out the original. After all, Sleepless is so dull that Justin Chang of the L.A. Times admits the movie actually put him to sleep.

The Shack

In 2007, author William P. Young published The Shack, a best-selling novel about grief, guilt, and God. Ten years later, it was turned into a movie starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw. You'll never guess which one plays God.

The plot centers around Mack (Worthington), an American dad with an Australian accent who lost his daughter to a serial killer. Years later, he's still struggling, but things take a turn when he gets a letter from the Lord. The Almighty wants Mack to visit the cabin where his daughter was murdered, and once Mack arrives, he's greeted by Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush), the Holy Spirit (Sumire Matsubara), and God the Father (Spencer), also known as "Papa." The four spend the rest of the movie hashing over Mack's issues, working their way toward forgiveness and happiness, and breezing past the fact that Mack murdered his own dad.

No, seriously. That happens.

If you're looking for deep truths about religion, you might be better served checking out Silence or Cavalry, as The Shack was described by Geoffrey Macnab as "happy-clappy, New-Age-Christian propaganda." Owen Gleiberman summed it up as "a Hallmark-card therapy session," while Peter Bradshaw was offended by the film's "kiddiespeak theology." You won't find any answers to life's big questions here (unless you wanted to know if God is a Neil Young fan), but on the other hand, you will get to see Sam Worthington race Jesus in a supernatural sprint across a lake. So there's that.


While Collide is one of the year's worst movies, you can't blame the casting director—the film is loaded with talent. But just because your movie boasts impressive names, that doesn't mean it's worth all the money you spent on your actors.

Directed and co-written by Eran Creevy, Collide follows a young crook (Nicholas Hoult) who gives up his life of crime after falling in love with a bartender (Felicity Jones). But in a tragic twist, his girlfriend needs a kidney transplant, so our lovestruck hero teams up with his old drug dealing boss (Ben Kingsley) for one last score, hoping to steal some coke from a dangerous crime lord (Anthony Hopkins). Unfortunately, Hoult just can't hold the movie together, and according to Cinema Blend's Gregory Wakeman, the "script is so far from great that it's actually diabolical."

IndieWire's David Ehrlich puts a lot of the blame on Creevy for incompetence behind the camera, resulting in a move "with the credibility of a soap opera and the creativity of a car commercial." However, almost all critics agree that if you're going to watch this thing, you'll probably get a kick out of Hopkins and Kingsley: the Oscar-winners chew up all the scenery in sight.

All Eyez on Me

Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential artists of his generation, and he definitely deserved a better biopic than All Eyez on Me. Directed by Benny Boom, Eyez explores Shakur's relationship with his drug-addicted mom, his rivalry with the Notorious B.I.G., and his friendship with Jada Pinkett Smith. Well, "explores" might be too nice of a word: the movie glosses over the rapper's career, hitting the highlights instead of really digging into his life. As many, many, many critics have pointed out, the film plays more like a Wikipedia page than an actual movie.

While many critics have given star Demetrius Shipp Jr. credit for playing Tupac, more have slammed the movie's screenplay and editing, with Aisha Harris of Slate describing it as only slightly better than "a direct-to-DVD movie you'd pick up for a couple of bucks from a Wal-Mart bin." However, the biggest criticism is that All Eyez on Me brushes over controversy; most agree the film's handling of Tupac's sexual assault case is irresponsible, if not downright sickening. Here's hoping one day, some future filmmaker makes a Tupac movie that delves a bit deeper.


Based on the hit TV show starring David Hasslehoff and Pamela Anderson, Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as super shredded lifeguards who spend their days saving lives, cracking jokes, and fighting crime. Honestly, on paper, this sounds like it should totally work. But after Baywatch hit theaters in May 2017, the movie inspired a slew of articles with titles like "Baywatch is a Laughless Disaster," "How Dare the Baywatch Movie be this Bad," and "Help! Heeeeeeeeeelp!"

So what's up with the hate? Maybe it's because the movie focused a little too much on jokes involving body parts and fluids. Does Zac Efron playing with a dead guy's genitals sound funny? Or how about Jon Bass getting his private parts stuck in a chair? Couple that with a heaping helping of gay panic humor—not to mentions plenty of gags involving vomit, scrotums, and taints—and you can see why critics didn't feel the need to save this movie from drowning at the box office.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the fourth entry in a series of miserable kids films, and if you love your children, you'll never let them watch any of these movies ever. The first one, released in 2010, wound up with a measly 53 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The second limped away with 47 percent, while part three rebounded with 51. But believe it or not, things get worse with The Long Haul...much, much worse.

Or as film critic Christy Lemire put it, "You'll never know how good the first three Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies were until you're forced to see the fourth one."

Directed by David Bowers, The Long Haul finds the Heffley family on a road trip across America. Theoretically, they're supposed to be heading to their grandmother's house, but Greg (Jason Drucker) and his older brother Rodrick (Charlie Wright) have secret plans to visit a video game convention. And along the way, audiences are bombarded with a never-ending parade of projectile vomit, urine-filled bottles, and more poop jokes than you can dream possible.

True, crude humor can be funny, but as Keith Watson of Slant Magazine wrote, "the fundamental problem with The Long Haul...isn't so much the grossness of its humor as the laziness with which it's executed."

Underworld: Blood Wars

Kate Beckinsale has been playing the character of Selene since 2003. Let that sink in for a moment. We've seen three different presidents in that time period—not to mention the invention of the iPhone, the creation of YouTube, and four separate sets of Summer Olympic Games. In other words, she's been making the Underworld movies for a long, long time. It's a shame they're all so terrible.

Keeping with tradition, Underworld: Blood Wars totally lives up to the franchise's monstrously awful reputation. (Only Underworld: Evolution has a worse Rotten Tomatoes score with 16 percent.) And we're not even going to get into the "plot." Vampires fight werewolves. Selene wears a lot of leather. The directing in uninspired, the dialogue is stilted, and according to Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times, this movie "is so heavy with exposition that you would think that the director, Anna Foerster, and the screenwriter, Cory Goodman, had set out to complete a dissertation instead of a sequel."

In other words, it's probably time to drive a stake through this franchise's heart and let Kate Beckinsale move on to bigger and better things. She's killed enough Lycans for one lifetime.

The Space Between Us

Poor Asa Butterfield. If things had worked out just a little differently, he could've been Spider-Man. Instead, he wound up starring in The Space Between Us, a movie that critic A.A. Dowd described as "the kind of processed-cheese tearjerker, completely devoid of shame, that can harden even the easiest criers into heckling cynics."

This sci-fi rip-off of a John Green novel—The Fault in Our Starman, if you will—starts with a bunch of astronauts on their way to the red planet, but evidently, they skipped all their medical tests because it turns out one of the scientists (Janet Montgomery) is pregnant. She dies giving birth on Mars, and her son Gardner (Butterfield) spends the next 16 years in space. Eventually, he risks coming to Earth in order to find his long-lost dad and meet up with a girl (Britt Robertson) he's been chatting with online; during his journey, the movie desperately tries yanking at your heartstrings, hoping to stir up some kind of emotion other than boredom.

Perhaps the story might've worked better if Butterfield and Robertson made a convincing couple, but the duo lack any spark whatsoever. As a result, we're treated to a second-rate love story, a maudlin version of The Martian that critic Kimber Myers says is "the equivalent of astronaut ice cream, lacking in substance and crumbling to bits at the slightest pressure."


Ever wish Hollywood would bring back the homophobic humor of the '90s? Ever long for the good old days of gay panic? No? Then you might want to pass on CHIPs, a movie that thinks two dudes hugging each other is just disgusting.

Written and directed by Dax Shepard, the movie focuses on two motorcycle cops—Jon Baker (Shepard again, making this his Citizen Kane), a sensitive bike-riding ace who joined the police force to impress his wife (Kristen Bell), and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello (Michael Pena), a sex addicted FBI agent who's gone undercover. Together, they're trying to bust a dirty cop (Vincent D'Onofrio), but really, they spend most of their time ogling women, joking about cat feces, and accidentally touching each other's private parts.

With a movie this classy, it should come as no surprise that CHIPs lacks any well-written roles for women. Instead, as critic Simon Abrams put it, it's full of "over-sexed, under-developed female characters that Shepard uses to perpetually re-affirm Ponch and Baker's heterosexuality." All in all, CHIPs is the kind of comedy that gives the genre a bad name, and it makes us wonder what these actors were thinking when they joined the film in the first place.

Seriously, Michael Pena is better than this. Vincent D'Onofrio is better than this. And Dax Shepard should try to be better than this, too.

The Mummy

Ever since Iron Man burst onto the scene in 2008, movie studios have desperately been trying to copy the Marvel model. As a result, we've gotten the MonsterVerse, the DC Extended Universe, and now we've got the Dark Universe, an attempt by Universal to cash in on the superhero craze. But instead of relying on talking raccoons or thunder gods, the Dark Universe is all about classic movie monsters a la the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, and the Mummy.

Unfortunately for Universal, they bungled the whole franchise right out of the gate. The Mummy bombed at the domestic box office, and the film was savaged by critics. Glenn Kenny found the opening "adventure" scene involving Iraqi insurgents quite tasteless, while Molly Freeman noted the eponymous mummy (Sofia Boutella) was sexualized for no good reason. Many were disappointed with the flat characters, especially considering the stars involved. And if you thought the screenplay was less than original, well, the hosts of Half in the Bag couldn't agree more, as they pointed out how The Mummy lifted element from movies like Lifeforce and An American Werewolf in London.

But worst of all, The Mummy tried to set up a cinematic universe in just two hours, whereas the MCU unfolded over several movies. By trying to lay the framework for a future franchise in just one go, the story suffered, and as a result, The Mummy has set this universe down a rather dark path.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Well, Michael Bay finally did it. He finally made the worst Transformers movie of all time. Not even the great Anthony Hopkins, in all his over-the-top glory, could salvage this mess from the scrapheap of Autobot parts. The plot has something to do with King Arthur, Stanley Tucci, and a magical staff, but really, it's all just an excuse for CGI robots to smash one another while audience members take Tylenol to deal with their ever-growing headaches.

What can anyone say about The Last Knight to sum up its awfulness? Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "2017's most toxic film product," and Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote that Bay's visual style "prompts actual physical nausea." As if that weren't enough, the plot even drags poor Harriet Tubman into the mix. She's an American hero, and this is how we repay her?

But at the end of the day, it's pretty much the same old-same old. Battles are fought. Women are objectified. Racial minorities are mocked, and much money is made at the box office...although not as much as usual this time. If you couple that with the imminent departure of Mark Wahlberg and Michael Bay, then maybe it's safe to assume the Autobots and Decepticons have finally battered each other into oblivion. We can only hope that we're so lucky.

The Circle

With some movies, you can tell right away that they're going to be awful. But when others bomb, it's a little more surprising. Take The Circle, for example. It's based on a novel by award-winning author Dave Eggers, and it was directed by James Ponsoldt of The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour. It also featured a who's who of big Hollywood names, including Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, and Patton Oswalt.

Nevertheless, this sci-fi flick failed to live up to its potential. Not only are the characters underdeveloped (critic Katie Walsh describes them as "ciphers and stereotypes, lacking depth or nuance"), but the film doesn't do anything original or interesting with its themes. A creepy internet corporation known as The Circle wants to create a world where privacy is a thing of the past, where cameras are on every corner and all your information is online. Unfortunately, the film hits you right over the head with its message—or as David Sims put it, "It's all like an episode of Black Mirror, if Black Mirror made no effort whatsoever to be subtle."

So while the talent involved is quite impressive, just remember that knowing is good, knowing everything is better, and knowing this film isn't worth your time is best of all.

Fifty Shades Darker

The sequel to Fifty Shades of Gray, Fifty Shades Darker will leave you writhing in pain...but then maybe that's want the movie wants. That's definitely what Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) want, and after splitting up in the first film, they're back together in BDSM bliss.

Of course, if you're hoping for a cinematic masterpiece, prepare to be disappointed. As pointed out by The New York Time's Manohla Dargis, the movie is full of "abrupt swings in tone, dead-end detours and flatline performances, including from Ms. Johnson." And if you're looking for titillation, you probably won't find it here, either. Sure, Dornan and Johnson are good-looking, but that can't make up for the lack of sexual tension. As Laura Bennett of Slate put it, "For every inventively choreographed bedroom caper, there are three that are about as sexy as a Geico ad."

Just keep that in mind when Fifty Shades Freed shows up in 2018. After all, Geico ads are a whole lot cheaper than a theater ticket.


Perhaps more than any other genre, horror movies are notorious for generating sequel after sequel until audiences forget what made the original film so special in the first place. That's true for Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Paranormal Activity—and now The Ring. Nearly 15 years after the beloved American remake hit theaters in 2002, we've got a new, watered-down version called Rings.

Borrowing the plot from the first film, the movie centers on Julia (Matilda Lutz), a young woman who discovers her boyfriend (Alex Roe) has recently watched the infamous cursed video that every horror fan knows so well. He's running out of time before Samara comes slithering out of the TV, so Julia springs into action, hoping to save his life and stop Samara by finding her remains.

But critics didn't really care all that much about Julia's quest. Evan Saathoff of Birth.Movies.Death. wrote that the movie "becomes something far worse than just bad: boring. And also bad. But so, so boring." He's backed up by A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club, who said "The real problem with Rings...is that the characters are bland nothings." And Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com slammed the film as "more wearying than frightening."

In other words, Rings commits the greatest sin of any horror movie. It's downright dull.

The Book of Henry

After the critical success of Safety Not Guaranteed and the financial success of Jurassic World, director Colin Trevorrow made a serious misstep with The Book of Henry. Sure, his third feature has a fantastic poster, but the film itself has been described as a "revoltingly sentimental drama" featuring "the most ludicrous conceit of any American movie this year." Those are some pretty strong words, but as Peter Travers of Rolling Stone points out, that's probably because "the movie seesaws between dying-child tearjerker and WTF crime thriller."

The titular Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) is an insanely intelligent 11-year-old who spends his days inventing Rube Goldberg machines, investing in the stock market, and taking care of his adorable brother (Jacob Tremblay) and video game-obsessed (Susan Carpenter). In true movie genius tradition, Henry is obnoxiously smart—constantly correcting every adult around him, from doctors to school principals—prompting Evan Saathoff of Birth.Movies.Death. to write, "I do not recall the last time cinema gave us such a smugly dislikable hero." Soon enough, this pint-sized Einstein discovers his young neighbor (Maddie Ziegler) is being abused by her police commissioner stepdad (Dean Norris), so naturally, Henry decides the only way to save the day is by convincing his mom to take part in an elaborate assassination plot.

In addition to the murder and the molestation, there's a whole chunk of film about a kid dying of cancer, which is kind of weird in a movie that's trying to play out like a cute Amblin film. As Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times noted, the movie "has no compunction about milking child abuse, terminal illness and family grief for cheap emotional uplift," but if you're interested in watching what happens when a director and screenwriter make every wrong decision possible, then The Book of Henry might be the movie for you.

Wish Upon

When Wish Upon hit theaters in July, it faced some steep competition in War for the Planet of the Apes. The Apes sequel walked away with a 93 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As for Wish Upon? Let's just say that Broad Green and Orion Pictures probably wish they hadn't invested $12 million into this run-of-the-mill fright flick.

Directed by John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) and written by Barbara Marshall (Viral), Wish Upon follows a high school outcast named Clare (Joey King) who comes into possession of a mysterious box covered in Chinese writing. She quickly discovers the box can grant seven wishes, but unfortunately, the darn thing is possessed by a demon. Sure, the evil spirit will give you your heart's desire, but in exchange, somebody's going to die.

Of course, the obvious way to beat this box is to simply stop wishing, but Clare just can't get enough. She wants to be popular, she wants to date the local hot guy, she wants her dad to start playing the saxophone (what?), and if she's got to pay the "blood price," well, so be it. Tragically, while Clare was busying making her dreams come true—in exchange for friends and family members—theatergoers were stuck with "an unsatisfying combination of Final Destination and The Box," and even worse, they weren't allowed to get their money back, which is a far scarier twist than anything that happens in the film.

The House

Here's the sad truth: you can hire all the comedians you want, but if you don't have a solid script, then your movie won't get any laughs. That's the problem with The House, the latest from Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien (Neighbors, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates). The movie simply asks too much of its stars, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, and instead of giving them a strong screenplay to play with, it relies almost exclusively on their improv skills; as Owen Gleiberman of Variety points out, "That's not how making a truly funny movie works."

The "comedy" revolves around two parents, Scott (Ferrell) and Kate (Poehler), who open a casino in their friend's (Jason Mantzoukas) house. They hope to use their earnings to pay for their daughter's college tuition, but as you've probably guessed, things get wildly out of control. Soon, the two become suburbanite mobsters, using drugs and chopping off fingers, but while it seems like this wacky premise could lead to some good gags, Michael Nordine of IndieWire says the film is less like a comedy and more like "a bizarre endurance test."

It doesn't help that the movie starts off with a date rape joke, and things only go downhill from there. In fact, it's so bad that it inspired Richard Roeper to pen a review full of zingers like "I wouldn't be surprised if an expert in Morse code discovers Ferrell and Poehler were blinking "SAVE US!" at some point during filming." Given all the venom it prompted, it makes sense that The House wasn't screened for critics before it arrived in theaters.

A Family Man

Once upon a time, Gerard Butler was the king of Sparta, but with A Family Man, the guy is getting dangerously close to kicking his career into a bottomless pit. Directed by Mark Williams, this paint-by-numbers drama has been described as a "string of manipulative clichés," "run-of-the-mill, and crassly manipulative," and "boring, inoffensive, and mind-numbingly contrived."

The plot follows ruthless businessman Dane Jensen (Gerard Butler), who's all work and no play. This means he ignores his poor children as he tries to win the favor of his about-to-retire employer (Willem Dafoe), outmaneuver his office rival (Alison Brie), and become the new boss, all while drinking a lot of Red Bull. Of course, things get complicated when his kid (Max Jenkins) is diagnosed with leukemia, forcing our hero to choose between his son and his job. Care to guess which one he ends up picking?

Chances are good you can imagine exactly how this movie plays out. According to Victor Stiff of Film School Rejects, it "feels like [the filmmakers] took a stock movie script template and didn't bother filling it in." All in all, A Family Man is a predictable story that tries to jerk a few tears as Gerard Butler becomes a good dad, but since you can see the ending coming a mile away, why not revisit 300 instead?

The Emoji Movie

This is a movie in which Patrick Stewart plays a walking, talking piece of poop.

It's a movie that's supposedly about being true to yourself, but really, it's just a big commercial for Spotify and Candy Crush. It's a movie that proves Sony Animation loves your money and hates your children, one that makes Smurfs: The Lost Village look like The 400 Blows. It's a movie that somehow—shockingly—stole the soul of poor Mike White, a movie that Emily Yoshida of Vulture described as "one of the darkest, most dismaying films I have ever seen." 

This is a movie about emojis. What more do you need to know?

The Last Face

There's no denying Sean Penn is a talented filmmaker (see Into the Wild for proof), but even the very best directors come up with a bomb now and then. Unfortunately, The Last Face is so bad that when it played at Cannes, the audience started heckling the movie pretty much as soon as it started rolling.

The Last Face takes place in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sudan, but for a film set in Africa, it's kind of weird that all the black people are relegated to playing background roles or mutilated corpses. Instead of focusing on, you know, actual Africans, the movie centers on beautiful white people falling in love, and as a result, Claudia Puig of The Wrap says the movie devolves into a "mopey, overlong and vacuous disaster."

Our main character is Wren Petersen (Charlize Theron), the head of a humanitarian organization; while helping victims in war zones, she falls for a surgeon played by Javier Bardem. The two hit it off over a romantic session of brushing teeth, and soon, the movie shifts its focus from the dead and dying to a poorly written love affair. As Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com put it, "Sean Penn turns African strife into a two-hour perfume commercial...veering between gauzy impressionism and shriek melodrama with his latest directorial effort."

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

The Nut Job wasn't exactly what you'd call a masterpiece, but it made enough money to prompt a sequel that follows its woodland stars after they're forced to return to the wild, at which point our furry friends—led by Sully the squirrel (Will Arnett)—move into the local city park. Unfortunately, the mayor (Bobby Moynihan) plans on chopping down the trees and turning the area into a theme park—and he hires a group of exterminators to murder the rodents, forcing the critters to fight back.

While The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature stars talented actors like Bobby Cannavale, Peter Stormare, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, and Jackie Chan, the movie has a pathetic 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (just one point better than the original film). According to Monica Castillo of The New York Times, "The jokes are thin, the computer animation is wanting and the inane plot is a series of set pieces strung together." Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend said The Nut Job 2 was "one of the most boring movies that I've ever had to sit through," and Rafer Guzman of Newsday warns the movie contains a "semi-nauseating barf joke" that might make you lose your popcorn. In other words, it's definitely nut worth your time.

The Dark Tower

Hollywood has tried to adapt Stephen King's Dark Tower series for years—and now, after years of waiting, fans of the novels can finally see Roland Deschain shoot with his mind and kill with his heart on the big screen. Too bad the movie is absolutely awful.

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, The Dark Tower stars Idris Elba as Roland, a gunslinger dedicated to protecting the titular tower and defending 11-year-old Jake (Tom Taylor) from the evil Walter, a.k.a. the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). Dark Tower should've been a slam dunk (or perhaps a bulls-eye?), but critics such as Ty Burr of The Boston Globe says the film feels "derivative, even generic." And while most everyone agrees that Elba is the best thing about the movie, his talents go to waste in a horribly written role. (Just to be clear, we're talking about the screenplay here, not the books.)

Most critics also say that McConaughey was totally miscast, with Alison Willmore of Buzzfeed writing that he "offers up what's basically a more evil version of whatever he's doing in those Lincoln car commercials," but ultimately, most agree the movie lacks that certain something that makes fantasy films like Lord of the Rings feel special. In addition to critiquing the "wonky special effects" and "highly-questionable CGI," Scott Wampler of Birth.Movies.Death. says The Dark Tower's "biggest problem is how lifeless it all feels, how weak and lame the final product is."

Seriously, if you can't make a movie about otherworldly gunfighters and psycho sorcerers interesting, then you've truly forgotten the face of your father.


When the original Flatliners hit theaters back in 1990, it made a pretty penny at the box office, but this Julia Roberts film failed to impress many critics. Of course, compared to the new version starring Ellen Page and Diego Luna, the original feels like an absolute masterpiece of horror. Sadly, the 2017 version is dull, unimaginative, and completely lifeless, and critics have no intention of trying to revive it.

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (the guy behind the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Flatliners follows a group of med students experimenting with life after death. Their tests involve taking some heavy duty drugs, stopping their hearts for a minute or two, and checking out the other side before being resuscitated. Naturally, messing around with the afterlife has serious consequences, but when our heroes start experiencing some "spooky" visions, the film devolves into Jump Scare: The Movie.

While some critics have defended the cast—saying the actors are doing their best with what they've got—it's hard to rise above such terrible material. There's zero suspense, the characters are all idiots, and the visuals are lacking, leading many to wish the property would've just stayed dead. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone quipped the movie was only good for helping audiences "experience a nerve-deadening helplessness very close to a coma," and Kristy Puchko of Nerdist described the script as having "all the depth of a baby pool." Glenn Kenny of The New York Times said the film was "a new definition of 'meh,'" and Allan Hunter of Screen Daily cracked that Flatliners "is one film that should carry a Do Not Resuscitate Order." 


When the trailer for Geostorm first hit, everybody knew we were in for something stupid, but audiences had their fingers crossed for some campy fun. Unfortunately, according to critics like John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter, Geostorm is just "big, dumb, and boring," the worst sin for any big budget disaster flick.

Directed by Dean Devlin, Geostorm takes place in a future where scientist Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) has created the "Dutch Boy," a series of satellites that protects the world from apocalyptic weather events. But when somebody sabotages the system, Lawson and friends have to put their heads together to save Earth from hail, tornadoes, and the biggest storm in human history.

Sure, we've got explosions destroying Hong Kong, Orlando being attacked by crazy lightning bolts, and a bikini-clad girl trying to outrun a deadly cold front. But the action scenes are few and far between, interrupted by long segments of boring, flat characters staring at a bunch of screens. As Mike D'Angelo of The A.V. Club put it, "15 minutes worth of impressive annihilation won't be worth enduring an hour and a half of dramatic monotony."

Worst of all, we don't even get to see a geostorm. Thanks for that deceptive title, Dean Devlin.

The Snowman

On paper, The Snowman should've been awesome. It stars the incredible Michael Fassbender, not to mention Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, and J.K. Simmons. It's directed by Tomas Alfredson, the guy behind Let the Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Martin Scorsese was executive producer, and Thelma Schoonmaker—who's won Oscars for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed—worked as the editor.

But despite all that talent, this serial killer film is a bloody mess. Based on the novel by Jo Nesbø, The Snowman follows an alcoholic detective with the awkward name of Harry Hole (Fassbender). When a psycho with a thing for building snowmen shows up, Harry has to put down the bottle, team up with newcomer Katrine Bratt (Ferguson), and catch the killer. Unfortunately, the thrills are undone by a slew of messy subplots, over-the-top music, subpar performances, and a bunch of supposedly freaky Frostys that really aren't that frightening.

Without a doubt, the film suffered from all the behind-the-scenes drama. According to Alfredson, he was rushed by studio executives to get the film done quickly, forcing him to skip over 15 percent of the script. That left Schoonmaker with a mess to work with, resulting in a movie with an eight percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also didn't help that The Snowman had one of the worst—and most meme-worthy—marketing campaigns in recent Hollywood history.


Theoretically, Bright sounds like it should be pretty awesome. A cop movie set in an alternate universe where orcs and humans live side by side? Yeah, it sounds goofy, but it sounds like the right kind of goofy. However, when you actually log into your Netflix account and watch this Will Smith vehicle, you're reminded that theory and actual practice are often two very different things.

Directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis, Bright follows a human cop (Smith) and the world's first orc officer (Joel Edgerton) as they try to protect an elf and her magic wand from pretty much every evil creature in Los Angeles. But while there's a rich mythology here to explore, the world of Bright feels incredibly two-dimensional. "Los Angeles is almost identical to how it is in real life," wrote David Ehrlich of IndieWire, "except that elves are the one percent and orcs are the systematically oppressed underclass. The film's lazy refusal to explore its conceit any deeper than that is truly staggering...."

In addition to a world that isn't fleshed out to its true potential, the action scenes lack the gritty pop of a movie like Training Day, and while Edgerton tries to salvage the film with the best performance he can muster under all that makeup, the script isn't doing him any favors. Plus, whenever Smith drops a line like, "Fairy lives don't matter," well, then it's probably time to press pause and revisit...pretty much anything else on Netflix.


The trailer for Suburbicon promised a 1950s Fargo starring Matt Damon and a mustachioed Oscar Isaac. There would be murder, con jobs, and crooks getting in way over their heads—and that would've been awesome if the Coen brothers had been calling all the shots. Unfortunately, their frequent collaborator, George Clooney, was the man sitting in the director's chair, and he was unable to master the Coens' bizarre black humor, even while working from a script he'd co-written with the Coens themselves.

For some reason, Clooney thought it would be a good idea to meld two movies into one. On one hand, you have the blood-soaked story of Gardner Lodge (Damon), a 1950s dad who might've just murdered his wheelchair-bound wife (Julianne Moore). On the other hand, you've got the real-life story of William and Daisy Myers a black couple who moves into a white neighborhood, only to be harassed by their psychotic neighbors. Inexplicably, the Damon storyline is played like dark comedy (that never elicits any laughs), while the Myers storyline is completely sincere.

It's largely thanks to Clooney's decision to combine two separate films—and his inability to match the Coens' unique brand of humor—that critics were left wondering what went so wrong. "Other than when the movie appears to levitate for a brief period while Oscar Isaac is on-screen," wrote Brian Tallerico of Rogerebert.com, "the dull Suburbicon lacks in witty dialogue, interesting characters, or even visual flourishes. It is as flat as the well-manicured lawns in the idyllic neighborhood that gives it a name."

Fist Fight

Read the reviews for Fist Fight, and you'll find a lot of adjectives like "ugly," "mean-spirited," and "hyper-aggressive," which isn't meant as a compliment. You'll also find that pretty much everyone who sat through this hour and half improv session came away with the exact same conclusion: Fist Fight isn't funny. And that's a big problem when your movie is supposed to be a comedy.

The premise follows a mild-mannered English teacher named Andy (Charlie Day) who witnesses a crazed history teacher named Ron (Ice Cube) intimidate a student with an axe. Naturally, Andy rats out Ron to the principal, but that doesn't sit well with alpha male Ron, who challenges Andy to a fist fight. The rest of the film follows our hero as he tries to escape the upcoming showdown.

It seems like there's some comic potential here, but Fist Fight just misses with every single shot. Robert Abele of The Wrap said it was "ineptly assembled, shoddy-looking and devoid of comic tension or creative lunacy." And Richard Roeper said the film was "so bereft of laughs, I found myself rooting for a technical malfunction if only to catch a momentary breather." With its hostile humor and unlikable characters, Fist Fight feels like exactly that—a movie that won't stop punching you in the face.

Birth of the Dragon

Making a movie about Bruce Lee should be the easiest thing in the world. He was a martial arts master with a rags-to-riches story, a truckload of charisma, and a tragic death. It's the perfect recipe for an awesome biopic, but unfortunately, director George Nolfi very well may have offended Lee's family, the Shaolin temple, and audiences everywhere with Birth of the Dragon, the worst kung fu flick of 2017.

Dragon centers on the infamous—and controversial—1964 showdown between Lee (Philip Ng) and Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia). Only instead of focusing on either of these legendary figures, the movie spends way too much time following a white guy named Steve (Billy Magnussen) who trains with Lee, sympathizes with Wong, and wants to save his Chinese girlfriend from a crime boss. This isn't the movie anyone paid to see. Worse still, the film portrays Lee as an egocentric jerk who needs a good beating, which is a weird way to depict one of the most likable movie stars of all time.

Father Figures

Want to watch a movie where Terry Bradshaw makes pornographic jokes about Glenn Close? Or a movie where Owen Wilson urinates on a kid? If the answer is no, then you should probably pass on Father Figures, a film that critic Nick Allen described as "the latest textbook in how to make a lazy Hollywood comedy."

Directed by Lawrence Sher, the plot follows twin brothers—played by Wilson and Ed Helms—as they travel across America, searching for their long lost dad. Up until recently, they believed their old man had passed away, but after their mom (Close) reveals he's still alive somewhere, they set off to find him. Problem is, their mother was a party animal in the '70s, so their dad could be Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, or J.K. Simmons—an Oscar winner reduced to playing in a sad excuse for a comedy.

As Helms and Wilson journey across the U.S., the movie drops some racist humor, an incest joke, and two oversized cat testicles. It's all meant for laughs, but this is the wrong kind of raunchy, made even worse when the film inexplicably tries to switch from bawdy to heartwarming, prompting critic Katie Walsh to describe Father Figures as "a nearly two-hour borderline hostage situation, with torture involving bad, offensive and unfunny 'comedy.'"

Daddy's Home 2

When the original Daddy's Home hit theaters in 2016, it scored a measly 31 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So why make a sequel, and why release it during the holidays? Simply put, because of the money. (After all, that's what Christmas is really about.) And if that sounds a bit cynical or a tad toxic, well, that's Daddy's Home 2 right down to its last slapstick gag.

Part two picks up with Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) and Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) having become BFFs and excellent co-dads, but the status quo is torn apart when the grandpas show up. There's Brad's dad (John Lithgow), who keeps kissing his grownup son on the lips, and then there's Dusty's old man (Mel Gibson), a womanizing jerk who might rear back and sock you in the face at any second.

Eventually, the whole crazy family winds up in a ski lodge where all sorts of insanity ensues, from accidentally cutting down a cell phone tower to singing an oblivious rendition of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" As explained by The Wrap's Alonso Duralde, "The jokes announce themselves with heavy footsteps, and almost none of them land, stranding a talented cast with terrible material that they're straining to sell."

With its painful holiday humor and its aggressive ugliness, Daddy's Home 2 is the kind of movie that might inspire a new generation of Grinches to swear off Christmas for good...or at least any movie where the filmmakers are sick enough to cast Gibson as Wahlberg's dad. Seriously, what kind of twisted, insensitive joke is that?

Once Upon a Time in Venice

There are two kinds of Bruce Willis movies: the kind where he actually cares about what he's doing and the kind where he just wants a paycheck. Once Upon a Time in Venice definitely falls in the latter category. Directed by Mark Cullen and co-written with his brother Robb (the screenwriters behind another epically awful Willis flick, Cop Out), Venice finds the veteran actor playing a private eye trying to rescue his dog from a kingpin named Spyder (Jason Momoa).

While the plot sounds kind of quirky, it doesn't live up to its goofball premise, with The A.V. Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky describing the film as "a tiresome imitation of smart-alecky Shane Black whodunits like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Last Boy Scout." In addition to the lousy screenplay, the movie is riddled with offensive jokes aimed at minority groups like Latinos, cross-dressers, and Jewish landlords. And then, of course, there's Willis, who doesn't seem to care about anything that's happening around him. Robert Abele of The Wrap pointed out that "In any given scene, Willis flirts with looking bored, distracted, or unsure whether he's supposed to be funny or tough," and Craig D. Lindsey of LA Weekly wrote that Willis is "a sterling example of how a lazy star can make a bad movie even worse."

So yeah, you should probably just re-watch Die Hard or Pulp Fiction instead.


Directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy—founders of the fashion label Rodarte—Woodshock follows Kirsten Dunst into a haze of marijuana smoke and gets lost in its own pretentious fog. The plot follows a North California woman (Dunst) who's dealing with a creepy coworker, her loser lover, and the fact that she just euthanized her mother with a poisonous blunt. Things only get worse when she wanders into the woods and gets high on her own toxic supply, and from there, we're treated to a lot of sound and 420, signifying nothing.

Instead of really following a plot, the movie devolves into visions and dream sequences, which might be cool if the movie had something interesting to say. But as Christy Lemire of Rogerebert.com put it, "It's all pseudo-significant, film-school twaddle, totally lacking in momentum and character development." Richard Roeper chimed in with his own review, writing that Woodshock is "a film more concerned with the filmmakers' intention to advertise their artistic vision and provoke us than any attempt to engage the audience on an authentic and empathetic level." But maybe Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune summed it up best when he wrote, "This one puts the 'abyss' in 'cannabis.'"

Tulip Fever

Based on the 2000 novel, Tulip Fever had a long and troubled production before finally hitting theaters in 2017. And even though it starred three Oscar-winning actors in Alicia Vikander, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz, the movie never truly blossomed. Set in 1630s Amsterdam, the plot follows a young woman (Vikander) married to a much older misogynist (Waltz), and much to his disappointment, she's unable to give birth.

This was a pretty terrible situation for a woman in the 17th century, but after falling head over heels for a young painter (Dane DeHaan), she begins cooking up a plan to escape, one that involves pillows, fake pregnancies, and insanely expensive tulips. However, while this might work in the book, it fails big time on the big screen.

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly wrote the film "never quite transcends the feeling of watching a Dutch masterpiece done in paint-by-number," and Nick Allen of Rogerebert.com said the movie "drags you one way, and then another, and often clumsily bridges over missing narrative beats with goofy ADR or making you catch up." If you're dying to find to what happens in the story, visit your local library and check out Deborah Moggach's novel instead.