Making a movie is tough and I have nothing but respect for those who accomplish it. However that doesn't automatically make every movie good, and some may waste your time. Let's take a look at 19 of the most disappointing films of this year.
I’ve changed this list from “Worst” to “Most Disappointing” as there’s a valid conversation going on around “who does this help by calling something the worst?”
The reason I still think it’s worth publishing a retrospective is that not everyone has the opportunity to see a film when it first comes out. So when considering whether or not you want to spend valuable hours from your life you won’t get back on the following films, I hope to at least arm you with my perspective and warning on if I think you’ll find the time satisfying. I’m also firmly aware that many of these (okay just a few) are probably on the top of several people’s lists. Here they are in no particular order:
Motherless Brooklyn - Original Review
This film was long, rambling, and made disability the butt of the joke when it didn’t need to at all. If you want a crime caper/whodunnit I suggest“Knives Out” instead.
Gemini Man - Original Review
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. In this case that applies to having a digital double play against a live action older version of themselves. The uncanny valley spooky factor got to me too much. That and the plot was gibberish.
X-Men Dark: Phoenix - Original Review
While several franchise bookends made my favorite list, this film was a discredit to the series. “Logan” would have been an elegant end to the Fox film versions of the X-Men before they’re handed back to their Marvel overlords. The only thing I can hope for from this is that like a phoenix from the ashes, Disney/Marvel decides to tackle the Dark Phoenix storyline on Disney Plus where they’d have enough time to dedicate to the complicated tale.
High Life - Original Review
Space porn, but make it rapey and woman hating.
Ad Astra - Original Review
Porn about outer space. Except not.
More like Sad/Mad Brad with Dad (problems).
Dumbo - Original Review
Disney and their creative bankruptcy bring us this abomination.
Alita: Battle Angel - Original Review
Speaking of abominations… I feel like this may have had potential, but it defied logic, and more importantly, fun.
What Men Want - Original Review
Big ol yikes on this one. While I’m all for trying to flip gender norms on their head, this film somehow perpetuates negative stereotypes about women?
Serenity - Original Review
I had almost purged this from my mind, and I honestly can’t believe it came out this calendar year. But I’m almost delighted it did so I can allow it to top my “worst” list. Too much McConaugh-butt, not enough logic. You know it’s bad when “How Did This Get Made” does an episode about you in the same calendar year you came out in.
The Lion King - Original Review
Why is this on the list? Well. Because it was a complete waste of time. It added almost nothing to the original, except for a few seconds here and there which somehow equated to an extra 20 minutes. Why mess with something that was just fantastic as it was.
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood - Original Review
Tarantino’s dislike for women oozes throughout this piece (particularly the ending). It’s self indulgently too long, and was not for me.
Last Christmas - Original Review
Part of the reason I changed the list to “most disappointing” is because there are a few films on here I had high hopes for and was let down by. “Last Christmas” is one of those films. I wanted it to succeed. I like both the leads very much. However attempting to adapt a Christmas song was not enough fodder for a feature length film.
Well much like how Will Smith starred against himself earlier on this list he now has the honor of being twice on this list. Much like “Lion King” this is a “why mess with a good thing?!” from the golden age of Disney? I know the answer is “money” but that doesn’t mean I have to support it. Plus we’ve got CG gone awry again. I almost managed to avoid this film entirely but felt obligated to suffer through to confirm my suspicions. It uses too many shortcuts / depends on us knowing the original (or maybe knowing the original has too much of an influence on this). Also someone please explain how the only white guy in the film is getting a spinoff? The fun of the original is lost in this version.
The Beach Bum - Original Review
In fairness I didn’t have a ton of expectations for this, and I don’t think others did either. Self indulgence was one of my biggest pet peeves this year and this film was an offender.
Joker - Original Review
The film as a whole may have been okay had it not been set in the world of Batman. This film proves that we don't need a Joker backstory. It also proves that the filmmakers have no idea how to handle mental illness.
Yes I know this one is also on the top of many people’s lists. But if you hadn’t been told it was supposed to be “good” would you really feel that way? It took me 3 sittings to get through this film. It was one of the worst offenders in the self indulgent category. The “de-aging” was nonsense that actually made the film harder to follow as some sequences they looked like they ran out of VFX budget so you couldn’t tell where in time this was supposed to be. This is a film by old white men for old white men. Also as a friend astutely noticed: it’s a 3.5 hour film starring a bunch of septuagenarian or older actors… and not once during it do they have trouble hearing each other?
Judy - Original Review
This film felt incredibly hollow. I sense there’s a much more complex story to Judy Garland but the glitter and sequins somehow manage to distract away from any sort of meat. If you want the story of a gay icon I recommend “Rocketman” instead.
Stuber - Original Review
It pains me to put this on the list. Again this is a film I really wanted to succeed. I love the leads, I think they have chemistry. The film fails to click into place.
Hellboy - Original Review
Another of the “I wish this would have been better.” I love the Del Toro adaptation, and I think David Harbour is great… on “Stranger Things.” Unfortunately that affection could not save the viewing experience for this film. I certainly hoped for more out of this, but was left with a sloppy unimpressive mess.
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