10 — Er, 11 — Worst Films of 2016

This was a really terrible year in a lot of ways and for a lot of reasons, but it especially sucked when it came to movies. The good ones were very, very good — look no further than my 2016 top-10 list for examples — but the bad ones were horrid. Here are 11 of the worst, listed alphabetically, because I couldn’t cut it down to 10. I suspect you’ll excuse the indulgence. Feel free to chime in with the worst films you were forced to endure this year — and here’s to a better 2017.

“Alice Through the Looking Glass”

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This movie is just hideous — garish, bloated and surprisingly joyless, given that’s it’s supposed to be all about wonder and whimsy. It’s a time-travel movie with zero stakes. Johnny Depp needs to stop playing these wacky characters and start actually acting again. (Although Depp also did some of his best work ever this year beneath serious prosthetics and makeup to play Donald Trump.) It’s clear that nobody on screen is having fun here, so how can we?

Watch the What the Flick?! review here

“Collateral Beauty”

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

It is impossible to explain how truly bizarre this movie is. It must be seen to be believed — and even then, you’ll wonder how anyone thought it was a good idea. This mawkish slog about the miracle of interconnection is a waste of a tremendous cast: Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Michael Pena, led by an unusually sullen Will Smith. When a movie can suck all the life out of one of the most charismatic actors on the planet, you know it’s done something noteworthy.

Watch the What the Flick?! review here

“Gods of Egypt”

Image result for gods of egypt

The look on Gerard Butler’s face says it all: This is a silly spectacle of epic proportions. It’s got hilariously terrible special effects — which is especially noticeable in 3-D — stilted dialogue, a wide array of bad accents and a batshit-crazy storyline that tries to combine history with sci-fi fantasy. It’s almost nutty enough to be enjoyable. Truly a movie that requires having a couple of drinks with friends beforehand.

Watch the What the Flick?! review here


“Hardcore Henry”

Hardcore Henry Movie Review

This movie hurt my head. Bring Dramamine if you’re planning on seeing it — and unlike “Gods of Egypt,” do NOT meet up with friends for drinks beforehand. Its first-person perspective provides a cool premise that quickly grows wearisome, repetitive and nausea-inducing. But if you’re in the sweet spot of its target viewing audience — video game enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s, and more than likely male — then “Hardcore Henry” is for you. Now get off my lawn.

Read the review here

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

If you liked “Frozen” but thought it wasn’t violent or angry enough, this is the movie for you. In keeping with the prevailing themes of this list, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is a ridiculous spectacle that wastes a pedigreed cast, including Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain and Liam Neeson. It’s kind of a prequel and kind of a sequel and a total mess. The costumes are gorgeous, though.

Read the review here

“Max Steel”

Max Steel Movie Review

A movie based on a toy should be a lot more fun than this. “Max Steel” is surprisingly bland and borderline incomprehensible. It’s about a teenager named Max (the Orlando Bloom-esque Ben Winchell) who fuses with a flying robot named Steel (voiced by Josh Brener) to become a superhero known as … wait for it … MAX STEEL. I gave this movie a half-star simply for the presence of Maria Bello.

Read the review here

“Meet the Blacks”

Meet the Blacks Movie Review

This is essentially a spoof of “The Purge” in which a black family moves from a violent section of Chicago to a wealthy enclave in Beverly Hills and finds it’s even more dangerous for them there. But if that’s going to be your premise — whites killing blacks out of snobbery or intolerance — your humor better be pretty sharp and sophisticated. Instead, “Meet the Blacks” gives us fart jokes and tired pop-culture references.

Read the review here

“Mother’s Day”

Mother's Day Movie Review

This is the movie that inspired me to start my worst-of list. In May. I had to bring Nicolas with me to the screening because I couldn’t find a babysitter, and as we were walking out, he said: “That. Was the worst movie. You’ve ever taken me to.” And he may be right. This ended up being Garry Marshall’s last holiday-themed ensemble comedy and the last film he directed, period, before his death in July. I don’t mean to be disrespectful by speaking ill of the dead, but there isn’t a single authentic moment here. The wacky antics and mawkish sentimentality of A-listers colliding into each other has given way to complete incoherence this time around.

Read the review here

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Movie Review

It may sound impossible, but there was indeed another entire big, fat, Greek wedding this year. And it was even bigger, fatter and Greeker than the first. I’m not sure who was asking for a sequel to the surprise smash hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” 14 years later (besides writer-star Nia Vardalos) but it’s here, and it strains desperately to be adorable.

Read the review here

“My Dead Boyfriend”

My Dead Boyfriend Movie Review

This is yet another one of those how-do-you-explain-it? movies, and that mainly has to do with casting. Everyone involved, including co-stars Heather Graham and John Corbett, is at least two decades too old to be playing East Village bohemians on the brink of the millennium. It’s distracting. The tone is always off, and the gimmicky use of animation doesn’t help. Nobody saw this so I feel sort of bad trashing it, but it was one of my more unpleasant movie-watching experiences of the year.

Read the review here


Warcraft Movie Review

This was an early contender for the year’s worst movie. I’ve never played any incarnation of the “World of Warcraft” video game, and the film version doesn’t make me want to start. It’s an effects-filled fantasy extravaganza that’s unattractive, hard to follow and (worst of all) boring. And it brings me no joy to report this because I’ve been a fan of the director, Duncan Jones. Better things are in store for him, I’m certain — and for all of us.

Read the review here

15 Comments on “10 — Er, 11 — Worst Films of 2016

  1.  by  takeshikitano3

    Worst movie I saw this year… I’m pretty good at spotting movies I won’t like and can easily avoid them, but I did purposely put on Sharknado 4 a few months ago. For the first time that series is no longer “so bad it’s good.” But as far as big theater movies go, I did no worse than The Forest, which I thought was just very average. Though perhaps average is the best compliment that movie got this year.

    •  by  Christy Lemire

      Movies like BvS and Suicide Squad at least have some artistry on their side, which redeems them somewhat. But yes, I agree, they’re also pretty terrible!

  2.  by  Krishna

    You left out Suicide Squad Christy. Another ensemble featuring Will Smith. I had 3 drinks and no hope before I saw this one and hoped I had more drinks to cope with this loud and obnoxious mess. Honorable mention…Bad Grandpa.

  3.  by  Daniel

    There weren’t many experiences as dreary as The Darkness this year. I think Kevin Bacon should have stayed seven degrees or so away from that one.

  4.  by  Rob

    The only good thing to come out of The 5th Wave was seeing Dave White and you trash it on WTF. In a decade of increasingly terrible YA adaptations, The 5th Wave was particularly woeful. Hopefully the poor box office showing by Allegiant and the decision to have the sequel straight to TV kills the YA genre, less we endure more films like The 5th Wave.

  5.  by  Clemery

    I appreciate why it’s on your list, but I really enjoyed Hardcore Henry. I am definitely in the target demographic, but I particularly enjoy found-footage and first-person movies, and this had a lot of cool moments that I will remember. Certainly not for everyone though, I know many who physically can’t even handle it!

    •  by  Clemery

      Worst film for me, btw, is Angry Birds. The only film I had to turn off this year.

      •  by  Christy Lemire

        I hear ya on that. I suspect I didn’t hate it because I had my son with me and he LOVES playing Angry Birds in any form, so I had a relatively good time just watching him react to it.

  6.  by  A Friend of Harry Lime

    One obvious omission is Knight of Cups, Christian Bale moping around L.A having the worlds most boring spiritual crisis. At least Terrence Malick can breathe a sigh of relief.

  7.  by  Tim hart

    Just saw “Fantastic beasts.” It wasn’t, and deserves a place on this list.

  8.  by  Finn Keating McMahon

    I’m glad I stayed clear of most of these! I’m surprised “Zoolander 2” wasn’t on this list. That was definitely the worst of the year for me.