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Year in Review: The Worst Movies of 2016

Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. Pictures

For us to ever talk about the best movies of the year, we should begin by justifying the worst movies of the year. You can easily throw together a quick list of films that had no hope from the beginning, but then this list would be uninteresting. This is a list of movies that had promise, but dropped the ball. They had either a killer cast, director, producers, trailers, or premise that had all of us clamoring for the release date. When they hit theaters though, they immediately had audiences and critics running for the exits.

It would be easy to jump on the bandwagons of other sites, who threw films like Bad Grandpa or rushed to trash Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (which was actually a film I enjoyed a lot more than the first). I am listing films that should have been successful, but failed miserably. There are a lot of factors that contribute to these movies demise, but each of them need to be forgotten moving forward. Actually, just don’t ever own these movies.

Ghostbusters, Sony Pictures
Promo shot for ‘Ghostbusters’ starring Chris Hemsworth, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy. Image: Sony Pictures



10. Office Christmas Party

Oh, God, I wanted to like this movie. I really wanted this to be the next big comedy, but sadly it really wasn’t. It hosts a star-studded cast – Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, so what the hell happened? We can sum this all up on one thing, horrible writing. The script for this movie is incredibly weak, and forces the actors into becoming generic clichés that we have all seen too many times. Office Christmas Party is like that friend that desperately want to be the ‘funny friend’, but just isn’t any funny. What a shame.

9. Ben-Hur

This remake was doomed from the very start. The cast had some promise, with names like Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston leading the charge what could go wrong? A lot. Ben-Hur is a movie that has been redone many times, but few will top the 1959 Charleston Heston classic. No one was asking for a Ben-Hur remake, and somehow Hollywood sunk $100 Million into its budget. It is safe to say that audiences didn’t embrace this movie, I don’t even think they attempted to watch it.

8. Gods of Egypt

Oh man, can someone please offer Gerard Butler a good script? Just one more time. Butler is one of those Hollywood actors that will have a decent film and then follow it up with multiple bad films. Why did he ever pick Gods of Egypt? The premise was a bit of a stretch, but I could see it being good. The CGI looked capable, but this was just a bad movie, and the CGI was really bad in the final film. The acting was really laughable and corny. Director Alex Proyas melted down on critics for siding with cries that the film ‘white-washed’ its roles. With all the other flaws this film has, I think he should be mad for allowing his name to be attached to this kind of bad film.

7. Warcraft

The budget for this movie was over $100 million, and that is really a shame. I was hoping that Warcraft was going to be the first good video game film to come out of Hollywood. I admit, I drank the Kool-Aid, because this film was bad. The film had Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) attached to direct. Jones, who is also the son of renowned musician David Bowie, might have been in a bit over his head. In his defense, he was used to smaller-scale films. He had no idea how much the studio would alter his film essentially making it what they want, and not what he wants. A few months after the film dropped, Jones summed up what happened to Warcraft:

“Trying to make a movie like Warcraft, and trying to do it in a unique way, you get killed by a death of 1,000 cuts, not just editing cuts. It’s little changes that seem really innocuous… One of the absolute frustrations of making a movie of this scale is that it is impossible to make a movie like this as an independent filmmaker. You have to find a way to squeeze it through the studio bureaucracies.”

6. Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence came two decades too late. Yes, we all wanted a sequel to the hit 1996 movie, but we wanted one two to three years later, not twenty. Time wasn’t this film’s only downfall. Resurgence did its best to bring back the entire cast from the first film, including one member that we thought died in the first one. That’s right, we thought Dr. Brackish Okun was killed by the aliens, and behold, he has risen.

Will Smith dodged a bullet when he turned down this film to do Suicide Squad. Well, maybe he really didn’t, but this one was better left on the cutting room floor.

5. Alice Through the Looking Glass

I am going to say it now, Johnny Depp has lost his magic. He is putting out box office bomb after box office bomb, and Through the Looking Glass is no exception. He was not enough to hold this film afloat. This sequel to Alice and Wonderland fell too far from the success of the first film. After Tim Burton left, leaving this film in the hands of James Bobin, we should have seen the writing on the wall.

Bobin changed the color palette of the film from Burton’s over saturated spectrum, to a color-clashing-catastrophe. The colors of this film are enough to give any viewer a headache. Disney missed the mark with this film.

4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Before you start calling foul, this movie was a big mess. Ben Affleck was brilliant as Batman. The extended cut of the film did fix some of the flaws that the theatrical version of the film had, but it just wasn’t enough. Zack Snyder was too ambitious going into this film, and we can blame pressure from Twentieth Century Fox for a lot of this. It is no secret that the studio is anxious to get their DC cinematic universe off the ground, and they don’t want to waste any time getting to their team-up movie Justice League.

This could be why a lot of the buildup to the team-up was crammed into one film. Henry Cavill still fails to amaze as Superman, although I think that his performance wasn’t bad in this film. Don’t even get me started on Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. He was just horrible. Even X-Men: Apocalypse edged this movie out for a spot on this list.

3. Ghostbusters

 No reboot has missed the point more than this Paul Feig movie. Ghostbusters was a bad idea with an even worse script. The all-female main cast isn’t the issue here, the actresses they chose showed promise. The issues lay mainly with the directing and the screenwriting. The scenes play out like a big improv session, and end up not being very funny at all. The stereotypes run rampant here. Ghostbusters doesn’t hide the fact that they take a lot of the plot points and villains from the original.

The biggest question I have here is, “why bring the original cast back, if you were not going to cameo them as their original characters?” This movie was not good because it tries too hard to be as good as the original, but it never will be.

2. Suicide Squad

I could watch the trailers for Suicide Squad all day long, and as long as I don’t think about the final cut of the film, I can smile. The trailers sold us on a simple premise: Bad guys kicking ass as the ultimate team of anti-heroes, who somehow save the day. It would have made for a great film, and set to the epic songs from the trailers, this movie was set to be the biggest film of 2016’s summer.

Too bad David Ayer’s final cut of the film was trashed by the studio, and handed off to a trailer company to recut the film for theaters. This was a big mistake. Was Ayer’s version of the film too dark? There is no way to know, but the final cut of this film was really bad. I thought this was a movie about bad guys? Every villain has to keep reminding themselves that they are bad throughout the entire film, while doing heroic act after heroic act.

To top it off, the buildup for the film talked endlessly about the lengths Jared Leto went to ‘become’ The Joker. He was hardly in the final cut of the film. Even Leto spoke out about the deletion of his character’s scenes. Two thumbs way down.

1. The Neon Demon

Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning, and when it debuted at Cannes received equal amounts of cheers and boos. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, this movie doesn’t really know what it is trying to say. The film is in cohesive, and is the prime example of a failed risk. It not only has the worst scene I saw all year-long, and multiple others that were a close second. Neon Demon only made $1.3 Million domestically. Pornography, sexual sadism, cannibalism, and necrophilia were not enough to save this film from nabbing the worst film of the year honors. If you are going out to the movies tonight, skip this movie.

What Movies Do You Think Should Have Made This List?

Brad Repka
I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!