Some movies are so awful that they deserve no redemption. Whether because of their nonsensical plots, terrible acting, egregious writing, or a combination of all, these movies rank among the worst of the worst, becoming infamous punchlines and heavy stains on the resumés of everyone involved.
The 2010s produced several of these derided turkeys, and audiences avoided them like the plague. And while some bad movies have a guilty pleasure quality, these notorious disasters don’t. In fact, they have nothing to save them from mediocrity, despite having talented actors and sometimes even intriguing premises.
10 ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ (2019)
The Star Wars sequels were never anything more than a shameless cash grab, a cheap attempt to exploit audiences’ nostalgia. Rian Johnson tried to do something genuinely interesting and daring with The Last Jedi, but his vision was met with a savagely divisive reception from the franchise’s notoriously vocal fans. Thus, the last entry in the trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, retorted to tired and laughably lazy ideas.
The Rise of Skywalker might be the 21st century’s worst blockbuster. Sloppy to the point of absurdity, the film is an unforgivable insult to the audience’s intelligence, giving up on trying anything remotely interesting and settling for offering the most basic plots, even if they make no sense. The Star Wars sequel trilogy is what happens when a studio thinks brand recognition is more important than cohesive storytelling, and The Rise of Skywalker proves it.
9 ‘Holmes & Watson’ (2018)
Britain’s most famous detective gets a comedic adaptation in 2018’s Holmes & Watson. Will Ferrell and John C. Riley star as the iconic duo in a plot that sees them investigating a threat on Buckingham Palace. Rebecca Hall, Steve Coogan, and Ralph Fiennes also star.
Homes & Watson is a lazy and humorless take on one of pop culture’s most enduring figures. Few films are lazier; even Ferrell and Riley seem on autopilot, delivering lifeless performances that make it hard to believe this is the same duo that starred in the uneven but often hilarious Step Brothers.
8 ‘The Last Airbender’ (2010)
M. Night Shyamalan is among Hollywood’s most divisive filmmakers. His uncompromising artistic vision can be too much for some, but there’s no denying the man’s talent as a passionate and daring auteur. However, even Shyamalan’s biggest apologists can’t justify the trainwreck that is The Last Airbender. The plot adapts the first season of the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, centered around young Ang’s attempts to master all four elements.
Confused, stiff, and full of questionable narrative and acting choices, The Last Airbender is an egregious perversion of the beloved animated show. The film is jarring, awfully paced, and borderline unwatchable, reducing the show’s intriguing lore to a confusing mess that fails to justify its existence.
7 ‘The Emoji Movie’ (2017)
The Emoji Movie follows Gene, a multi-expressional emoji living inside a smartphone and looking to be like other single-expression emojis. Joined by two friends, Gene ventures into other apps to learn to be more conventional. The film has a large voice cast, including James Corden, Anna Faris, and Sir Patrick Stewart.
Obnoxious, derivative, and unfunny, The Emoji Movie is more a commercial than a movie. The film is one prolonged product placement ad filled with insulting characters delivering lazy excuses for jokes. The Emoji Movie is stupid at best and reprehensible at worst, a shameless piece of technological propaganda that never tries to hide its insidious intentions.
6 ‘Sex and the City 2’ (2010)
Sex and the City was a revolutionary show, a groundbreaking project that helped cement HBO as the home of groundbreaking and prestigious television. Its success prompted a movie in 2008, which was nowhere near as good as the show’s highest peaks but was a worthy, if not necessary, follow-up to the story.
However, Sex and the City 2 is among the 21st century’s most unfortunate cinematic efforts. Vapid, shockingly misogynistic, mind-numbingly stupid, and borderline insulting, Sex and the City 2 was a disservice to the characters, turning them into unrecognizable versions of themselves. Indeed, Sex and the City 2 is the perfect and undeniable proof that some things should never have sequels.
5 ‘F4NTASTIC’ (2015)
Tim Story‘s Fantastic Four movies were silly and forgettable, but they were at least entertaining. The same can’t be said of Josh Trank‘s misguided 2015 adaptation of Marvel’s first family. F4NTASTIC stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell as the titular team, with Toby Kebbell as their archenemy, Victor von Doom.
F4NTASTIC has some intriguing ideas: Michael B. Jordan is a genius choice for Johnny Storm, and Jamie Bell makes for a compelling Ben Grimm. However, everything else is awful, mainly because the film misunderstands everything that makes the Fantastic Four great. F4NTASTIC is boring, gloomy, painfully slow, and terribly tedious, wasting a talented cast in a mired plot that never takes off.
4 ‘Mortdecai’ (2015)
Johnny Depp lost his movie star appeal long before his personal life took a tumble. Somewhere after the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the actor lost the spark that made him interesting; he became a parody of the outsider he once was, a buffoon doing increasingly ridiculous accents and starring in trainwreck after trainwreck. However, even his worst turkeys aren’t as bad as the cinematic sin that is Mortdecai.
Deep stars as the titular character, an eccentric aristocrat tasked with finding a stolen Goya painting. Mortdecai thinks itself charming and quirky when it’s actually dull and stupid. Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor try to bring some dignity to this misguided affair, but even they can’t save it from Depp’s clownish attempts at comedy.
3 ‘Saving Christmas’ (2014)
Kirk Cameron stars in the 2014 comedy Saving Christmas as a fictionalized version of himself. The plot sees him breaking the fourth wall and trying to convince other characters – and the audience, too – that Christ is still the most important part of the otherwise commercialized holiday.
Saving Christmas achieves the impossible: it makes audiences hate Christmas. The film is preachy, nonsensical, and incoherent, featuring a smug and self-important performance from Cameron. Indeed, Saving Christmas is the equivalent of the long, tedious, and unnecessary church sermon that comes before people can go home and actually enjoy Christmas with their loved ones.
2 ‘Jack and Jill’ (2011)
The words “Adam Sandler in drag” should be enough to turn any potential viewer away from Jack and Jill, possibly the worst film in the actor’s career. Sandler stars as the titular characters, twin siblings with a complicated dynamic forced to spend Thanksgiving together.
It’s unclear what possessed Sandler, director Dennis Dugan, or screenwriter Steve Koren to deliver such an egregious excuse for a movie. Painfully unfunny, crude, awfully mean-spirited, and featuring a sleep-walking cast delivering increasingly terrible lines, Jack and Jill is an insult to thinking audiences and a waste of Sandler’s well-known abilities. Surprisingly, Al Pacino found himself in this mess, delivering an expectedly unhinged performance that only makes Jack and Jill seem worse.
1 ‘Movie 43’ (2013)
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call Movie 43 the worst film of the 21st century. A collection of vignettes, each helmed by a different director, shows comedic situations in different settings featuring an all-star cast.
Movie 43 is spectacularly bad. Tasteless, aggressively stupid, and largely devoid of laughs, the film is a collage of mediocrity that squanders the considerable talents of some of Hollywood’s best actors. This thing has the kind of cast expected from a prestigious Oscar vehicle – Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, and Julianne Moore. Perhaps that’s Movie 43‘s most unforgivable sin: taking some of Hollywood’s most talented, versatile, and accomplished performers and reducing them to walking caricatures incapable of eliciting even a chuckle from whichever horrified audience was unlucky enough to stumble upon this infamous flop.
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