2016 was arguably one of the weakest in the history of mainstream cinema, full of disappointing sequels, under-delivering blockbusters and a depressing lack of truly great films, it was a letdown on all fronts. But some films managed to undercut the already low bar and be truly awful, even by this year’s standards. Here are my Top 10 Worst films of 2016 (if you want to be a little less depressed and see my Top 10 Best Films you can check them out here).
*click the title for links to review
Dishonorable Mention: Rule Don’t Apply
I was looking forward to this one because I love 1950s Los Angeles and loved that I would get to see the legend Warren Beatty on screen for once in my life. But this is one of the worst edited and horribly paced films I have ever seen, and hopefully not the last thing Beatty stars in.
10.) X-Men: Apocalypse
2016 was full of disappointing superhero films, but none of them were actual bad films; except the latest X-Men installment. Following up the best film of the franchise, “Days of Future Past,” expectations were high for this one. But a not-even-trying-a-little Jennifer Lawrence plus a reliance on special effects over characterization made this one an ugly, boring mess.
A film you probably forgot existed, if you even knew about it in the first place, this wastes a lot of talent and is just a confusing, convoluted mess.
8.) Mr. Church
Another film you probably never heard of, Eddie Murphy’s return to the big screen was a pandering, borderline-racist schmaltz fest that is one of the worst-written, most cringe-inducing films in recent memory.
7.) Nine Lives
This would be lower on the list if it wasn’t so damn entertaining in its awfulness. Seriously, grab some friends and some drinks and watch this “family” film. Full of important lessons we must indoctrinate our young children with including adultery, alcoholism and who could forget the hilarious topic of suicide, it is truly astonishing that a film with this many big name actors actually exists. It’s awful. But it’s also amazing.
It’s ugly, it’s stupid and it’s not very fun. That’s all you really need to know about it.
5.) Ride Along 2
When I saw this all the way back in January, I said that I wasn’t sure a film could possibly be as bad as this. I was clearly wrong as there are four more still to go but this is a lazy, boring mess, no matter how adorable a growling Ice Cube is.
Another lazy, pointless sequel, this managed to somehow be worse than the original (a 2016 trend, but usually not to this degree). The lone bright spot is Tyler Perry (and your film is in trouble if that’s ever the case) but his incredibly stupid chuckle made me laugh every time. But those chuckles take up 30 seconds of a 112 minute film, and at .44%, that isn’t enough of this film to save it from being awful.
3.) Assassin’s Creed
I didn’t think this could be a worse video game movie than “Warcraft” but I was proven horribly wrong. Overplotted, ugly to look at and above all else not entertaining, this was one of the few times I actually was tempted to leave the theater early. And I’m a fanboy of the Assassin’s Creed games.
Oh look, another sequel that is somehow worse than the original. This joined “Bad Santa 2,” “Zoolander 2” and “Blair Watch” (foreshadowing?!) as “sequels no one asked for that came 10+ years after the first film and proceeded to suck.” This ends with a hilarious setup for a third film (which in no way will happen since no one liked this film and it made no money) but to its credit it does have the funniest moment of 2016; unfortunately the moment was supposed to be emotionally depressing.
But the worst film of them all, the absolute biggest piece of trash from 2016, is…
1.) Blair Witch
One of the worst films I have ever seen and hands-down the horror films ever made. Loud and ugly, incoherent and unintelligent, even if you could tell what was happening on screen I’m sure this would still be awful. I’m not exaggerating how bad this thing is. I love the writer/director combo that made this (they’re behind the cool “The Guest” and the darkly hilarious “You’re Next”) but I have no idea what happened here. This was shot in secret under a codename and wasn’t made known to the public until July; I wish it had stayed hidden forever.
It’s always a bit cleansing to write lists like these and watching bad films come with the job. Hopefully you enjoyed my mini-purge and here’s to 2017 being a better year for cinema.