Top 10 Worst Films of 2018

While this site has not been as active as it once was, I DO still watch almost all the movies out there and I DO still write the occasional review!  In fact, many reviews I write have simply not been published, existing in a folder on my OneDrive account, waiting to be edited, waiting to be read...

In truth, I'm uncertain about the future of the site.  While I am happy to be writing again, I'm starting to understand what famous recluse J.D. Salinger meant when he said "there was great peace in writing for [himself]."  I am working on my next Oscar book (or two), but I find the process of actually publishing reviews for a blog to be less and less interesting as time goes on.  So much so that I have written reviews for some of the movies on this list that I still have yet to publish.  It would bother me more if I was making real money doing this in the first place, but now that I have found a semi-career on YouTube, this blog gets less and less attention as time goes by.  Still, one thing I DO still enjoy is putting together my yearly Top 10 lists, and so I am taking the time required to make lists this year as well.  As is tradition, we get the worst out of the way first, so let's start this show with the dishonorable mentions (in alphabetical order because...well, why make number 11 feel bad if we don't have to):

Billionaire Boys Club
Book Club
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Sherlock Gnomes
Tomb Raider
A Wrinkle in Time

10. Welcome to Marwen
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Steve Carell
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre(s): Drama
Rated: PG-13 (For sequences of fantasy violence, some disturbing images, brief suggestive content, thematic material and language)

I've had to state this before and I'll state it again: Some years the tenth film on this list is not worse than movies that didn't make the cut.  I would certainly watch "Welcome to Marwen" again over trash like "Venom" and "Book Club."  It has a unique concept for a film, tells a story worth telling, and does very interesting things with motion capture animation.  The reason it finds itself on this list is because it handles all of the good things about the film badly, and squanders the potential this could have had.  Make no mistake: This had the potential to be a GREAT movie!  And with the director, stars, and unique techniques behind it, this should have been the next modern masterpiece.  Instead, it is a movie that had me feeling so lukewarm I wound up angry that things ended up this way.  So while it is more tolerable than other movies I've seen, this had the most to lose by not getting it right, and boy, did they not get it right by ten-and-a-half miles.

9. Robin Hood
Director: Otto Bathurst
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan

Studio: Lionsgate
Genre(s): Action
Rated: PG-13 (For extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references)

When did Hollywood decide that the story of Robin Hood was just too much fun and that all future adaptations must be taken too seriously?  I've seen several new incarnations of Robin Hood in the past several years.  Both in film and TV.  Heck, acclaimed director Ridley Scott even took a shot at the legend.  Yet what can one say when the property is so consistently dismal, that "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" is looking more like a faithful adaptation of the source material than the parody that it actually is?  I'll give this year's "Robin Hood" this though: It does attempt to be fun at times.  That is never succeeds is partly why it's on this list.  The other reason is that it is still taking itself WAY too seriously, and being completely stupid in the process!  Special points go to Jamie Foxx, who probably realized that this movie was dead from the starting point, and thus gives us a performance of Little John that is so laughably bad, I suspect he did it on purpose because he knew YouTubers were going to have a field day with the movie, and he wanted to give them something to talk about.  To his credit, it IS the only thing about this snore fest that actually stuck with me.

8. Rampage
Director: Brad Peyton

Starring: Dwayne Johnson
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre(s): Action
Rated: PG-13 (For sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures)

This year there were two big budget video game adaptations that bombed in theaters.  However "Tomb Raider" was close to being a good movie, so instead we're talking about "Rampage," which has more in common with the terrible 1998 "Godzilla" movie than I would have liked it to.  Not even Dwayne Johnson's performance could save this from being a total turkey.  Not only is this a stupid movie, it's a LOUD stupid movie, which means audiences got the "pleasure" of hating what they were seeing AND having a headache when the film was over!

7. The Predator
Director: Shane Black
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Action
Rated: R (For strong bloody violence, language throughout, and crude sexual references)

Like "Welcome to Marwen" earlier on this list, it pains me to put "The Predator" on this list because this movie had the potential to be good.  Unlike that film though, the potential this one had is in concept only.  It was written and directed by Shane Black, who is known for directing quality films.  It was from a studio who not only wanted to reboot the franchise, but wanted to bring it back to its R rated roots.  The actors were all capable of doing the film justice.  Somehow, "The Predator" managed to be so bad, it felt like an amateur project from a B-list movie studio that wanted to make a popular franchise.  If this was your first exposure to the Predator franchise, you'd have no idea that it was part of a highly acclaimed action series that has been around for years, as this film is stupid, obnoxious, and even a little offensive in ways I don't think it was intending to be.  The final product was so bad, the studio even scrapped a planned 3D release because, well, it would be adding insult to injury to be charging an additional $3 for this on top of charging them for it in the first place.

6. Life of the Party
Director: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated: PG-13 (For sexual material, drug content and partying)

I'm really happy Melissa McCarthy is getting Oscar buzz for "Can You Ever Forgive Me," because if not for that, she would be left with two bombs of epic proportions.  The first is this film, in which McCarthy goes back to college after being a housewife for all of her life, and HILARIOUS things happen!  You know, just, very quirky and outrageous things.  The other bomb was...well, we'll talk about that one later.

5. Tag
Director: Jeff Tomsic
Starring: Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner
Studio: New Line Cinema
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated: R (For language throughout, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity)

I still don't know what's more sad: The fact that a studio actually made a movie about adults playing a kids game or the fact that this is one of the few movies I actually got around to reviewing and publishing.  Since that review exists, I won't repeat myself here (and there wasn't much to say about it the first time anyway).

4. Holmes & Watson
Director: Etan Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly
Studio: Sony Pictures
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated: PG-13 (For crude sexual material, some violence, language and drug references)

There were at least nine new releases to choose to see on Christmas day if you wanted to see a movie.  If you selected "Holmes & Watson," you got a lot of coal in your stocking.  You would think that a Sherlock Holmes comedy would be a fairly straightforward proposition, and thus would be difficult to screw up.  Well, not only did they screw it up by making it feel like every other bad Will Ferrell slapstick comedy we usually get, but they take the goofiness SO far that you would be hard pressed to think this was a spoof of anything!  It feels more like a drawn out "Saturday Night Live" sketch than it does a spoof of the classic character  Maybe one days studios will realize that actors shouting as loud as they can while running around isn't actually funny or clever, but until they do we will have to continue watching movies like "Holmes & Watson."

3. The Happytime Murders 
Director: Brian Henson
Starring: Melissa McCarthy
Studio: STXfilms
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated: R (For strong crude and sexual content and language throughout, and some drug material)

I actually had a conversation with a friend who believed that "The Happytime Murders" was so offensive in concept, that it should be used as grounds to bar director Brian Henson from Hollywood for life.  Granted, he hadn't seen the film, and was basing that opinion on what he believes puppetry should be used for in the first place, but his reaction still resonates because as much as people want their childhood heroes to grow up, there is something unsettled about taking a legacy that is typically seen as innocent and repacking it with more filth than any sane person needs.  The Broadway musical "Avenue Q" showed that you could make a risqué puppet production (and have it be award-winning to boot), but "The Happytime Murders" failed to find any heart or purpose to exist outside of trying to be 'mature' by being as immature and gross as possible.  Not helping matters is a completely superfluous performance by Melissa McCarthy, who does such a bad job that in any other year this would set her career back by a whole decade.  Thankfully, she has that critically acclaimed movie that is still floating around in theaters, so she should be safe.  I sense Brian Henson will be living in exile for some time after this one though.

2. Little Women
Director: Clare Niederpruem
Starring: Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Lucas Grabeel, Ian Bohen, Lea Thompson
Studio: Pure Flix Entertainment
Genre(s): Drama
Rated: PG-13 (For some thematic elements and teen drinking)

I didn't realize going into "Little Women" that it was a release from Christian film studio Pure Flix, who now seem content to not only tarnish the Holy word with their awful movies, but now have set their eyes on ruining classic literature as well.  They may have picked a wrong topic as "Little Women" is a highly beloved book, and one that has much better film versions available.  This new edition sets the story in modern times, makes everyone so happy and sunny all the time, and makes main protagonist Jo so unpleasant and annoying, that it's amazing anyone in this movie even puts up with her.  I know 1994 was a long time ago, but if parents want to introduce their kids to a film version of this timeless story, that version is still the best one to date.  This is a hippies cliff notes version, which makes it more worthy of being in the trash than on the big screen.

1. Gotti
Director: Kevin Connolly
Starring: John Travolta
Studio: Vertical Pictures/MoviePass Ventures
Genre(s): Drama/Action
Rated: R (For strong violence and pervasive language)

2018 was not a kind year to MoviePass.  The company wanted to be the Netflix of movie theaters, and at the beginning of the year they turned heads by slashing their movie subscription service to a mere $10 a month, which would give people access to a movie a day (any day of the week).  While that did give the company a lot of love from consumers, the result was that they creating a service that was born to be abused, and they ultimately blew through so much money that the company is now on life support, and prospects of them surviving beyond 2019 is in doubt (though this was also said of them making it past 2018, yet here we are).  The next step was to make their own movies so that they could lose less money in theaters and push consumers to watch those films.  If "Gotti" is any indication, they know as much about making good movies as they do about running a business.  Granted, the film was finished BEFORE they acquired it, and it had been a pet project for star John Travolta for over a decade (which, on a side note, isn't it strange how so many of Travolta's "passion projects" end up being major disasters?), so it's not like MoviePass was personally giving the ok for the project to end up in the state its in.

The fact that they wanted to spend valuable money owning any piece of it at all though did not speak highly of their ability to pick quality films for theatrical release.  It should be noted that other movies they have released have been much better received on whole (including another release that is actually making my Best of the Year list), but "Gotti" is a special kind of embarrassment that only comes along once in a blue moon, and for it to come from a studio who was trying to build a reputation for being a player in the movie business, it was all the more of a joke when people finally got to see it in action.

And that's where we end.  Thank you so much for reading this, I'll see you soon for the list that has movies you'll actually want to see!