With a few movies still to come in 2017 I’m not quite ready to release the remaining “Best of 2017” lists I have lined up, so I started thinking of movies that just devastated me throughout the year and decided to pay homage to the worst of the worst. With every year comes a series of movies that just are not worth anyone’s time. For today’s list I explored the films that disappointed me the most this calendar year. So let’s take this pill, here are the Top 10 Worst Films of 2017.
For this list I looked at movies I saw and graded on “Cinema Spotlight” throughout 2017 that I gave a grade of two or one star after viewing. Any movie that fit this distinction was considered and surprisingly there were plenty to choose from, around 15 in fact. After narrowing it down I composed this list of the worst of them all taking into account several factors including their failure to live up to expectations, whether or not they should have even been made, and the acting and storytelling just to name a few.
Admittedly there are films that I left off of this list because in hindsight I might appreciate them more than I did when I wrote the review. All the same the movies I did choose are the films that even in hindsight are the biggest stinkers of 2017 in my opinion and, as with all my lists, these films had to be theatrically released to count so the horrible Netflix movies of 2017 get a pass here.
What was your least favorite movie of 2017? What the worst film of the year in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below. Lets do this!
10. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”
Talk about a failed franchise. The legend of King Arthur has always been a popular story to tell on the big screen but the latest interpretation of the tale proved to be one of the worst. Director and writer Guy Ritchie made it clear he planned to take the classic story of the peasant-turned-king and create an epic modern take spanning numerous films. Not only was the film a massive financial flop, it was an incredible critical failure that seemed to forget what made the story of Arthur so charming in the first place. Filled with too many modern touches and poor attempts at flashy comedy and attitude “Legend of the Sword” was a complete mess. While it was entertaining in its own right, I called the film “no more than bland and rushed storytelling, out-of-place comedy, forgettable characters, and a few entertaining action scenes all wrapped in a thin outer coating of epicness and mysticism” in my review. Sadly this franchise was dead on arrival, and it’s not even the only story featuring King Arthur to make this list.
9. “The Dark Tower”
Stephen King has had a big year with multiple works adapted to the big screen, including “It” becoming one of the most celebrated horror movies in recent memory. For all the good however there was this train wreck, a somewhat direct film sequel to the novelist’s magnum opus, “The Dark Tower” series. Sadly “The Dark Tower” film felt bland, boring, and hollow proving to be more of an insult to its source material than anything else. Despite great performances by Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey “The Dark Tower” falters by trying to fit too much into too little time and scaling back the expansive story and world the book series established. In my review I said “this is a condensed and poorly handled version of a massive novel franchise that fails to show any appreciation for its source material or the fan base and doesn’t even offer enough substance of its own to make it worthwhile as a standalone project.” To put it lightly, this film was an insult to everyone whether it was dedicated fans of the novel franchise or filmgoers simply looking for a worthy fantasy adventure to enjoy.
8. “All Eyez On Me”
Biographical films have become the most lucrative award-driven projects in Hollywood and the past few years has seen a push to focus on rap, hip-hop and R&B legends and their impact on the world. Successes like “Notorious” and “Straight Outta Compton” led the way for a story about one of the most famous rappers ever, Tupac Shakur. Unlike the previous films however, “All Eyez On Me” lacks any real substance and plays out more as a dry History Channel documentary than an entertaining piece respectful of the man it pays tribute to. In my review I said the filmmakers “missed the mark providing a dry, uninteresting, and poorly acted and written tale of one of hip-hop’s most iconic figures”. I didn’t feel it did justice in any way to the legacy of its subject, and many agreed as this was among one of the most critically disappointing movies of the year in terms of mainstream releases. Clearly the movie tried to be as accurate as possible with a young actor named Demetrius Shipp, Jr. even looking the part of the famed rapper. However looks aren’t everything and some cringe worthy moments of poor dialogue and second-rate storytelling kept this film from being anything more than a major misstep worth forgetting.
7. “The Emoji Movie”
As I said in my review for one of the most unnecessary movies of 2017, when I started reviewing movies on this blog I knew a few would torture me to have to sit through. This was one of those films. Based on the now basic phone features called emojis this film brought us into the world of our phones as a “meh” emoji named Gene fails to fit in with his assigned emotion in a world governed by specified roles. On paper this actually sounds like an interesting premise…however the execution is another story. Honestly a “meh” emoji might just be the perfect one to use to describe this film as a whole really. Honestly, to be fair, I enjoyed “The Emoji Movie” more than I should have…and yet I still despised it. The most glaring issue with the film is it’s the most basic pandering story and setup ever. As I said in my review “making a film about emojis could have opened the door for a unique and intriguing story that stood on its own and offered more legitimate insight into our obsession with technology – What we got instead was a movie filled with unapologetic clichés and an uneven pace”. It might not have made it as high as many others have placed it on their lists of the worst of the worst in 2017, but it’s still one I would like to forget and lands here in my own top 10 just the same.
6. “Transformers: The Last Knight”
Remember how I said “King Arthur” wasn’t the only movie on this list to tackle the famed King’s legacy? Yeah, for some reason the fifth “Transformers” movie decided to shoehorn in the knight’s story as well. It’s no surprise to see a Michael Bay led “Transformers” project on a list about bad movies, but even compared to the other sub-par films in this tired franchise this entry was truly terrible. I called it “a mess from start to finish” and I wasn’t exaggerating. The film is boring, uninspired, sloppy, and it feels like even Bay himself is tired of making these movies. It introduces countless plot holes to the already muddles story of the Transformers on the big screen and offers nothing substantial in the way of comedy, action, or…well…plot really. In my review I called this film “a prime example of franchise fatigue” and while it still made a profit and probably didn’t spell the end for this franchise by any means, “The Last Knight” failed in all the same ways previous films did and then some but unlike those movies it offers nothing redeemable to make it even remotely entertaining even as a source of escapism. Sad really, considering the movie did provide me with one of my personal favorite trailers of 2017.
The second animated film to be on this list, and the first one on this list that received only a single star review from me, gets a little bit of sympathy because it was Americanized and thus lost out due to poor translation more than anything else. Overseas “Leap!”, the story of a young ballerina and a young inventor who work together to follow their dreams, received critical praise but here in the United States it was met with much less delight from critics, including myself. An uneven experience if there ever was one, this film is basic in every way from its story to its overuse of pop songs to try and force emotion into a script and tale that, itself, lacks any real impact. In my review I stated “(‘Leap!’) never really leaps off the ground itself, sticking to the safe havens of clichés and the simplest forms of cinematic storytelling offering nothing new, despite its promising premise”. It didn’t help that the performances left a lot to be desired to some extents with new actors brought in to fill roles played by others overseas. Putting it bluntly I called it a giant waste of time and honestly, it’s still one of my least favorite viewing experiences of 2017.
God was this movie horrible. Some may have expected to see “Baywatch”, another 2017 film based on a classic television show, on this list but really it was “CHiPs” that proved to be an even worse film. Written by, starring, and directed by Dax Shepard this was a passion project for the comedic actor that faltered greatly, depending mostly on horrible homophobic jokes, sexual innuendos, and completely unfunny puns that just felt forced and completely unnatural. As one of my earliest reviews of this year my take on the movie wasn’t very long, but I made a point to say the film lacked charm and amusement. I wrote “It lacked any real redeeming factors to make it even slightly memorable”. Thankfully I almost forgot this film even existed until I compiled this top 10 list and I can’t wait to forget about it again. If you’re looking for a good comedy with charm and fun moments to escape reality, skip this one. It’s boring, unfunny, and to be honest unapologetically offensive in some pretty odd ways.
3. “The Bye Bye Man”
I had such high hopes for this film especially since it was written by Jonathan Penner, a former contestant on “Survivor”, a show I happen to love very much. Alas this became the first movie I graded with only one star on this blog and for good reason. “The Bye Bye Man” offered an interesting premise debuting a figure responsible for heinous and violent actions performed by his victims. However, its intriguing concept was completely lost in a generic story and basic filmmaking that could MAYBE pass for a decent grade in film school more than a quality Hollywood product. In my review I said “every cliché is accounted for here save for gratuitous bloodshed which may have ironically helped redeem the film even if only on a very minor level.” Overall it was a step backwards into mediocrity for a genre that has gained a new level of legitimacy over the past few years. It’s bland, uninteresting, and fails to be more than the most basic result any horror script could ever hope to produce.
2. “The Circle”
Oh boy where do I start with this film. In an age where technology dominates our lives this film provided a premise that threatened to open our eyes to the dangers of our obsession with social media and other technological advances. In the and though all we got was a horribly bland story with no real direction or tone that teaches us nothing of value about pretty much anything. Despite its very talented cast everything this film had going for it is wasted. Lacking any real emotional depth or likeability for pretty much anyone in its scattered cast of characters, I wrote how the movie had potential but instead “offers little real biting commentary on why (technology) is a problem or even why it should be a good thing beyond bland and severely stripped down concepts that fail to explore any depth whatsoever.” The irony is that early in the movie Emma Watson’s character speaks about her fear of unfulfilled potential. Not only did this film ironically suffer that fate, it actually proved to be wasted potential as well.
1. “The Snowman”
Considering the fact that all of the movies in the top five on this list were all one star films on this blog there were several options for the worst of the worst. However no film can be worse than one that’s not even finished. Enter “The Snowman”, a film adapted from a popular book of the same name that was literally incomplete when it hit theaters in October. The film featured a jumbled story, subpar effects, incomplete and unsatisfying twists, and a horrendous redub over a miscast Val Kilmer that didn’t even match the tone of the scenes or the motion of the actor’s lips. In my harsh review of the film I said, “it’s boring, cliché, unfinished, and bland by every definition of the word. It almost feels like a low-budget attempt at cashing in on a popular source material and does little respect to the legacy of the book.” Of all the films on this list this was the only one I truly, deeply wanted my money back after watching. Like the wintery figure it was named after, this movie was a cold, heartless shell that deserves to melt away into nothingness in time earning it the honor of my pick for worst film of 2017.