By: Henry J. Fromage and Movieboozer Staff & Contributors
2016 boasted plenty of amazing cinema… and just as many or more affronts to the very idea of film. Strap in and prepare yourself for our MovieBoozer Staff and Contributors’ Bottom 10 Lists of 2016… the very worst theaters had to offer:
10. Independence Day: Resurgence: Why?
9. Zoolander 2: Why part 2?
8. Suicide Squad: Is an explanation even necessary?
7. Sausage Party: Nowhere near as clever or funny as it thought it was. If I ever get the urge to sit through a terrible animated movie about supermarket items coming (pun not intended) to life, I’d pick Food Fight! over this.
6. Shut In: Like slowly peeling off a Band-Aid. Biggest waste of a good cast this year.
5. The Choice: The only redeeming part of this Nicholas Sparks crapfest was the dog.
4. Mother’s Day: Rest in peace Garry Marshall. It’s too bad this was the one you had to go out on.
3. Dirty Grandpa: Any goodwill De Niro earned back in The Intern went right down the shitter with this unfunny piece of garbage.
2. The Do-Over: Dear Adam Sandler, please stop. Just go on a damn vacation without making an awful movie. I know you can afford it.
1. Nine Lives: Shareholders meetings! Shitty parenting! Suicide attempts! Fun for the whole family!
10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: It may be fascinating and a sort of masterpiece, but it does more harm than good to the mythology and character of Supes and Bats. Dreariness isn’t necessarily bad, but hopeless cynicism can be.
9. 13 Hours: Michael Bay continues the trend of portraying “the enemy” as monsters hiding and skulking in the weeds, cowardly and mysterious like. Could’ve been worse, but disappointing nonetheless.
8. X-Men: Apocalypse: All apologies for my initial thumbs up, which I now retract: Some good cartoonish and youthful moments don’t make up for garbage continuity, garbage logic, and garbage development.
7. 31″ Rob Zombie lite, from Rob Zombie. He COULD get hardcore, but why bother?
6. Fifty Shades of Black: Inexcusable and unforgivable. The jokes here encourage horrible behavior, ignorance, and are, worse of all, not funny.
5. Sausage Party: Speaking of “not funny”… Cheap animation, cheaply written. The equivalent of stretching an idea that had been pulled out of your ass.
4. Suicide Squad: Speaking of “ass”… Uncomfortably edited and terribly messy. THIS was the best cut?
3. Independence Day: Resurgence: What a sham. What a poor waste of money.
2. Michael Moore in TrumpLand: Michael Moore lite, from Michael Moore. The man is not meant for the stage, it seems.
1. Yoga Hosers: I’m so sorry, Kevin. At least you had fun?
10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
9. Alice: Through the Looking Glass
7. Dirty Grandpa
6. The Do-Over
5. TMNT: Out of the Shadows
3. Suicide Squad
2. 50 Shades of Black
Can’t quite get it to ten for this year, since I spared myself most of the really garbage looking stuff. Apart from my top pick, I went into each of these hoping for something worthwhile, and was largely left wanting more.
8. Warcraft: Video game movies just can’t seem to catch a break, and while this one isn’t as bad as some previous attempts to bring the genre to life, it was still lacking in anything that could’ve made this more than merely passable to non-fans of the popular gaming series.
7. The Accountant: Quite possible the most average film I’ve ever seen. A compelling premise and impressive assembled cast are completely wasted due to dry, predictable storytelling and listless direction that doesn’t add anything whatsoever to the drama at hand.
6. Jason Bourne: I wasn’t wild about most of the previous entries in the Bourne franchise, but they all at least had something of a spark or a forward-moving, energetic pace to them. This one just sluggishly repeats all the expected beats from past films in the series and adds literally nothing new at all.
5. The Legend of Tarzan: Does for Tarzan what The Lone Ranger did for its title character, i.e. make a loud, dumb Hollywood spectacle out of classic period action-adventure property. And while at least the former had a sort of lighthearted, guilty pleasure camp to it, this one opts for a more somber, gritty aesthetic and tone which only succeeds in highlighting just how silly the whole affair really is.
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Let me get this straight: the same creative team behind the Harry Potter series had five years to come up with their own spinoff franchise and all they give us is some mediocre, needlessly gloomy monster hunt thing that ends with the main villain being a CGI cloud with a human face? Fail.
3. Batman Superman: Dawn of Justice: Oh, such wasted potential. Batfleck and Wonder Woman were pretty cool, but the film surrounding them was an overly self-serious, incoherent mess that only gives us a mere five minutes of the title fight and instead devotes the entire last 45 minutes to a boring confrontation with the cave troll from The Fellowship of the Ring. Again, I say “fail!”
2. Suicide Squad: The brave film that looked BvS in the face and said “You call THAT being incoherent, poorly edited, try-hard fanboy garbage? Challenge accepted!” Tonally it might be more lighthearted than its predecessor, but the mistakes in this are so amateurish and obvious that it boggles the mind that a major studio saw the final product and deemed it acceptable to release to the general public.
1. God’s Not Dead 2: Admittedly I didn’t finish watching this junk all the way through, but I saw enough to know that nothing else from this year could possibly be as petty or self-obsessed as this smug propaganda machine. Some amount of credit is due for it not being as mean spirited or needlessly cruel as the first, but the fact that it outright lies to its (clearly) gullible target audience makes it just as reprehensible as the first.
10. Gods Of Egypt: This movie was so close SO CLOSE to pulling a Jupiter’s Ascending (making both my Best Of and Worst of lists) this year but while insanely over-the-top and ridiculously, entertainingly bad it couldn’t QUITE squeak by my standards onto the Best Of 2016 list due to tonal inconsistencies. But I not-so-secretly dream of a sequel.
9. Inferno: The only thing blazing in this movie was my intense desire for a nap. I literally fell asleep twice during the screening and was told I didn’t miss much. Dear Tom Hanks, you will forever have credit at the bank of my goodwill for Big but this narcoleptic threequel of a geriatric “thriller” blew. Super hard.
8. Collateral Beauty: [rolls up newspaper and bops Will Smith on the nose with it] NO, BAD FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR, NO. This soulless Oscar-bation of a tearjerker left me crying on the inside. NOT WELOME TO EARTH.
7. Independence Day: Resurgence: what? Why? NO SERIOUSLY, WHY (speaking of things not welcomed to Earth). The only smart call Will Smith made this year was dodging a cameo in this camel toe of of rebootquel.
6. Suicide Squad: Of course the only reason Will Smith passed on Independence Day 2 was because he was tied up in yet another DC murderverse flop.
5. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice: And speaking of DC murderverse flops, we come to the latest reason pharmacies have seen an uptick in Zoloft prescriptions.
4. The Huntsman: Winter’s War: is what happens when you cheat on Cedric Diggory and get booted out of a sequel to a franchise your face was literally headlining last year. Also the phrase “hot mess” was ironically invented to describe this movie.
3. Eye In The Sky: Alan Rickman’s last movie (barring his voice as Absolom in Alice Through The Looking Glass) and a fingernails-on-the-chalkboard look at the inner workings of bureaucracy. If I wanted to be tied up for two hours hating life I’d just go see the latest Fifty Shades movie. Oh wait… I did. Dammit.
2. X-Men: Apocalypse: the X-Men franchise has all been downhill since X2 and not even this waking CGI coma of an excuse to don a cape and contemplate world domination could save X-Men: Apocalypse from tanking harder than Vin Diesel on Spring Break in Cabo (you KNOW Xander Cage has the right to bare arms).
1. Underworld: Blood Wars: props to Kate Beckinsale’s ass in leather pants (cameo by Kate Beckinsale) for going down with this shit-tacular ship in what I can only describe as a supernatural clusterfuck of WTF. Just like the X-Men (and Resident Evil) franchises it’s best you stop watching after the second movie. Spend your extra money on that custom leather onesie you’ve been eyeballing on Etsy. Trust me.
10. Mr. Church: Mr. Church’s abysmal writing is bad enough for its first 90 minutes, and the final 15 are somehow worse as the movie’s driving force; something about the secrets that Eddie Murphy’s titular character keeps amount to literally nothing. It’s a slap in the face, which is saying something for a movie that is so obviously plotted and yet so deceitfully suggests more for every moment that it pulls the carrot away.
9. Gods of Egypt: There are so many amazing moments in Gods of Egypt, it’s hard to pick just one. But Alex Proyas’ insane mythological mashup is by turns terrible and madly enjoyable, and certainly worth a watch for some chuckles, but it’s far too uneven to truly label it as “so bad it’s good.”
8. X-Men: Apocalypse: I strongly disliked Days of Future Past for making a mockery of the X-Men movie canon, but I hated Apocalypse for making a mockery of superhero films. Apocalypse looks cool, but coming from a director that arguably pioneered the modern cinematic superhero movement, feels startlingly out-of-touch with what should make this subgenre work. It’s stupid, tone-deaf and absolutely soulless.
7. Boo! A Madea Halloween: Boo! Another unsurprisingly excruciating Tyler Perry movie! Perry’s noted disdain for Halloween shows in another lazy Madea chapter, which was actually conceived from a joke in Chris Rock’ Top Five, and that should tell you everything you need to know about how fucking bad this is.
6. Ben-Hur: I would still pay good money to be in the room when the MGM/Paramount officials decided to greenlight this, the third remake of a movie older than most living human beings, starring several actors most people haven’t heard of (besides Morgan Freeman), and changing the story of revenge for a hippie-dippy ending with less dramatic tension than a Geico commercial.
5. Divergent: Allegiant: I watched this movie with my landlord and his girlfriend, and we passed around a joint as we watched it. When we got the point where the main characters were engulfed in bubbles to safely travel through the red coral world on the spaceship, I started to panic over a bad trip. Unfortunately, it was just Allegiant, and it was just weird and terrible.
4. The Do-Over: Two movies into Adam Sandler’s contract with Netflix, and we’re ten steps into Hell. The Do-Over is a lazy, unpleasant, uninvested, and completely horrible action-comedy that even has Sandler himself looking more exhausted and disinterested than he ever has been.
3. Meet the Blacks: One could argue that a Purge spoof with black people humor is making a statement on race relations and racial stereotyping. One would also be wasting their time, because this movie is excruciatingly horrible.
2. Yoga Hosers: I’m all about Kevin Smith being creative and coming up with cool ideas for his movies. A comedy-horror about Bratwurst Nazis, digs at movie critics, and the same three Canadian jokes recycled ad nauseam is not a cool idea for a movie.
1. Fifty Shades of Black: I suffered through Fifty Shades of Grey, and even read the book to go along with it. Imagine how unsurprised I was to find that Marlon Wayans’ sequel, and his follow up to the Haunted House movies, blasted straight past “shitty” and right into the penthouse of a 50-story skyscraper of offensive. Nothing was funny, nothing was clever, all of it felt like I was slowly being drained of life.
Worst film I saw in 2016 was…The Darkness. Could be one of the worst horror films I’ve ever seen.
10. Ghostbusters: They tried to make a comedy for everyone and ended up making it for no one. This wasn’t as painfully bad as other films from this year. But this one definitely shouldn’t exist.
9. Inferno: I am a fan of Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, and Dan Brown. That still wasn’t enough to make me like this movie. The changes they made compromised the few things that made the novel interesting.
8. Free State of Jones: A movie way too long and pretty unfulfilling on the title. McConaughey couldn’t even save this film. Check out my full review for all my thoughts on this.
7. Suicide Squad: A huge disappointment. It could have been something fun and different for the superhero genre. Instead, the studio compromised all that to make something they could sell easier.
6. Ice Age: Collision Course: I only saw this movie a few weeks ago. But it is easily the worst installment in the already quickly dwindling Ice Age Franchise.
5. The Angry Birds Movie: The most shameless cash grab since Minions. A few of the voice actors try, but they are unable to save the rushed script and unfunny “humor” of this movie. Check out my full review for more.
4. Deepwater Horizon: It really bugs me how much people like this movie. The filmmakers assume we are too stupid, or don’t care enough to take the time to explain things well, so they put up walls of text throughout the movie. The PG-13 rating is a joke, it preaches black-and-white morals, and despite having a good cast managed to have unlikable characters.
3. Sing: Good lord this movie sucked, despite it being such a good year for talking animal movies. The filmmakers obviously spent zero time on world building and almost equally long on character arcs. Everything about this movie felt forced, from the emotions to the songs being put in.
2. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice: Everything about this movie infuriates me. The actors were terrible, the script was a fucking mess, and it was already too long to justify an extended edition. This honestly might be the worst superhero movie I have ever seen.
1. Hands of Stone: If you want to know all the problems I had with this movie you can check out my review for it. In short though, this film had static characters, stale performances, a story that cops out halfway through, and such half-assed technical work it was shameful.
10. Warcraft: You know that feeling you get when you walk in on a friend playing a video game you’re totally unfamiliar with, and you sit down and watch him play, knowing none of the context? Some Orcs and Humans are fighting because Magic is making one of the Orc wizards evil, and coincidentally also one of the human wizards. And that’s about all I got out of this. The film doesn’t provide you with any additional help understanding the characters… if there were any characters. The film presents you with colorful computer effects and a whole lot of not much else.
9. Kindergarten Cop 2: This sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger family comedy from the 1980s is more remake than anything else, as it contains no continuing characters from the original film. This straight to VOD film is mostly a waste of time, managing to re-stage events which occurred in the first film nearly verbatim, and only occasionally giving its characters anything original to do. Take my advice and think twice before putting this one on.
8. Ben-Hur: This miserably overwrought remake of the classic story attempts to inject modern sensibilities into a very old fashioned story. By compressing hours of story into just two and changing some very important plot points, the movie ends up falling on its face completely. The relationship/rivalry between Ben-Hur and Messala is given a happy ending that no version of the story has ever contained, with both characters riding off into the sunset together, alive and happy. This, along with Morgan Freeman’s unfortunate wig, are but a few of the war crimes this film should be tried and convicted of.
7. Suicide Squad:
6. Lazer Team: This film cost far more to make than most features with the credentials of internet video celebrity. This makes the overall execution far less forgivable. Someone apparently told the screenwriter to cut everything funny from the script, because I found myself sitting there waiting endlessly for even the slightest chuckle.
5. The Masked Saint: This movie is the exact plot as Nacho Libre, minus the humor and the cool art design, and the charm… and decent performances…
4. Batman V Superman: Zack Snyder and editor David Brenner have created a monster, with scenes taking place in seemingly random order. It seems as if 3 or 4 completely different stories were stitched together without regard to continuity. To add to the confusion numerous dream sequences are included which appear without warning, and often have no bearing on the overarching plot. With a better story, script, editing, and a better director, Ben Affleck could someday become the definitive Batman. But until that happens, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will remain a sad reminder of what happens when producers pour money into an inherently flawed project.
3. Meet the Blacks: Meet the Blacks is the most dismal excuse for a comedy in ages. The plot, which is nominally a parody of The Purge films, is a mixed grab bag of ideas so torturous and soul crushing that the actors involved likely will never fully recover from the experience. If someone told me David Duke financed this movie on the sly as a kind of devious conspiracy to set back African American cinema by decades, I would not be shocked. This is a visual hate crime, and we as a society should consider deploying a large-scale EMP device upon the Earth to wipe it from all hard drives & save future generations from happening upon it by accident. America voted for Donald Trump, and I blame Meet the Blacks for his victory.
2. God’s Not Dead 2: A teacher is put on trial for mentioning Jesus in public school, as an answer to a student’s direct question. As that premise is already laughably full of shit, this movie is the ultimate filmed example of the Straw Man fallacy…
1. Yoga Hosers: The plot involves sausage monsters who are also Nazis and the two teenage convenience store clerks who fight them off. Kevin Smith took a bunch of half-baked ideas from his Podcasts, got fully baked himself, then wrote a script. Also, they keep saying the word “basic” like its this “thing”… it is not a thing, Kevin, and will never be a thing. Kevin Smith’s work was important to me once…
Henry J. Fromage
2016 had its share of shit, as always, but I was able to avoid much of it…? Never fear, though, shit finds you in this biz.
Cafe Society, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Purge: Election Year, Men & Chicken, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Suicide Squad, Bad Moms, Destination: Planet Negro, The Magnificent Seven, Swiss Army Man, Independence Day: Resurgence, Blair Witch, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Haemoo, The Infiltrator, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Right Now Wrong Then, Rules Don’t Apply
10. Incarnate: Aaron Eckhart, wheelchair Inception exorcist extraordinaire. Yep, it’s simultaneously as terrible and entertaining as that character line would suggest.
9. The BFG: There are scenes in this film indistinguishable from an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. This was a year of the life of one of our finest film directors, who isn’t getting any younger. Sad.
8. The Girl on the Train: I was floored by how inept and goddamned boring an attempt to follow the trashy airport novel becomes Gone Girl template could be. That Emily Blunt is trying so hard is adding insult to injury.
7. Gods of Egypt: Alex Proyas has been attempting to make a myth-based CGI monstrosity for some time, and this fits the bill. The visuals are bugfuck crazy, the cast of Egyptian characters is as white as a Norwegian January excluding a ham-tacular Chadwick Boseman, and the attempts at comic relief are as lame as a Henry VIII’s horse.
6. Nine Lives: Why they thought a talking cat movie needed corporate intrigue and multiple suicide scares to buttress the boilerplate “my daddy is a cat?!” plotline baffles me to no end.
5. Pass Thru: Neil Breen is a national treasure, schlock cinema visionary, and apparent proponent of large-scale murder in his latest, full of all the Breen, stock villains, and thoroughly bizarre green screen strategy we’ve come to know and love.
4. Hitler’s Folly: Why the fuck Bill Plympton thought a animation/mockumentary hybrid about how Hitler was just a Walt Disney-figure trying to complete his Wagner and Donald Duck-inspired animated masterpiece, accidentally creating a fascist empire and oops- the Holocaust- was a good idea is one of life’s great mysterious. It is sickeningly, horrifically not a good idea.
3. Norm of the North: January has become a quick-buck seeking dumping ground for sub-par animation, but this film is so far from the concept of par that it brought its golf clubs to the bowling alley. It actively hurt to watch this.
2. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party: This is one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time. There are a lot of people in the world who take this alternative fact-a-palooza at face value. I will say, his high school gym-depiction of the “prison” he never went to (his slap on the wrist was a silver spoon house arrest, obviously) is almost as hilarious as imagining the average drool output of the cretins who thought any of this was real.
1. The Greasy Strangler: Under all laws of good taste and propriety, The Greasy Strangler is offensive and foul. But it’s also transcendentally strange, the kind of weird that defies explication and dares you to feast your eyes, and once you have you may just find yourself entranced. This film’s place at the head of my Worst Movie list is an attempt to pay homage to everything that makes it terrible and great, and represent the only type of award the Ronnies could hope to get, or would even deign to smear with their greasy, grapefruit-meated fingers. Or maybe I’m the bullshit artist.