So, 2015 is finally over. Looking back, it wasn’t that bad of a year. We (or at least I) did have “The summer of disappointments” but overall, the year wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Then again, that could have just been my impossibly high expectations. Either way, this year actually added a lot of culture to cinema. We got 5 films which entered IMDb’s Top 250 Movies, and we also got 5 films (of widely varying quality) which grossed over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office (that’s a record)! Sadly, we were treated to a superfluous amount of sequels, remakes, spin-offs, and borderline stupid movies throughout the year, and it is my job (and decision more importantly) to go over the worst this year has to offer (yay…). Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that some of my opinions/views on many of the movies that came out earlier last year have changed a bit (opinions can change when you throw months of contemplation into the mix).
First, some ground rules.
- The movies that appear on this list must have had a theatrical release (at least in the U.S.); it must not be a straight to video movie (so no Outcast, The Ridiculous 6, etc.).
- Only movies which I have seen start to finish can be on this list.
- The movies on this list will not be ranked by the grades I gave them in their reviews. I have taken the movies I believe to be the worst of the worst and compared the heck out of them; the order of which these films descend is the result of those comparisons.
- This list relies much on my personal bias and opinions. This isn’t a review; it’s a countdown of what I thought to be the worst of the year.
Alright, let’s get this over with.
#10 – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
I’m going to be frank here, I am extraordinarily glad that the “young adult vs. evil corporation/government genre” is finally starting to die. Granted, we did get a few good gems here and there, The Maze Runner is one of them. Of course it had its flaws (doesn’t every movie?), but the action, intrigue, and set pieces kept my interest and even managed to earn a respectable B+ grade from me (more like a B- now, but whatever). Too bad the dang sequel had absolutely none of that! Seriously, this movie is boring! The CGI is even worse than the first movie, the characters are forgettable, and the redundancy of the action scenes really becomes a problem after the first 30 minutes. Just watch the first movie instead.
#9 – Minions
I had a really difficult time deciding which movie deserved this spot on the list: Pan or Minions. I went with Minions because although Pan is (for the most part) bad, it was at least perplexingly bad (Blackbeard singing Nirvana? What?) and that led to some unintentional laughs and entertainment (even if it’s for the wrong reason, and that kept it off of this list). Minions was bad, but annoyingly so. The characters are forgettable or one-note, and the story (surprisingly) had some potential, but was instead just used as a contrived screenwriting device to get the minions from place to place. I can’t believe so many professional companies are making the mistake of putting the comic relief in the spotlight: Nickelodeon with Planet Sheen, Pixar with Cars 2, Netflix with All Hail King Julien, and now Illumination Entertainment with Minions. The one thing all of these products have in common is the poor quality. Sure, the animation is pretty, but that’s about the only creative thing about Minions. Watch one of the Despicable Me movies if you want both entertainment and substance. On a side note, this movie is one of the highest grossing films of this year (it’s over 1 billion and still rising) so this will tell all the greedy executives that they can get away with making these kinds of products for cheap and still make a profit.
#8 – Poltergeist
Pan may be stupid, but hardly ever did it insult/offend me or anything else connected to it (save for the story of Peter Pan itself). The COMPLETELY unnecessary Poltergeist remake did insult my intelligence (and the original film), multiple times! Here’s how bad this movie is. If the original Poltergeist never existed and the remake was completely original, it would still be a horrible film! The scares are cheap, the characters are clichéd, the F/X are obvious, and the story is basic. The original was a major influence on the horror genre because it knew how to set up an environment which the audience could easily relate to and add a supernatural element which could interest (not just scare) both the likeable characters and the audience. The remake uses overdone tropes and clichés in hopes of making a quick buck off of a familiar product (aka every remake ever pretty much). That being said, this movie is “A” worthy compared to the crap on the rest of this list. Like….
#7 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Truth be told, I had no idea this movie existed until I saw the Rotten Tomatoes rating (which is currently at 5%) which was not pleasant. Let me tell you, this movie sucks. It is: mean-spirited, poorly acted, clichéd, completely forgettable, and worst of all, not funny. What else is there to say that I haven’t already stated in my review? Don’t watch this movie! Adam Sandler produced 5 movies this year, only one of which was good (Hotel Transylvania 2), Paul Blart 2 was the first, and pretty close to the worst.
#6 – Taken 3 (which I don’t have a review for)
If Olivier Megaton ever makes another action film, I think the art of cinema itself will cry out in agony! I love Taken, I love Liam Neeson, I love action films, I FREAKING HATE the Taken sequels! While most of the blame should definitely go to Megaton, the story, acting, and editing is just as horrid. While Taken 2’s biggest problem was the stupid writing, Taken 3’s biggest problem was the hyperactive, quick-cut, eyesight-ruining editing! Seriously, the editing in this movie is the worst editing I have seen in a movie, ever! There is a scene where Bryan talks to Lenore in a kitchen. Sounds like a quiet scene right? No explosions, villains, or any of that, the scene was supposed to develop the characters. However, (and this scene is when I noticed how bad the editing was) the cuts were just as quick and shaky as they are in the rest of the movie! I kid you not, this movie cuts every two seconds, sometimes in even less time than that! I watched this film on DVD with my Dad (because we knew this movie was gonna suck) and he quit watching it after the first 40 minutes. I had to pause the movie multiple times so I could rest my eyes! I received two headaches that required aspirin to fix! The editors of this movie (who have only edited appalling action movies) should be blacklisted and kicked out of the cinema industry for good. Oh, but that’s not the only problem with this movie. Here’s a question for you, “What the heck is Oscar winner Forest Whitaker doing in this pile of garbage?!” What a sad, disappointing waste of talent. We all love Taken, so let’s do it a favor and forget the sequels were ever made.
#5 – Pixels
Some critics were personally insulted by this movie much more than I was because they are retro gamers, but I was insulted nonetheless because the art of cinema was butchered with this movie! The visuals are Oscar worthy, but that is literally the only redeeming thing about this entire movie! The acting is lazy, the writing is lazy, the jokes are lazy, and the climax is filled with so many plot holes, that you could filter seawater into clean drinking water with it! Seen any lazy Adam Sandler movies in the last decade and a half? If so, then you have seen Pixels. Besides the premise and F/X, every lazy joke and character can be found in: Grown Ups, Click, Eight Crazy Nights, etc. Avoid this waste of time at all costs!
#4 – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (that person is currently having a very bad day)
For the love of all things holy in this world, can we please stop making these stupid, clichéd, annoying, movies based off of a franchise that should have died 20 years ago! Good freaking gosh, this movie was annoying! Again, not the worst film in this *shudders in disgust* quadrilogy, but certainly not a decent film either! If you guys wanted to know what a bad day for a film critic looks like, it would be the day I had to watch and review this stinker. Do you know the worst thing about this movie? It was supposed to be released on Christmas day, but they decided to move up the release date to the day The Force Awakens was released. Yes, the freaking chipmunks had the gall to be released not just on the same day as a Star Wars movie, but what is probably the most anticipated movie of all time!!! Now I can add “pretentious” to the egregious list of problems in this movie.
#3 – Fantastic Four
You know what? I don’t give a crap whose fault it was that made this movie so bad: Josh Trank, the writers, the nonexistent chemistry between the actors, or the producers putting pressure on Trank. What matters is that EVERYBODY dropped the ball on this one, that’s for sure! What’s funny is that the behind-the-scenes drama is not an excuse because Jaws had just as many off-screen issues and yet it managed to be both a critical and box office hit. Fantastic Four is the most boring superhero movie in existence (and if you say Unbreakable is, I’m going to punch you). That is a major problem because it’s a superhero movie man! It also came out during the comic book movie renaissance no less! I guess no one can give this blue clad group of heroes the film they really deserve.
#2 – Terminator Genisys
I had a difficult time deciding if Fantastic Four should go here or Genisys. Here’s what made the decision for me: Fantastic Four didn’t have much to compare to as all of the Fantastic Four films which preceded it were awful. On the other hand, Terminator Genisys had two of the best action movies of all time to live up to (cinematic milestones as well). Not only did it fail at that, but it straight up insults the originals, and by extension: the audience, fans of the franchise, and cinema itself! Chris Nashawaty (someone I hardly ever agree with) stated in his review of Genisys, “Since then [the release of Terminator 2], the series has been on a steady decline with 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and 2009’s Terminator Salvation—two sequels which had no real reason to exist other than as brand-awareness cash grabs.” I couldn’t agree with him more. What makes Genisys worse than the Rise of the Machines or Salvation, is the fact that it intentionally screwed up the near perfect story in the first two by trying to re-write something that should have been left alone. There’s a popular saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This movie has provided the best proof that this saying is indeed, valid. The negatives don’t end there though! The acting is abysmal (also, they completely wasted J.K. Simmons), the effects are average, the action is forgettable, and the freaking trailer ruined the only interesting moments in the whole dang movie! Much like Taken 3, let us forget this movie ever existed and let it fade into oblivion.
Dishonorable Mentions (to “borrow” a phrase from WatchMojo)
This movie is produced by Michael Bay, do you need any more information? In all seriousness, this movie has its moments. Some of the effects are impressive, and certain parts of the story are very interesting, but that’s about all you will find in this average production.
Here is a sci-fi movie which blatantly rips off other (better) science fiction forms of media. Accompanied by poor characters, and subpar acting, Chappie is a visually dazzling, but substance lacking waste of time.
A blemish on DreamWorks Animation’s impressive record would perfectly describe this dated, but harmless child marketed film.
As I said above, Pan is a stupid, obnoxious, CGI-induced failure of a fantasy film. It’s not over-the-top enough to be entertaining through and through (like Pirates of the Caribbean) and it’s not dramatic, or written well enough to build a personal connection to (like The Lord of the Rings). However, it’s at least enjoyable to poke fun at.
Depressing and uninteresting from start to finish, Joy is not worth having your emotions wrung through a wringer just so David O. Russel can win an Oscar. It does have its moments, but they are very few and far between.
I had my thoughts that this movie would be #1 since the start of the list, but I also had my doubts. After considering what other options I had, I knew it would come down to this. Thinking about this movie even today, the rage and pain resurfaces within me. The absolute WORST movie released in 2015 (that I have seen) was the stupid, cheap, immature, lazily-written, insulting, pretentious, poorly acted, potential-wasting, four-flushing, vulgar, talent-sucking, dirt-eating, cringe-inducing, crap generating, ignorant, rip-offish, obnoxious, pile of monkey s*** remake/sequel,
#1 – Vacation
Films on this list may have depressed me, exhausted me, bored me, and gotten me riled up a bit, but no film last year has enraged me as much as this witless remake did. In my review, I was going to talk about John Hughes at some point, but I decided to talk about him before I said anything else, otherwise I ran the risk of making the whole review just me shouting obscenities and run-on sentences (can’t have that). Sure, everyone has their bias. Personally I haven’t met anyone who loves the classic works of John Hughes more than I do, so it would only make sense that a movie which disgraces one of Hughes’ best to such a devastating degree would tick me off more than the next guy. However, this movie would tick off anyone! It has out-of-nowhere gore, stereotypes, gross-out, cheap sex puns and references, vulgarity up the yin yang, and not a trace of the charm of the original. What’s really shocking is how many talented people they had in this movie! I won’t go over them again, but I wasn’t lying when I said in the review that everyone’s talents were wasted in this pointless movie! I despise this movie with a burning passion, and I hope that I will never have to get this angry ever again, although given the tendencies of Hollywood that’s not likely.
Holy heck that was difficult! Thank you all for staying with me for such a long amount of time. It means quite a lot to me, because when I have to stomach heinous films like the ones on this list, I remind myself that you enjoy my content and that helps to keep me going. What did you guys think about this list? Happy New Year everyone, and I will have my Top Ten Best Films of 2015 out soon.
*EDIT* I don’t know what happened with my Project Almanac and Poltergeist (2015) reviews. I believe I posted those reviews early in 2015, but something must have gone wrong with WordPress. This shouldn’t happen again, in the meantime, the reposts are up (you’ll need them as reference points for this list).