REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus
When you watch 188 new releases in a year (and counting), you are bound to run into some stinkers. And then some truly terrible films that have you questioning your love of cinema. While it’s always fun to review a new cinematic masterpiece, it’s also fun to talk about some of the biggest misses of the year. And before you question why Morbius is not on this list, Matt Smith’s dancing skills helped it narrowly escape my ten worst films of the year, but if this was a list of my eleven worst films of the year, it would be morbin’ time! So without further ado, here are my ten worst films of the year:
10. The Royal Nanny
Hallmark Channel is notorious for making cheesy and sometimes bad holiday films, but The Royal Nanny had to be one of their worst. Zero chemistry between their two leads did not help this film at all, nor did a plot that attempted to add in an espionage without understanding the suspense of the genre. I knew it was going to be bad, which was part of the reason I watched it, but nothing could have prepared me for this disaster of cheesy, epic proportions.
9. Honor Society
Despite Angourie Rice who delivers a solid performance transforming herself into one of the most detestable characters of the year and giving her a character arc to try and make you care for her, there is little to enjoy about Honor Society. The story takes the hallmarks of the teen comedy genre and turns them into something truly disenchanting, adds in some storylines that you should not be seeing in this day and age, that not even the talents of Rice and Gaten Matarazzo can make bearable. Unlike the characters in the film, Honor Society unfortunately fails to graduate into the high school comedy hall of fame, and is instead sent to detention forever.
Ranging from intolerable performances, a story that gave no insight to the notable artist being depicted, and instead leaving the audience questioning whether they revere his artistic genius or hate him as an individual, Dalíland is a mess. Ben Kinglsey’s performance feels like a bad Saturday Night Live skit impersonation, making Dalí sound like a blood sucking Count Dracula. And to further ruin the film, cast as a young Dalí is Ezra Miller, who merely screams, moans, and rolls in the sand for two of the film’s worst moments. I truly have no words to describe the disaster that this film is.
7. The Man from Toronto
Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson are both funny actors, so how The Man from Toronto was as comedically cold as a Canadian winter is beyond me. A terrible action comedy screenplay that fails to utilize the talents of its two leads that instead refused to give them anything remotely funny to work with, resulting in one of the most generic and boring films of the year. Not even a scene stealing Kaley Cuoco could make this film remotely fun.
6. Pinochio (Robert Zemeckis Version)
I am normally a sucker for Disney live action remakes, and the teaser trailer for this remake was pure Disney magic. But within five minutes of this film beginning, Robert Zemeckis managed to drain any magic from the film, instead creating a CGI infested mess with zero heart. Not only did Zemeckis and his team change the beautiful, iconic ending to Pinocchio in an attempt to bring something new to this classic story, the film was bloated with unnecessary fourth wall breaks by Jiminy Cricket. Despite Cynthia Erivo’s beautiful rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star”, which is the only saving grace of the film, Pinocchio helps Disney live action adaptations to reach a new low.
Ana de Armas is unstoppable as Marilyn Monroe, but this film merely exploits Monroe all over again, truly failing to capture this iconic Hollywood star. While it acts like it is a biopic, it is actually a fictional take on Monroe’s life which adds new horrors to her already heartbreaking story, treating her like a slab of meat rather than the woman who captured the attention of the world. There is no doubt that de Armas gives one of her best performances to date as Marilyn, capturing the innocence and transforming into her in front of your eyes, but an almost three hour run time filled with scenes you never want to see in a film creates one of the biggest pieces of misinformation of the year.
4. The Bubble
Judd Apatow with a comedy featuring great comedic stars about the pandemic. What could go wrong? Well, everything! This over bloated look at a film crew shooting a film during the pandemic literally put me to sleep for ten minutes which I never bothered to rewind, creating one of the most painful movie experiences of the year. While the film has all the elements to make a great comedy about filmmaking ranging from greedy studio executives, self-centered stars and the poor staff forced to deal with them, the screenplay cannot find anything funny or interesting to say. Instead, The Bubble is a two hour snoozefest that manages only to waste the talents of its cast and kill a few brain cells of viewers along the way.
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Millennials screaming "you're canceled" at Leatherface and pulling out their smartphones to film the iconic villain's latest rampage as he carves them up says it all. The latest attempt to reboot The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is derivative to a fault. Following in the footsteps of other successful horror reboots, the film brings back the series main final girl, but fails to use her, instead focusing on characters that can only be described as cannon fodder for Leatherface’s latest killing spree. The result is a truly terrible film that has very little entertainment value, other than laughing at how awful it is.
2. Cheaper by the Dozen (2022)
Disney’s latest attempt at rebooting a Fox family classic is just as bad as last year’s Home Sweet Home Alone. Not only does this remake beg the question why Disney insists on ruining Fox classics and dumping them on Disney+, it makes Cheaper by the Dozen not funny. Despite having Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union in the lead roles, who are delightful, the film is more focused on being socially correct and inclusive rather than having anything to say about family values that made the Steve Martin version a box office hit in the early 2000s. There are a few chuckles to be had, not even laughs, but for the most part this train wreck fails to be entertaining in any way imaginable.
1. Redeeming Love
What possessed me to even attempt watching this movie is beyond me, but it is without a doubt the worst film of the year. This faith based romance which was quietly released in January was so bad that I had to turn it off halfway through. The acting was painful, which is saddening from a cast that includes Famke Janssen, Eric Dane, Nina Dobrev and Logan Marshall-Green, and the story was incredibly boring. If this does not scream the worst film of the year, I do not know what does!