Here it is: the 10 worst films of 2017. It’s often difficult to judge what’s truly “good” or “bad” about film: after all, even universally disliked films have their fans. Instead, this list was put together based on expectation, budget, and the talent involved. While some films weren’t made for much money (and it often shows), and a low budget is no excuse for making a shoddy film, the worst films of the year go to high-budget, wide-release box office disasters.

In the cases of these titles, no amount of marketing or re-editing could fix productions whose budgets run between $40 to $300 million. What makes them so terrible—the worst of the year, in fact—is that they weren’t amateur or indie productions that simply missed the mark they were aiming for a little: they went so decidedly awry from execution to delivery that even after big-name star turns, months of shooting, a year of editing, and untold tens of millions went into marketing, they died on the vine upon release, playing to half-empty theaters and losing their production companies gigantic amounts of money.

Of course, their massive failures are our gain since tearing into big-budget film atrocities is just good fun. With that in mind, here are the 10 worst films of 2017.

10. The Boss Baby

the boss baby.jpg

An imaginative young boy named Tim is upset when his parents bring another child into the house–literally, since their new baby arrives in a taxi. He’s especially annoyed since they now give the newborn all of the attention he was accustomed to receiving from them exclusively.

But Tim finds out his new baby brother (voiced by Alec Baldwin) talks like a character from Glengarry Glen Ross, wears suits, and is actually part of an organization called Baby Corp., and–hold on, there’s more setup involved–he drinks a formula that makes him intelligent and has infiltrated Tim’s family because his parents work for a company called Puppy Co. that are releasing a new version of a “Forever Puppy” that will be more popular than babies, which this new baby has to stop so babies can continue to hold the market share(?) of being loveable. Got all that? Together, Tim and his new boss baby must stop from these new puppies being released into the world, thereby…jeopardizing babies?

And wow, for such a convoluted setup this a mindless movie. Insulting the intelligence of children and babies alike, The Boss Baby is a sloppily written, has headache-inducing CGI, and features an unlikable main character in Baldwin’s “boss baby.”

Alternately too juvenile for adults but with a premise far too sophisticated for children, this has inexplicably become one of highest-grossing films of the year, which can only be accounted for by being released during a season where there were few family-friendly films in theaters. History will most likely not be kind to this movie. Like a baby, it’s a rare film that lacks a sense of object permanence. Instead, the viewer begins to forget The Boss Baby almost immediately after it ends.

9. The Snowman

the_snowman

A serial killer is on the loose, and it’s up to Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) to unlock the puzzling the killer leaves behind as his calling card. Unfortunately, his calling card are snowmen. But he has to solve this crazy mystery somehow, so with a new recruit Hole works the case—especially since The Snowman is now taunting the police with clues on how to save his next victim.

Adapted from a best-selling novel and with top-notch talent both behind and in front of the camera, The Snowman should have been the next Zodiac. Instead, it’s a poorly mashed-together serial killer crime drama that never quite adds up to a satisfying whole. What makes it one of the worst films of the year is how it took great source material, a fine ensemble cast, and director Tomas Alfredson—who had previously made the brilliant Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy—and completely fucked up every single good aspect it had going.

The “snowman motif’—a criminally underused phrase—ended up being more comical than menacing, while the protagonist is an unlikable loser and the entire plot is jumbled and leaves the viewer not caring what happens in the end. Barely making its money back at the box office and receiving universally scathing reviews after a fair amount of hype in the media, The Snowman ends up being hands-down one of the worst films of the year.

8. Fifty Shades Darker

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While the runaway literary success of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy puzzled everyone (except for the hordes who bought it), that could be excused: if people want to read poorly written erotica, then at least it’s nice that people are reading again.

The general public scoffed when they heard it was going to be made into a movie: after all, such a notoriously graphic book couldn’t be anything other than straight-out porn, right? But it was cleaned up for the theaters to secure an R rating in 2015. Critics hated it because it was ostensibly the same kind of crap the book was, but it turned a healthy profit and it was announced they’d just keep on making the movies until the trilogy’s conclusion.

Now in 2017 we have Fifty Shades Darker, which continues the Mary Sue erotic adventures of Anastasia Steele and her totally believable devoted billionaire sadomasochist lover Christian Grey. This time around they’re on the outs with each other, with Grey trying to win her back. She begins doing some detective work and uncovers Grey’s abusive past while also finding rivals in Grey’s former girlfriend/submissive Leila and former dominant Elena. And she gets a big promotion at work and Grey asks her to marry him because despite the BDSM cover it’s still pretty much just a chick flick.

Aside from terrible direction, writing, and performances, the film is shallow garbage. Then again, so were the books, so this should be expected. Fifty Shades of Grey serves as wish fulfillment fantasy aimed at the 25-and-older female quadrant with a little “taboo” sex thrown in for extra spice, and it’s excellent in its ability to strike the balance. Despite its glaring, obvious weaknesses as a film, it made quite a bit of money at the box office, so expect sometime next year the (hopefully) concluding film Fifty Shades Freed. See you next year when it lands on the same kind of list as this one.

6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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Guy Ritchie seems to have experienced a career of diminished returns: while his first two features, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, are seen as instant classics in the crime-comedy genre, after that his filmography took a drastic nosedive. Following up his first two male-oriented buddy-crime comedies with the abysmal Swept Away, starring his then-wife Madonna, Ritchie put out middling films that either gently retained some of his strengths or else were naked commercial cash-ins like Sherlock Holmes.

Following up his interesting but commercially unsuccessful adaptation of the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Richie chose a project that seemed far outside his wheelhouse: an epic fantasy film that takes place in the middle ages about the legend of King Arthur. This became King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. And it was terrible.

Released this year to little fanfare, this $175 million boondoggle has Ritchie’s fingerprints all over it—which is unfortunate, as the slick, ultra-modern stylistics of Ritchie’s vision does not meld well with a centuries-old story about knights and kings. Instead, King Arthur is portrayed as a warrior-king who has one foot in the 13th century and the other in the 21st.

The action sequences are jarring since they are to have taken place long ago but are depicted as part of a modern action movie. Besides this, the film itself is somewhat incoherent in its attempt at revisionist history and adapting a story that has been done so many times there’s little left to uncover that’s new no matter how flashy the cinematography and editing.

Perhaps Ritchie will again find his stride, or at least apply his talents to a story that’s more in-line with his kinetic style. But since this big-budget film crashed so badly upon release—recouping only $141 million of its production budget—it’s unlikely Ritchie will be helming such a large production any time soon (which is probably for the best)

5. Ghost in the Shell

1995’s Ghost in the Shell is considered one of the best animated films of all time. This hard-R cyberpunk sci-fi film set in 2029 New Port City, Japan, follows the efforts of an assault team lead by synthetic cybernetic human Motoko Kusanagi to track down a hacker named Puppet Master who is “ghost-hacking” people for his own political ends. Meanwhile, Motoko is haunted by her own ghost, which may hold the key to who she was before being rebuilt into the cybernetic being she is today.

Radically original and visually stunning, Ghost in the Shell was a high watermark for anime, becoming a breakthrough hit in the Western world and introducing a generation to Japan’s animation output. Now considered one of the best films of all time, there was no reason to remake it–but because people like money and hate to come up with original ideas, 2017 saw the release of the live-action Ghost in the Shell.

Forget some of the more obvious and well-trodden criticisms of the film’s whitewashing of its main characters: why was this film made in the first place? It cost an unbelievable amount of money to make ($110 million, not including promotional costs), and while it looks spectacular, what did it accomplish that the first film didn’t? In fact, it accomplished less since even CGI and MPAA rating-conscious studios couldn’t capture the ultra-graphic stylistics of the first film. Key elements couldn’t even be reproduced, such as Motoko’s somewhat androgynous nature and copious–but symbolically important–nudity.

A live-action (and whitewashed) adaptation wouldn’t please fans in its home country of origin, and while Ghost in the Shell is a much-loved anime, for the most part it’s also relatively obscure to mainstream Western audiences. Besides all that, those that do love the original film hated the idea of it being adapted and would refuse to see it. But at least Scarlett Johannson knows how to play an unemotional character.

Having only grossed $169 against a total $250 million budget (with promotion included), the live-action Ghost in the Shell is considered a gigantic box-office bomb at this point, which hopefully will signal to studios that there are some things that don’t need to be adapted or remade.

5. Snatched

snatched-2017

Amy Schumer has enjoyed an incredible rise to the top: breaking through to mainstream American audiences thanks to NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Schumer became one of the most successful stand-up comedians in the US, and her raunchy stand-up routine garnered a number of young fans. In 2015, she starred in the big screen comedy hit Train Wreck and enjoyed critical acclaim as a new face and voice in comedy. This sort of quick success would probably push any performer to capitalize on it–especially when big studios are guaranteeing a big payday.

From this inkling came Snatched, a big-budget comedy starring Schumer and Goldie Hawn, and the first film Hawn has starred in since 2002. The story of an estranged mother and daughter who go on vacation to Ecuador but get kidnapped and held for ransom, early previews of the film didn’t exactly generate excitement. When the first reviews came out, the initial hesitation of the film’s potential audience turned to active indifference, and when the film opened on Mother’s Day weekend 2017, the film was marked dead on arrival.

Budgeted at $42 million (promotional costs not included) and only grossing an anemic $55 million, Snatched is a disappointment in a lot of ways. It’s difficult to say what the problem was here, but the answer is manifold: the story itself is hacky, and in this context what was once Schumer’s greatest strength, being an edgy comedian, was watered down. Hawn and Schumer were also a mismatch, never coming across as a believable mother/daughter combo.

The plot is predictable, and all of the familiar beats it hits are telegraphed from a mile away. Finally–and the most crucial element of any comedy–it wasn’t particularly funny. A lot of the humor fell flat, and when an occasional solid laugh does show up, too much time had passed since the last one. Maybe Schumer’s sharper instincts will return in her next outing because as Snatched suggests, a toned-down Amy Schumer doesn’t seem particularly funny.

 

4. Geostorm

Big, dumb, effects-laden action disaster films are nothing new: they have been produced and made oodles of cash for decades now. Audiences love watching buildings explode, mountains crumble into powder, and scores of anonymous people destroyed without regard. It’s just good, clean fun. But as Geostorm proved, sometimes big dumb movies where everything’s smashed real good doesn’t make for particularly riveting—or successful—entertainment.

Anyway: Geostorm follows the story of the efforts of a group of people who are trying to stop some rogue agency that’s using satellites to disrupt weather patterns on earth that create major natural disasters and—oh, who cares? This film was made so people can go into a movie theater and watch major cities get destroyed by spectacular natural disasters. That’s all audiences want anyway, right?

Something was rotten with Geostorm from the get-go: with principle photography beginning in 2014, it was bumped from its 2016 release date due to disastrous preview audience scores, which led to reshoots by a new director and under the supervision of executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Finally released in October 2017, it immediately failed at the box office and with critics, one of whom stated that it was “the stupidest film I have ever seen.” Worldwide audiences managed to help the movie turn a profit, raking in $207 million on its $120 million budget, but don’t expect to see Geostorm 2—or meet anyone that has watched Geostorm more than once—in the near future.

 

3. Baywatch

Baywatch

Baywatch was a syndicated TV show that ran from 1989 to 1999 and was once billed as “the most-watched show in the world,” recording a billion viewers in hundreds of markets across the world. It would be nice to say so many people watched it because it was an incisive, cinematic, and well-acted show that depicted complex characters experiencing the various highs and lows of life while creating a rich tapestry of meaningful expression on the human condition, but that would be a lie. People liked it because it featured buff bods and buxom babes running around on the beach in skimpy clothing.

And that’s fine. We’re all human beings that enjoy a prurient thrill every now and then–especially back in the 20th century, when internet access to such things was limited. But like Playboy, there’s no real purpose for that kind of entertainment anymore. And this might shock you to find out, but a show that was mostly about women jogging around in swimsuits was somewhat shallow. But Hollywood–never being able to pass on literally any pre-existing property hoping to cash in on its fan base–gave the green light and handed over $70 million to produce a big-screen adaptation of Baywatch.

The results were expectedly terrible, of course. Centered around a group of lifeguards on a Florida beach and the various intrigues and romances they get into, it’s possibly the most disposable film to enter theaters in 2017.

Directed by Seth Gordon–who previously made the similarly craptastic Pixels in 2015–and starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario, one wonders why this film was made in the first place, and even further why it has a two-hour running time. Considering the original series made 242 episodes, you could save some money and just screen two episodes of that back-to-back and garner the same experience as you would from watching this film.

2. The Emoji Movie

Listen: kids aren’t stupid, but Hollywood thinks they are. What’s more, Hollywood tends to live, breathe, and die by passing fads and their ability to capitalize on them through their films. This is where we get things like Angry Birds: The Movie. And not to let any popular concept–no matter how disconnected it is from any sense of narrative purpose—go by without at least attempting to cash in on it, now we have The Emoji Movie forever and ever to ponder over, a sort of Pet Rock or Beanie Baby of the modern times.

What to say about a movie that’s centered around simplistic images people use as shorthand to convey various feelings and ideas in text messages? The Emoji Movie centers around an emoji that lives in a teenager’s phone that tries to find his place in the universe. Well, the emoji universe. The same one that also features Dropbox, Candy Crush, Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter as major plot points. And a turd emoji voiced by Patrick Stewart.

To call The Emoji Movie baseless and shallow is an insult to the ephemeral in our culture. It’s literally a movie that should have never been made, serves no function artistically or otherwise, and is such an obvious commercial cash-in that it often reads more like a long commercial than an actual movie ostensibly made to entertain people.

But because it’s 2017 and the world is an eternal dumpster fire at this point, The Emoji Movie made $217 million on a $50 million budget. So congratulations,

The 10 Worst Movies of 2017

16 DECEMBER 2017 FEATURESFILM LISTS BY MIKE GRAY

5. Snatched

snatched-2017

Amy Schumer has enjoyed an incredible rise to the top: breaking through to mainstream American audiences thanks to NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Schumer became one of the most successful stand-up comedians in the US, and her raunchy stand-up routine garnered a number of young fans. In 2015, she starred in the big screen comedy hit Train Wreck and enjoyed critical acclaim as a new face and voice in comedy. This sort of quick success would probably push any performer to capitalize on it–especially when big studios are guaranteeing a big payday.

From this inkling came Snatched, a big-budget comedy starring Schumer and Goldie Hawn, and the first film Hawn has starred in since 2002. The story of an estranged mother and daughter who go on vacation to Ecuador but get kidnapped and held for ransom, early previews of the film didn’t exactly generate excitement. When the first reviews came out, the initial hesitation of the film’s potential audience turned to active indifference, and when the film opened on Mother’s Day weekend 2017, the film was marked dead on arrival.

Budgeted at $42 million (promotional costs not included) and only grossing an anemic $55 million, Snatched is a disappointment in a lot of ways. It’s difficult to say what the problem was here, but the answer is manifold: the story itself is hacky, and in this context what was once Schumer’s greatest strength, being an edgy comedian, was watered down. Hawn and Schumer were also a mismatch, never coming across as a believable mother/daughter combo.

The plot is predictable, and all of the familiar beats it hits are telegraphed from a mile away. Finally–and the most crucial element of any comedy–it wasn’t particularly funny. A lot of the humor fell flat, and when an occasional solid laugh does show up, too much time had passed since the last one. Maybe Schumer’s sharper instincts will return in her next outing because as Snatched suggests, a toned-down Amy Schumer doesn’t seem particularly funny.

 

4. Geostorm

Big, dumb, effects-laden action disaster films are nothing new: they have been produced and made oodles of cash for decades now. Audiences love watching buildings explode, mountains crumble into powder, and scores of anonymous people destroyed without regard. It’s just good, clean fun. But as Geostorm proved, sometimes big dumb movies where everything’s smashed real good doesn’t make for particularly riveting—or successful—entertainment.

Anyway: Geostorm follows the story of the efforts of a group of people who are trying to stop some rogue agency that’s using satellites to disrupt weather patterns on earth that create major natural disasters and—oh, who cares? This film was made so people can go into a movie theater and watch major cities get destroyed by spectacular natural disasters. That’s all audiences want anyway, right?

Something was rotten with Geostorm from the get-go: with principle photography beginning in 2014, it was bumped from its 2016 release date due to disastrous preview audience scores, which led to reshoots by a new director and under the supervision of executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Finally released in October 2017, it immediately failed at the box office and with critics, one of whom stated that it was “the stupidest film I have ever seen.” Worldwide audiences managed to help the movie turn a profit, raking in $207 million on its $120 million budget, but don’t expect to see Geostorm 2—or meet anyone that has watched Geostorm more than once—in the near future.

 

3. Baywatch

Baywatch

Baywatch was a syndicated TV show that ran from 1989 to 1999 and was once billed as “the most-watched show in the world,” recording a billion viewers in hundreds of markets across the world. It would be nice to say so many people watched it because it was an incisive, cinematic, and well-acted show that depicted complex characters experiencing the various highs and lows of life while creating a rich tapestry of meaningful expression on the human condition, but that would be a lie. People liked it because it featured buff bods and buxom babes running around on the beach in skimpy clothing.

And that’s fine. We’re all human beings that enjoy a prurient thrill every now and then–especially back in the 20th century, when internet access to such things was limited. But like Playboy, there’s no real purpose for that kind of entertainment anymore. And this might shock you to find out, but a show that was mostly about women jogging around in swimsuits was somewhat shallow. But Hollywood–never being able to pass on literally any pre-existing property hoping to cash in on its fan base–gave the green light and handed over $70 million to produce a big-screen adaptation of Baywatch.

The results were expectedly terrible, of course. Centered around a group of lifeguards on a Florida beach and the various intrigues and romances they get into, it’s possibly the most disposable film to enter theaters in 2017.

Directed by Seth Gordon–who previously made the similarly craptastic Pixels in 2015–and starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario, one wonders why this film was made in the first place, and even further why it has a two-hour running time. Considering the original series made 242 episodes, you could save some money and just screen two episodes of that back-to-back and garner the same experience as you would from watching this film.

 

2. The Emoji Movie

Listen: kids aren’t stupid, but Hollywood thinks they are. What’s more, Hollywood tends to live, breathe, and die by passing fads and their ability to capitalize on them through their films. This is where we get things like Angry Birds: The Movie. And not to let any popular concept–no matter how disconnected it is from any sense of narrative purpose—go by without at least attempting to cash in on it, now we have The Emoji Movie forever and ever to ponder over, a sort of Pet Rock or Beanie Baby of the modern times.

What to say about a movie that’s centered around simplistic images people use as shorthand to convey various feelings and ideas in text messages? The Emoji Movie centers around an emoji that lives in a teenager’s phone that tries to find his place in the universe. Well, the emoji universe. The same one that also features Dropbox, Candy Crush, Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter as major plot points. And a turd emoji voiced by Patrick Stewart.

To call The Emoji Movie baseless and shallow is an insult to the ephemeral in our culture. It’s literally a movie that should have never been made, serves no function artistically or otherwise, and is such an obvious commercial cash-in that it often reads more like a long commercial than an actual movie ostensibly made to entertain people.

But because it’s 2017 and the world is an eternal dumpster fire at this point, The Emoji Movie made $217 million on a $50 million budget. So congratulations, Planet Earth: be on the lookout for Taylor Swift’s Twitter Feed sometime next year.

 

1. Justice League

Here it is: perhaps the worst movie to come out in 2017. Not that there weren’t worse movies made and released this year—anyone even loosely acquainted with recent releases could easily name half a dozen “worse” movies than Justice League to be released, ones with incoherent stories, flat characters, and display an overall ineptness at filmmaking. But dollars to donuts and pound for pound, Justice League is a spectacular failure, and one that highlights the large gap between Marvel Studio’s crowd-pleasing endeavors of late and DC’s inability to generate any excitement for their adaptations.

Justice League is about, of course, the formation of the Justice League—a group comprised of familiar (DC) superheroes such as Wonder Woman, The Flash, Batman, and…Aquaman. Following the death of Superman (see: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), a group of superheroes band together to fight against the impending doom with which immortal supervillain Steppenwolf threatens Earth. These mismatched heroes argue, find commonalities, and eventually join forces to defeat this threat, all while Superman returns from the grave.

Which is all well and good for a Justice League movie, provided that it’s done right. But since the ensemble cast shares the spotlight, the characterization of individuals is thin, and its overdone CGI effects clash jarringly with the more realistic elements of the film. The result is a less witty Marvel movie that seems more dour than fun to watch. Add to this its $300 million production budget and you have one of the most expensive films ever made that doesn’t seem to satisfy any of its core demographics.

Raking in $600 million at the box office—which, surprisingly, is still considered a disappointment—it would be surprising if DC continued its ill-fated modern entry into the superhero film genre. However, with such (seemingly) bankable, familiar characters and an audience that’s thirsty for superhero films, whether good or bad, it wouldn’t be surprising if the worst film of the year ended up with a six-picture deal when all is said or done. So much for taste.

Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2017/the-10-worst-movies-of-2017/2/#ixzz58NIhQFoU: be on the lookout for Taylor Swift’s Twitter Feed sometime next year.

1. Justice League

emoji_movie

Here it is: perhaps the worst movie to come out in 2017. Not that there weren’t worse movies made and released this year—anyone even loosely acquainted with recent releases could easily name half a dozen “worse” movies than Justice League to be released, ones with incoherent stories, flat characters, and display an overall ineptness at filmmaking. But dollars to donuts and pound for pound, Justice League is a spectacular failure, and one that highlights the large gap between Marvel Studio’s crowd-pleasing endeavors of late and DC’s inability to generate any excitement for their adaptations.

Justice League is about, of course, the formation of the Justice League—a group comprised of familiar (DC) superheroes such as Wonder Woman, The Flash, Batman, and…Aquaman. Following the death of Superman (see: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), a group of superheroes band together to fight against the impending doom with which immortal supervillain Steppenwolf threatens Earth. These mismatched heroes argue, find commonalities, and eventually join forces to defeat this threat, all while Superman returns from the grave.

Which is all well and good for a Justice League movie, provided that it’s done right. But since the ensemble cast shares the spotlight, the characterization of individuals is thin, and its overdone CGI effects clash jarringly with the more realistic elements of the film. The result is a less witty Marvel movie that seems more dour than fun to watch. Add to this its $300 million production budget and you have one of the most expensive films ever made that doesn’t seem to satisfy any of its core demographics.

Raking in $600 million at the box office—which, surprisingly, is still considered a disappointment—it would be surprising if DC continued its ill-fated modern entry into the superhero film genre. However, with such (seemingly) bankable, familiar characters and an audience that’s thirsty for superhero films, whether good or bad, it wouldn’t be surprising if the worst film of the year ended up with a six-picture deal when all is said or done. So much for taste. And music? Who? What? This life is endlessly weird.

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