In the world of cinema, there are countless masterpieces that have captivated audiences and left a lasting impact on the industry. However, for every great film, there are also those that fall short of expectations and leave viewers feeling disappointed, frustrated, or even outraged. From poorly executed scripts to cringe-worthy performances, the following films are sure to make you cringe and wonder how they ever made it to the big screen. So grab some popcorn (or maybe skip it this time), and get ready to cringe your way through this list of cinematic disasters.
1. It Comes at Night (2017)
It Comes at Night is a psychological horror film that follows the story of a family — Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) — who are living in a remote cabin in the woods, trying to survive a deadly disease outbreak that has ravaged the world. When a young family arrives seeking refuge, Paul is initially hesitant but ultimately agrees to let them stay.
Some viewers found the slow-paced storyline and lack of a clear explanation about the mysterious disease and the entity that comes at night to be frustrating and disappointing. Others felt that the film's marketing campaign, which emphasized the horror elements, was misleading and caused false expectations. Despite the strong performances by the cast and the eerie atmosphere, some viewers found the film to be underwhelming and unsatisfying, leading to its mixed reception among audiences.
2. Downsizing (2017)
Downsizing is a sci-fi comedy-drama that follows Paul Safranek (Matt Damon), a man who decides to undergo the procedure in order to improve his quality of life. However, things don't go exactly as planned, and Paul finds himself navigating a new and strange world filled with unexpected challenges and surreal experiences. Along the way, he meets a variety of quirky characters, including a Vietnamese political activist (Hong Chau), who introduces him to a whole new perspective on life.
However, the film fails to deliver on its interesting premise, with a disjointed plot that lacks focus and direction. The movie veers between themes of social satire, environmentalism, and romance, without fully exploring any of them. The characters are poorly developed, and the humor falls flat, making it difficult for viewers to engage with the story. Overall, “Downsizing” fails to deliver on its promising concept, resulting in a disappointing and forgettable film.
3. The Emoji Movie (2017)
The movie takes place inside a teenager's smartphone and follows the story of an emoji named Gene (T.J. Miller) who is born with multiple expressions. Despite being told to only have one expression like all other emojis, Gene embarks on a journey to become a “normal” emoji with the help of his best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and a hacker emoji named Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and challenges as they navigate through different apps on the phone, including a dangerous virus that threatens to destroy their world.
The Emoji Movie received negative reviews from critics who criticized its shallow plot, unoriginality, and lack of humor but was somehow still a commercial success.
4. American Hustle (2013)
Before you go wasting your time, we'll fill you in on American Hustle: Set in the 1970s, the movie follows the story of two con artists, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who are forced to work with an ambitious FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), in a sting operation to catch corrupt politicians.
The film is known for its all-star cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Irving's unpredictable wife, Rosalyn. However, many argue that these big names failed to deliver compelling performances or to create believable characters. Additionally, some viewers have taken issue with the film's glamorization of the 1970s era and the implications of glorifying the corrupt and immoral behavior of the characters.
5. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, is an epic space opera and the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. After discovering that Darth Vadar didn't kill the evil Emperor Palpatine, the rebels race to find him and defeat the First Order, led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and restore peace to the galaxy. Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her Jedi training, while Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) lead the charge against the First Order. Along the way, they encounter new allies, old friends, and daunting challenges, culminating in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the galaxy.
Fans often argue amongst themselves about which of the three sequel films is actually the worst, however. Many fans have criticized the film for retconning or ignoring plot elements established in the previous two movies of the sequel trilogy, making it feel disconnected and inconsistent.
Plus, they view character development as lacking or superficial, with many characters being reduced to simplistic archetypes or sidelined entirely. Some fans have also criticized the film's heavy reliance on nostalgia and fan service, which they believe detracts from the overall story and thematic coherence.
6. Splice (2009)
Splice is a sci-fi horror film following genetic engineering experiments by a young scientific couple attempting to introduce human DNA into their work, splicing animal genes. Despite being forbidden by their bosses to do it, they conduct and create a creature called Dren. At first, it's an incredible experience, but it quickly turns into horror and disaster.
One of the main criticisms leveled against the film is its tonal inconsistency, with some viewers finding it difficult to reconcile the film's more thoughtful, philosophical moments with its more graphic and exploitative horror elements. Others have criticized the movie's characters, finding them to be either unrelatable or unsympathetic and noting that their actions often strain credibility. Some have also taken issue with the film's controversial subject matter, which involves genetic experimentation and the creation of a hybrid human-animal creature, arguing that it is needlessly sensationalistic and exploitative.
7. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
Widely considered to be “the gold standard for bad movies,” Plan 9 From Outer Space revolves around a group of aliens who attempt to take over the world by resurrecting the dead using “Plan 9,” a scheme that involves creating chaos and fear among the population. The film stars Gregory Walcott as Jeff Trent, a pilot who teams up with a police officer (Duke Moore) and a psychic (Criswell) to stop the alien invasion.
The movie is best known for being so bad it's good, its low-budget special effects, terrible acting, and nonsensical plot. Despite its flaws, the film has become a cult classic and is celebrated for its unintentional humor and campy style.
8. Wonder Woman 1984
One of the biggest criticisms of Wonder Woman 1984(WW84) is its convoluted plot, which is filled with inconsistencies and plot holes. The storyline is often confusing, and the film relies heavily on contrivances and conveniences to move the plot forward. The pacing is also an issue, with many scenes feeling unnecessarily long and drawn out. Additionally, the film's over-the-top and cheesy portrayal of the 1980s feels forced and inauthentic, failing to capture the essence of the era.
The performances by the lead actors, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, have been criticized for being lackluster and uninspiring. Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 falls short of its predecessor and fails to deliver a compelling story or memorable characters, resulting in a disappointing viewing experience.
9. Lady in the Water (2006)
M. Night Shyamalan‘s Lady in the Water is a fantasy-psychological-thriller following a man (Paul Giamatti) rescuing a mysterious woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) from danger. However, as he falls in love with her, he discovers that she is a character from a bedtime story trying to get home.
The film's tone is also a source of criticism, as it can veer from serious to silly in a jarring way. Furthermore, some have criticized the film's heavy-handed use of allegory and symbolism, which can come across as heavy-handed or pretentious.
10. Battlefield: Earth
Based on a science fiction novel by L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield: Earth is often criticized for its questionable content and connections to Scientology. The film's plot is often seen as derivative and unoriginal, borrowing heavily from other sci-fi works like Star Wars and The Matrix without adding much new to the genre.
Additionally, the film's acting and special effects have been widely panned, with many critics noting wooden performances and subpar CGI. The film's pacing is also seen as problematic, with a slow start and an overstuffed middle section that drags on for too long. Finally, the film's poor critical reception and box office failure has cemented its reputation as a cinematic disaster.
11. Green Lantern (2011)
Green Lantern follows the story of Hal Jordan, a brash and arrogant test pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to become a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force that uses the power of will to fight evil across the universe. As Hal struggles to master his new powers and responsibilities, he must also confront the threat of Parallax, a powerful entity that feeds on fear and seeks to destroy the Green Lantern Corps and the entire universe.
The film's tone is a source of criticism, as it struggles to balance the serious nature of the source material with comedic elements that don't always land. Furthermore, the casting choices and performances have been heavily criticized, with some feeling that lead actor Ryan Reynolds was miscast as the titular hero. Finally, the film's poor box office performance and critical reception have cemented its reputation as a failed attempt at bringing the Green Lantern character to the big screen.
12. Moonfall (2022)
This 2022 science fiction disaster movie directed by Roland Emmerich follows a group of astronauts and scientists as they race against time to stop the moon from colliding with Earth. The film features an ensemble cast, including Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, and John Bradley. However, the movie has received negative reviews from critics and audiences alike.
Many people have criticized the film's overly predictable plot, shallow characters, and heavy reliance on cliches and tropes from the disaster movie genre. The special effects have also been criticized as underwhelming and unconvincing, with some viewers feeling that they took away from the tension and immersion of the film. Ultimately, Moonfall has been widely regarded as a misfire from Emmerich, who is known for his previous disaster movies like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow.
Did Reddit get this list right? Check out five decades of the worst movies of all time.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.