In 2018, these are the films that got our
butts in the seats - and then sent us home
with our wallets empty, and our hearts unfulfilled.
These films were the worst of 2018.
There may not be a major Hollywood film with
worse timing than Death Wish, a remake of
the classic 1974 Charles Bronson film.
The 2018 version features Bruce Willis as
an everyday Joe who takes up arms to clean
up the streets of Chicago after his daughter
is assaulted and his wife is murdered by thugs.
The notorious Eli Roth delivered a picture
that landed squarely in the middle of the
real-life debate over guns in America - and
suffered immensely for it.
Critics took note of the film's poor timing,
having already been pushed back from a fall
2017 release after the Las Vegas mass shooting
that claimed 58 lives.
But all that aside, the potentially nasty
fun of a revenge flick simply failed to materialize
nearly as well as the Bronson original.
"I never thought about it that way.
It could be true.”
Part of the most ridiculously popular multimedia
property to ever come from the world of Twilight
fan fiction, the third installment in the
Fifty Shades series finalizes a franchise
that never found critical acclaim, despite
posting insane box office numbers.
Freed's critics didn't hold back even a little.
The famously colorful Rex Reed said it was
"[...] grotesquely mindless and inescapably
boring, [while it] continues to ignore motivation,
character development, logic, and narrative
Reed gave the movie one star, but it was apparently
earned by the movie's furniture.
The few positive reviews tended to highlight
its merits as unintentional satire, rather
than any redeeming qualities it might otherwise
But there is one great thing about Fifty Shades
Freed: it marks the end of the series.
"You know that, don't you?"
Expectations were sky high for director Ava
DuVernay's adaptation of the classic 1962
young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time.
With an amazing cast attached, the film looked
to be another winner for Disney - but unfortunately,
it fell surprisingly flat with critics, and
posted flat box office receipts to match.
Negative reviews focused on the disappointment
sure to be felt by fans of the novel, as the
adaptation didn't match the source material's
Splice Today's Stephen Silver argued,
"It's based on one of those novels that's
long been described as un-adaptable, only
to result in a movie that proved such naysayers
Cinefiloz called it,
"[...] a film that does not stop feeling generic."
“Do I look like I’m kidding?”
It seems that it wasn't just one thing that
went wrong, but if DuVernay's stellar past
work is any indication, she should bounce
It's hard to deny that Amy Schumer has had
a hard time hitting her stride with her film
projects, aside from her promising 2015 debut
in the Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck.
This year's I Feel Pretty - in which Schumer
is an average-sized woman who awakens from
an accident believing she's a supermodel - seemed
to sport the perfect premise for Schumer's
brand of comedy.
But it largely turned out to be a swing and
The New Yorker proclaimed that the film essentially
wasted its entire cast from Schumer to Naomi
Campbell, Michelle Williams and veteran actress
Lauren Hutton, and went on to call it,
"[...] a painful, unaware condescension masquerading
"I wanna punch you right in your dumb face
Most other critics were no kinder, agreeing
that the movie felt pandering and insincere,
and that the comedic moments were just plain
Perhaps Apatow, the only director who's proven
himself capable of successfully harnessing
Schumer's vibe on the big screen, should give
her a call, because the response to I Feel
Pretty has been nothing short of ugly.
Based on the dangerously irresponsible real-life
Action Park and featuring Johnny Knoxville
and his usual roundup of friends, the movie
Action Point seemed like sure-fire comedy
Tailor-made for Jackass-like stunts, the movie
was the perfect framing device for humiliating
pratfalls and bodily injury - but it arrived
in theaters only to fall right on its face.
Many critics found Action Point to be way
too soft and safe, complaining that the whole
thing was unworthy of its death-defying inspiration.
Reno News and Review critic Bob Grimm, who
survived the actual Action Park as a child,
"[...] basically an insult to the legend of
Action Park - or Death Park, as we liked to
It's a rare case of the Jackass crew not going
They've all been in the business of abusing
themselves for the better part of two decades,
so here's hoping they can give us at least
one more stellar outing without killing themselves.
Fans could be forgiven for approaching Slender
Man with a healthy amount of trepidation.
Plot details had been kept tightly under wraps
during the film's production, and when the
film hit theaters, it became clear why we
hadn't heard much.
What little plot there was in Slender Man,
just seemed way too thin.
Critics flogged the picture for its non-existent
story and lack of any genuine scares.
Cinema Crazed nailed down all the film's problems
with one sentence:
"Deep down beats the heart of a great horror
movie, but it's lost in cheap jump scares,
bad CGI, and heavy cribbing from Nightmare
on Elm Street and The Ring."
More than one reviewer noted the film's proximity
to the real-life, recent Slender Man stabbing,
with some even making the case that the film
exploits the tragedy - but at the end of the
day, Slender Man's worst crime was just being
The Happytime Murders seemed like it had an
inspired comedic premise.
As a sort of mashup between Sesame Street-gone-wrong
and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the film stars
Melissa McCarthy as a human police detective
in a world where people co-exist with living
She and her puppet partner are tasked with
getting to the bottom of a series of murders.
It's a premise with the potential to be a
raunchy, edgy comedy.
Unfortunately, the film failed to deliver
The always-blunt Peter Travers of Rolling
Stone called it,
"A toxic botch job [which] deserves an early
death by box office."
Sarah Marrs of Lainey Gossip called it,
"Too boring and mediocre to be the worst movie
"Well, f--k me!"
Puppet-based raunchy humor isn't impossible,
but this film just couldn't crack the code
- and also managed to deliver yet another
starring vehicle unworthy of McCarthy's talents.
The films of the Conjuring universe have never
done anything less than gangbusters at the
box office, even when nabbing mixed critical
Since the first appearance of the demonic
nun Valak in The Conjuring 2, fans have been
clamoring for a film centered on the terrifying
figure - but her starring turn has unfortunately
put the filmmakers in need of paying penance.
While critics generally considered the film
to be technically well-acted and well-made,
nothing could save it from giant gaps in logic
and a meandering narrative structure.
Many observers also took the film to task
for it heavy reliance on cliche.
Said the Seattle Times' Soren Andersen,
"Entombed the audience is [...] in horror-movie
[...] The moments don't build to any sort
of sustained narrative momentum.
[...] It's so choppy and predictable that
it becomes laughable."
Despite all that, another hugely profitable
sequel is probably in the works right now,
maybe with a scarier story to tell.
Fans of sci-fi '80s monster action were psyched
about the announcement of Shane Black's suburbia-set
Black's action bonafides have never been in
question, the trailers looked fresh and funny,
and it seemed highly unlikely that anyone
would drop the ball.
Sure, Black is incapable of making a bad looking
film, and he didn't disappoint here.
But even his gifts couldn't overcome a surprisingly
bland script and undisciplined plotting.
Brandon Katz of The Observer called it,
"[...] a thorough grab bag of averageness,
made worse by its distinct lack of distinction."
"Come and get us, mother f---ker."
His peers, on the other hand, focused on the
film's over-reliance on zippy one-liners and
emulating '80s B-movies in the worst possible
It added up to a shocking miss from a filmmaker
who seemed to have it all together.
Clint Eastwood has a pretty good track record
as a director, and an even better one as a
director of historical dramas, so expectations
were high for The 15:17 to Paris: the true
story of a trio of American soldiers who thwarted
a terrorist attack on a train while traveling
The actual soldiers involved in the incident
were even recruited to play themselves in
Unfortunately, real-life heroes don't necessarily
make good actors, according to critics.
The New Republic wrote about all three stars:
"[They're] all handsome but just appalling
This disjuncture is impossible to forget while
watching the film, and it's very uncomfortable."
Padding out a relatively brief incident to
the length of a whole film resulted in two-thirds
of the film's run time devoted to tedious
While the centerpiece action sequence earned
praise, everything surrounding it disappointed.
The 15:17 to Paris arrived at the station
greeted by wildly indifferent audiences.
Forever My Girl is the story of a country
music star who returns home for a funeral,
only to face the lost love he left behind.
If that description strikes as you overly
familiar and formulaic, you're not alone.
Critics couldn't help but note that Forever
failed even to clear the bar set by the wildly
popular weepers based on Nicholas Sparks novels.
"Not really my cup of tea.
The film seemed to bring out the snark in
practically every critic who viewed it.
The San Francisco Chronicle got very specific:
"It's a poorly made film, with rough edits,
distracting staging and plot contrivances
that can be predicted to the moment.
[...] There's an almost startling lack of
chemistry between the leads [and it's] as
if every third scene was cut out randomly."
The picture only managed a $16 million haul
during its theatrical run.
Winchester sounded like the kind of horror
slam-dunk that comes along rarely: a supernatural
fright-fest based on the insanely spooky true
story of Sarah Winchester, who built the mother
of all haunted houses.
Starring Helen Mirren in the title role, the
stars were all aligned.
So how did it go so terribly wrong?
Critics agreed that it represented a forgettable
whale of a missed opportunity.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone heaped scorn
all over the film, saying,
"It shouldn't happen to anyone, much less
a Dame - not a movie of such barreling awfulness
as Winchester, which strands the great Helen
Mirren in a gothic house of cards that collapses
on actors and audiences alike."
The film's writer/director duo, the Spierig
brothers, were taken to task for choosing
jump scares over atmosphere, and one review
went so far as to call Mirren's presence in
the film "inexplicable."
With Winchester, the Spierigs delivered arguably
the most disappointing misfire of the year.
If this is your first time hearing of action/comedy
Gringo, you're not alone.
The film flopped spectacularly, grossing only
about $11 million worldwide despite an insanely
The story of a mild-mannered American who
goes Breaking Bad on a trip south of the border
- the sophomore feature from veteran stunt
coordinator Nash Edgerton - failed to score
with critics while general audiences were
simply unaware of its existence.
Not that this was necessarily a bad thing:
Rolling Stone's David Fear said
"It can't decide whether it wants to be magnificently
toxic or merely mediocre.
[…] This is a 'romp' that's keen on going
nowhere… and sloooowly."
"What a f---king crybaby!"
Most of the critical venom was reserved for
its unfunny, contrived mess of a screenplay,
on which the film's amazing cast was apparently
Director Robert Zemeckis has given us such
beloved films as the Back to the Future series,
Forrest Gump, and Cast Away...
...and his year-end release Welcome to Marwen
had "prestige picture" written all over it.
It's a fictionalized account of the life and
work of Mark Hogancamp, who builds a scale
model of a World War II-era Belgian town in
Featuring Steve Carell in the lead, Zemeckis'
film took a huge aesthetic gamble by being
set partially inside the fictional town.
Carell's performance drew fire for its lack
of nuance, and Zemeckis took his share of
hits for offering one-dimensional female characters
and failing to inject the story with genuine
The CGI dolls left some viewers stranded in
the uncanny valley, and though most critics
agreed the film was well-intentioned, it all
added up to a titanic misfire.
The post-apocalyptic thriller Mortal Engines,
based on the first of a series of young adult
novels, had been highly anticipated due to
the involvement of producer Peter Jackson
and director Christian Rivers, a longtime
In the movie's world, gigantic cities on wheels
roam the landscape in search of resources.
While some critics praised the film's world-building,
even the positive notices lamented its stitched-together,
derivative story and the critics that panned
the film panned it extra hard.
The New York Post's Sarah Stewart called it,
quote, "a wearying blast of CGI and genre-cribbing,"
which "[pillages] better movies for spare
She also pointed out that even the soundtrack
by Junkie XL is highly reminiscent of the
composer's work on Mad Max: Fury Road.
She wasn't the only observer to point out
that Mortal Engines seemed to invite comparison
to that unassailable classic, although some
were slightly more succinct.
Said Splice Today's Steven Silver:
"It's been a long time since Peter Jackson
last made a good movie, and the dry spell
continues with Mortal Engines, which answers
a burning question: What if Mad Max: Fury
Road had sucked?"
John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell can be a formidable
comedic duo, as we've seen in multiple films.
Unfortunately, Holmes and Watson brought that
streak to a screeching halt.
One of the worst-reviewed films of the year,
Holmes and Watson literally saw audiences
walking out of the theater.
The vast majority of critics were none too
pleased that they were professionally obligated
to sit through the whole thing.
"What have you done with Sherlock?”
I never left.”
The problems permeated the production, from
its terribly unfunny screenplay to its direction
and editing, which one reviewer called the
worst of any film released in 2018.
The flick was lambasted for its lazy humor
and for wasting the talents of Reilly, Ferrell,
and its entire supporting cast.
Here's hoping that Reilly and Ferrell can
bounce back with a movie that audiences actually
want to spend their money on.
Better luck next year, Hollywood.
In 2018, these are the films that got our butts in the seats - and then sent us home with our wallets empty, and our hearts unfulfilled. These films were the worst of 2018.
Death Wish | # Fifty Shades Freed | # A Wrinkle in Time | # I Feel Pretty | # Action Point | # Slender Man | # The Happytime Murders | # The Nun | # The Predator | # The # to Paris | # Forever My Girl | # Winchester | # Gringo | # Welcome To Marwen | # Mortal Engines | # Holmes and Watson | #