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10 Worst Movies of 2017

From overblown blockbusters to incoherent indies, misguided sequels to (sigh) more Michael Bay – the year’s cinematic creme de la crud

In 2017, lousy movies proliferated like loopy Trump tweets. No week went by without a movie or three to leave us wondering when, exactly, Hollywood lost the ability to distinguish good from godawful. Mining old TV shows for gold doesn’t seem like such a hot idea when the result is Baywatch or CHiPs or My Little Pony: The Movie. What genius thought we had it in us to endure a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean epic? Who told Vin Diesel we wanted to see xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

There was more – believe me, there was much more. Director Guy Ritchie proved the Knights of Round Table were played out in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; anyone who willing paid to see Geostorm, Rough Night, The Snowman, The Circle or Tulip Fever is his or her own worst enemy. Audiences were given a pathetic prequel in Kong: Skull Island: a flat remake of Flatliners: a silly sequel made of Legos (Ninjago); a jumbled Justice League that did no one justice; and a far-from great The Great Wall, a $150 million U.S.-Chinese coproduction starring Matt Damon that made it look like both countries had forgotten everything they once knew about how to make an epic monster mash. 

Amazingly, these turkeys didn’t even make the cut for our list of the Worst Movies of 2017. Here are the 10 films that reside at the very bottom of the barrel. Watch ’em and weep. 

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‘The Dark Tower’

The writing of Stephen King can morph into fierce, frightening, deeply felt cinema. Take, for example: Carrie, The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, Misery and It, just to name a few. The Dark Tower, based on the author’s series of eight mythical, metaphorical novels, had enormous possibilities. But the film version, starring Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, the Man in Black, blows them all. If you want to know how to do everything wrong in book-to-screen adaptation, this model of incompetence makes for a perfect Exhibit A.

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‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

The Michael Bay Award for the Worst Movie of 2017 (TM) goes to – wait for it – Michael Bay, courtesy of this fifth toys-to-men epic. (If you’re looking for a franchise that remains unbeatable for creative ineptitude, dramatic incoherence, brain-numbing noise pollution and cynical exploitation, this series is a hall-of-famer champ.). The bottom of the toxic Transformers barrel, The Last Knight feels untouched by human hands, a directorial hallmark. The plot suggests that the giant ‘bots began back in the Dark Ages and somehow did valiant transforming things throughout history, like help fight the Nazis. But now, the heroic Optimus Prime has gone rogue and the evil Megatron (Frank Welker) wants to destroy Earth. Too bad there’s no one around to save audiences from Bay’s junkyard of clichés. The good news is that Knight is the lowest grossing chapter in the series. Did the public get woke? Wahlberg says he won’t return for any sequels. We should all follow suit. 

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