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10 Worst Movies of 2018

Dead-on-arrival sequels, “dark” superhero tales gone wrong, the dumbest mobster movie ever made — welcome to the bottom of 2018’s cinematic barrel

worst movies of 2018

Clockwise from left: 'Life Itself,' 'Gotti' and 'Venom,' three films which made Peter Travers' Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018 list.

So many bad movies, so little time to tell you how bad. But as Hollywood continues to reboot and recycle anything that made a buck and run from originality like a form of box-office plague, the multiplex in 2018 proved more crowded than ever with creative cowardice enhanced by the participation of shameless hacks. Have you felt the brain-numbing déjà vu of Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, Insidious: The Last Key, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Johnny English Strikes Again, Super Troopers 2, The Cloverfield Paradox, Sherlock Gnomes and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms? We have. We’ve watched The Rock basically play the same role twice in Skyscraper and Rampage. We’ve suffered through the Bruce Willis remake of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish, the Anna Faris redo of Goldie Hawn’s Overboard and Benedict Cumberbatch’s one-upping Jim Carrey’s bah-humbuggery in an animated update of The Grinch.

And yet, impossibly, none of these barking cinematic dogs actually made this list. Were there really movies that scraped below the bottom-of-the-barrel titles we just mentioned? Oh, there were. Trust us, there most certainly were. Here are our picks for the 10 Worst Movies of 2018. Read it and weep.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Black Bear Pictures/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9765354g)Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Phil Philips (Bill Barretta)"The Happytime Murders" Film - 2018
1

‘The Happytime Murders’

An all-time low in mirthless farce as Melissa McCarthy and the Henson family puppets trade dick jokes while dad Jim Henson turns over in his grave. To be fair, the actor showed off her best stuff this year as a literary forger in Can You Ever Forgive Me? But she’s hopelessly stranded here as an L.A. cop looking for a serial killer among trash-talking puppets who used to star in a 1980s children’s show called The Happytime Gang. Good luck finding a happy time anywhere in this R-rated comedy without a solitary laugh or a single redeeming feature. It stoops low enough to qualify as the worst cinematic loser of the new century. Congratulations.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brian Douglas/Lionsgate/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9715963e)Chris Kerson, John Travolta"Gotti" Film - 2018
2

‘Gotti’

A zero-percent satisfaction rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes seems too kind a response to John Travolta’s career-crushing gangster epic about the Teflon don. It’s not that there isn’t a solid movie to carve out of John Gotti’s career in crime — it’s just that this one is 100 percent not it. Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston (playing Gotti’s wife, Victoria) overact madly to compensate for an incoherent script and directionless directing from Entourage actor Kevin Connolly. No wonder critics and audiences put out a hit on this one.

life itself
3

‘Life Itself’

Can a movie be all bad? This profoundly pretentious soap from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman proves that, yes, it really can. Life Itself is more like a death sentence — five chapters that achieve a cumulative level of sentimental toxicity strong enough to poison viewers who don’t bolt for the exits before it ends. The real mystery in this tale that starts with a tragic love story is how a cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas and Mandy Patinkin was ever bamboozled into starring in this blithering botch job. Their agents need to be fired at once.

Taron Egerton stars as “Robin” in ROBIN HOOD.
4

‘Robin Hood’

A massively misbegotten attempt to update Sherwood Forest for millennials with Iraq War parallels, crossbows as automatic weapons (really!), slangy street dialogue, pedophile priests, a young Hood in Taron Egerton, a slumming Oscar winner in Jamie Foxx’s Muslim Little John, a rape-y Sherrif of Nottingham and Cuisinart editing in the chaotic action scenes that makes it impossible to decipher who’s doing what to whom. There’s even a set-up for a sequel. Riiight.

Owen (CHRIS PRATT) comes between the mighty T. rex and Claire (BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD) and Franklin (JUSTICE SMITH) in "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."  When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.  Welcome to "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."
5

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

This useless, inspiration-free sequel to the 2015 franchise reboot is a shameless, T-Rex-sized cash grab. What’s so perfunctory and effing exhausting about this followup is that it sticks the action indoors. You’ll feel just as caged as the CGI dinos who are herded into the bowels of a billionaire’s mansion, where the bad guys are weaponizing the creatures and selling them to the highest terrorist bidders. Stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard run around trying to fool us into thinking that something is happening. It isn’t.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9641034a)Jason Statham"The Meg" Film - 2018
6

‘The Meg’

Usually we’d be all in to watch a giant shark take on Jason Statham. But The Meg, refusing to indulge in any Sharknado type of campy escapism, is no damn fun. Imagine the possibilities of a growly Statham and his rescue divers trying to save the crew of a deep-sea submersible, stuck at the bottom of the South China Sea, from a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. It takes a mega-load of exposition, plus crappy acting, directing, screenwriting and super-shoddy CGI, to kill this beast, who takes forever to show up and then quickly wears out his welcome. What a waste.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9360722k)Jennifer Lawrence"Red Sparrow" Film - 2018
7

‘Red Sparrow’

What’s happening to Jennifer Lawrence? First Passengers, then mother! — and now this sadistic, sexed-up espionage saga from Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. Portraying a Bolshoi ballerina turned unlikely spy, complete with a blond wig and a thicker-than-borscht Russian accent, Lawrence’s Sparrow resents sleeping with contacts to extract secrets. (“You sent me to whore school,” she tells the creepy uncle who got her in the game. And that’s the film’s best line.) It’s loopy and ludicrous. Somebody save this Oscar-winning actress.

the nun
8

‘The Nun’

Rinsing and recycling scare tactics from profitable film frightfests does not a horror classic make — though sitting through this compendium of scream-show clichés does constitute a form of torture. Audiences lined up to see Valak (Bonnie Aarons), the unholy nun from The Conjuring 2, seize control of a remote, Romanian abbey and scare the hell out of every novitiate in sight. Lucky young nuns for getting the jolts this thrill-free copycat woefully fails to deliver. Fan prayers to deliver on the franhcise’s promise of the macabre go cruelly unanswered. A sign in the abbey reads: “God Ends Here.” Truer words.

JAMIE DORNAN and DAKOTA JOHNSON return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades Freed," the climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon.  Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018.
9

‘Fifty Shades Freed’

For the third and last time — so they promise — Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan whip each other into the least erotic frenzy in the history of sex in cinema. Don’t they know that sanitized S&M is a contradiction in terms? And since Dornan’s billionaire Christian Grey has married Johnson’s intern-turned-publishing magnate Anastasia Steele, they seem as bored with each other as we are with them. Sabotage, kidnapping and murder are added now that the couple’s “kinky fuckery” has lost its kink. Nothing in Mr. Grey’s Red Room of Pain could possibly compare to the punishment doled out to the masochists who pay to see this one.

#venom
10

‘Venom’

Behold, a PG-13 desecration of a nightmare-dark Marvel antihero. That’s Venom, the alien symbiote who bites off heads and feeds on brains when he’s not possessing the body of San Francisco TV journalist Eddie Brock. You’d think it’d be the perfect dual role for the great Tom Hardy, right? And it might have been. But the Brit actor, who previously went supervillain hardcore in The Dark Knight Rises, betrayed Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant and played both gangster Kray twins in Legend, wimps out this time, playing Venom for laughs that never come. Selling out a character with the potential to be another Dark Knight, especially in the hands of a killer thespian like Hardy, is the norm in a dollar-driven business that fears risk.

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