As our list of
the 50 best movies of 2017 attests, the year offered a truly outstanding selection of films. But clunkers are inevitable, and the past 12 months served up plenty — from franchise nonstarters ( The Mummy, Baywatch) to painful cautionary tales against whitewashing ( Ghost in the Shell, The Great Wall) to disastrous dramas from acclaimed filmmakers ( The Snowman, The Book of Henry). Click through to see our picks for this year’s worst of the worst.
Even setting aside the whitewashing controversy that plagued this live-action adaptation of the 1995 anime movie, Rupert Sanders’s film — about a robot cop with a human brain/soul (Scarlett Johansson) — is an unimaginative bore. Full of ho-hum sci-fi set pieces as well as recycled
Blade Runner imagery and themes, it’s a tedious slog that crashes long before its limp finale. — Nick Schager (Photo: Everett Collection)
In a different context — say, as a TV special — the
Frozen snowman’s musical adventure might have been embraced (or at least tolerated) by Disney fans. Unfortunately, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure opened in front of the feature film Coco. The featurette’s haphazard plot — the doofy snowman tries to find the perfect holiday tradition for Elsa and Anna — is a jarring contrast to the elegant simplicity of those in the shorts that normally precede Pixar’s films. Worse still, at 22 minutes, Olaf ate up young viewers’ attention spans before they even got a glimpse of the far superior feature . — Gwynne Watkins (Photo: Everett Collection)
Before its release, star Matt Damon said people should wait
until they saw the film — criticized for its controversial casting (namely, the white savior charged with protecting China’s eponymous landmark) — before passing judgment. Well, we saw The Great Wall, and the whitewashing is only one of many things amiss in this monster mess. It’s cheesy, overstuffed, and worst of all, boring. — Kevin Polowy (Photo: Everett Collection)
Michael Bay’s toy-based franchise failed to energize its robot-on-robot action with all manner of goofiness — including a new mythology involving King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table as well as flashbacks to the alien beings fighting the Nazis during WWII — in this interminable fifth installment. While Anthony Hopkins spouts lots of faux historical gibberish in an embarrassing supporting role, star Mark Wahlberg simply seems perplexed by all the cacophonous sound and fury — an all-too-relatable reaction. —
N.S. (Photo: Everett Collection)
Here’s a sentence we never expected to type: Tom Cruise is no Brendan Fraser. Cruise’s messy mashup of monstrous horror, Indiana Jones-aspiring action, and
Mission: Impossible-style stuntwork deservedly failed to click at the megaplex. Worse yet, the misfire not only tainted Cruise’s box-office rep (at least domestically), but also effectively sank Universal’s attempt to bring together its classic creatures in a shared universe. The Mummy‘s curse lives! — Marcus Errico (Photo: Universal)
Well … they can’t all be
It. Hollywood’s first stab at adapting Stephen King’s sprawling fantasy series left few moviegoers wanting to see more. Blame the filmmakers’ odd choice to reframe the story as a PG-13-rated Harry Potter adventure with the actual main character — gunslinger Roland (Idris Elba) — taking a backseat to his younger sidekick (Tom Taylor) as they pursue Matthew McConaughey’s goofy Man in Black. Better luck on the TV spinoff, guys!— Ethan Alter (Photo: Everett Collection)
We could sit here all day and tell you how bad this Michael Fassbender “thriller” from Tomas Alfredson (
Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is, but instead allow us to quote our three favorite chilly review headlines: (3) “The Snowman’s main character is named ‘Harry Hole,’ and it only gets worse from there” — The AV Club (2) “Do you want to skip ‘The Snowman’? (You should)” — NPR; and (1) “‘The Snowman’: Boy did it blow, man” — (Photo: Everett Collection) The Philadelphia Inquirer.
And for this animated atrocity, we can only muster the following: . ‘Nuff said.
(Photo: Everett Collection)
It was not a good year for Colin Trevorrow. In June, the
Jurassic World director was skewered for this badly misfiring dramatic thriller with a preposterous plot (a kid provides step-by-step instructions for his mother — from the grave! — on how to go about killing their creep of a neighbor). Then, in September, he lost his job as director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Did one have anything to do with the other? As bad as Book of Henry was, we hope not. — K.P. (Photo: Everett Collection)
With a cast of proven comic heavyweights — including Dwayne Johnson and, yes, Zac Efron (have you seen
Neighbors? The dude is funny!) — Baywatch should have kept audiences in stitches all summer long. But the laughs were few and far between as the movie struggled to make up its mind about whether it wanted to skewer or imitate its laughable source material, David Hasselhoff’s cheesy TV series. We almost want those sequel rumors to be true, if only so that Johnson & Co. can get it right next time. We said almost! — E.A. (Photo: Paramount)