It’s that time of year again — even if that time of year is late January for me this time — to talk about the best and worst of what 2018 had to offer in the world of film.
It took me longer this year to get what I believed was a well-rounded list of films from the past year, but I think I’m there now, so let’s start with the bad. These 10 movies are all very, very bad, and for very, very different reasons.
I only have two honorable mentions for this list, as there were plenty of movies that were average, but not all too many that offended my tastes. Still, “Gotti” and “Winchester” are both films that are far from good. There just happened to be 10 more that I saw that were even worse.
10.) The Predator
Starting this list off is Shane Black’s new take on an action classic. Black has made strong films in the past, but this is surely not one of them. Even though the action isn’t the problem, the characters are all so unlikable that it’s hard to drown them out to enjoy the gore. Olivia Munn seems incapable of acting well in this movie, and I swear Jacob Tremblay made me believe he should have earned an Oscar at one point in time. That is getting harder to remember, and “The Predator” is not a bright spot in the careers of anyone who was involved.
9.) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Another attempt at rebooting a franchise that is at least two decades old, and another one that failed. I’ll admit, the first “Jurassic World” was pretty fun, and something I could mindlessly enjoy. This sequel, however, was just too stupid and had too little to like to do the same. Chris Pratt and pretty effects can only do so much, and when everything in your movie aside from those two things is awful, then your movie probably sucks. That’s what happened here, and the result was a terrible middle film that did leave potential for a good trilogy closer.
8.) The Cloverfield Paradox
Man, what a let down. Following a genius marketing strategy to drop the first and only trailer during the Super Bowl, then immediately release the movie to Netflix following the game, I was incredibly excited to see where the most mysterious franchise in film today would go. Turns out, it went south, hard. After blowing me away with the previous two entries, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a muddled mess of nonsense that disguises itself as something bigger with the title. The film lacks any strong suspense, and saves its tie in to the franchise with some garbage toward the end, really digging a hole for the franchise that once showed so much promise.
7.) A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay, what happened? DuVernay, coming off directing “Selma” and “13TH,” drops this turd of a film that is surely ambitious, but even more surely a disaster. The book is a gem for all of its confusion and out-there ideas, sure. But this movie is all over the place for all the wrong reasons, and is held together by two HORRIFIC child performances. I will continue to rip poor 16-year-old Levi Miller until he goes into engineering or medical school, because between this and “Pan,” he cannot, and may never be able to act.
6.) Red Sparrow
Yet another disappointing film that I had a lot of hopes for, “Red Sparrow” has one main issue: it is insanely boring. Sure, Jennifer Lawrence has a bad Russian accent and sure, the plot can be a little predictable, but those things are more forgivable when the film is at least a little fun. This movie is never fun, and it takes itself way too seriously all the way until the end, and that end feels like a year away during this 140-minute runtime.
5.) Holmes and Watson
Could “Holmes and Watson” be higher on this list. Absolutely. There is barely a single comedic line that works, and it is a total embarrassment to both Will Ferrell and especially John C. Reilly that they were involved. But “Holmes and Watson” is also so catastrophically terrible that it borders on hilarious, and for that, No. 5 will suffice. Remember when Sherlock Holmes wore a “Make England Great Again” hat? Hopefully not, because that means you saw this movie.
4.) Slender Man
Ah yes, a worst of list is not complete without some terrible horror movie that never needed to be made. How about one with a premise that hasn’t been relevant in at least six years? Ding ding ding ding ding! “Slender Man” fails first at being not scary, then being boring and then being horribly acted and terribly written. The best part? Even if you somehow liked bits and pieces of the trailer, most of the exciting parts in it never even made it into the movie. I wish that long-armed faceless bastard killed me during this trash heap.
3.) The Happytime Murders
The worst comedy of the year comes in the form of this revolting take on the Muppets that both ruins childhoods and turns stomachs. “The Happytime Murders” is shit, but it is not just shit in the way a PG-13 comedy like “Holmes and Watson” is. While the latter fails to ever make me laugh, this train wreck manages to offend my taste while doing it. Comedy is not just the grossest thing that pops in your mind, and I never, EVER, want to see an ejaculating puppet ever again. Thanks, Brian Henson, you weirdo.
2.) Death of a Nation
Coming in at the honorable second position is Dinesh D’Souza’s latest abomination to cinema. This time, he owns the libs by saying president Donald Trump is the new Abraham Lincoln, and that the Democratic Party is responsible for the KKK and the Holocaust. Not to get political, but this is a bunch of nonsense, and only appeals to the most extreme level of human being imaginable. What D’Souza is doing here is brainwashing, and the documentary is a piece of shit without its’ content, using terrible editing and skits in between.
D’Souza’s doc is awful, and has not one redeemable quality, but I don’t want him to win anything for this, even the top spot on a worst of the year list.
1.) Fifty Shades Freed
Long overdue at the top spot, “Fifty Shades Freed” is the first in the trilogy to make my top spot, and it is absolutely the most deserving. This film is a mess, attempting to blend drama, romance, action(?) and an espionage thriller (????) all into one. The result is one of the worst movies in recent memory, headlined by the two most boring leads imaginable.
This franchise is over, and I’m done with it. Yes, “Freed” is the worst. But as “Return of the King” was for the Oscars, the end of this trilogy deserves all the awards I didn’t give the other two. Remember that this is a “Twilight” fan fiction, and remember that someone UNIRONICALLY named her Anastasia Steele. Remember that there was a villain literally named Mr. Hyde, and that it was supposed to be a twist when he was evil. Remember that Grey survived a helicopter crash and showed up at Anastasia’s door without the news even knowing if he was alive yet. Remember that Anastasia became a professional getaway driver, and remember that she ate Grey’s pubic hair.
Remember these things, and remember that one of modern cinema’s worst franchises is now over. Let’s rejoice, and let’s say for one more time: Fuck you “Fifty Shades Freed.