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10 Bad Movies That Could Have Been Great

25 August 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Robbie Back

6. Chain Reaction (1996)

Chain Reaction (1996)

Idea: After scientists discover a new non-contaminating energy source that would render fossil fuels obsolete, they are pursued by a hostile government.

This thriller was paced horrendously, asked too much of Keanu Reeves (brilliant in some things, but not in this) and made similar mistakes to Waterworld, by trying to explain away the movie. Audiences were gripped by the concept and it had a decent opening weekend at the box office. However, the final product left people snoozing in their seats.

This concept had been discussed openly in books and in the news. The audience understood it. Trust the intelligence of the audience: spend less time explaining the breakthrough and spend more time investing in the characters on both sides of the argument. If Paul Greengrass (Bourne franchise) had directed this thriller, we would view this miss as a hit.


7. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Idea: Searching for a cure to Alzheimer’s disease a group of scientists on an isolated research facility become the bait as a trio of intelligent sharks fight back.

Go ahead and laugh. This film had so much potential and it could have been held in the same regard as Predator and Starship Troopers. But the worst CGI in film history and water puns interspersed with a flimsy pretext about curing Alzheimer’s disease meant that this summer horror left people laughing.

Deep Blue Sea needed to be self-aware. It took itself way too seriously when it didn’t need to and goofed-off when it should have knuckled down. The animatronics in this film are amazing. The sharks they built look incredible.

However the CGI ones are a joke. Change the storyline so that they are using the sharks at a military facility, using the genetically altered ones as weapons and have the scientists battling their own morality. It doesn’t have to redefine storytelling but just be enough to get us to the payoff.

Have a shark nursery that some environmentalists set free in the open ocean and let them go nuts. “Super intelligent sharks” is a ludicrous but fun idea. Keep it fun. Make sure the visuals blow you away and don’t let Samuel L Jackson be computer generated.


8. The Happening (2008)

The Happening

Idea: Mankind are killing themselves, in droves and no one knows why.

A very simple idea that promised some chilling visuals in the trailers was totally misread and thought the plot required a twist. M. Night. Shyamalam has allowed the “twist” trick to permeate all of his films, now rendering the tool gimmicky and predictable. Audiences expect it and when they expect it, nothing will be shocking enough for them.

The film’s tone is all over the place. There are moments intended for sentimentality that suddenly becomes awkwardly comedic. There are several instances of true ridiculousness that leaves the whole audience shrugging in bewilderment (the lion video).

The Happening should have revealed the “plants” plot point earlier on and then explored, through the characters, the impact man has had on the planet. Rather than stringing us along for the confusing and laughable ride. The casting was also a mistake. Someone like Patrick Wilson should have replaced Mark Wahlberg.


9. Alien vs. Predator (2004)


Idea: It’s in the title.

These Sci-fi icons had built in fans and the director of Event Horizon on their side, so what happened? The screenplay assumed that Predator needed to be the good guy, totally dishonouring the original character.

The human characters are forgettable, expendable and, if not for a very cool final scene, the sequel might not have been spawned. This film was well liked, but much like Open Water, the potential was massive and really didn’t capitalise.

This film requires no hero, but it does require likeable characters who the audience can root for and against amidst the chaos of these two battling extra terrestrials.


10. Suicide Squad (2016)


Idea: Band of misfit villains team up to take on Gotham’s common enemy.

The recent failures here largely fall on the studio’s shoulders. The film can’t decide who to focus on and in the end they choose the eye candy of Harley Quinn, a character who is defined by her relationship with the Joker, who literally isn’t in it. The studio saw Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy and felt pressured to force pop music into a film that didn’t need it.

The villain is weak and the visual climaxes are phoned in “big stuff in the sky” that look copy and pasted from other films of recent times. The impression given is that they had a finished film, saw the criticism faced by Batman V Superman and didn’t believe in their final product.

DC have, by far, more compelling characters to play with than Marvel, but have struggled to capitalise on brilliant source material. The trailers were also very misleading (go and see for yourself).

This film could have been great. Don’t give the members of Suicide Squad played by “big actors” a gripping back story if there isn’t time for the other characters as well.

This should have been a sharp, action filled thrill ride with a motley crue of lunatics who seem unhinged, not just attractive looking. Don’t have dialogue that is exclusively for exposition. Allow the characters to flesh themselves out through their interactions. Show us even less of the Joker, but give us “that scene” – the quotable monologue.

The chilling Joker moment that will be shared around social media and printed on t-shirts for years to come. Give the film a higher rating as DC benefits from the dark realities rather than the neon mess that ended up being Suicide Squad. There definitely is a good film hiding in here somewhere.

Author Bio: Rob is a 24 year old Musician from Hampshire, who is currently pursuing fiction writing. Rob has aspirations of becoming an author and screenwriter.



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  • GoktugAkay23

    In Time had a great potential

  • Ted Wolf

    I really liked Deep Blue Sea. Killing off the biggest name who should have been the hero was a stroke of genius.

    • Hornacek

      I love how that person is a guest in the director’s commentary, and when their character dies, he leaves the commentary.

      • Kara Paige

        i loved that also !

  • jann1k

    Sadly there are many more… :/

    Also I wouldn’t consider Sucker Punch as a bad movie, just a underrated one.
    And I gotta admit to Deep Blue Sea being probably my favorite guilty pleasure ^^

  • AmazingAmy

    I actually quite enjoyed waterworld. Add X men last stand here…f*ck brett ratner

  • Nick Owens

    I thought Suicide Squad was awesome, it delivered exactly what I hoped ad while it’s not a perfect movie it doesn’t deserve to be on this list, and neither does Spider-Man 3.

    Taste of Cinema really needs to stop posting lists about “bad movies”, especially since these are the opinion of only one person and not a group of people.

  • Rudi

    Sucker Punch, Spider Man 3 and Suicide Squad are already great. And Waterworld is just simple yet effective fun.

  • sol

    why does people get so annoyed about “bad” movies or actors list? is it so “unproductive” to have a few lists on that vein? I think it sparkles conversation and it’s FUN.

  • Mark Soloway

    You can tell the writer didn’t get Sucker Punch, as the plot is not about planning to escape the lobotomy, it is the lobotomy, the whole movie takes place in the fraction of a second as the ice pick destroys her brain, nothing else in the movie actually takes place. You’re basically watching her frontal cortex as it dies. As for Suicide Squad it takes place in Midway City not Gotham. Minor point, but for reals, you can’t criticize the movie if you don’t even know where it takes place, when it’s clearly spelled out multiple times.

  • Hornacek

    Open Water is on this list? Well, it got great reviews and has 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, maybe this writer got one of these wrong.

    Sucker Punch could be a great movie? Ok, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. SP is a horrible movie and nothing short of rewriting the entire story and recasting every role could make it any better. Using dancing and rape as female empowerment – no no no.

    • Erik

      Dancing and rape as female empowerment…..yeah, I think maybe you need to re-watch the movie….or stick to movies like Open Water where the message of the film doesn’t require thought….:)

      • Hornacek

        There’s nothing wrong with movies like Open Water, where it may not require much thought about the plot (couple goes diving, couple is left behind, couple gets eaten by sharks) but when it’s done well, it’s really scary.

        The only reason to watch Sucker Punch is to talk to other people about how horrible it is. No redeeming features whatsoever.

        • Erik

          Little harsh, but then I am admittedly not an expert on lacking redeeming features…

          • Hornacek

            Don’t think I was harsh, and didn’t mean to be. Just expressing my opinion that Open Water is a great movie, while Sucker Punch is without merit, with only 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, where female characters strip and dance where it’s played as if they’re empowering themselves but they’re really being raped by the asylum’s customers. Disgusting piece of trash.

          • Todd Swanson

            That’s ok you have obviously never been raped or had your real parents replaced by psychotics with no love for you, the fact that you managed to empower yourself to stay alive let alone maybe escape the deplorable conditions that is your life is somthing only truely broken souls would understand. I am glad that you don’t understand. Gives me hope but understand strange outlets for society to bleed out the poison, is what keeps the world sane, and most people questioning.

          • Hornacek

            That’s specious reasoning. With that logic, I could never enjoy or understand any science-fiction movie because I had never experienced the science-fiction plot devices included in the film.

            I find it incomprehensible that anyone could like Sucker Punch with its blatant misogyny and being raping as female empowerment. Feel sad for anyone that sees this poor excuse for a film this way.

          • That’s a good point. I can’t like Terminator because I’m not a futuristic time travelling robot.
            I can’t like Batman because Gotham City is fictional.
            I can’t watch Hong Kong Phooey because dogs can’t really talk. I can’t enjoy Wuxia films because I’m not Chinese. I can’t read Hagar the Horrible because Vikings are not longer pillaging.

          • Hornacek

            You pretty much backed up my entire point with your comment, so thanks.

          • How would you know whether someone else has been raped or not? You make an assumption without knowing the facts beforehand.

    • Becky Feldman

      Sucker Punch was a great film.

      • Hornacek

        Oh it’s so incredibly bad. The lead doesn’t talk for the first 20 minutes because Snyder realized she couldn’t act and the best way to go was for her not to speak as long as possible. And the story is so insulting – dancing and rape as female empowerment – just awful.

  • Poopmaster

    Jared letos joker is terrible

    • Becky Feldman

      No it’s not. He was a pretty good Joker.

      • Poopmaster


  • Erik

    Sucker Punch – not a bad movie….at all. Didn’t get the publicity it should have, and it’s a genre of it’s own for sure, with a message that may be too hard for some to understand or decipher…..but definitely not a bad movie. This is the biggest mistake of the article, though he’s off on several others as well….

  • Kara Paige

    Suckerpunch – she accepted the lobotomy, everything else was made up to cover the horror of the asylum before the lobotomy. The driver of the bus was the wise old man because that was also happening in her head – that was really the prime personality which survived.

    Open Water – it was a bad movie, because the characters sucked. there have been better people floating in water movies since then (The Reef)

    Deep Blue Sea – loved it. one of my favorite guilty pleasure shark movies!

  • Becky Feldman

    So many of these films like Sucker Punch and Suicide Squad are genuinely great films.

  • Franco Gonzalez

    AvP could have been great? really?