2015 was a great year for film. From intense dramas like Carol, hilarious comedies like Spy, to jaw-dropping action flicks like Mad Max: Fury Road, the year delivered some great moments. However, for every great film we saw, there would be a clunker on the next screen over. These films are just some of the films where we wish we got our money back, or at least our time.
The films listed below belong in the bottom for a multitude of reasons, but this is not a ranking, they all sucked. Also note: This is the opinion of not only myself, but critics, and for some of the films listed, audiences as well.
1. The Ridiculous 6
From the man who hasn’t made a decent film in over a decade and could have been put on this list multiple times, Adam Sandler, comes this mess of a parody. This supposedly has been watched more in its first 30 days on the service than any other film during its 30 days.
Co-written and starring Sandler, among other Sandler movie titans like Rob Schneider, Nick Swardson, and David Spade, and about an army of other comedy people, The Ridiculous 6 has been universally panned by critics receiving an abysmal, and rare, 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews, with an average rating of 2.3/10.
The Ridiculous 6 stars Sandler as an orphan raised by Native Americans who sets out on a quest to save his father with his five half-brothers. The film is lazy and offensive. You could throw misogynistic in there too, but that sounds like most of his filmography. There was controversy about the treatment of Native Americans and how they were being portrayed, but much of that was exaggerated.
Controversy aside, many eager streamers were very disappointed with the film, many citing they couldn’t make through halfway or even to the 10 minute mark. I wonder if those “views” counted into Netflix’s statistics? Unless you are a die hard Sandler fan, then I would avoid this like the plague.
Johnny Depp redeemed himself later in the year for his sparkling performance in the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, but he started 2015 with this clunker.
Playing the art-dealer antihero of Kyril Bonfiglioli comic novels, Depp was going for the British version of Inspector Clouseau, but instead delivered an over the top, cringe worthy performance that is among, if not the worst of his career. He is not the only one at fault here, the rest of cast including Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Paul Bettany all hammed it up for this one. The performances were all over the top and yet phoned in at the same time, something I cannot explain.
Mortdecai was also a box office bomb, failing to recuperate its $60 million budget. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but it is unfunny and aggressively strange to say the least. It’s misguided, poorly written, and a low note for Depp in his post-Captain Jack Sparrow, at least for now. At least he recovered later in the year.
3. The Wedding Ringer
For this list, this was one of the more pleasantly received films, especially for audiences. The main praise, the only praise I also share for this film is for the fun chemistry of leads Josh Gad and Kevin Hart. Other than that, the film is kind of a mess. From the ridiculous premise and story that just got lost in slapstick silly humor.
The film follows Doug Harris (Gad), a socially awkward groom-to-be who just realizes he has no groomsmen for his wedding. Desperate and running out of time, he calls Jimmy Callahan (Hart), owner and operator of Best Man Inc. a service which provides groomsmen for awkward grooms. As Doug tries to pull off the con, a bromance unexpectedly blossoms between Jimmy and himself.
The Wedding Ringer received generally negative reviews, but is probably one of the better films on this list. It was a box office success, probably due to the pull of Kevin Hart and the fact it was released in the middle of January. It was such a success, we may be getting a sequel featuring Vince Vaughn, a film that will more than likely be worse and have a definite place on a list like this. Audiences and critics disagree what else is new.
4. Hot Pursuit
Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara star as a spunky cop from Texas and a fashionista in danger respectively in this noisy and not too funny “comedy”. Directed by Anne Fletcher and written by David Feeney and John Quaintance, Hot Pursuit fumbles away the opportunity to capitalize on Witherspoon and Vergara odd-couple chemistry. There are not too many jokes here other than: one is short, one is foreign. Vergara dives into the point of self-parody due to the film’s reliance on her accent being a joke.
The sheer shrillness of the film makes the 87 minutes runtime seem like an eternity. Hot Pursuit received negative reviews from critics, earning a 7% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 152 reviews, with an average rating of 3.2/10.
It also received a C+ CinemaScore from audiences, meaning that even most audience members found it to be mediocre. This film will be seen as a stain on both resumes of these actresses, both of which have received praise and awards for performances previous to this one.
5. Get Hard
How many prison rape, race, and gay jokes can you fit into one movie? Ask Get Hard. Seriously though, they were not even clever. I wasn’t even offended by them, they were that poor. It was a parade of gay jokes and race jokes because prison. This film wastes two great funny men, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, okay mostly Will Ferrell.
When extremely wealthy hedge fund manager James King (Ferrell) gets busted for fraud and is sentenced to 10 years in jail, he has 30 days to get his affairs in order. He asks the guy who washes his car Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) to help him in jailhouse etiquette. What could have been a class-conscious take on how the 1% can fall, Get Hard is an attack on every human being watching. Not even Hart’s tiny, screeching antics, or Ferrell’s goofiness can save.
The film really settles for tired, old gags that are offensive, and not funny, instead of tapping into the real potential of the subject matter. I don’t know if I would describe this film as racist, as many people have, but terrible, implausible, and unfunny. I can agree with that. Although similar in plot devices Get Hard is no Trading Places.
6. Jupiter Ascending
Written, co-produced, and directed by the Wachowskis, Jupiter Ascending had some nice elements like the visuals, world-building, Michael Giacchino’s musical score, and originality, but overall the final product was bloated and incoherent. The film is centered on Jupiter Jones (Kunis), an ordinary cleaning woman, and Caine Wise (Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. Many previous collaborators of the Wachowskis worked on this film as well.
From production designer Hugh Bateup, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, visual effects designer John Gaeta, supervising sound editor Dane Davis and costume designer Kym Barrett. Their technical work proved to be the best part of the film. When your film has 2,000 special effects shots, you may have relied too much on them.
Story and acting wise, the film is incoherent and asinine, There doesn’t really seem to be a purpose to the film, besides something pretty to look at. Eddie Redmayne’s attempt at villainy was downright hilarious and stilted. Some people enjoyed it, especially female science-fiction fans who have embraced the film’s campy nature and reversal of typical male-centric science-fiction films. There may be hope for this film as a cult classic.