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The 10 Worst Movies of 2017 (So Far)

15 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Mike Gray

So many terrible movies, so little time. The film industry is large and mostly profitable; even ostensible garbage turns a profit on a long enough timeline. Due to this, there aren’t many notable “box office bombs” anymore–and anyway, that’s not a reliable measure of a film’s worth in general. As you’ll see on this list of the worst films (so far) of 2017, a number of them have made a great deal of money–but this doesn’t mean they’re good films.

In fact, it’s often difficult to judge what’s truly “good” or “bad” about films: even universally disliked films have some fans. Instead, this list was put together based on expectations, budget, and the talent involved. Some films weren’t made for much money and it shows, but a low budget is no excuse for making a shoddy film.

Similarly, some had high budgets and a fair amount of talent involved and still turned out terrible. And finally, there are films on this list that for unknowable reasons have made tons of dough–but that doesn’t mean they’re actually good. And besides, tearing into films can be a lot of fun. With that in mind, here are the 10 worst films (so far) of 2017.

 

10. The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

An imaginative young boy named Tim is upset when his parents bring another child into the house–literally, since their new baby arrives in a taxi. He’s especially annoyed since they now give the newborn all of the attention he was accustomed to receiving from them exclusively.

But Tim finds out his new baby brother (voiced by Alec Baldwin) talks like a character from Glengarry Glen Ross, wears suits, and is actually part of an organization called Baby Corp., and–hold on, there’s more setup involved–he drinks a formula that makes him intelligent and has infiltrated Tim’s family because his parents work for a company called Puppy Co. that are releasing a new version of a “Forever Puppy” that will be more popular than babies, which this new baby has to stop so babies can continue to hold the market share(?) of being loveable.

Got all that? Together, Tim and his new boss baby must stop from these new puppies being released into the world, thereby…jeopardizing babies?

And wow, for such a convoluted setup this is a mindless movie. Insulting the intelligence of children and babies alike, The Boss Baby is a sloppily written, has headache-inducing CGI, and features an unlikeable main character in Baldwin’s “boss baby.”

Alternately too juvenile for adults but with a premise far too sophisticated for children, inexplicably this has become one of the highest-grossing films of the year, which can only be accounted for by being released during a season where there were few family-friendly films in theaters.

History will most likely not be kind to this movie; like a baby, it’s a rare film that lacks a sense of object permanence. Instead, the viewer begins to forget The Boss Baby almost immediately after it ends.

 

9. Rings

Rings

The original Japanese Ringu was a highly influential horror film, and its American remake The Ring (marking the first US remake of a Japanese horror film) was a smash hit. Even the original sequel (the cleverly titled The Ring 2) released in 2005 was pretty good. And that was all we ever needed to hear about from this franchise for the rest of time.

But apparently not, since a short 12 years after the last film–back by non-existent demand– Rings was released. This time around, the walking dead meat of this installment are a group of people who are stuck in an endless daisy chain of unfortunates who have watched the haunted VHS (a very timely technology in the second decade of the 21st century) and make copies to pass along to save their own skin. But wait: at the end the video goes viral! That’s current, right?

Featuring terrible acting, worse direction, cheap jump scares that might frighten someone who has literally never experienced one before, and an air of pointlessness that seems to have infected the film much like the haunted spirit does in the tapes, Rings still turned a healthy profit, proving that there’s always a new generation of teenagers who will plunk down their parent’s money for a few hours in a movie theater regardless of the quality of what’s playing.

 

8. Arsenal

Arsenal

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack have both made some fine films in their careers. Cage is an Academy-award winning actor while Cusack has a strange and affecting charm of his own, and both have enjoyed long and successful acting careers. Why either of them would agree to be in a film as shoddy as Arsenal is perplexing. Perhaps they both have money problems.

A paycheck could be the only reason either would appear in this dreck. So the story goes: JP and Mikey (neither played by Cage or Cusack) are brothers who went different directions in life–JP owns a construction company and Mikey’s a small-time crook.

But when Mikey is kidnapped by Eddie King (Cage, whose performance is at least imbued with his patented insanity), JP goes to his crooked cop pal Sal (Cusack, in “Who gives a crap?” mode) for some help, but mostly it’s about JP trying to rescue Mikey from Eddie.

There’s violence and action and tough guy talk but it’s also unbelievably boring to watch. Arsenal comes across as if the filmmaker woke up one day and realized he had a budget to spend but no idea what to do with it, so he hired a few name actors, cobbled together some loose crime film ideas, and started shooting until the film ran out. What was produced from this was Arsenal, a film that needn’t have been made and shouldn’t be watched by anybody who values their free time in any way.

 

7. Eloise

Eloise

Listen: audiences don’t ask much from horror films. Come up with an original idea, throw some gore around, keep the pace up, maybe add some humor or gratuitous nudity to lighten the load, and have it end by the 90 minute mark. In short, horror films are rarely expected to be Citizen Kane. But even these basic elements are absent in Eloise.

While it starts off with a strong premise–a haunted mental asylum based on the real-life Eloise hospital that once functioned as a combination poor house/psychiatric hospital/TB ward in the early 20th century–the film does nothing with it, instead hitting every cliche branch on the trope tree as it falls interminably towards a conclusion.

So: a guy has to spend a night in the abandoned Eloise asylum to find a death certificate to claim an inheritance and ropes in some of his pals to join him. Eliza Dushku plays one of the characters to provide a recognizable name. A full third of the movie is spent setting up the characters and their relationships to each other, none of which ultimately matter.

The asylum comes across like a low-rent haunted house. Characters are picked off one-by-one by malevolent entities, and some of them had relatives who worked in the hospital so they’re haunted by them, as well. And then it finally ends at 89 minutes so it got that right, at least.

This subpar by-the-numbers horror flick wouldn’t have made this list were it not for two facts: 1) the director, Robert Legato, is one of the most acclaimed visual effects supervisors in film history, having won three Academy Awards for his work, including for Titanic. Look him up on Wikipedia: he’s had an impressive career. This was his directorial debut and it looks like it’ll be his only directorial outing. 2) They filmed this movie in the actual run-down Eloise psychiatric hospital but there’s nothing in the film they couldn’t have accomplished on sets.

The fact that a film based on a legendary asylum that must have hundreds of real-life stories that could have been made into amazing horror films–and was filmed on location in said asylum–instead was used for this Scooby Doo-esque mystery is a waste of all of the time, talent, and money of everyone involved in the production of Eloise.

 

6. Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker

While the runaway literary success of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy puzzled everyone (except for the hordes that bought it), that could be excused: if people want to read poorly written erotica, then at least it’s nice that people are reading again.

People even scoffed when they heard it was going to be made into a movie: after all, a notoriously graphic book couldn’t be anything other than straight-out porn, right? But it was cleaned up for the theaters to secure an R rating in 2015; critics hated it because it was ostensibly the same kind of crap the book was, but it turned a healthy profit and it was announced they’d just keep on making the movies until the story’s conclusion.

Now in 2017 we have Fifty Shades Darker, which continues the Mary Sue erotic adventures of Anastasia Steele and her totally believable devoted billionaire sadomasochist lover Christian Grey.

This time around, they’re on the outs with each other, with Grey trying to win her back. She begins doing some detective work, finding out about Grey’s abusive past, while also finding rivals in Grey’s former girlfriend/submissive Leila and former dominant Elena. And she gets a big promotion at work and he asks her to marry him because despite the BDSM cover it’s still pretty much just a chick flick.

Aside from terrible direction, writing, and performances, the film is shallow garbage. Then again, so were the books, so this should be expected. As mentioned, it’s really just a wish fulfillment fantasy aimed at the 25-and-older female quadrant with a little “taboo” sex thrown in for spice.

Despite its glaring, obvious weaknesses as a film it made quite a bit of money at the box office, so expect sometime next year the (hopefully) concluding film Fifty Shades Freed. See you next year when it lands on the same kind of list as this one.

 

 

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  • Kush Limbaugh

    CHiPs and Baywatch were masterpieces, you asshole!

  • David Pollison

    What ever happened to that saying: “If you don’t have something nice to say…”

    • Clickbait happened

  • Mortimer

    Amy Schumer sucks.

    • Conan the Republican

      Literally…and carpet-munches.

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    Shooting fish in a barrel is too easy, this place deserves better.

  • Can we add the new Transformers to the list? We all know it’s going to suck. It’s the same old shitty effects w/ bad editing and awful treatment toward women.

    • Conan the Republican

      Homo much?

      • Excuse me?

        • Conan the Republican

          That’s funny…I don’t remember stuttering…

  • Rudi

    And yet another hate list as click bait. Well, congratulations, I clicked, responded and most probably people will respond to my message by saying I’ve lost my mind.

    Ghost in the Shell? Small masterpiece with great editing and once again a brilliant ScarJo. 9/10

    Fifty Shades Darker? I loved it just as I loved FSoG. It looks great and it takes itself way less serious than people make you believe with its soap-like dialogues. 8/10

    Baywatch? I thought I would hate it, but it proved to be one of the most fun releases of the year so far. Judging by this list, the writer has no idea how to interpret movies. 7/10

    The Circle? Not great, but for its target group it holds a pretty important lesson. Also, Watson (once again) delivers. 6/10

    • Mortimer

      I’ll certainly not say that you have lost your mind but I think you should raise your movie standards a bit. You also said that Collateral Beauty is great movie a few months ago.

      Btw, I agree that negative lists on ToC are unnecessary.

      • Rudi

        I’m not going to lower myself by attacking you, but I’d never say something like that to anyone. It’s usually a sign of narcissism.

        Also, I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I haven’t said CB is a great movie, since I gave it a 7/10.

        • 7/10 is about 4-5 points too high though….

          • Rudi

            Yeah, thank you for your contribution. I’ll go watch a movie now instead of keeping myself busy with other people’s opinions.

          • You go right ahead and watch those horrible movies

      • mistresshate

        It’s called “Taste of Cinema” which would include Cinematic Tastes. That, to me, would include both negative and positive lists. And neither you two here were rude to each other. Everyone has their opinions on movies. Both you guys are valid. You’re cool, it’s fine. Geez.

    • colonelkurtz

      Can’t agree with the rest, but Ghost in the Shell I’m (somewhat) with you. I don’t have the nostalgia for the original that some do, and when i watched it I was underwhelmed. Sure there was philosophical stuff, but I’ve seen it done better elsewhere, plus a lot of big Japanese anime have philosophical content, so I expected it portrayed better. I wouldn’t give the new one high praise (SJ’s acting felt stiff and dialogue was real bad at times), but it was an enjoyable movie.

    • Afrikoka

      funny.

  • colonelkurtz

    Don’t pull whitewashed crap into Ghost in the Shell. Please. Any other complaint (though it was visually pleasing) is okay, but that is just annoying. She looks like the character as much as anyone, and even Japanese were fine with her. It’s just us white people who complain about this to appear more whoknowswhat.

    • Afrikoka

      or different opinions..

  • jann1k

    Ghost In The Shell worse than Fifty Shades Darker? Come on. I get that some people were disappointed by the changes made in the remake or didn’t want to see a remake of a classic at all, but this is just ridiculous. It was a good movie and nowhere near as bad as any of the other entries from this list I’ve seen so far.

    • Afrikoka

      lol.

    • Conan the Republican

      I am Scarlett J’s biggest fan, but GITS was impossible to follow, storyline-wise, and was just too CGI’d out.

      • Same As Always

        You must be slow. The story was fine. And the CGI looked great.

        • Typhon

          Clearly it wasn’t because the movie tanked.

        • Demode

          The movie sucked. Best to stick with the original anime.

  • Kuknalim Babu

    Ghost in the shell was whitewashed af pure and simple. Funny thing is, the film itself wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t brilliant either. Just a rehash of old tropes.

    • Typhon

      Probably because most anime characters have more Caucasian features, including Motoko, than Japanese. I wouldn’t even consider this “whitewashing” compared to other real-life movies.

  • Ricky James
  • Catalin Campeanu

    I can’t really remember laughing so much….. Baywatch! So, what’s your problem? Not enough tits in the movie for you to be chocking the chicken like you use to?

  • I am gravity falls fan

    Boss baby was great