Last year was filled with great movies and an up to par ending to a fantastic decade. However, there were also the other kind of films, the ones that left us disappointed and wondering how on earth could some potentially great ideas come out so bad.
While we didn’t have too many expectations, yet they still managed to somehow disappoint us, the even more disappointing films of 2019 were those coming from directors whose previous work led us to believe that their latest efforts would be much better than they actually turned out to be. That’s why some of the titles on this list are not horrible movies and they get some things right, but they still failed to match our much higher expectations.
What follows are the 10 (actually eleven) most disappointing films we’ve seen in 2019. Let us know in the comments which are the movies that disappointed you the most in the previous year.
10. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
After the middling experience that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was, we didn’t have too many expectations from the latest and last entry in the new Star Wars trilogy, even with J.J. Adams back in the director’s chair. Yet, despite our lowered expectations, “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” was somehow still an underwhelming time at the cinema.
Despite some beautiful cinematography, arresting CGI and exciting action sequences, the film feels emotionless, suffers from a convoluted narrative, doesn’t take any risks and relies too much on recycled plots, fan-service, and nostalgia. It feels like after Rian Johnson did what he did with “The Last Jedi” Abrams didn’t know what to do with the plot and the characters and had to improvise on the fly.
This is far from being the worst film of the year and there were some things we enjoyed about it, but we expected a little more from this supposed final chapter of one of the most celebrated film series ever.
What if one day no one but a struggling unknown musician remembers The Beatles? This is the concept behind Danny Boyle’s film “Yesterday”. Himesh Patel plays Jack Malik, an unsuccessful musician who is about to give up on his dreams of becoming famous. But a miracle happens: one day, electricity goes off in the entire world for a few seconds and, at the same time, Jack gets hit by a bus. When he wakes up, he finds himself in some kind of an alternate reality where The Beatles never existed and seizes the opportunity to assume their songs as his own.
When we first saw the trailer for “Yesterday”, we thought it was a pretty fun concept that might work. While hearing so many Beatles songs in one movie makes it instantly better and the film is at times charming (mostly due to Malik’s lovely character), cringy jokes, too much Ed Sheeran, and a bland, clichéd script make “Yesterday” a rather forgettable experience and one of the weakest entries in Boyle’s body of work.
8. Velvet Buzzsaw
“Nightcrawler” was one of our favorite movies of 2014 and we had reasons to expect that Jake Gyllenhaal and director Dan Gilroy would treat us with another great piece of cinema.
“Velvet Buzzsaw” has a great cast (Toni Collete and John Malkovich are also part of this film), a decent premise, and starts out pretty interesting, yet unfortunately it all goes downhill from there.
The film presents itself as a funny satire of the art world, but comes off as pretentious and rather uninteresting, and doesn’t even come close to the greatness of “Nightcrawler”. Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays a snobbish bisexual art critic, does a good job with what he’s been offered and his performance is one of the redeeming aspects of the film, but unfortunately his presence alone wasn’t enough to save “Velvet Buzzsaw” from mediocrity.
7. The Laundromat
Coming from Steven Soderbergh, “The Laundromat” is a star-studded comedy inspired by the Panama Papers scandal. Soderbergh tried to make his own version of Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” and assembled an impressive cast which included Gary Oldman, Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas. but the results were disappointing.
The talented cast is misused in a tonally uneven, disjointed film that, despite its fascinating topic, comes across as gimmicky and unfocused, and not even as well-directed as Soderbergh’s other recent efforts. It’s surprising to see such a misfire from a director whose work in the last ten years has been consistently impressive.
6. Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Richard Linklater and Cate Blanchett making a film based on Maria Semple’s bestselling novel sounded like a match made in heaven, but the “Boyhood” director failed to impress us with his latest film.
Here, Blanchett plays Bernadette Fox, a once-successful architect who suddenly disappears, leaving her seemingly perfect family behind. It is then up to her 15-year-old daughter Bee to find out where her mother has gone and, in the process, to discover more about her troubled past.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” was one of our most anticipated movies of 2019, yet its unlikeable protagonist, poorly adapted script, an abundance of unnecessary subplots, and bland cinematography turned it into one of the biggest disappointments of 2019 and also one of the worst efforts from director Richard Linklater. Unfortunately, a good cast, a good director and a good source material don’t always add up to a good movie. If you want to know where did Bernadette go, you’re better off reading the novel.