Everyone focuses on best-of lists at the end of the year, but what about the ones that truly sucked? Hundreds of movies launched this year across cinemas and streaming services, and inevitably there are a few that fell well below expectation. Here are 2021’s worst movies that had me choking on my popcorn…
It’s unlikely that Tom Holland will care much, given that Spider-man: No Way Home is likely to be the first pandemic movie to pass $1bn at the global box office. However, it’s been a dodgy year for his non-webbed output. Drama Cherry was an underwhelming attempt to show his dark side, while this delayed sci-fi adaptation, where thoughts can be seen and heard, was a bit of a mess. Daisy Ridley and Mads Mikkelsen joined in, looking as lost as Holland in a movie that crumbled under bad editing and an awful script.
Dear Evan Hansen
How do you mess up the film adaptation of a Broadway smash hit? By putting the lead in anti-ageing make up that makes him look like Michael Myers from Halloween. Original Broadway star Ben Platt was too old for the part, but that didn’t stop the filmmakers pressing ahead with an ill-conceived movie version that erased a lot of the nuance and instead gave us a meme fest that wasted a talented supporting cast.
Dogtanian and The Three Muskehounds
With all the animated flair of a PowerPoint presentation, you’d have to be very nostalgic for the 80s cult cartoon to find anything of value in this family flop.
Poor Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, stuck in a luxury London townhouse with just a few floors to mill around in. This heist comedy was one of many projects that were shot around lockdown, but this managed to miss the experience many of us were going through by offering unlikeable characters who really didn’t deserve any kind of redemption. Stream Staged instead.
Almost everyone who saw Sia’s directorial debut agreed that the musical, about a drug dealer who has to care for her autistic teenage sister, missed the mark wildly. From casting a neurotypical actor in the lead to a disturbing scene of restraint, the portrayal of autism was widely criticised to the point where a petition to rescind its Golden Globe nominations topped 140,000 signatures. Bad script, bad acting, bad idea.
Peter Rabbit 2
Carrying on the first film’s tradition of being utter garbage, James Corden’s obnoxious vapour spreads across this empty follow up, where a writer tries to prevent her books being into a gaudy cash grab movie. The irony is clearly lost on the filmmakers.
The Tomorrow War
A film that reads like The Edge of Tomorrow with the cool bits taken out. Amazon’s expensive sci-fi sees Chris Pratt’s teacher get recruited to fight a war in the future in order to save his daughter in the present, while also confronting some issues from his past. Confused? You will be. A passable actioner made unbearable by a bloated running time, the most notable thing about the movie is the gratuitous Qatar World Cup placement in the opening moments.
A modern update on Oliver Twist has good intentions and an impressive cast (including Sir Michael Caine as Fagin). However, odious attempts to be down with the kids (Free running! Graffiti! Grime!) only highlight that this is a Dickens work that doesn’t need a twenty-first century remix.
The Woman In The Window
One of Hollywood’s most accomplished talents is on a bit of a losing streak, with this misadventure wedged in between last year’s awful Hillbilly Elegy, and October’s Dear Evan Hansen. Joe Wright’s film mimics every Hitchcockian thriller ever made, and still ends up feeling out of ideas long before the end. The only thing that keeps you from dozing off is Gary Oldman’s trademark bellowing.
Ruby Rose has made a solid career of supporting roles in loud action films, but can’t make the jump to lead here as a former assassin forced to carry out one last night of hits for her benefactor (a bored Morgan Freeman). A John Wick wannabe that never gets going.