Despite being a year of high quality releases across all genres and budgets, 2017 has also thrown up its fair share of stinkers. We’ve seen universes die before they were ever truly born, directors lose high profile jobs on the back of below standard releases and the box office takings of bankable stars tank off the back of bad reviews. In this list, we’ll be presenting the 10 worst film releases of 2017. As always, let us know whether you agree or disagree in the comments below!
10. Alien: Covenant
For as beautiful as Alien: Covenant was to look at, it was equally as uninspired in its modes of storytelling. The movie, which is the 2nd of several pre-Alien franchise movies, felt long and bland, but worst of all it detracted from the mythos set up by of the original Alien film. Like many sequels or universe movies released in the past few years, Covenant explained too much of what made the franchise’s predecessors so engaging, and in doing so stained the near 40 years old classic series; a truly unforgivable achievement by what was a generic, boring movie.
9. Justice League
Described as “one of the largest blends of bad ideas put to screen in 2017” in our review, Justice League was a movie that suffered from all the problems of the other DC movies of the current generation (Wonder Woman excluded) – it felt long, disjointed and boring while doing very little to actually create a reason to care about it – and did so with such little conviction that it drained all life away from the feature, leaving us with a stripped carcass of a film summed up by its incredibly poor and extensive use of CGI that we likened to Playstation 2 level graphics. Look out for the particularly woeful manner in which Henry Cavill’s moustached face was reconstructed to be clean shaven; it’s laughable, really.
8. The Book of Henry
Colin Trevorrow, who was hot off the success of 2015 mega-hit Jurassic World, seemed to be taking the comfortable indie route to his latest franchise blockbuster, but his gross mishandling of a story too “out there” to be conceived accurately on screen tanked so hard with critics and audiences that the filmmaker was hastily removed from his spot as director on Star Wars Episode IX and replaced by J.J. Abrams. The Book of Henry was simply all over the place, not readily assigned to any one, two or even three genres, and seemed to struggle to come to terms with its own elaborate poorness.
7. The Snowman
“How could a film helmed by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Let the Right One In), based on a solid crime novel by Jo Nesbø and starring Michael Fassbender turn out to be such an ineptly made mess?”
Stephen Porzio’s guest review of The Snowman summed it up best, with the adaptation facing criticism across the board for its sheer abandonment of logic and overall terrible sense of poise. The film, which starred a plethora of talented actors, was just the latest 2017 failure for Fassbender whom had already endured a poor year with Assassin’s Creed and Alien: Covenant.
How could a film featuring the comedy chops of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron be such an unfunny mess? More so, how could any film starring The Rock tank so hard off the back of its lack of quality that it ended up being a box office flop? In modern day Hollywood, a box office of as little as $177million for The Rock is about as rare as you’re hoping your super old shiny Poke’mon card is. The major problem with Baywatch was that it offered little more than a slow-paced, overly long buddy cop film that aimed for 21 Jump Street but couldn’t even lay a scratch on the original Baywatch TV series.
5. The Mummy
Playing more “like a bad Mission: Impossible movie with zombies” [review] than anything like Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy, Universal’s proposed introduction to their newly founded Dark Universe was such a disaster that follow-ups featuring the likes of Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man have been scrapped and the trademarked name expunged. The film’s biggest issue was its swing away from its titular character and towards Tom Cruise, whose performance failed to capture any of the superstar actor’s trademark charm (false or otherwise), leaving a film with seemingly little direction and a production that chose to point fingers of blame in the aftermath. Was it Cruise’s all controlling power that ended the promise of the Dark Universe, or was the film simply never good enough to begin with? Perhaps we’ll never know.
4. The Circle
“The Circle is […] best described as an almost insulting modern recreation of 1984, featuring some below par acting, average photography and a screenplay that missed the mark in quite a tragically glorious fashion.” – Review
By far the worst film of director James Ponsoldt’s career, and one of the biggest missteps in recent times for the likes of actor-producer Tom Hanks, lead actress Emma Watson, and a supporting cast including John Boyega, Karen Gillan and Ella Coltrane, The Circle was an incredibly poor Netflix original film that banked on its star power and delivered a confused, at best juvenile, message of equality that assumed we, as viewers, were stupid at every turn.
3. The Emoji Movie
To have an animation film such as The Emoji Movie be met with reviews criticising it for being, of all things, “dismaying”, explains more of how far away from a good movie this release was than any other criticisms we can offer. Who makes a children’s animated film that leaves its audience in distress? Not to mention one built on an intellectual property that boomed in popularity some 2 years before the film’s release.
What if the bad guys hijacked the weather?
This is the premise of the latest garbage release from actor-producer Gerard Butler, a man who seems insistent upon force feeding us the same poor quality types of film we always think he’ll somehow move past. How much more good grace can a career defining performance in 300 hold?
1. Fifty Shades Darker
So many people went to see the insultingly bad first Fifty Shades movie that the cast were contractually obligated to return to the franchise for its sequel. Even under a new director – one with Glengarry Glen Ross under his belt – lead stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson were unable to capture anything even closely resembling sexual chemistry, leaving the woeful content of the screenplay to speak for itself. No-one wanted to be there and that much was clear. Fifty Shades Darker is the worst film of 2017.
So there you have it, the 10 worst films of 2017 according to us here at The Film Magazine. If you have thoughts on the list or have predictions for what may feature in 2018, make sure to leave a comment below or tweet us @thefilmagazine.