The 12 Worst Movies of 2016

It’s good news that I only have 12 worst movies of 2016 and there aren’t even any runners up. There were other movies I didn’t like but only these 12 I feel I need to warn others about. Of course, I fortunately missed some obvious picks like Dirty Grandpa and Nine Lives, but I trust the critics who have. My Father, Die will just squeak by until next year.

I did see a lot of sub-studio crap mixed in with the general riff raff. Some, like Terror Toons 3, don’t even count. That’s some movie a guy made on his home computer but no ones really going to watch it, except me. I watch a good deal of crap VOD as favors but these are the worst movies that actually got in front of audiences this year, from big budget travesties to movies I can’t believe actually made it past film festival screeners.

12. The Hollars – This movie is all about well off white men who need women to validate them, and that is dangerous. Perhaps it is the thematic representation of 2016. Fortunately this movie barely played, despite the all stat cast, so maybe the world knew better than to enable some more inadequate men to be reassured they’re actually great. Still, this kind of enabling should be nipped in the bud and not even get to the production stage. I knew it would be one of the worst movies of the year when I reviewed at Sundance for Nerd Report.

11. Suicide Squad – I never reviewed this and everything has already been said as it shows up on many worst movies of the year lists. But as bad superhero movies go, there are scenes in Batman v Superman I will watch again. There’s nothing in Suicide Squad I ever want to see again.

Credit: Jan Thijs | Broad Green Pictures / MIRAMAX

10. Bad Santa 2 – I was one of the fans hoping Billy Bob Thornton would eventually return for another naughty Christmas romp. I suppose I should’ve wished for filmmakers who understood the original. My full review of one of the worst movies of the year.

9. Warcraft – This could have been the first great video game movie and certainly didn’t have to be among the worst movies of the year. There are unlimited stories that could be told in the world of Warcraft. They had Duncan Jones cowriting and directing. Yet it’s boring and the Orc animation looks worse than a video game. Yet it’s not the worst video game movie of the year.

8. Now You See Me 2 – Another sequel that forgets who it’s characters were, only this sequel didn’t wait decades. It’s only been three years and it’s even got one of the original screenwriters. Most telling, original director Louis Leterrier had an idea for a sequel. He even added a scene to the home video release. Clearly the studio wanted something else so they parted due to creative differences. Leterrier was right and walked away from one of the worst movies of the year.

Credit: Kerry Brown.

7. Assassin’s Creed – One of the worst video game movies ever, and with talent even more impressive than Super Mario Brothers it may be a greater waste. My full review just posted last week.

6. The Purge: Election Year – The Purge franchise is a bust. I understand the first movie was scaled back to be a low budget home invasion movie. The second one showed potential for opening up the world but if this is how The Purge celebrates success, it shows its only ambition is to be as loud and vile as possible. There’s a biting allegory to be explored here but having one dimensional characters say exactly what they’re doing isn’t it. And if all crime is legal, show some creativity beyond ugly masks and gunplay.

5. 3rd Street Blackout – I actually would never have known this movie came out if I hadn’t gotten a press release. I saw it at LA Film Fest and found it insufferable, so I assumed that would be the last I’d hear of it. Just people trying way too hard to be quirky. I feel a little bad kicking a little movie when it’s down, but congratulations, PR, for reminding me about it!

4. Outlaws and Angels – I’m shocked that this movie got into Sundance let alone got distributed after. Maybe they did some post work but I was at the premiere screening. It was filmed on 35mm but sounded like unmixed production sound recorded on a Mr. Microphone. Shooting on professional grade 35mm also doesn’t hide the modern actors playing old timey dressup quality of it all. 

Why Him?

Photo Credit: Scott Garfield.

3. Why Him? – The worst studio movie of the year and this is what’s wrong with studio comedies. It’s still too fresh for me. I said everything in my review.

2. The Greasy Strangler – Frankly, I’m impressed this is not my number one worst movie of the year. I realize it is intentionally repulsive, like a performance art piece. Still I feel it is my duty to log how unwatchable this non comedy is. It’s what they were going for and I’m happy to oblige. I actually covered this one at Sundance for Bloody Disgusting.

1. Officer Downe – At least The Greasy Strangler knew it was anti-comedy and embraced it. Officer Downe thinks it’s clever and cool. And even Greasy had a clear vision. Downe is a hodgepodge of busy amateur film techniques. It lost me as soon as the orgasm counter appeared onscreen, an un-self-aware joke they repeat again. A midnight movie that mistakes incompetence for subversive, Officer Downe somehow rose from the depths of LAFF to a VOD/limited theatrical. If one person sees Officer Downe it is more than the film deserves. Since context may be needed, I did review this in full at Nerd Report.

Written by
Fred Topel also known as Franchise Fred has been an entertainment journalist since 1999 and specializes in writing about film, television and video games. Fred has written for several outlets including About.com, CraveOnline, and Rotten Tomatoes among others. His favorite films include Toy Story 2, The Rock, Face/Off, True Lies, Labyrinth, The Big Hit, Michael Moore's The Big One, and Casablanca. We are very lucky and excited to have Fred as part of the We Live Entertainment team. Follow him on Twitter @FranchiseFred and @FredTopel

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