Hundreds of movies come out every single year. Some of them are good. And some of them are very, very bad.
We put together a list of some of the worst films ever made, ranked according to their Rotten Tomatoes score. How many of these stinkers do you secretly love?
Battleship – 34%
It might be hard to imagine that anyone would ever spend $220 million dollars to make a movie out of a board game consisting entirely of colored pegs and tiny plastic boats. But Universal did exactly that in 2012, with the massive sci-fi action film Battleship. The movie took the “plot” of the classic game (naval ships locked in combat) and added aliens.
Despite a huge marketing campaign and a high-profile role played by popular singer Rihanna, the movie tanked hard. It only managed to earn $65 million in the U.S. It did better internationally, but at the end of the day, Universal lost $83 million on this dud. The studio paid additional millions to get out of their contract with Hasbro, which would’ve required them to make more Battleship films.
Budget: $220 million; Gross: $303 million
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – 33%
Disney doesn’t make too many mistakes. But when they do, their mistakes are huge. One costly error was the $120 million holiday film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Based on the popular ballet and short story, the film tells the story of a little girl who travels to a magical kingdom and must save it from an evil fairy. And audiences did not care.
The film bombed pretty hard. Critics praised the visual effects, but called the movie confusing and “soulless.” The Nutcracker struggled to find widespread appeal with audiences as well, and wound up losing Disney around $70 million. That’s a big ouch for the House of Mouse.
Budget: $120 million; Gross: $174 million
Krull – 32%
The success of Star Wars inspired a generation of filmmakers to rethink what was possible in the movies. It also inspired a seemingly endless legion of copycat films, looking to cash in on the suddenly viable sci-fi / fantasy genre. And one of those pretenders to the throne was Krull.
Krull borrowed many of the best elements of Star Wars without actually understanding why any of them were good. The end result was a movie that bizarrely takes place in both a fantasy realm reminiscent of Middle Earth and in outer space, simultaneously. Despite a high budget (for the time) and several lucrative merchandising tie-ins, Krull failed to catch on like Star Wars. Yeah, we’re surprised, too.
Budget: $27 million; Gross: $16 million
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – 31%
There are a few lessons that Hollywood seems unwilling to learn. One of those lessons is “stop making King Arthur movies.” 2017’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tried to update the legend by making the titular Arthur a wisecracking street criminal, and by shooting all of the action scenes like a modern action movie.
The effect didn’t sit well with critics or audiences. While some appreciated the over-the-top ridiculousness of reminaging King Arthur as a 21st century dude trapped in the Middle Ages, most thought the movie was too jumbled and confusing. After Legend of the Sword failed to earn back its gargantuan $175 million budget, plans for a six-film series were wisely abandoned.
Budget: $175 million; Gross: $148 million
The Lone Ranger – 30%
Disney doesn’t believe in half-measures. When the biggest movie studio in the world decided to make a big-budget reboot of The Lone Ranger, they went all in. Hoping to duplicate the success of their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney hired the original Pirates director, screenwriters, and star Johnny Depp to breathe new life into the once-popular western hero.
Did we mention that Disney spent between $225 and $250 million on their Lone Ranger reboot? Because they did, along with another $150 million in marketing costs. And the gamble did not pay off.
Critics and audiences alike found the movie too dark, too violent, and too long. It barely managed to break even on its bloated production price tag, and wound up losing Disney over $160 million.
Budget: $250 million; Gross: $260 million
The Chronicles of Riddick – 29%
This huge follow-up to Pitch Black was Vin Diesel’s magnum opus. A sweeping science fiction epic following Diesel’s character Richard B. Riddick, it built on the modest success of the original (essentially a high-concept Aliens clone) and turned it into a bloated epic, full of confusing mythology. Diesel seems weirdly out of place in his own universe.
It was meant to be a franchise, but those plans were put on hold when the movie underperformed at the box office. A third film, Riddick, was eventually released several years later. It somewhat continued the story of Riddick, but was mostly just a rehash of Pitch Black.
Budget: $120 million; Gross: $107 million
Jobs – 28%
The first and easily most embarrassing biopic of legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs cast Ashton Kutcher in the title role. Kutcher’s earnest attempts at dramatic acting are laugh-out-loud comical. Unless the film was meant to be funny, in which case it was a masterful performance.
Kutcher’s dedication to the role included a bizarre stork-like walk that he must’ve seen Jobs do on video at some point. He also adopted Jobs’ “fruit-itarian” diet, a move that landed Kutcher in the hospital. In addition to being dull and disconnected, the film ends right before getting to Jobs’ most important creation – the smartphone.
Budget: $18 million; Gross: $43 million
Jupiter Ascending – 27%
The Wachowskis have had trouble landing another hit after dazzling the world with The Matrix, and Jupiter Ascending was no exception. The movie was meant to launch a brand new sci-fi epic franchise, but the muddled storyline, mismatched cast, and downright silly-looking protagonist in Channing Tatum’s dog/person kept this from turning into a series.
Jupiter Ascending wasn’t without its fans. Several critics praised the film’s undeniable originality, amazing special effects, and interesting world-building. Unfortunately, it barely managed to break even on its gargantuan $179 million budget, so it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be returning to this universe anytime soon.
Budget: $179 million; Gross: $182 million
Land of the Lost – 26%
Made at the height of Will Ferrell’s status as a white-hot comedic actor, the mega-budget remake of the campy TV show failed to generate much interest from audiences, and earned scathing reviews from critics. This included the Wall Street Journal, who said the film “isn’t worth the celluloid it’s printed on.” Ouch, WSJ.
Even though it was a massive theatrical bomb, the movie did decently on home video. It sold $27 million in DVDs and Blu Rays. Evidently, audiences enjoyed Land of the Lost more when they could fast-forward past all of the parts they didn’t like.
Budget: $100 million; Gross: $69 million
Mission to Mars – 25%
An early attempt by Disney to turn one of their theme park attractions into a successful film, Mission to Mars is a moody science fiction drama that somehow managed to spend millions of dollars on special effects while boring just about everyone who watched it.
Critics almost unanimously agreed the film was overly talky and dull. Audiences seemed to feel the same, and the film barely made back its budget in worldwide ticket sales. However, a few critics appreciated Disney’s attempt to make a more “adult” science fiction movie, comparing it favorably to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Budget: $90 million; Gross: $106 million
Van Helsing – 24%
Director Stephen Sommers’ massive follow-up to the hit movies The Mummy and The Mummy Returns films should’ve stayed buried in a crypt. Van Helsing was another attempt to revive the classic Universal Monsters for modern audiences. And the end result regularly finds its way onto “worst movies of all time” lists.
Sommers fell far short of his goal of duplicating his success with The Mummy. It’s a dull, cheesy monster movie, with Kate Beckinsale doing a Romanian accent that borders on Cartoon Dracula. Critics and audiences deservedly drove a stake through the heart of this stinker.
Budget: $170 million; Gross: $300 million
Evan Almighty – 23%
The decision to follow up the hit comedy Bruce Almighty, without original star Jim Carrey and at more than twice the budget, must’ve seemed like a good idea to someone at some point. The biblical comedy sequel, starring Steve Carrel, was the most expensive comedy ever made (a record later claimed by Men in Black 3).
Evan Almighty was originally completely separate film, titled The Passion of the Ark. Universal reworked into a sequel to Bruce Almighty, which had been a huge hit. Unfortunately, the movie failed to actually make anyone laugh. It remains one of the biggest box office bombs in history, thanks to its astronomical budget.
B: $175 million; G: $174 million
Sucker Punch – 22%
Zack Snyder’s follow up to Watchmen, and his only original film to date, didn’t manage to impress critics or audiences. Featuring a team of imprisoned women battling their way out of a mental institution through trippy alternate reality action sequences, the movie was heavily criticized for its confusing plot and perceived misogyny.
Snyder referred to Sucker Punch as “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns,” and the movie is every bit as confusing as that sentence. The action constantly shifts between three different realities, leaving audiences and critics behind to scratch their heads.
Budget: $75 million; Gross: $89 million
RocketMan (1997) – 21%
RocketMan is a screwball Disney comedy starring Harland Williams as a bumbling astronaut on a mission to Mars. The movie was Williams’ first (and, to date, only) starring role, after a series of memorable cameos in comedies like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary.
RocketMan was torn apart by critics and quickly left theaters after barely earning enough to cover its meager budget. It has the distinction of being one of the first Disney movie released on DVD, and for being confused with the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman, and not much else.
Budget: $16 million; Gross: $15.4 million
Serenity – 20%
No, not that Serenity. This 2019 mystery thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, about a fisherman paid to murder his ex-wife’s abusive new husband, made waves thanks to its baffling twist. A twist, by the way, that happens less than halfway through the movie.
Despite having an Oscar-nominated writer-director and an all-star cast, the movie bombed spectacularly. It was savaged by critics for its flat-out ridiculous twist and dull, predictable mystery. Seriously, the twist is so absurd, it’s almost worth the price of a rental. Almost.
Budget: $25 million; Gross: $12.8 million
Doom – 19%
One of The Rock’s early film roles before he fully transitioned into Dwayne Johnson, the big-budget adaptation of the hit video game franchise Doom was a dismal failure. Johnson later said that the movie was a great example of “what not to do” when making a video game adaptation.
Many critics unfavorably compared the film to watching someone else play a video game, in that it was dull, overly talky and lacking in exciting action sequences. It does feature a delectably fun villainous turn for Johnson, but you have to sit through a lot of bad movie to get to it.
Budget: $70 million; Gross: $58.7 million
Assassin’s Creed – 18%
The massively budgeted Assassin’s Creed adaptation was meant to launch a huge action adventure treasure hunting franchise. Despite featuring a top-notch cast and awesome stunts and action sequences, the film’s plot was heavily criticized for being overly confusing and dull.
Assassin’s Creed managed to pull in a tidy sum worldwide, but when compared to the film’s high cost, it seems unlikely that the two planned sequels will ever happen. Which is a shame. How do you turn a time-traveling, historical action adventure story into a big, boring failure?
Budget: $125 million; Gross: $240 million
Wild Wild West – 17%
Will Smith famously turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Jim West, the hero of the sci-fi action comedy western Wild Wild West. The film featured dazzling steampunk special effects, including an infamous giant mechanical spider that was featured heavily in all the advertising.
Unfortunately, the effects are the only good thing about this dud. Despite Smith’s white-hot status as an international superstar, the movie released to overwhelmingly negative reviews. Most critics focused on the terrible script, and the lack of any genuinely funny moments. Man, how do you waste Will Smith in a comedy?
Budget: $175 million; Gross: $221 million
Eragon – 16%
Notable for being the last film released on VHS in the United States and very little else, Eragon was the adaptation of a popular fantasy series written by Christopher Paolini. It was released in December of 2006, and still managed to be one of the worst reviewed films of that year.
The film was criticized for essentially duplicating the story of Star Wars in a fantasy setting, and for its juvenile and silly dialogue. Despite a tidy worldwide gross, the film underperformed compared to its budget, and plans to film the rest of the novels in Paolini’s series were cancelled.
Budget: $100 million; Gross: $249 million
Transformers: The Last Knight – 15%
It’s difficult to think of a movie that grossed over $600 million worldwide as a failure, but Transformers: The Last Knight is exactly that. The 5th (fifth!) installment of Michael Bay’s giant robot series had an astronomical $217 million budget, and wound up losing over $100 million for Paramount.
The Transformers films usually score terribly with critics (only two of the five scored above a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes), but this was the worst of the series. The film was criticized for being loud, confusing, crass, mean-spirited, and ridiculous. Audiences weren’t willing to look past all that for a fifth time.
Budget: $217 million; Gross: $602.8 million
The Love Guru – 14%
This massive critical and commercial failure essentially derailed Mike Myers’ film career. The Love Guru was unable to duplicate Myers’ Austin Powers success, with one critic going so far as to call the movie “antifunny.” Not even Dr. Evil is that harsh.
The film’s reliance on crude humor and obvious sight gags, many of which had already been seen in some form in Myers’ Austin Powers series, spelled doom at the box office for the comedy. Myers hasn’t appeared in a starring role in a film since.
Budget: $62 million; Gross: $40 million
R.I.P.D. – 13%
This big-budget action comedy, starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, attempted to recreate some of the supernatural buddy-comedy magic of films like Men in Black and Ghostbusters. It succeeded only in being declared a ripoff of those two films. So, good work?
Featuring Bridges and Reynolds as ghosts assigned to police the world of the undead, the charm of R.I.P.D.’s two lead actors wasn’t enough to scare up money at the box office. It earned just over half of its monstrous $130 million budget.
Budget: $130 million; Gross: $79 million
Striptease – 12%
Demi Moore received a record $12.5 million to play former FBI agent Erin Grant, the most any actress had ever been paid at the time. Unfortunately, it was for Striptease. Critics lambasted the movie for its bizarre tone, which went back and forth between “serious drama” and “over-the-top comedy.”
Despite the film turning a profit, it was so reviled by critics and popular culture that it all but tanked Moore’s career as a lead actress. She appeared in one more film, the similarly-panned G.I. Jane, before taking a long break from acting.
Budget: $50 million; Gross: $113 million
Holmes & Watson – 11%
Theater owners reported record walkouts of early screenings of Holmes & Watson (such screenings are typically free). The Will Ferrell / John C. Reilly comedy spoof of the famous detective duo was dubbed by many critics as the worst film of 2018. And it is legitimately hard to think of a worse movie.
When the film began testing poorly, Sony tried to sell distribution rights to Netflix, but Netflix declined. The New York Times review actually recommended that audiences sneak booze into the theater, to make the movie less boring. It’s hard to believe the same duo made Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.
Budget: $42 million; Gross: $41.9 million
From Justin to Kelly – 10%
The first season of the smash hit American Idol saw Kelly Clarkson win the top prize, with Justin Guarini coming in second. Fox produced this musical comedy as a vehicle for its two new stars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t succeed in either the “musical” or “comedy” categories.
Critics blasted the terrible script, and startlingly bad choreography, for a film meant to showcase two rising musical stars. To this day, Clarkson regrets that she had to star in it. She later said, “…when I won, I signed that piece of paper, and I could not get out of it.”
Budget: $12 million; Gross: $4.9 million
Catwoman – 9%
Halle Berry’s 2004 superhero film Catwoman is almost legendarily bad. It was originally intended to be a spinoff of Batman Returns, with Michelle Pfieffer returning to play the antihero. But it was eventually reworked into a standalone movie, starring Berry as an all-new Catwoman. And nobody wanted it.
It was almost universally panned, with critics skewering the movie’s ridiculous melodrama, cheesy dialogue, confusing direction, and laughable action sequences. Berry won the Razzie for Worst Actress and accepted it in-person, with her Best Actress Academy Award in hand. Thankfully, the experience didn’t keep her from returning to the X-Men franchise.
Budget: $100 million; Gross: $82 million
The Order – 8%
Writer/director Brian Helgeland delivered a surprise hit in 2001’s A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, and Mark Addy. So when Helgeland reunited Ledger, Sossamon, and Addy for the 2003 thriller The Order, audiences were expecting another fun adventure story. Yeah, about that…
Instead of fun adventure, what they got was a dark, depressing horror/drama about demons, suicide, and religious cults. If that weren’t enough of a turnoff, the film was criticized for being dull and confusing, and it quickly left theaters before it managed to break even.
Budget: $35 million; Gross: $11.5 million
Surviving Christmas – 7%
This thoroughly confusing Christmas comedy stars Ben Affleck as a wealthy manchild who pays a “normal” family to celebrate Christmas with him. According to critics, the movie never manages to actually be funny or heartwarming. Partly because not a single character in the movie is actually likeable.
On top of that, the movie was originally scheduled to be released at Christmas, but was pushed back to October after disastrous test screenings. It turns out not many audiences are in the mood to watch a Christmas movie in October, and Surviving Christmas did not survive long at the box office.
Budget: $45 million; Gross: $14 million
All About Steve – 6%
All About Steve is a romantic comedy about a socially inept woman named Mary (Sandra Bullock) chasing a blind date across the country to try and get close to him. Turning a character who is essentially a stalker into a romantic lead is a weird choice for a movie, and audiences agreed.
Critics agreed, too, calling it “creepy.” Bullock won the Razzie for Best Actress, and handed out a copy of the film to everyone in the audience. She asked them to watch it and see if it was truly the worst performance of the year. No word yet on what they decided.
Budget: $15 million; Gross: $40 million
Good Luck Chuck – 5%
Dane Cook was the hottest comedian of the early aughts, but he never managed to turn his popularity into a successful movie career. Good Luck Chuck was one effort, pairing him with a ditzy Jessica Alba. In the movie, Cook plays a dentist cursed to never find true love.
The movie couldn’t convince audiences to laugh, let alone believe that Cook was a successful dentist. It made several “worst film of the year lists,” and only managed to earn a small return on its budget. But it remains the most successful of Cook’s live-action starring roles. He should stick to voicing cartoon airplanes.
Budget: $25 million; Gross: $59 million
Cool World – 4%
Picture an (even more) adult version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and you’ve got yourself a Cool World. Cool World follows Holli Would, an animated femme fatale who wants to break into the real world. Despite impressive effects blending live action with animation, and Brad Pitt in an early role, the movie couldn’t manage to find an audience.
Critics were even harsher, blasting the film’s confusing plot and simplistic characters. It was too silly to entertain adults, and too adult to entertain kids. The movie quickly bowed out of theaters after earning back less than half of its budget.
Budget: $30 million; Gross: $14 million
Jack and Jill – 3%
Jack and Jill is the first film to sweep the Razzies, winning every single category for which it was nominated. Despite its near-universal panning from critics, and regularly appearing near the top of “worst films of all time” lists, the movie was a typical Adam Sandler hit.
Critics blasted its predictable, sophomoric humor, reliance on celebrity cameos, and repetition of gags seen in previous Sandler flicks. And virtually no one found the movie’s central joke – Sandler dressing in drag to play his irritating twin sister – funny or compelling in the least.
Budget: $79 million; Gross: $149 million
The Darkness – 3%
Blumhouse Productions, known for producing highly rated horror fare for the true genre aficionado, such as Jordan Peele’s Oscar winner Get Out, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, and Paranormal Activity, made an unexpected misstep with 2016’s The Darkness. Starring Hollywood veteran Kevin Bacon, well, we had hoped for better.
We have to wonder if Blumhouse Productions’ earlier movies were too influential on the plot of The Darkness, which repeated too many tried and true horror movie tropes to be interesting to critics or viewers. With no new scares to captivate, audiences found the film forgettable.
Budget: $4 million; Gross: $10.9 million
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation – 2%
Nobody expected the original Mortal Kombat to be good, but the campy cult classic (and surprise box office hit) deserved a better sequel than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Barely any members of the original cast bothered to return for this 1997 follow-up, which plays out like an especially confusing episode of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
The scattered plot, terrible dialogue, and truly awful special effects all come together to make a movie that is barely fit to play on Saturday afternoon cable, let alone in a cineplex. Not even fans of the popular video game series could save this dud.
Budget: $30 million; Gross: $51 million
The Master of Disguise – 1%
The first thing you need to know about The Master of Disguise is that it is only 65 minutes long. 15 minutes of outtakes were added to the end credits to get it to feature length, so that movie theaters would actually agree to show it. And it doesn’t get any better from there.
Dana Carvey plays a 23-year-old secret agent on a mission to save his overbearing father, even though he was nearly 50 at the time of shooting. The movie was a modest hit, but critics absolutely hated the dated jokes and impressions, and downright absurd premise. Carvey hasn’t starred in a movie since.
Budget: $15 million; Gross: $40 million
Gotti – 0%
Gotti, the biopic about the infamous real-life mobster, was in development for 8 years. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci were originally going to star in it. Pesci even gained 20 pounds for his role, only to be recast! Pesci wound up suing the production. And this is all before the movie actually came out.
Critics blasted the film’s confusing direction, and strangely sympathetic tone towards its central character. They also ridiculed John Travolta’s performance and appearance as the mobster.
The now-defunct MoviePass, who distributed Gotti and accounted for nearly half the tickets sold, were accused of fabricating positive audience reviews. John Gotti would’ve approved.
Budget: $10 million; Gross: $6.1 million
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