The last 20 years have given us cinematic greats like “The Lord of the Rings,” “Moonlight” and “Parasite.” The past two decades have also given us some real bombs.
To revisit some of those duds, we turn to Metacritic, an entertainment review site that consolidates movie critics’ scores from around the internet, gives each score a weight, and calculates a weighted average. Basically, instead of reading lots of movie reviews, Metacritic just gives you one aggregated score from zero to 100.
Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Behold, the worst movies released every year, for the past 20 years, according to Metacritic.
(A quick note on our methodology: We’ve left off movies that are not rated or rated NC-17. We’d rather not write summaries of those movie plots on our work computers. Also, Metacritic omits movies that received fewer than seven critic reviews, so we’ve left those off our list, too. )
2020: “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters”
This is one of those rom-coms with an ensemble cast – including Diane Keaton playing a blind woman – and multiple storylines that all converge somehow. In a year where COVID-19 ruined a lot of weddings, maybe this movie just wasn’t the right vibe?
Metascore: 11 (based on seven critic reviews)
2019: “The Haunting of Sharon Tate”
Hillary Duff plays Sharon Tate in this dramatized retelling of her murder at the hands of Charles Manson’s cult. The Los Angeles Times review called it a “sleazy B-thriller” and The Wrap called it “astoundingly tasteless.” The Wrap also predicted it’d be one of the worst – if not the worst – movies of the year. It turns out they were right!
Metascore: 8 (based on 10 critic reviews)
2018: “Death of a Nation”
The movie was made by conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza and likens Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln (and Democrats to Nazis) in the opening moments of the trailer, so you probably get the gist. But beyond it’s clear political agenda, critics say the movie was just plain bad: “The only thing preventing me from dubbing this one of the dumbest movies of any type that I have ever seen in my life is the fact that I am not entirely certain that something as shabbily constructed and artistically bankrupt as this actually qualifies as a movie in the first place,” wrote Peter Sobczynski in his review.
Metascore: 1 (based on eight critic reviews)
2017: “The Emoji Movie”
It’s an animated movie about the emojis that live inside your phone. It’s an original idea, but critics say writers weren’t able to turn the concept into any genuinely funny moments. Apparently, the all-star cast of voice actors – including Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart, Anna Faris and at least five other very famous people – wasn’t able to carry the film, either.
Metascore: 12 (based on 26 critic reviews)
2016: “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”
Another Dinesh D’Souza production that flopped with critics. “In the past, I’ve given D’Souza the benefit of the doubt, going out of my way to be extra objective,” wrote Arizona Republic critic Bill Goodykoontz. “But this thing is madness.”
Metascore: 2 (based on 17 critic reviews)
2015: “Some Kind of Beautiful”
Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba play out a love triangle in this romantic comedy. But critics seem to think those actors’ talents are wasted in this movie full of cliche and misogyny.
Metascore: 11 (based on nine critic reviews)
2014: “Septic Man”
“Septic Man” is a horror movie in which a man gets trapped in a septic tank – which, to be fair, is a horrifying premise. But critics found the movie neither scary nor funny, just dull.
Metascore: 8 (based on seven critic reviews)
2013: “Scary Movie 5”
The fifth installment of the “Scary Movie” series takes aim at the horror movie “Paranormal Activity,” but critics say this parody missed the mark. That’s putting it mildly. The Washington Post critic called it a “lazy, boring, vile and tragically unfunny attempt at a horror-film spoof that is sure to kill brain cells and may signal the impending apocalypse.”
Metascore: 11 (based on 16 critic reviews)
2012: “A Little Bit of Heaven”
Kate Hudson plays a funny, beautiful single woman with a crush on her doctor. Then she gets cancer. You can see where this is going, right? The consensus seems to be movie was too formulaic to be interesting. But Whoopi Goldberg plays God, so at least it has that going for it.
Metascore: 14 (based on 20 critic reviews)
2011: “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”
Bucky Larson was a buck-toothed grocery store worker, his life “going nowhere” (as the trailer says) until he discovers his parents are porn stars. He moves to California to follow in their footsteps. The premise sounds funny enough, but the jokes just didn’t seem to land. “It’s an ugly movie to look at and a faintly nauseating one to sit through, truth be told,” wrote Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel.
Metascore: 9 (based on 13 critic reviews)
2010: “Vampires Suck”
Critics weren’t a fan of this parody of the popular “Twilight” saga, very much in the “Scary Movie” style of spoof. They said it was filled with bad jokes and dated humor.
Metascore: 18 (based on 17 critic reviews)
2009: “Miss March”
The premise alone is chaotic: a teen falls into a coma on prom night, wakes up four years later and realizes his virginal prom date is now a “Playboy” model. He wants to track her down, hijinks ensue. It’s predictably raunchy, but not very funny, critics wrote. The Boston Globe review of the movie is pretty funny, however: “‘Miss March’ is a sex comedy that appears to have been made by people who’ve never actually had sex.”
Metascore: 7 (based on 15 critic reviews)
2008: “The Hottie & The Nottie”
It’s hard to even describe this movie in an inoffensive way. Basically, the protagonist has a crush on Paris Hilton, but her “nottie” roommate with crooked teeth and body hair stands in the way of their relationship. Critics’ reviews were universally terrible.
Metascore: 7 (based on 18 critic reviews)
2007: “Daddy Day Camp”
Two dads decide to take over a summer camp to spend more time with their kids. Men? In charge of child care?? They couldn’t possibly pull that off! It’s a sequel to “Daddy Day Care” that no one asked for.
Metascore: 13 (based on 19 critic reviews)
2006: “Date Movie”
The “Scary Movie” folks land themselves on this list, yet again. This time, they parody the entire romantic comedy genre. A few critics admit it made them laugh once, but if that’s the best you can say for a comedy, it’s not great.
Metascore: 11 (based on 18 critic reviews)
2005: “Alone in the Dark”
“Alone in the Dark” is (loosely) based on the video game of the same name, and critics suggest fans of the game just play it instead of watching the movie.
Metascore: 9 (based on 25 critic reviews)
2004: “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2”
Jon Voight plays an evil German with a plan to control the minds of everyone on the planet… but not if these superhero toddlers have anything to do with it! Cute? Creepy? Both? Critics say the plot was too confusing for kids and too boring for adults.
Metascore: 9 (based on 19 critic reviews)
2003: “From Justin to Kelly”
Two “American Idol” favorites, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, try to transition from singing to acting… and it doesn’t really work out. Reviews make the movie sound really, really boring.
Metascore: 14 (based on 16 critic reviews)
The movie centers around a professional clown who gets violently raped and then blackmailed by the rapist. But also it’s a comedy? It’s impossible to imagine why Lions Gate, the indie distributor that released ‘Monster’s Ball,’ would bother with this garbage,” reads the San Francisco Chronicle review.
Metascore: 5 (based on 10 critic reviews)
Mariah Carey plays a breakout pop star with a troubled childhood in this infamously bad movie. What’s so bad exactly? Critics called it joyless, tedious, ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious. Could the movie be so bad it’s good? Nope, not even that.
Metascore: 14 (based on 23 critic reviews)