The 10 Worst Movies of 2020
By Abb Jones
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hollywood still managed to crank out some epically awful films in 2020. Not surprisingly, horror is the year’s most prevalent genre offender (six of the ten!), but there also was room for a couple of comedies, a super weird biopic, and even a Disney blockbuster! And two actresses – Kristen Stewart and Judi Dench – are back from last year. Here are the The Reelness 10 Worst Movies of 2020 (click on the movie title for the full review and link to rent it, should you dare!):
#10: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Grade: C-)
Oh Sacha Baron Cohen, your first Borat film was so clever and biting – such good satire. It makes this feeble schlockfest, about the fictional Kazakh journalist returning to America, just sad in comparison. At least there was the one embarrassing hotel room scene with former New York City mayor turned moronic, Trump-worshipping gadfly Rudy Giuliani, which alone boosted the film a half letter grade. But please, do better next time.
#9: Underwater (Grade: D)
Kristen Stewart in a ridiculous underwater sci-fi/horror that defies the laws of science? What could possibly go wrong? In this blatant, deep sea knockoff of the iconic 1979 classic Alien, we see an uninspired and uninspiring Stewart (a return visit from last year’s 10 worst list) run from Alien-like sea monsters in her panties and even wax poetic about the loneliness of isolation, JUST LIKE RIPLEY DID IN ALIEN. The only saving grace is some truly scary looking monsters and a pretty compelling score. That moronic script, though…
#8: Artemis Fowl (Grade: D)
Jesus Christ, Disney. This really was beyond the pale. The first original film to debut on the Disney+ digital platform was a $125 million fantasy blockbuster about the young descendant of criminal masterminds who hunts down a secret society of fairies after his father (Colin Farrell) goes missing. Not only is the poorly-written story confusing, but it is dreadfully dull, with thinly-developed characters and a dizzying array of special effects as dated as the nearly two decades old novel. Seeing Judi Dench dressed as a green fairy is right up there in surrealness with her weird catsuit performance as Old Deuteronomy in 2019’s musical disaster (and 10 Worst Movies offender) Cats. Please, Judi, give the crazy costumes a rest!
#7: The New Mutants (Grade: D)
Now we see why this Marvel fantasy film was delayed FIVE TIMES. Even Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) couldn’t save this anemic story, about a group of young people with burgeoning superhero powers held captive in a research lab. The laughably bad dialogue, confusing plot holes, embarrassingly fake looking CGI, and strange, phony accents culminates in the worst comic book movie ever.
#6: You Should Have Left (Grade: D)
A Kevin Bacon horror flick that sucks? Shocker. This psychological thriller, about a family vacation to an ultra-modern house in Wales where things aren’t quite as they seem, makes absolutely no sense, nor is it even slightly scary. Writer/director David Koepp, whose wildly successful screenplays include Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and Mission Impossible, can add this to his growing list of directorial duds, alongside such wonders as Mordecai and Stir of Echoes (another Bacon stinker).
#5: The Lie (Grade: D)
This lame story, bad even by Blumhouse’s low horror standards, stars Joey King as a teenager who wrecks her divorced parents’ lives when she tells them she has killed her best friend. Rather than call the cops, the duo – an indulgent, screw-up father and a controlling mother – go to EXTREME lengths to cover up their precious little angel’s crime. If you like watching unlikable characters make lots of shockingly bad and completely unbelievable life choices, then have at it.
#4: The Grudge (Grade: D-)
Intended as a prequel to the prior Grudge films, with the ghost trailing a tourist back home to Pennsylvania from a trip to Japan, this horror flick from director Nicholas Pesce was neither scary nor interesting. It was one of the first films to hit theaters in January (the cinematic graveyard for crappy movies), giving us an entire year to reminisce about its awfulness.
#3: Tesla (Grade: D-)
A pretentious avant garde biopic starring Ethan Hawke about genius inventor Nikola Tesla that tells us nothing about Tesla. Brilliant! A high school stage play would have had better production values and more insight than writer/director Michael Almereyda’s self-indulgent disaster – a bizarre hodgepodge of mostly-fictional, cinematic vignettes; moments of strange performance art set to kitschy backdrops; and biographical info that sounds recited straight from Tesla’s own Wikipedia page.
#2: Ghosts of War (Grade: F)
The tagline of this alleged WWII war horror is, “You can’t hide from yourself.” Fair enough. But please, hide from this frighteningly bad movie, even if it is a free rental. It actually starts off surprisingly well, but gets increasingly nonsensical, until it devolves into a completely different level of batshit insanity in the finale – justifying its failing grade. If you’ve already seen it, you know what we mean and you likely want your hour and a half of life back too.
#1: The Lovebirds (Grade: F)
Issa Ray and Kumail Nanjiani have the onscreen chemistry of burnt toast in this contrived rom-com that literally has NO LAUGHS. NONE. The duo play a bickering couple in New Orleans that are carjacked, witness a murder and then, somehow unbelievably thinking they will be blamed for the crime, go on the run from the cops to find the killer. It’s like watching two dueling stand-up routines bomb simultaneously as they vie for the title of unfunniest.
Any that you felt should have made our list? Chime in and leave a comment below! Bookmark us and check back in a couple of days for The Reelness 10 Best Movies of 2020.
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