155 films of 2016: The 20 worst movies of the year (#155-#136)
Because all lists must begin somewhere, this series will start at the absolute bottom: these are the 20 worst films of 2016.
(Simple rules for this list: 1) I have to have seen it and 2) any ranked film had a Video-on-Demand, limited or national theatrical release date in the U.S. between January 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016.)
The one commonality among all of these debacles: they are, across-the-board, not worth suffering the running time. All 20 movies on this list are unwatchable (for various reasons), but none of them should be added to anyone's "must see" list.
Great films inspire and invoke deep human emotion. These terrible films only invoke frustration, impatience and an intense resentment toward everyone involved in the production of these movies. Starting this article with the bottom of the list ...
The worst film of 2016: 'Yoga Hosers'
Writer-director Kevin Smith must be run out of Hollywood (and for the most part, he has been shut out). "Yoga Hosers" is his most misguided "film" to date: he took two side characters from one of his worst movies ("Tusk") and created an alleged "comedy"-horror flick that is neither funny nor scary. Virtually NOTHING of note happens for the first 40 minutes - this is a problem because the movie is less than 90 minutes long. The movie is squarely focused on a pair of teen friends - but their characters are simply defined by their love of their smartphones and the fact they share the same name (Colleen). At some point, a platoon of foot-tall Nazi bratwursts with sauerkraut for blood - cleverly called "bratzis" - show up to murder smalltown folk (usually by crawling up their anus). And the climax has the Colleens listening to a time-displaced Nazi resort to outdated celebrity impersonations as he announces his vendetta against art critics -- a wholly transparent gripe reflecting Smith's infamous and petty relationship with film critics who don't fawn over his catalog of increasingly unwatchable "movies." Oh, and Johnny Depp shows up to reprise his detestable cartoon of a French Canadian police inspector. No part of this waste of time works - it is across-the-board hateable.
#154: 'Collateral Beauty'
This bungled faux-profound dreck is somehow less tolerable than its cloying and cumbersome movie title. A movie where a troubled man actually engages with the personifications of love, time and death could have been interesting -- but "Collateral" instead elects to just gaslight its main character in an elaborate and gross scheme masterminded by his three best "friends." Every aspect of this story is predictable -- even its garbage final act "reveal." Its deep statements on life, life and death have the depth of a kiddie pool and its predictability is deeply offensive. This film proves how little respect movie studios have for the intelligence of the common moviegoer.
#153: 'Independence Day: Resurgence'
The sequel no one asked for or wanted reinforces cynicism about sequels. Nothing about this movie works: it invests virtually no time in character development - so their deaths mean very little. The third act is silly. Major things happen on screen - but "Resurgence" epitiomizes sound and fury "signifying nothing."
#152: 'Papa: Hemingway in Cuba'
This one time a writer met Hemingway. And that's about it. To make matters worse, the production value and writing borders on embarressing and/or amateur.
#151: 'Nine Lives'
Kevin Spacey is a two-time Oscar-winning actor. Watching him slog through this bizarre movie is embarrassing for everyone involved: the audience, every actor in it and everyone who worked on this alarming turd. Who is the "Nine Lives" target demo? At one point the cat gets trashed and drunkenly pees everywhere -- and the third act revolves an apparent suicide attempt.
#150: 'The Do-Over'
Adam Sandler and Happy Madison Productions are an affront to cinema and movies. While "The Do-Over" may not be his stupidest film to-date, it's not for lack of trying: the festering pile of garbage goes out of its way to include gags about ball sweat, homosexual bikers and penis rings.
#149: 'Mother's Day'
The core of "Mother's Day" comes from a well-meaning place and an earnest cast does their darnedest to salvage "Mother's Day" -- but sadly, the best efforts of a talented cast and a movie with a nice message cannot make up for the fact that this comedy has virtually zero laughs.
#148: 'The Divergent Series: Allegiant'
How bad is "Allegiant"? So bad the studio elected to make the upcoming fourth and final installment in the franchise a made-for-TV movie instead. "Allegiant" was the latest in a series that was just getting progressively worse with each movie.
#147: 'Blair Witch'
This retread of the cult classic original movie is a how-to course is essentially making the same movie again -- except this time, making it less entertaining in almost every way. It's over reliance on cheap jump scares is the hallmark of lame horror.
#146: 'The Neon Demon'
It's obvious the genesis of this movie was the director overhearing a model say "I would kill to have her looks." The first two acts are flat - but at least it is clear that something resembling thematic commentary exists under all the self-important and vapid dialogue. Then the film gets next-level silly in the third act - to the point of becoming almost a whole different movie.
#145: 'One More Time'
This cliche of an indie flick is uninspired and frustrating.
#144: 'Touched with Fire'
Instead of being an interesting character portrait of people living with bipolar disorder, "Touched" is a ham-handed narrative that shoves its two lead characters from one plot point to the next requisite plot point.
The movie is barely more than 90 minutes, yet it feels much too long. The film is broken up into four chapters related only by the same whiny themes - each main character is surrounded by generally insensitive people and is emotionally neglected in some way - resulting in a very repetitive movie. Moreover, each individual vignette feels too long - so even short stories that average 20 minutes in length are a slog because very little happens in each chapter.
#142: 'Office Christmas Party'
Despite a cast packed with comedians, there's not a laugh to be had in this contrived and mirthless "comedy."
#141: 'The Dressmaker'
The film's story wraps up about a half hour before the movie ends. That's just poor storytelling. Tonal inconsistency doesn't begin to describe the whiplash-inducing tonal pivots "The Dressmaker" makes. In one scene, a character is bleeding to death after an emotionally dramatic exchange - which is immediately followed up by some very broad comedy in the very next scene. "Dressmaker" wants to be some weird melo-tragic-comedy-romance-slapstick-drama. Pick one and do it right.
#140: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'
The ONLY reason this film isn't much lower on this list: the scenes where Batman fights criminals. Everything else about this movie is a mess.
#139: 'The Bronze'
Tiny gymnast drops the f-bomb a lot. Note to directors-writers: that schtick tires quickly and doesn't carry the rest of the story.
#138: 'The Adderall Diaries'
How any movie involving traumatic childhood, a murder trial, an unreliable narrator, drug abuse and a dusting of sexually-charged masochism ends up being this disengaging is the real crime. With so many odd, frayed ends shoddily woven together, it should come as no surprise that "Adderall Diaries" is a tangled mess.
#137: 'Shut In'
Failed psychological thriller lacks any thrills. Even its general plot or purpose is pretty unclear until well into the film. Every movie demands an answer to the question of "why should I care" and "Shut In" offers almost no reason why anyone should care about what happens in this dumb thriller.
#136: 'Carnage Park'
This is style over substance in action. If only the filmmakers had spent as much time developing the characters as they did in recreating the look and feel of a classic grindhouse flick, then "Carnage" might not just be another disposable thriller.