Yes, I said it has been one of the finest years of film this decade. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some gloriously steaming piles of pure garbage along the way, though. Here is a list of my Top 15 worst films of 2018. Please, don’t say I didn’t warn you about Tau.
Basically, an X-Games sci-fi re-imagining of Jack London’s White Fang, but substitute Alaska with a desert landscape and the dog/wolf hybrid with a canine robot. Add some common government conspiracy for the standard good measure. I was bored almost all the way through.
14. Little Italy
Like the film’s pies, the plot is as paper thin as its crust, stereotypes as over the top as the sauce, a charm that is grated like the mozzarella, with a premise that is as old as the family’s recipe. This is no My Big Fat Greek Italian Wedding.
13. The Darkest Minds
A very junior X-Men wannabe that fails like many before it (I Am Number Four comes to mind) that is made for the YA film crowd. Minds has low-budget special effects, an inexperienced cast, and a retread script. Honestly, it feels like an FX pilot that wasn’t picked up and turned into a feature.
12. Brain on Fire
My issue with Brain on Fire is that it attempts to smash two genres together like puzzle pieces that don’t fit, like a YA novel version of Lorenzo’s Oil. Filmed in 2015, then shelved for years, I can see why. This is based on a true story that should be redone with a better team behind it.
11. Death of a Nation
Brings new meaning to the adage, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts its shoes on.” Maybe I should put it in my Top 10 list as a political statement on how ridiculous things have become.
10. Life Itself
There is a scene early in Life Itself in which Abby is in bed with Will and she begins to explain how a Bob Dylan album was written off by the majority, and this was a giant “eat a dick” moment to his critics. Dan Fogelman needs to be careful and not forget to entertain his audience who spend their hard-earned money on his next film, or they might tell him to do the same. Make movies for the people, or yourself; don’t do them to show up others.
9. The 15:17 to Paris
I’ve never had quite an experience like 15:17 to Paris. Technically sound, directed with care, supporting actors accomplished, yet the entire film crumbles from the three real-life heroes on a train because the acting is so cringe-inducing, I almost walked out three-times. Awful.
I have no idea how a film like Kin gets made, let alone the stars that pop up in this mess. The script is utterly pointless and has no probative value other than to set up a franchise without a care for the current movie they made. Please, go ahead and waste my money, just not my time.
7. Robin Hood
A Guy Ritchie love-child that has some awfully over-the-top-ham-it-up performances and action that’s so dull that the word dull doesn’t do it justice. All style, no substance, and yet another film that begs for a sequel in its final scene.
Roger Ebert reviewed the film Mad Dog Time 21 years ago and said, “’The first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time.” Terminal is the new version of that line for the 21st Century; that’s quite an accomplishment.
5. Slender Man
You know, you could have just logged off and saved everyone the trouble. Outlandish, eye-rolling, tone-deaf, tasteless, classless, and boringly predictable.
Words can’t describe how the film tries to make these characters so pointlessly weird to drive the film’s story. How? One example is the teenage son draws naked pictures, with full genitalia, of his family members, even at his mother’s suggestion. Yup.
If you watched Entourage, you would think Harvey Weingard would call this the “Medallion” of crime boss films. Inept, lackluster direction and woeful casting in the supporting roles. A film that plays more like a storyboard outline than a movie. John Travolta, who is not bad here, was let down by the team.
Netflix’s Mute is a blistering mess. A neon sci-fi noir that can be as boring as it is stomach-churning. Corny dialogue, and over the top performances don’t help matters. Director Duncan Jones’ far superior contemporary classics like Moon and Source Code now feel like a distant memory.
Netflix delves into the SyFy network film category with one of the worst films of the year. Tau steals from multiple films, which I don’t mind, it’s been done before. I mind it when the makers are so incredibly bad at it. Can the Razzie Awards nominate streaming films? How did Gary Oldman end up in a film like this (as the voice of Tau)?