What are the worst movies ever made? We’ve all seen some guff. Comedy movies that are chronically unfunny, thoroughly boring action movies, and science fiction movies and fantasy movies whose effects look like Instagram filters.
But what are the actual worst movies? The ones that, on every level, are just irredeemable. We’re not talking so bad they’d good, like Troll 2, or accidental comedies like The Room. We mean the stuff that’s hard to suffer through, from people that we expect quality from. To calculate this list, we’ve invented a methodology to find the actual lowest-rated films available.
We’ve taken Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes – two of the most widely used resources for collating critical opinion – and compared their lowest-rated entries to find the features listed here. Our rules are simple: every entry has 20 or more reviews on Metacritic, so it’s a film that was widely covered, a rating of 15 or less on Rotten Tomatoes, and widespread distribution, to avoid punching down on indie productions. Surprisingly, Jack and Jill didn’t qualify, though that sets a tone for what’s to follow, doesn’t it?
What are the worst movies ever made?
- Dungeons and Dragons
- A Little Bit of Heaven
- Down to You
- The Emoji Movie
- Battlefield Earth
- Alone in the Dark
- The Master of Disguise
- Left Behind
Slackers – Metacritic: 12 (28) / Rotten Tomatoes: 10% (105)
Who knows what Jason Schwartzmann was thinking, after starring in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, when he decided to lead this deeply unsexy attempt at a college rom-com. He plays Ethan, a student at Holden University who attempts to blackmail classmates he dislikes into giving him a better chance with his crush.
If that sounds gross and misogynistic, it is! At least the film has the good sense to make sure he loses everything by the end. Even despite this, you’d struggle for a single laugh throughout, and it doesn’t look like many would disagree.
Whipped – Metacritic: 10 (26) / Rotten Tomatoes: 13 (68)
Chauvinism was an unfortunate trend in the late-’90s and early-2000s romantic comedies. Whipped has a bunch of lads become disrupted when one of them has the audacity to consider settling down with someone.
Amanda Peet, who plays the object of affection Mia, recently co-created the Netflix series The Chair. Thankfully they’ve moved onto bigger and better things.
Dungeons and Dragons – Metacritic: 14 (25) / Rotten Tomatoes: 10 (92)
With Jeremy Irons, Thora Birch, and Marlon Wayans, the first Dungeons and Dragons movie had some clout behind it. Sadly, the resulting fantasy movie, directed by Courtney Solomon, is about the worst advertising the incredible tabletop RPG on which it’s based could get.
It’s just silly, full of dodgy effects and hammy acting. Nothing about it feels like a grand quest or friends spitballing an adventure. Even the comedy is obnoxious, hence the sour reception.
A Little Bit of Heaven – Metacritic: 14 (20) / Rotten Tomatoes: 4 (55)
A Little Bit of Heaven starts OK, a comedy-drama about a woman facing cancer. Then God appears to her in a dream, promising to grant three wishes (apparently, he takes requests if you have a terminal illness? News to us. Could just be for Kate Hudson).
These wishes start to come true because, of course, they do, this God almighty himself. Then it ends on the bleakest note. Whoopi Goldberg and Kathy Bates are part of the cast, and someone had to make a deal with a divine power to make that happen.
Down to You – Metacritic: 13 (21) / Rotten Tomatoes: 3 (60)
Julia Stiles starred in this just one year after the cutesy 10 Things I Hate About You, and the contrast is stark. She’s opposite Freddie Prinze Jr, and we imagine they were both glad to have big franchises coming up with The Bourne Identity and Scooby-Doo, respectively.
Down to You is mostly inoffensive, but it’s in how forgettable it is that it becomes insufferable. You know what you’re getting with a Hallmark movie. You expect more when there’s $35 million dollars in the budget and Miramax distribution.
The Emoji Movie – Metacritic: 12 (26) / Rotten Tomatoes: 6 (134)
Patrick Stewart voices the poop emoji.
Battlefield Earth – Metacritic: 9 (33) / Rotten Tomatoes: 3 (153)
Blockbuster Scientology propaganda shepherded by John Travolta, who produced, part-financed, and starred in it. Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard’s prose isn’t exactly for being all that deep or enriching, and Battlefield Earth certainly captures that.
The only thing notable about it is just how expensively incompetent it feels. Roger Christian, the director, has since gone on to make Christian dramas. We’d want to make our peace with God too.
Alone in the Dark – Metacritic: 9 (25) / Rotten Tomatoes: 1 (125)
A videogame film that fails to capture anything that made the source material worthy of adapting in the first place. Shocking, right? Alone in the Dark tumbles into being a little fun in spots by leaning on Aliens and the (vastly superior) Resident Evil horror movie from 2000.
Uwe Boll, a certified master of disaster, directed it. Christian Slater, Stephen Dorf, and Tara Reid led the cast. At least they didn’t have to do another one.
The Master of Disguise – Metacritic: 12 (24) / Rotten Tomatoes: 1 (104)
Dana Carvey has not enjoyed the same level of renown as his Wayne’s World co-star Mike Myers, and this might be an indication of why. Co-written by Carvey, The Master of Disguise has him leaning to become a covert agent from his grandfather when their family’s in danger.
An alum of Saturday Night Live, Carvey knows his way around getting a quick laugh and adapting to new characters quickly. None of those skills are present in this film. Whatever happened, this is a test of endurance.
Left Behind – Metacritic: 12 (25) / Rotten Tomatoes: 0 (70)
Nicolas Cage has made some questionable pictures, and this might just be the worst of them. It’s a Christian disaster movie about those still on Earth when the most dedicated followers of Christ are taken to Heaven.
Lots of talk of the end times and so on, Cage as airline pilot Layford at the centre. He didn’t come back for the sequel. Though we’re a non-denominational outlet, given a choice between the pearly gates and suffering through this, we’d take our chances with St Peter.
Those are the worst movies. Have a look at our list of the best movies to cleanse the palate.