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Worst Of 2017

Here, from beneath the bottom of the barrel, are the worst films of 2017.  

You may remember them for their cloying, ill-advised messages or the emotions that felt oh-so forced. A small piece of my movie-loving self died while watching these, so here’s hoping you avoided all of the below.

“A Dog’s Purpose” is a pandering, manipulative mess of a movie. The controversy regarding the mistreatment of a German Shepherd that “conveniently” came out a week before the film’s release certainly did it harm (even though it was later proved untrue), but this hollow melodrama didn’t deserve an audience anyway.

Robert De Niro, what’re you doing in “The Comedian?” We’re past the point at which the two-time Oscar winner can do anything. He cannot. This includes stand-up comedy, as the delivery of his character’s jokes rarely connects. He also shouldn’t be singing “Making Poopy” in the style of “Making Whoopee” to senior citizens at a nursing home – the sequence is so bad it’s easily his new career low.

In “Fist Fight,” Ice Cube and Charlie Day played rival teachers who’re supposed to fight after school. Schools like this don’t exist; if they do, I don’t want to know about them. This isn’t a polemic for underfunded public schools. It’s a crass, unrealistic, half thought-out mish-mash of a high school world that is truly out of this world.


Lame and half-hearted, “Life” is slightly redeemed by a clever twist in the end. Still, it’s an “Alien” rip-off that wastes Ryan Reynolds, gives Jake Gyllenhaal nothing to work with, and hurts the emerging stardom of Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”).

Boy, did “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” try really hard to be entertaining. And boy, did it fail miserably. The worst thing you can feel walking out of an action movie is bored, and that’s exactly how I felt. Guy Ritchie: Get it together man.

“The Only Living Boy in New York” was little more than pretentious yearning for the old days wrapped up in a sordid father-son-floozy love triangle. It earned the old “head scratch” and “what the?’” when it was over. Jeff Bridges, Kate Beckinsale and Pierce Brosnan will be regretting this one for a while.

I didn’t hate “The Trip to Spain,” but it did trek on too long, and it had easily, without a doubt undeniably, the worst ending of the year. The more I discuss the ending with other people, the more I hate it.

If you’re going to honor an iconic writer and his most famous book (J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”), you should do it with style and substance. “Rebel in the Rye” has neither. It struggled from the get-go, and the biggest offense was the disconnect between star Nicholas Hoult’s Salinger and “Catcher in the Rye’s” Holden Caulfield, who was allegedly based on Salinger’s experiences.

“Mother!” starred Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer, and had Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) directing. So what went wrong? Everything, including botched symbolism and a story that intentionally lacked clarity because Aronofsky wanted viewers to fill in the blanks themselves. Dude, we paid money so you could tell us the story, not so we’d have to do the work for you.

It may have been torturous for the main character, “Tree,” to repeatedly relive the day she’s murdered until she finds her killer in “Happy Death Day,” but I assure the filmmakers it was more torturous for viewers to watch this tired “Groundhog Day” retread. Unoriginal, uninspired and just not much fun.


How could three people as talented as George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore go so wrong in “Suburbicon”? No doubt there was a reason Joel and Ethan Coen let the script lay dormant for years before Clooney asked to take a shot at it.

Speaking of Damon, what happened in “Downsizing?” With Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) co-writing and directing, this should’ve been special. Instead it lost its way after the first third and never recovered.

And finally, the worst movie of the year: “The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.” It’s not just bad, it’s actually offensive to the human race. It’s the first movie I’ve ever seen that made me feel bad to be alive. I get how avaricious humans are the bad guys who want to destroy a park the animals call home, but making every human character disreputable pushes it too far. And the animated film’s message to its target audience, children? That it’s okay to harm others if you feel there’s a miscarriage of justice. The subjective nature of this message makes it incredibly dangerous and irresponsible, especially for impressionable youths. Some bad movies only disappoint you – this made me angry.