At the end of December, Santa Claus is not the only one who's making his list to find out who's been naughty and nice. Scores of critics from all over the country have been chiming in with their picks for the best movies of the year, as awards season starts to heat up. In less than two weeks, the Golden Globes will be handed out, and just a few days after that, The Academy Awards nominations will be announced. Before all of the attention is bestowed on the best of the best, we thought it would a good time to go in another direction altogether, to present the worst of the worst.
Now, keep in mind, these aren't our personal picks for the worst movies of the year. This is simply a compilation of the 17 movies that hit theaters sometime in 2015, in wide release, that had the worst RottenTomatoes.com ratings. Why just movies in wide release, you may be asking? Don't tiny indies get dumped on by critics too, you may implore? Of course they do. However, we've narrowed the field to major studio wide releases simply because these movies are reviewed by a greater number of critics across the country, thus giving a more accurate projection at what may be considered the "worst of the worst." But, there's another reason for this rule as well.
By "limiting" the field to wide releases, it also means there's a greater chance that YOU have seen these movies, therefore allowing you to chime in more comprehensively on whether you agree or disagree with the critics. But don't worry, we're not judging you. Maybe you were dragged to Aloha (19% on Rotten Tomatoes) by your Cameron Crowe-loving significant other. Or perhaps you thought that Jupiter Ascending (26% on RT) would be the Wachowski's return to form. By the way, neither of those aforementioned movies made the cut.
Despite indies like The Loft (11%), Kill Me Three Times (9%) and The Cobbler (9%) failing to impress the nation's critics, they didn't make the cut, because we're presuming that you probably didn't see these movies anyway. The Loft took in just over $6 million domestically, Kill Me Three Times earned just under $25,000 (not a typo...) and there wasn't even box office data released for The Cobbler. So, we figured there isn't much cause to showcase critically-panned movies that a vast majority of the movie-going public didn't even see to begin with.
Sure, it may seem mean-spirited to showcase a collection of movies that were widely panned, but consider this a public service. Maybe you didn't get around to seeing the Vacation reboot (27%) or Terminator Genisys (25%) or Jem and the Holograms (19%) when they arrived in theaters this year, and you'd like to know what the critics thought before spending your hard earned money on the Blu-ray or a VOD rental. We certainly can't blame you. There were 688 movies that were released in theaters this year, according to Box Office Mojo, and countless others that eschewed a theatrical engagement for a VOD or straight to video release. How can one be expected to delve through this dearth of content? By presenting the worst-reviewed movies of the year, we only see it as helping you to thin the cinematic herd, so to speak. By the way, none of those aforementioned movies are on our list either.
The 17 movies listed below were widely promoted and released in thousands of theaters across the country, but they failed to make a dent with critics and moviegoers alike. They also range from low-brow comedies to action-packed tentpoles and, of course, reboots and sequels. In fact, seven of these 17 picks are reboots and/or sequels. Oddly enough, seven of the top 10 grossing movies this year were also sequels and reboots, which just goes to show how trying to maintain or extend a franchise is a gamble that can both pay off big, or send you to the proverbial poor house.
As far as our list is concerned, none of these movies, sequels, reboots or otherwise, made over $100 million during their domestic theatrical release at the box office. While there certainly may be numerous fans of the movies listed below, they may also be few and far between. Much like a traditional "top 10" list, we're presenting these worst-reviewed movies in descending order, with the "best" of this lot first, and the "worst" last. So, without further ado, we present the worst-reviewed movies of 2015.
17Pixels - 17% on Rotten Tomatoes
Pixels isn't exactly a sequel or a reboot, so to speak, but it isn't an "original" movie either. The concept was adapted from the 2010 short film of the same name by French filmmaker Patrick Jean, which showed New York City becoming completely engulfed in 8-bit video game pixels. While the basic concept of our world becoming pixelated is essentially the same, the stakes are raised considerably, with an alien race sending massive versions of iconic video game characters to earth, after they misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them. Adam Sandler stars as a former video game champion, who is called upon by his childhood friend, now the President of the United States (Kevin James) to stop this unconventional attack, along with two other old-school gamers (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad). The movie only earned $78 million domestically, from an $88 million budget, but it fared much better overseas, with a $243.9 million worldwide haul, so don't be surprised if a follow-up is announced sometime in the near future. It also won't be a surprise if the critics pan the sequel like they did the original.