Lowest of the low: Richard Roeper picks the worst movies of 2016
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
The worst movies of 2016:
10. “London Has Fallen”
The sequel to the moderate hit “Olympus Has Fallen” is just as bad: cliché-riddled terrorism actioner packaged as mass entertainment. Gerard Butler grimaces and growls his way through this kajillionth “Die Hard” knockoff, while elite actors such as Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Angela Bassett do their best not to burst out laughing mid-take.
9. “Independence Day: Resurgence”
Speaking of unnecessary sequels. Some 20 years after the breakout Will Smith hit from the summer of 1996, we get this loud, uneven, meandering, confounding storyline in which Smith’s Capt. Hiller is dead, Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore has lost his mind (I’m not kidding) and Judd Hirsch makes us cringe with a stereotype-embracing character that calls people “putz” and “schmuck.”
Good career move by Will Smith to be dead in this movie.
8. “Bad Santa 2”
What was I saying about unnecessary sequels of long-ago hits? Billy Bob Thornton seems to have so little invested his performance, I thought he was going to fall asleep on camera.
Not the character, mind you. I’m talking about Billy Bob himself.
Now this isn’t an unnecessary sequel — it’s a pointless reboot. Of course it was ludicrous and misogynist of tweeters to criticize the all-female casting before actually seeing the film, but it would be equally ridiculous, not to mention condescending and unethical, to give his dreadfully unfunny effort a pass just BECAUSE of the casting.
An unimaginative story, shameless mugging by the actors, surprisingly cheesy special effects and momentum-stopping cameos by original cast members: “Ghostbusters” had all of that and less.
6. “Now You See Me 2”
If you’re tired of hearing me lambaste crummy sequels, imagine how I felt sitting through this dreck. This elaborate “long con” of a movie is even more a cheat to the audience than the annoyingly self-congratulatory original.
5. “Collateral Beauty”
The ads position this as a modern-day “Christmas Carol” meets “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but in reality it’s a coldly calculating, deeply cynical, insanely plotted manipulation of tragedy as a cheap tearjerker. I’m still stunned anyone thought it would be a good idea to have Will Smith’s three best friends hire three actors to portray Love, Death and Time in an effort to prove this grieving father is truly insane so they can force him to sell off the company they co-own.
I have a particular dislike for thriller-chiller movies like this about supposedly brilliant scientists who make more stupid decisions than horny drunken teenagers in a 1980s splatter movie.
3. “Dirty Grandpa”
When this embarrassingly crass Robert De Niro/Zac Efron vehicle debuted early in 2016, I wrote, “If [this] isn’t the worst movie of 2016, I have some serious cinematic torture in my future.”
On with the countdown.
2. “Mother’s Day”
Director-writer-actor-producer Garry Marshall had a long and successful career, from his participation in one form or another in such vehicles as “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Odd Couple,” “Lost in America” and “Pretty Woman.” By all accounts, he was a lovely fellow.
Unfortunately, the Marshall-directed “Mother’s Day” was one of the worst ensemble comedies of the decade. The screenplay trafficked in ethnic stereotypes and bad sitcom setups; the product placement was among the most shameless in motion picture history, and the terrible screenplay, the clunky editing and even the lousy lighting sabotaged the wonderful cast.
1. “Why Him?”
More like: WHY ME?
Is there anything more tired than a comedy about a protective father who is horrified when his daughter falls in love with a charmless jerk?
Bryan Cranston is Dad. James Franco is the potential son-in-law. These two talented, risk-taking actors are a shockingly tone-deaf comedic duo.
In one scene, Cranston has to hide under a desk when his daughter and her boyfriend enter a room. When they start making love on top of the desk, does he interrupt? No. He just keeps hiding.
That’s not just unfunny, that’s creepy.
And it’s not even the worst scene in the movie.
Not. Even. Close.