Richard Roeper: The worst movies of 2020

The lowest of the dogs — the stinkiest of the turkeys! — had Robert Downey Jr. talking to the animals.

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Robert Downey Jr. led the talented cast of the disastrous “Dolittle.”

Universal Pictures

For lo these many years, whenever someone would say, “You get to see all those movies, that must be so great!,” I would reply indeed it is a great gift, but keep in mind I also HAVE to see all those movies — and unfortunately, that is sometimes more of a curse than a blessing. As your movie version of Zuul the Gatekeeper from “Ghostbusters,” Heimdall the all-seeing and all-hearing Gatekeeper and loyal ally to Thor and even the Bridge Keeper from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” it is my sworn duty to encourage you to enter and enjoy each and every wonderful new film — but I’m also here to throw myself in your path and warn you of the dangers ahead.

Here’s my list of the 10 worst movies of the year, with No. 1 being the worst of the worst.


Julie (Jessica Rothe), an ’80s teen from Sherman Oaks, dares to date a Hollywood punk kid (Josh Whitehouse) in “Valley Girl.”

Orion Classics

10. ‘Valley Girl’

Some folks thought it would be a great idea to update the rough-edged 1983 teen classic into a vanilla-flavored musical with excruciatingly bland lip-sync performances of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Animotion’s “Obsession” and yep, “Melt With You” by Modern English.

Those folks were wrong.

9. ‘Fantasy Island’

Some folks thought it would be a great idea to re-imagine the glossy and campy TV hit from the 1970s and 1980s into a horror film in which the island guests are manipulated into confronting the darkest episodes from their pasts.

Those folks were wrong.


Kristen Stewart stars as the actress and activist Jean Seberg in “Seberg.”

Amazon Studios

8. ‘Seberg’

Some folks thought it would be a great idea to do a biopic of the iconic actress-activist Jean Seberg that spends nearly as much time on the story of a fictional FBI agent investigating Seberg as on the life and times of the title character.

Those folks were wrong.


Dave Bautista is the latest action star to play the guardian of a precocious kid (Chloe Coleman) in “My Spy.”

Amazon Studios

7. ‘My Spy’

Of all the movies set in the Chicago area but obviously filmed elsewhere, this is one of the all-time worst, reaching its nadir at an airport supposedly in Naperville, where there’s a giant, rocky canyon right at the end of the runway. The latest in a decades-long and often dubious tradition of movies where the big burly tough action star is charged with protecting a precocious kid, “My Spy” is extremely loud and consistently unfunny.

Now there’s talk of a “My Spy 2,” which seems more like a threat than a promise.

6. ‘Coffee & Kareem’

Speaking of mismatched adult-kid action comedies … Ed Helms plays a bumbling Detroit cop named Coffee and Terrence Little Gardenhigh is the 12-year-old son of Coffee’s girlfriend (Taraji P. Henson), and the boy’s name is Kareem, and when circumstances turn the cop and the kid into wacky partners of a sort, they’re … “Coffee & Kareem,” get it? Sadly, that’s one of the BETTER jokes in this expletive-laden, nasty little disaster.

Adam Sandler stars in the vacuous “Hubie Halloween.”


5. ‘Hubie Halloween’

Adam Sandler joked if he didn’t get an Academy Award nomination for his work in “Uncut Gems” (which he deserved), he’d get his revenge with the worst movie of all time. Turns out when Sandler made that joke, he had already completed production on this execrable, tone-deaf, off-putting, condescending, brain-dead alleged comedy. We can debate about the best Halloween movie of all time, but any discussion about the worst Halloween movies has to start with this one.

4. ‘Buddy Games’

In the genre of films about Obnoxious Middle-Aged Bros Who Won’t Grow Up, this poorly made clunker about a bunch of self-absorbed, beer-swilling, testicle-obsessed, repugnant jerks is the worst I’ve ever seen.


Dexter Darden (from left), Skyler Gisondo and Eduardo Franco play teens drinking all day in “The Binge.”


3. ‘The Binge’

In the year 2032, all alcohol and narcotics have been banned, but for one day a year, the embargo is lifted and you can go nuts. That’s the dubious premise for this super-bad comedy about the misadventures of three irritating 18-year-olds on that one crazy day.

It just hit me: These kids could be the offspring of some of those middle-aged bros from “Buddy Games.” The Rotten Tomato doesn’t fall far from the vine!

2. ‘Love, Weddings & Other Disasters’

Some folks thought it would be a great idea for Academy Award winners Jeremy Irons and Diane Keaton to play a fussy wedding caterer and a blind photographer, respectively, who meet on a blind date. That’s right: She’s a blind photographer! And she’s on a blind date!

Those folks were wrong.

1. ‘Dolittle’

Fresh off his triumphant and legendary 12-year run as Tony Stark/Iron Man, the great Robert Downey Jr. was no match for this poorly conceived and horribly executed reboot featuring Downey as a depressed, reclusive, borderline insane Dr. Dolittle and a gaggle of obviously CGI creatures who talk like they’re in a really bad sitcom. For unfathomable reasons, Downey sounds as if he’s channeling Robin Williams’ accent from “Mrs. Doubtfire,” resulting in the worst performance of his career. “Dolittle” was directed and co-written by Stephen Gaghan, who won Oscar for his screenplay of “Traffic” and is the writer-director of “Syriana,” and the cast includes Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek and Octavia Spencer, which proves once again it often takes a group of seriously talented people to make a spectacularly awful misfire.

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