At some point between now and the time the Oscars air on February 26th, I will have my complete list of my 50 favorite films of 2016 posted. So many various best of lists are already out because they come from critics and publications that are able to see every film either prior to their release or immediately after, and I am just not able to. Being that this is merely a passionate hobby for me while working full time elsewhere, finding time to go see every major award contender released late in the year isn't plausible, at least by the time the calendar flips. That extra month or two though, that's when I will see things like La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea and Silence.
For now, as it stands, I have seen just under 150 films released in 2016 and I wouldn't be surprised if I get up to around 175 by the time I wrap it up. While it is possible that one of those remaining to be seen pictures ends up being a massive disappointment to the point of being among the worst movies of the year, it certainly isn't probable. If La La Land finds its way to the bottom ten...I can't even wrap my mind around that concept enough to finish the thought. So, I feel pretty safe in my ability to declare the following ten movies as the worst of 2016.
As always, it is important to remember that these rankings are solely based on my opinion and I truly never mean to insult anyone who may have enjoyed some of them. I hope you did. I never root for others to share my dismay towards something that doesn't work for me, so if you see one here that simply entertained you or even something you connected with on an emotional level, that's awesome. For me though, these movies range from painfully dumb to having to witness a legend stoop to an insufferable level I can't even comprehend.
10. Zoolander 2
Many would say, but the original Zoolander was stupid too so what would you expect? I genuinely enjoy the hell out of the first movie though. Sure it is stupid, but that word can sometimes be applied vaguely without giving proper credit to the execution of the stupidity. Zoolander was so dumb it succeeded at making me laugh over and over and over again thanks to absurd characters and set pieces and ideas. What makes the sequel such a failure is its inability to walk any new ground at all, instead trying to retrace the footsteps of the original by duplicating jokes. It's so lazy it doesn't even deserve to be remembered, and honestly I barely do remember it.
9. The Sea of Trees
Maybe Zoolander 2 did have a little bit of a I should have known better feeling to it, since when they announced a sequel I could already sort of smell the stench of failure. The Sea of Trees, however, is just an epic disappointment from acclaimed director Gus Van Sant with a talented cast featuring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts. The worst part is they could have done something special with the basic concept of a suicidal man finding another man in need of help in the forest of Mt. Fuji, kept it grounded to their circumstances and conveyed emotional depth through their storytelling only. The decision to flash back to show what brought one man to the brink of suicide and the laughable absurdity that we witness during those flashbacks, just awful, and the very end of the film is a disaster that made me laugh hard enough to shed a tear or two, but it's not meant to be funny.
8. The Choice
I have seen a few of the films adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels. The Choice has to be the worst. It's formulaic, boring, poorly acted nonsense from start to finish. I am not immune to the charm of a romance, even a melodramatic, predictable one. I have probably seen A Walk to Remember 5 times and would watch it again if given the chance. The Choice is terrible and I barely could sit through it once.
7. The Boy
BRAHMS! OH GOD, IT'S BRAHMS!
I can't. I have nothing else I could possibly say about this movie. Next.
I get it, I am not exactly the target audience of this one, but yeesh.
XOXO contains the most unintentionally hilarious sequence in a movie this year, when a young DJ has his big chance to perform in front of a massive crowd, and he is so nervous about whether he can do it, and his friend gives him a motivational speech so he finds the courage to walk out on that stage, and they do a close up of a bead of sweat on his brow, and then a close up of a deep breath, and then...he plugs in a USB drive and his music starts playing. It's so perfect.
5. The 5th Wave
Fan of The Hunger Games franchise, find the Divergent movies to be at best mediocre, but the young adult shit really hit the fan this year with The 5th Wave. It has been a long time since I saw this one very early in 2016, but I recall it failing for me on basically every level.
4. The Brothers Grimsby
I couldn't find a single laugh in The Brothers Grimsby no matter how hard I looked. Nothing. It was just a cold, gross, slog of a "comedy" that I couldn't wait to end, and honestly I think I did turn it off with a few minutes to spare. Perhaps the ending was so amazing it would have saved the movie from being ranked on this list. I doubt it.
3. The Do-Over
I was tempted to write about how silly Netflix was to pay Adam Sandler roughly 20 million dollars a movie for a four movie contract, but then I realized I watched the movie. So what the hell do I know, right?
The Do-Over is dreadful.
2. The Boss
So much bad comedy in 2016, and unfortunately there is even more to come after The Boss. So much time spent not laughing at material designed to elicit laughter. Putting this list together is forcing me to relive some of these movies, and it's quite painful.
1. Dirty Grandpa
Goodness, this movie. The absolute worst of the worst. Just an atrocious hellscape of comedic misfirings and pathetic attempts to equate crudeness with laughter. Don't get me wrong, crude material can work when it is good crude material. Watching Robert De Niro navigate these waters, this legend of acting who was in films like The Deer Hunter, The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and so on...it was a difficult pill to swallow. It isn't as if he is a victim here, he took the role and I assume he read some portion of the script before doing so. I just can't wrap my mind around it. Dirty Grandpa is, without a doubt, the worst film of 2016. It's almost not fair to associate the other 9 films with it because it is so much worse than them. The Boss is a Best Picture candidate compared to Dirty Grandpa.