Top Ten Worst Movies of 2020
Hello, everyone! With the year of 2020 officially over, it’s time to exam the “best” and “worst” movies that of that year. Indeed, this particular year wasn’t exactly “the best”, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting virtually everyone around the world. This also extended to the 2020 movie releases, which saw a great majority of studios shuffling and / or delaying their features through this crisis. Because of this, I was only able to see (and review) 61 films in 2020. In truth, 2020 saw a number of pretty “bad” films. Whether by a flat story, bad acting, weak writing, or poor execution, these movies were just plan horrible with little to no interest in purchasing a ticket to see it theaters or to buy / rent it for its home release a few months later.
Naturally, I have a “Best” movies of 2020, but let’s get the bad ones out of the way first. Here’s my personal top ten worst movies of 2020. But before I begin, here are some other “horrible” (I mean dishonorable) runner-ups that almost made it on my top ten worst move list of 2020.
(Click on the picture for full review)
“It’s not a manor!”
“An interesting premise that fizzles out”
“Not quite “magical” enough”
And now my top ten!!!
10: Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back –
Rating: 2.4 Out of 5
Back in 1997 (and crossing shores to the US in 1998), Pokemon delivered its first theatrical feature film; chronicling the events of main characters of Ash, Pikachu, Misty, Brock, and the Pokemon friends as they come into contact with Mewtwo, the genetically engineered psychic Pokemon who desires domination and to prove he is superior to his original counterpart, Mew. Flash forward more than two decades a the first Pokemon movie gets a CGI facelift with the release of Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution. While some of the cinematics are slick and the core story remains the same, a great majority of the feature is rather lackluster and repetitive (due to the film being a “beat for beat ”carbon copy reprint of it the original feature) as well as some mediocre voice talents and the ever bizarre decision to use dated CGI animation. There’s a sense of nostalgia I get with it, but it was more of a letdown stroll through my Pokémon memory than a pleasant reunion. In the end, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is just a disappointing Pokémon remake that never truly stands out its own merits to warrant a revisit. Just watch the original movie instead.
Rating: 2.4 Out of 5
Review: Abigail Review
The spectacle and fascination of steampunk has caught the attention of many viewers / readers across; providing a new landscape medium of backdrop settings, depictions of society, and of alternatives takes of imagination. Abigail, a movie that is directed by Aleksandr Boguslavsky, seems to embrace those ideologies with a film that’s steeped in fantasy steampunk and the ever popular dystopian adventure yarn. While the story CG visuals are quite impressive as well as the production value for this cinematic tale, the movie falters within its own premise; relying heavily on predictable tropes and references of similar narrations as well as several pacing issues and some questionable decisions of dialogue voice acting for English dubbing. The movie just never stands on its own and just feels disjointed from the get-go. In truth, while the steampunk subgenre will continue to grow and gain more followers in various media platforms, Abigail will most likely fade into the background and become a middling fantasy steampunk that runs out of steam.
8: Like a Boss
Rating: 2.3 Out of 5
Review: Like a Boss Review
Comedy movies are a dime a dozen in the film landscape of yearly releases; aiming to generate memorable laughs within a variety of well-placed jokes and gags and creating humorous characters. 2020’s Like a Boss….isn’t one of them. Despite a few comedic bits (that do work sometimes) and endearing premise of friendship, the movie doesn’t break away and rise above the middling comedy routine; disappointingly muddling its opportunity with a generic narrative, uninspiring storytelling (missing plot chunks), flat caricatures of its characters, and a highly talented cast that feels wasted on the film. There are better films that tackle issues of friendship and humor in the comedy genre out there and its best to go and watch those films instead of this one. All in all, Like a Boss does produce a few laughs and a good moral lesson of friendship, but is just lackluster to the touch and ultimately forgettable. Plain and simple!
Rating: 2.3 Out of 5
Review: Dolittle Review
Created by Hugh Loftin, the tales of Doctor Dolittle have certainly been wonderous and promotes good heartedly family adventures by taking an individual who can speak / communicate with varying types of animals on journeys that have captured the imagination. Additionally, the cinematic representation of this iconic is no stranger to the silver screen, with various adaptations being made for each generation. 2020’s Dolittle seeks to seize the moment for a new iteration, but ultimately fails dismally. Despite the whole fun “spirt of adventure” premise and a star-studded cast, the movie is rendered formulaically generic due to a lazy script, an uninspiring / rushed direction, overstuffed with too many characters, and iffy (if not mediocre) visual effects. Overall, Dolittle winds up being a dissatisfying (and otherwise forgettable) children’s movie; coming up short of the pure imaginative spirt and fantasy adventure that it so desperately wants to be. Even Robert Downey Jr. can’t save this movie!
6: Fantasy Island
Rating: 2.1 Out of 5
Review: Fantasy Island Review
The island knows your secrets and deepest fantasies, but one must see their own fantasies reach their natural conclusion….no matter what the cost. 2020’s Fantasy Island seems to recreate the premise of the iconic TV series by adding splashes of horror thrills in this latest project from Blumhouse umbrella. Unfortunately, the film backfires rather than plows forward. While the movie has an interesting concept idea and a few visual appeals to its presentation, majority of the film is badly underwhelming and tonally misshaped, especially considering Wadlow’s direction, a weak script, not scary horror elements, a bad third act twist, a clunky narrative progression, and some uninteresting / unlikeable characters. Fantasy Island is just a hollow attempt that ultimately doesn’t work and just feels the whole “be careful what you wish for” premise in a poorly executed presentation. This is one “fantasy” that you should stay away from!
5: The Grudge
Rating: 2.0 Out of 5
Review: The Grudge Review
A supernatural threat comes into contact with several individuals; affecting (and haunting) their lives to the point of madness and death. That premise has worked multiple times over in the horror genre arena and does so again in 2020 with The Grudge, a side-sequel to the 2004 film of the same name. Despite of being a “point of entry” for newcomers and reviving a “scary” tale, the underwhelming fanfare of the film is quite apparent and delivers a boring feature, especially a thinly-written story (that’s both confuses and frustrates), tedious subplots, terrible pacing, bland characters, mediocre performance, and just a lackluster presentation in both direction and scares. In truth, 2020’s The Grudge is just a painfully mundane and terribly pointless horror remake / sequel endeavor that does little to invigorate interest in this horror series. Basically, let the past die as The Grudge (in all its storytelling formats) has certainly run its cinematic course and most definitely run out of supernatural gas.
4: Monster Hunter
Rating: 1.8 Out of 5
Review: Monster Hunter Review
Adapting video game properties into film adaptations have always been a rocky road, with only a handful of releases being somewhat good and meeting general approval from both viewers and box office results. Director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunter is the latest project of this particular endeavor; taking popular video game series from Capcom and translates it to the big screen for a blockbuster-esque fantasy action feature that has several nods and winks to the source material. Unfortunately, the movie itself can sustain itself with its numerous problems, including a barebone and thinly written story / script, questionable narrative choices, lackluster world building, nonsensical moments, cliché dialogue, flat character development, iffy CGI, and bland conclusion. he movie’s ending leaves the possibility open for a Monster Hunter sequel, but, given the negative to mixed reception, I hardly doubt that second entry will be greenlit. In the end, Monster Hunter just another failed video game film adaptation that showcases an empty and mindless endeavor that can’t muster the cinematic challenge in its own noisy and thinly-sketched presentation.
3: Artemis Fowl
Rating: 1.7 Out of 5
Review: Artemis Fowl Review
Ever since the success of the Harry Potter movie franchise, studios have been buying up the rights to various YA / YR novels to series in the attempts to replicate the lucrative box office run that Rowling’s film adaptations were capable of achieving. However, most have been failed attempts and Artemis Fowl is the latest one of dismal failures. While the intent is there and some action scenes / nuances are good, a great majority of the film feels underwhelming and haphazard, with contributing factors being of the variety of aimless direction, a bland screenplay, confusing elements, uneven pacing, thinly written characters, and odd decision-making. To me, this film winds up being worse than Disney’s 2018 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time (i.e., another good idea for a movie that’s poorly shaped and executed). While the end of the movie certainly does leave the story open for future sequels, that particular possibility of that happening seems unlikely. In short, Disney’s Artemis Fowl ends up being just another failed YA fantasy adaptation as the cinematic tale of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short, and the hunt for Opal Koboi are just as wooden and uninteresting as the character themselves.
2: The Turning
Rating: 1.6 Out of 5
Review: The Turning Review
Horror movies usually tend to be a bit of mixed bag; drumming ghoulish thrills and scares, but weighing down with a lackluster feature presentation that can be riddled with narrative plot holes, weak characters, and lame “jump scare” setups. One such project that follows this formula is the film The Turning, based on Henry James’s novella. Despite having an atmospheric setting and some other horror aspects, the movie hopelessly flounders its chance to drum up scares and entertainment, especially due to director Floria Sisgismondi’s lackluster direction, a formulaic plot, fragmented narrative holes, not much scary moments, mediocre performances, uninteresting / stock-like characters, and an unsatisfying ending twist. For better or worse (much so worse), The Turning had potential to be something worth exploring (both narratively and cinematically), but ends up just muddling its presentation; crushing its spooky haunted house premise with unsatisfying feature with a lame ending.
Rating: 1.3 Out of 5
Review: Downhill Review
So what could beat out another bad video game film movie, a disappointing YA film adaptation, a beat-for-beat CGI remake of the first Pokémon movie, and a dismal horror film that leaves little to be desired? One word…. Downhill. There were a lot of bad movies in 2020, but this particular film takes the cake as it truly does struggle to find out what it wants to be and how it wants to be represented in a cinematic light.
A vacation trip mishap shakes up the relationship between a husband and wife; forced to reexamine how to procced in the film Downhill. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash latest film translates the concept idea from the 2014 film Force Majeure and modernizes it for an American audience; offering a new “cinematic” face-lift to the narrative. Unfortunately, that translation doesn’t go according to plan, with film being riddled with numerous and glaring problems, especially in its awkward direction, uneven tone, flat script, confusing moments, mediocre performances, uninteresting characters, and an unsatisfying ending. Personally, I didn’t care for this movie. In fact, I hated this movie. True, the story definitely had an interesting hook and could’ve actually led somewhere by delving into some true theatrical drama between a married couple (something like Revolutionary Road or Marriage Story). However, the squanders its chance and just creates a confusing and totally boring movie from start to finish; glossing over much of it with perplexing characters moments and tonal genre bits that clash with each other. Overall, Downhill is just simply a faulty project that never gets off the ground; struggling to find the comedy and drama within its shallow narrative as well as lacking a wholesome substance within its boring presentation, and an entertainment value within its perplexing existence. In short, the film just falls disastrously flat…. repeatedly! And that is why Downhill is (in my opinion) the worst movie of 2020.
There you have it…my top ten worst movies of 2020. Of course, I did skip some movies in theaters, so there some bad movies of 2020 that I didn’t see. So, what do you guys think? What was your top ten worst movies of 2020? Check back soon and I’ll be posting my personal top ten best movies of 2020…