Dee’s selection of the Worst Movies of 2016 Dee’s selection of the Worst Movies of 2016
Where is your god now? Dee’s selection of the Worst Movies of 2016

Was 2016 a bad year for movies? The consensus seems to point to “Yes”. Is it true though? Honestly, I cannot really say objectively.

First, I did see a lot of great movies I haven’t seen before this year, but those were all older movies from the 70s and 80s that finally got re-released in my region. Second, for varying reasons I again missed many of the movies that appear to be on the decent side (Arrival, etc.).
That said, roughly 90% of all movies I actually did catch last year were mediocre to shitty, so my subjective impression of 2016 is a rather negative one. And as it is unhealthy to bottle up negative emotions, I present you my list of the most mediocre, bad and simply unbearable works that flickered over the screen in 2016.

In no particular order:

Independence Day: Resurgence

Badness level: In the lower regions of “Mediocre”
Grade of disappointment: 0 (of 10)

ID:R tried to repeat the trick that Jurassic World miraculously pulled off last year, namely a blown up requel based on a 90s blockbuster hit charged with a certain nostalgia factor. Sadly, the fandom love apparently wasn’t as passionate in the case of Emmerich’s smash hit as it was for Spielberg’s groundbreaking FX- spectacle, that’s why the resuscitation ended in a BO-DOA, to coin a fancy nu acronym. I am no exception from the rule there, because after the novelty effect of the 1996 original had (quickly) worn off, I always felt oddly embarrassed upon each revisiting. But this also meant that I could approach Resurgence without any significant expectations, which admittedly did enhance the experience considerably.

In the end, the sequel is, while still a rather bad movie, actually slightly more entertaining than its sloppy predecessor. Emmerich deserves some props for the consequent alternate-world building, although his approach to destruction porn seems antiquated nowadays. Occasional stretches of tediousness are counterbalanced by some absurd writing, bizarre character developments and unintentional hilarity.

X-Men: Apocalypse

Badness level:Oscillating between insultingly mediocre and unbearably bad
Grade of disappointment: 7 (of 10)

I already reviewed this one in depth here. The more I think about this movie though, the even worse it gets in my mind.

What I hated the most about this movie was how director Bryan Singer has the gall to think that nobody would notice how he dragged himself through this project, an uninspired, ungrateful attitude that can be barely done justice with the word “routine”. And how insultingly lazy the script is, filled with character assassinations (particularly Magneto), tearing down what the two highly entertaining predecessors built up. It’s a complete throwback to the tedious, repetitive comic book movies of the dark pre-Batman Begins era, throwaway villain included and with cringe-worthy moments throughout. This movie truly feels like a chore to get through.

Congrats Singer, you are now a worse hack than Brett Ratner, your “subtle” jab at The Last Stand won’t convince us otherwise.

For your consideration:

…this gentleman might be onto something!

The Legend of Tarzan

Badness level: Thoroughly mediocre
Grade of disappointment: 1 (of 10)

Like ID:R, this one did not really disappoint me that much, due to a lack of any substantial level of anticipation. Nonetheless, the bitter taste of a missed opportunity remains.

Skarsgård is a pale, far too restrained Tarzan, only his physique manages to impress. Waltz as the bad guy delivers his usual shtick, does seem to have more fun than as Blofeld though, admittedly. Again, as with most adaptations, the more fantastical elements of the source material are missing, in favour of a well-intended, but undercooked subplot about slavery. Probably for the best, as the CGI on display is decidedly sub-par and could have never done justice to Burrough’s more extravagant ideas. Same goes for David Yates’ bland direction, the man who makes Chris Columbus look like an auteur.

Tarzan is an okay time waster if you are stuck sick in bed or on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but nothing more and depending on your mileage, rather less.

For your consideration:

Now You See Me 2

Badness level: Almost unwatchable
Grade of disappointment: 0 (of 10)

I had never seen the first part before I came to watch Now You See Me 2 and that probably won’t happen anytime soon now.

This movie is truly, truly unbelievably bad. I was conflicted if I should feel embarrassed for the pretty solid cast, compiled of actors I usually like, for having to deliver all those hysterical, pathetic performances (the worst: Woody Harrelson in a dual role, also playing his character’s evil twin) or if I wanted to punch each of them in the faces for whoring out so shamelessly. Seriously, did 14 year olds write the script? This movie is (undeservedly) far too excited about itself.

Again, Hollywood fails at tackling “stage magic” – it’s not just lazy, it also kind of defeats the purpose if you depict practical tricks with CGI, doesn’t it? There is a prolonged “set piece” that was obviously designed to be the turd cherry on this shit Sundae that has the leads stealing a chip card in a laboratory and subsequently passing it along secretly while they are searched by the security guards. This profoundly silly scene goes on for about roughly 10 minutes, outstanding its welcome after the first one and it’s symptomatic for the detached, shrill tone of the whole endeavour.

Apparently, the evil twin of Woody Harrelson is Albert Brooks…?

An obnoxious and deeply unlikeable movie, but not as unlikeable as…


Badness level: Unbearable, unwatchable
Grade of disappointment: 2 (of 10)

I think enough time has passed to discuss this movie without

In some ways, this is the 2016 counterpart to the 2015 schlockbuster The Force Awakens: It’s a sloppy, badly thought out and badly realized requel to a beloved classic with a self-congratulatory, pseudo-progressive slant, crudely aping but not understanding the original, even subconsciously exhibiting a spiteful, passive-aggressive disdain for it. Unfortunately for the producers, the fans would not leap it up as willingly in the case of Star Wars, mostly because the geriatric original stars would only appear as cameos (in different roles!) and there was never as much disdain for the follow-ups (Ghostbusters 2 is largely forgotten and the animated series still beloved).

As I stated a few times before, Paul Feig is the poor man’s Adam McKay, with the same penchant for improv comedy, but with no sense for comic timing and 100% more bitterness (a prerequisite to be allowed to shoot smug comedies for Apatow). Needless to say, his (shitty and derivative) style is in no way suited for the GB franchise and the resulting dissonance is hard to stomach. I felt pretty bad for the solid actresses to have to step through this horribly paced, borderline incoherent excuse of a movie. What else? Bad FX, bad action and a bad cinematography, yeah this movie looks, sounds and would probably smell like excrement, if it could.

Unspeakably. Bad.

And now for something completely different…

London Has Fallen

Badness level: Un-watchable, brings out the worst in me
Grade of disappointment: 0 (of 10)

Outdated, xenophobic, misanthropic, humourless, badly made, boring and starring charisma-non entity Gerard Butler…why did I watch this again?

Other movies that sucked/disappointed to varying degrees:

Zoolander 2, The Shallows, Green Room, Don’t Breathe, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Darkness

Mild disappointments aka Movies that did not live up to expectations:

Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad

“Can’t touch this” aka Movies I will never watch (or only if they are on TV and nothing else is on):

Gods of Egypt, Assassin’s Creed, 13 Hours, Bad Santa 2, Alice Through the Looking Glass


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Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.