This is the time of year where we celebrate the best films and best performances from the year that was. This post is not that. Instead today I’m taking time to give 2019’s biggest stinkers their moment to…..shine. While it ended up being a good year for movies it wasn’t without its blemishes. Here are the five worst films *I SAW* in 2018.
#5 – “Isn’t it Romantic”
Tell me if you’ve heard this before: a character bumps their noggin, wakes up to some wacky side effects, has a life-changing epiphany, and then all is right in the world. Well, “Isn’t it Romantic” is another one of those. It’s main comedy conceit is that Rebel Wilson is caught in a romcom. But in the process of satirizing the genre, it becomes the very thing it’s spoofing (and not a very good one).
#4 – “The Fanatic”
To say it has been a rocky time for John Travolta’s career may be the understatement of the century. This 2019 disaster is an uncomfortably ugly and seemingly pointless look at celebrity obsession. Along the way the film dabbles in some toothless black humor (I think), fails to generate an ounce of tension, and features a cringe-worthy portrayal of autism/mental health. Not sure how this movie got off the ground but it sure landed with a thud.
#3 – “Booksmart”
After hearing so much buzz I went into this film with high hopes. I left feeling I had sat through yet another galling, unoriginal raunchy teen comedy dependent on the same tired cliches and full of recycled stock characters, many of them dialed up to 10. There are a couple of emotionally strong moments, but they’re lost within a mire of teen movie tropes, rehashed raunch, and boring caricatures. I know, I know, “Booksmart” is loved by many. I saw it as a sloppy Superbad 2.0 wannabe, and a poor one at that.
#2 – “Polar”
This movie had all the pieces in place to be something really, really cool (no pun intended). But as its presence on this list indicates, “Polar” wasn’t cool. It wasn’t fun. In fact it was barely watchable. How can you get the terrific Mads Mikkelsen onboard playing a patch-wearing ex-assassin yet still botch this movie so badly. Far too much time was wasted on mindless, gratuitous, and trashy nonsense and in the end no amount of stylized action or slick camera work could make up for it.
#1 – “The Haunting of Sharon Tate”
Nothing sounded right about this movie from the very start. Taking the horrific real-life murder of Sharon Tate and four others by the Manson family and infusing it with fictional nonsense about premonitions and supernatural mumbo-jumbo seemed to be in bad taste. It turned out to be even worse – exploitative, soulless, and without an ounce a shame. And even if you could look past its offense, the shoddy performances, vapid dialogue, and complete lack of tension would be enough to earn it a spot on this list.