Last week I shared my Top 20 films of 2021 (you can check them out HERE). This week is a less joyous occasion. In keeping with tradition, today I’m sharing my picks for the five worst movies I had the displeasure of seeing in 2021. There were far more bad films to choose from than last year, but I was finally able to whittle them down to five? So here we go. Enjoy….I guess.
Before I get into 2021’s five worst, here are a few of the year’s bigger disappointments:
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” – It’s not that I was a huge fan of the first “Venom” movie, but the pieces were all here for something great. Unfortunately, it’s far from great. [REVIEW]
“House of Gucci” – I don’t dislike this movie. In fact I like a lot about it. But with with a cast like this and subject matter so juicy, you would expect better results. [REVIEW]
“Eternals” – Marvel Studios has had a pretty stellar track record. But this turned out to be a dull and uninteresting slog. Easily among the weakest from the MCU catalog. [REVIEW]
And now I present to you the biggest stinkers of 2021
#5 – “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions”
In addition to having one of the worst titles of 2021, “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” is one of the most pointless sequels of the year (or any year). Sure, it throws in more wacky puzzles for its group of boring and uninteresting participants to solve. But that’s literally all we get. The story is shockingly shallow and none of the questions from the first film are answered. A ludicrous plot “twist” is thrown in, but even it can’t bring a spark to this utterly lifeless exercise. [REVIEW]
#4 – “Cinderella”
I don’t remember anyone clamoring for a new “Cinderella”, but we got one anyway. There’s no nuance, subtlety or cleverness to be found anywhere in this laughably heavy-handed reinvention that seems to have a poorly veiled distaste for the fairytale that inspired it. A flat story, bland characters, weird cover songs, a sparkless romance – it’s all there. But the biggest casualty is Camila Cabello who has noticeable charm and even a little swagger. Sadly she’s smothered by some truly horrible material. [REVIEW]
#3 – “Fear Street Part 3: 1666”
Talk about a trilogy with loads of squandered potential. The “Fear Street” films started on shaky ground, got a tad better with the second film, but then crashed and burned with this truly awful finale. This mess of a movie is plagued by baffling creative choices, haphazard storytelling, and scattershot pacing. And while this superficial backstory tries to add some depth the the ongoing drama, it ends up being the death knell to a trilogy that should have and could have been better. [REVIEW]
#2 – “Space Jam: A New Legacy”
Look, I know I wasn’t the target audience for a new “Space Jam” movie. But that didn’t keep me from recognizing how terrible “Space Jam: A New Legacy” turned out to be. In this embarrassing cash grab, story, characters, good humor, and heart take a back seat to corporate self-promotion. And no one expected star LeBron James to be an Oscar contender. We would have settled for him being forgettably average. Instead, we get a performance that should have the Worst Actor Razzie locked up. [REVIEW]
#1 – “Karen”
I saw a lot of bad movies in 2021, but none were as mind-numbingly awful as “Karen”. I’m still confused about what this movie wants to be – a horror thrilller, a dark comedy, a stinging social satire? Whatever it’s going for, this bewildering mess wildly misses every mark it aims for. Hampered by ridiculously on-the-nose dialogue and unintentionally hilarious performances, “Karen” is astonishingly bad from start to finish. It literally left me speechless (and not in a good way). [REVIEW]
And those are my picks. I’d love to hear your picks for the worst movies of 2021. Let me hear from you in the comments section below.
Keith, I hated the first Venom movie and had no interest in seeing the next installment. So sorry to hear House of Gucci wasn’t great it was one I was considering seeing up on the big screen. None of your top 5 (I hadn’t even heard of Karen) were any that looked remotely interesting. I think I’ve blocked out the most horrible ones I watched this year. It makes for a good post so maybe I’ll keep track of them for 2022.
House of Gucci wasn’t terrible and I would even say it’s worth seeing for the cast and the spectacle. But it should have been better which is why it slips to the “Disappointment” category.
That second “Venom” movie…stay FAR away!
I can’t help but be a little disappointed by Tom Hardy’s money grab 😦 I haven’t seen him in anything really good for awhile. Cmon, Tom!
What’s so frustrating is that this could have been really good. Carnage is an incredible villain – viscous to the core. But the movie wastes every bit of potential.
Happy to say I haven’t seen any of your bottom 5, or the honorable mentions. For me, Jungle Cruise was a stinker. Too much CGI, the action scenes were loud, bombastic, hyperactive, and the whole supernatural element – What the hell? Very disappointing.
I was on board with Jungle Cruise for a while but it ended up wearing me down. It isn’t one I’m anxious to revisit (which definitely says something).
I haven’t seen the new Space Jam, but I do have a soft spot for the old one. Wasn’t there a pretty recent Cinderella with Lily James?
Yes! There was indeed a Lily James Cinderella. Yet another reason why we didn’t need this one. LOL
The ideas presented in Eternals were far more entertaining than the movie itself. I didn’t think it was a bad movie, but I don’t think it was executed properly. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was pretty entertaining, but that breakfast scene was total cringe. This was a movie that needed to be as visceral as possible, so it got neutered by the PG-13 rating. It pushed the rating to its limits, don’t get me wrong, but Carnage is a character that demands an R-rating. Karen is easily the worst movie of the decade. It really is. It would’ve worked better as a comedy than as a straight-up thriller. In some ways, it WAS a comedy, albeit unintentionally. I regret spending the 5 bucks on that movie out of curiosity.
I like the way you put that about “Eternals”. I think it had it’s moments. But it really bored me overall. “Karen”…wow…what else can you say. I say dumbfounded that a movie that terrible ever got funding.
Haven’t seen a one! Thank you for letting me know I dodged five bullets. (I can hardly keep up with the “good” films. )
You should be commended for having much better judgement than me! LOLOLOL
I think whenever James Corden is involved, you know it’s going to suck. He’s just overexposed and just fucking annoying.
Cinderella is a film I hope to never watch as well as 2 other musicals that critics hated in Music that won a few Razzies early last year and Dear Evan Hansen as I hope Ben Platt will be singing in little theaters outside of the city to a town of disinterested drunks in his future.
Dear Evan Hansen was definitely on my short list. That thing was abysmal!
Haven’t seen any of these either, but won’t be able to resist seeing venom 2 and the Eternals, even if it’s just to get marvel out of my System!
Well I’m happy to say you haven’t missed a thing. Don’t waste your time on any of them! I actually had a lot more movies in the running this year than last. Not sure if it’s because I saw more movies or if it’s because there were more stinkers than normal.
VENOM 2: LET THERE BE CARNAGE – 1/10
CINDERELLA; ESCAPE ROOM 2: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS; SPACE JAM 2: A NEW LEGACY – 4/10
FEAR STREET PART 3: 1666 – 5/10
ETERNALS – 7/10
Ohhhh Venom. Why couldn’t you at least come to your potential???
We deserve better for the Looney Tunes franchise
I 100% agree. It felt like the Tunes characters were just tossed into the background.
Daffy Duck deserves another movie 🖤
I did a pretty good job of avoiding bad movies this year. The only one of yours I’ve seen is Fear Street 1666. The few other lists I’ve seen I’ve managed to avoid most of those too.
As the old knight guarding the Holy Grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” said – “You chose wisely.”
Oh wait, I also saw Space Jam 2 LOL. Obviously I forgot about it.
Oops. Oh well, that’s still a good ratio! LOL