The worst films of 2019

From two unnecessary live-action Disney remakes to cynical reboots and sequels, here are the year's most egregious cinematic duds


It’s awards season time, and there are many fine films you should definitely check out – like ParasiteMarriage Story, The Irishman and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. If you run across any of the following titles in your Netflix queue or second run movie house, however, give them a miss. Here, in alphabetical order, are the year’s worst movies.

Anna

In which Luc Besson tries to jump-start his floundering career by remaking La Femme Nikita, and only reminds us that the Besson who made La Femme Nikita was a way better filmmaker. NW

The Beach Bum

Courtesy of VVS

You kinda had to be high to enjoy film flops like The Beach Bum. 

The Beach Bum

Harmony Korine trolls his audience with a callous and nihilistic stoner film about a privileged, self-indulgent asshole who continually fails upward. It’s basically an allegory for Donald Trump – and perhaps the director himself. KR

Dark Phoenix

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Sophie Turner stars as Jean Grey in DARK PHOENIX.

Dark Phoenix

After two decades, the X-Men franchise goes out with a wheeze in this lazy, indifferently acted rehash of a plot line screenwriter-turned-director Simon Kinberg had previously botched in 2006’s The Last Stand. At least now no one will complain when Disney reboots the characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. NW

The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan

Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut about homophobia in Hollywood is full of ponderous speechifying, reactionary politics and cynical caricatures. Good thing he followed it up with one of his best films, Matthias & Maxime. KR

The Lion King, 2019

What’s the opposite of “Hakuna matata”? That’s how we felt watching the live action Lion King remake.

Disney remakes: Aladdin and The Lion King

Some people thought Dumbo was okay, but Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin and Jon Favreau’s computer-generated take on The Lion King added literally nothing to the beloved animated classics… except a combined $2.6 billion dollars in global revenue. People have to stop going to these movies, dammit. NW

The Dirt

We weren’t expecting an inoffensive biopic of 80s hard rockers Mötley Crüe, but Jeff Tremaine’s homage to dollar-store wigs is poorly cast, glosses over the music and treats its wealth of disturbing subject matter like a shallow joke. KR

The Goldfinch, TIFF 2019

Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort failed to take flight in The Goldfinch.

The Goldfinch

Yet another example of a good book that was lost in the translation to the big screen. Donna Tartt’s gorgeous, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about grief, guilt and the redemptive power of art becomes an arid, lifeless, narratively confusing mess. GS

Serenity

I can’t imagine why talented actors like Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway jumped on board this neo-noir thriller about a fishing-boat captain and a femme fatale. They’re on rough waters in a movie with a ridiculous twist that tries to out-Shyamalan Shyamalan. RS

Playing With Fire

This movie forced me to embrace how stupid my own kids can be. They laughed their asses off through the brain-dead lowbrow comedy where John Cena plays a firefighter struggling to babysit kids. RS

rambo last blood

VVS Films

Sylvester Stallone pauses to calculate maximum damage in Rambo: Last Blood.

Rambo: Last Blood

How is it that Sylvester Stallone knows exactly how to reinterpret Rocky Balboa for the 21st century, but can’t think of anything to do with his other beloved franchise character? This one, which drops John Rambo into what’s basically a late-period Death Wish sequel, damn well better be the last. NW

6 Underground

Ryan Reynolds and his Deadpool writers wanted to make a fun, globe-trotting espionage picture with car chases and shootouts and stuff. Somehow Michael Bay got involved. Now it’s just noise on Netflix. NW

Velvet-Buzzsaw-Netflix.jpg

Claudette Barius / Netflix

Zawe Ashton (left) and Jake Gyllenhaal discover some bad outsider art in Velvet Buzzsaw.

Velvet Buzzsaw

As both a horror film and an art-world satire, Dan Gilroy’s Netflix movie totally misses the mark. It gives us cheap scares, stereotypical characters and, worst of all, bad art. KR

Worst Reboots: Charlie’s Angels and MIB: International 

The men in Men In Black were thrown out to make way for Tessa Thompson (and Emma Thompson as her boss). The new Charlie’s Angels needled the patriarchy while parading female camaraderie that never felt earned. There was all this energy channelled into rebooting franchises with performative feminism, but not a single brain cell spent on making these movies any good.

RS

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