2018 has brought a lot of great movies with it, and not just the awards fare that crowds out the end of the year. There were films like Annihilation and Black Panther that made the early part of the year worthwhile. There were also Netflix hits like To All the Boys I've Loved Before. With all that good, there comes some bad. Not every film released in 2018 was a wonder to behold.
Some of these movies were anticipated before their release. Others came and went without much fuss. The only thing that unites the films on this list is that they aren't a ton of fun to watch. In fact, most of them are bummers, and not because they're about something sad. From dirty muppets to horror that makes you cringe for all the wrong reasons, here are 18 of the worst movies of 2018.
Melissa McCarthy starred in one incredibly acclaimed movie this year, but it was not called The Happytime Murders. In this, the Gilmore Girls actress plays one-half of a detective duo charged with solving the murder of two famous puppets. Her partner also happens to be a puppet.
The Happytime Murders was meant to be a spoof of the Muppets. It was supposed to be a darker, grittier take on what puppets can do. It was also supposed to be funny. Unfortunately, it turned out to be none of those things and fell flat as a result. Melissa is a good actress, but this is not a good film.
Winchester is actually based on a pretty interesting true story. It's about a famous home in Northern California, and the firearm heiress who lives there. The heiress has built an impenetrable mansion. To the outside world, the towering home looks completely nonsensical. What she's really doing, though, is trapping ghosts.
All of this sounds intriguing, but it falls completely flat when it's translated to the screen. What could have been an interesting and fresh story becomes totally rote. The best horror is often about how a home can reflect the madness inside of it. In Winchester, that concept is never realized.
The slender man was an internet phenomenon that probably just didn't need to be a movie. It's true that the idea of summoning a demonic presence online could be interesting. Unfortunately, Slender Man completely squanders that potential. Its scares are entirely predictable, and its plot is that of a conventional horror movie.
Like any genre, horror can be great and original or completely uninteresting. Slender Man is proof that the second is true. It's a movie without purpose, filled with scares that aren't particularly scary. If a movie like this can't even make you scream, then why does it exist?
The idea of telling a story about a white guy who joins the Yakuza, a Japanese criminal organization, was bad on its face. In execution, it wasn't much better. The Outsider stars Jared Leto as a former Japanese prisoner of war trying to join the organization.
The film is problematic because of the way it channels Japanese culture through a white guy. It's also not very interested in what its story could mean. Instead, it feels both exploitative and uninteresting. Netflix has made plenty of great stuff this year, but The Outsider was pretty much a total failure for them.
Bruce Willis has made lots of really great movies, but he's also made plenty of terrible ones. Death Wish, a remake of a 1974 film of the same name, falls into the second category. Here, Bruce plays an avenger who kills criminals after his wife and daughter are brutally assaulted.
This is not the movie that 2018 needed. It's a needlessly violent film that does little examine the socioeconomic conditions that lead to a life of crime. In the 2018 version of Death Wish, criminals are one-dimensional bad people. In the 2018 that we actually live in, we know it's much more complicated than that.
Global Road Entertainment
There is exactly one good fictional talking dog, and his name is Scooby Doo. The people behind Show Dogs apparently disagreed. Following a human FBI agent and his dog partner, Show Dogs sees the two investigate the kidnapping of a panda. Kids' movies do not have to be this silly or this pointless.
Disney has proven that we can do better. Show Dogs is unfunny and hard to watch - whether you're an adult or even a kid - and the talking dog doesn't even solve crimes as well as Scooby. Next time someone suggests making one of these films, someone should remember that there are plenty of other ways to entertain kids.
The Fifty Shades films have never been received that warmly, at least by critics. That hasn't really hindered their ability to perform at the box office, though. For its final installment, Fifty Shades Freed, the franchise maintained its subpar reputation.
This 2018 finale follows the Greys as they begin their happy life together. Before they can live happily ever after, though, shadowy figures from their past start to emerge. It's a fairly routine thriller that comes with some extra sex attached, but it's not very interesting. For a movie about deviance, this entire trilogy was not as riveting as it could have been.
Kings came and went without so much as a blip, and that's probably for the best. The film is about the events that took place after the Rodney King riots, following a black woman and a white man as they attempt to navigate the city together.
That premise may sound intriguing, but the movie mishandles it completely. Instead of insights into the racial tensions in Los Angeles at the time, it's a confusing mess. Kings may have had its heart in the right place. Honestly, it's hard to tell. The film is so confusing that it ultimately doesn't matter much.
Everyone was clamoring for a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet, and with Sherlock Gnomes, we finally got one. Of course, no one really wanted it, especially not with a central role for Johnny Depp. The film, which follows a gnomed version of Sherlock as he attempts to discover why gnomes are disappearing, is... bad. That's kind of all you need to know.
There are plenty of animated films that feel totally unnecessary, but Sherlock Gnomes never really justifies itself. It's content to simply glide along and fill itself with asinine jokes. Kids' movies often play to the lowest common denominator, but our children deserve better than what this movie offers.
Gotti is perhaps the most ridiculed film of 2018, and it wears that reputation with pride. It was famous for advertising over the summer on the basis of its bad reputation. The film, which stars John Travolta as the crime lord John Gotti, is both inept and tonally confused.
Of course, it doesn't help that Gotti is part of a line of gangster movies that work much better than it does. When people can compare your film to The Godfather, you're not likely to come out ahead. Still, there was no reason for Gotti to be this baffling and inadvertently hilarious.
Jim Carrey has turned in a number of serious, compelling performances in interesting films. Those films always knew how to take advantage of his natural energy. Unfortunately, Dark Crimes never figured out how to do that. The comedian stars in the film as a detective who becomes suspicious of an author who is detailing crimes in his novels.
The film is morose and heavy, and Carrey's performance in it is dull. He doesn't infuse his character with any humanity. The film, despite being well shot, is totally devoid of any meaning or significance. There's nothing interesting going on, and no reason to look closer.
There aren't really any reasons to subject yourself to The Clapper. Starring Ed Helms as a paid audience member in infomercials, the film follows his rise as a viral sensation. The film's plot developments are ludicrous, and its ideas about virality are not particularly original.
What's more, its central romance is a bit of a bore, and its jokes often fall flat. There's nothing better than a good comedy, but there are plenty of movies that want to be funnier than they are. The Clapper falls into the second category and doesn't really come together as a result. It's just not worth your time.
This Is Us is one of the most popular shows on television. It made sense for the show's creator, Dan Fogelman, to try directing a feature film. If he did it right, he could take the magic of his hit show to the big screen. Unfortunately, Life Itself isn't a great transition to the big screen.
Life Itself is driven by twists and turns and focuses on rote platitudes that don't mean anything. It's a film filled with sentiment that nonetheless leaves its audience feeling cold. Despite an all-star cast, Life Itself was a little bit too silly and complex to win over audiences.
This Netflix movie seemed like a great idea, at least in conception. Its director Duncan Jones had made great sci-fi films like Moon, and Mute came with an all-star cast. What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty apparently could and did go wrong. Mute is a story of a mute bartender in the future searching for a woman. That search takes him into Berlin's criminal underbelly. The film's execution fails to live up to that interesting, exciting premise, and instead, the film feels silly and illogical. It just doesn't hold together. Everyone involved took a big swing here, and this time, they missed the mark.
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
The problem was probably in the conception with this one. This is a movie about a heist that also just happens to take place during a hurricane, because why not? It's admittedly a new twist on the genre, although it doesn't turn out to be a particularly rewarding one. Kind of like Sharknado but less epic.
Despite how ludicrous it is, Hurricane Heist never becomes the silly, fun movie it could be. Instead, it's trapped in the zone where it isn't actually stupid enough. There's such a thing as a good bad movie, and Hurricane Heist had the potential to be one of those. Instead, it's just bad.
Taraji P. Henson can do pretty much everything. She's the star of a hit TV show, and she's also been in a hit film nominated for Best Picture. It made sense for her to try her hand as an action star, but Proud Mary was not the right vehicle.
Taraji stars as a hit woman whose life is turned upside down when a hit goes wrong. She's certainly capable of playing the kind of hard-edged character, but this movie doesn't take full advantage of her skills. Instead, she feels like a roughly sketched caricature, and the movie suffers as a result.
The previous two entries in the Cloverfield universe were pretty well-reviewed. The idea behind the franchise -- that filmmakers could tell diverse, interesting stories inside this universe -- sounded great on the page. Unfortunately, The Cloverfield Paradox doesn't live up to that promise.
The film dropped on Netflix the night of the Super Bowl and nobody cared that night or any other night. It never even got the chance to live up to its predecessor. Instead, it becomes totally bogged down in the mythology of those films. The Cloverfield Paradox doesn't feel particularly original. Instead, it suggested that the Cloverfield movies were becoming just another franchise, which kind of defeats their purpose.
2018 was a pretty good year for thrillers, but that doesn't mean every thriller released this year was good. For evidence of that, look no further than Traffik. This film follows a couple who fights for their lives after a biker gang starts chasing them to protect their secrets.
It's a fairly silly film in its conception, and it doesn't work much better on screen. For a thriller to be compelling, you have to feel like any number of things could happen. This is 2018, though, so most people know how thrillers work, and Traffik doesn't do much to surprise.