Happy New Year Everyone! 2020 is going to be a huge year. I have no doubt it will determine the outcome of the world on a massive scale. So let’s hope it works out. For now, this is my list of my least favourite movies that came in 2019. If you would like to read my best list I uploaded an hour ago, click right here.
Now, I’m not afraid to say when I’m in the minority on movie opinions, and I coincidentally tend to disagree with the Rotten Tomatoes meter quite a significant lot. And whatever I have on this list, I never say someone’s differing opinion is unjust or doesn’t make sense. I’m always up for hearing what someone else who sees more in a movie than me wants to say. If you liked any of these movies, that is awesome and I’d be more than happy to hear why you enjoyed it. 🙂
Some of these movies have very high Rotten Tomatoes scores, so chances are if you followed a lot of movies this last year, there’ll be at least one or two films on this list you love. Hope you don’t get too angry with me over it.
Also, I have seen very little movies this year that I hated. This list was very hard to put together and for a long time, it was only going to be a Top 8. In fact, for the first two on this list, #10 and #9, let’s just say I don’t hate them, and I don’t think they’re bad enough to be called “bad”. I just didn’t care for them compared to some others.
If you would like to watch my YouTube video of this list instead of reading it, you can click here. With that said, let’s begin!
Now, please hear me out. I actually first gave this movie a passing grade. It’s a well-made movie depicting a superstar’s transition into despair over the course of decades, and Taron Egerton magnificently plays Elton John. The downside is that I don’t ever want to watch it again. Sometimes the music and frantic fantastical choreography get to be too much, underutilizing the important issues at play, and other times there are plot elements that seem to go too fast. Elton John’s a terrific musician, but I’d rather just listen to a record of his songs than watch his biography musical.
I was excited to reunite with Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman (though I’ve seen him more recently), Metalbeard and Unikitty. The problem I had with this entry in the Lego universe is it chooses to have a plethora of new songs. Wyldstyle even says, “Oh dear, I think we just stepped into a musical”. Some will like that aspect, the animation is still as fresh as ever, there’s an antagonist twist that really works, and the message about playing with your sibling was nice. It’s just, I did not get excited to see this movie to listen to a ton of songs, I came to watch a ton of master-builder inventions and fast-paced thrills. This one was short on both.
I’m not kidding with you. I’m just not a fan of the John Wick films. High-speed action with crazy single shots and even crazier first-hand stunts can be completely fine, but it’s not enough as a full picture when nothing outside of the action is believable in the slightest. Completely one-dimensional antagonists and stories, characters out to kill John Wick who will first banter and share a drink with him, discussing their dogs…in the second one, some lady let herself bleed to death in her hot tub without being scared in the slightest…That’s the sort of stuff that turns me off. Not to mention the underutilization of Halle Berry’s character…
When one decides to remake a film as beloved as this one, there are fans who will criticize and bash like they have nothing in the world better to do, and I got the impression this scared the filmmakers from going off course in even the slightest, and it really rubbed the wrong way. This adaptation of The Lion King took no risks and as a result didn’t surprise me with anything (except during the scene when Simba’s fur travels to Rafiki and it goes from a giraffe to a dungbeetle…). I loved this year’s Dumbo. Even though I never saw the original film, I got the impression it was trying hard to bring in new material for the flying elephant. I liked the new Aladdin well enough, and that had enough deviation to stand out as its own thing for me. This one was the exact same, minus the fun expressions 2D animation could bring.
I’m all for a good heist movie. In fact, 2003’s The Italian Job happens to be my favourite film of all time. That film had a nail-biting climax heist with naughty but likeable thieving protagonists, with a cause to care for and inventiveness on how the heist is done. This film had none of that. Okay, some of it is inventive, like Anne Hathaway’s take on how to con grown men, but I never got the impression they needed to do what they do, and by the 50-minute mark, a story angle is chosen that I felt would just fail at any turn, and boy, did it happen like that. Ugh…
This movie aimed high to make a thought-provoking twist, but the twist is so laughable and weird that it seemed the film couldn’t decide between being serious or satirical. They tried to mesh it, and it really didn’t work out. We discuss sexual assault while also discussing video games. We see people strip naked and jump 100 feet off a cliff for no apparent reason. We see supporting characters popping up and speaking like they’re programmed characters in a Jumanji game. The performances end up purposefully robotic, after the realization there’s no twist to get us back on the table, and I was grateful for it to be over.
2017’s mother! tried something different, apart from not having an uppercase title. It had zero music and Jennifer Lawrence’s character, as well as us, spent the entire 2-hour feature inside this beautiful-on-the-outside bland-on-the-inside mansion. Captive State does something different by purposefully being all talk and no show, by blurring out all the major events, forcing us to only look at the after-effects. Didn’t work out. I didn’t like how little we see of the alien antagonists, and John Goodman’s anemic character was painful to have to watch for most of the film. It has a final twist before the credits, after a twist I really didn’t care for, but to top it all off, I didn’t get the satisfaction I was really hoping for. Quite a mess.
Look, for those who love Quentin Tarantino and references to movies from the 60’s, there’s a lot in this film for you to love. I totally get it. It was clearly not a movie for me. Shame I had to go see it…What I enjoyed most was the first half of the film involving Leonardo DiCaprio’s character as an actor feeling disregarded and awkwardly domesticated. I didn’t know how to feel about all the aimless side stories, but the second half massively brought down my grade. I felt DiCaprio’s story was completely disregarded, as was Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate for most of the picture, especially during an unwelcome erasing of a real-life major event involving her. And Brad Pitt’s character turned not only insufferable, but he and the protagonists showed no emotion at what took place, leaving no one left to root for. Many loved this film while I found it painful. Go figure.
Even though musicals are generally not my thing because they can test my patience, there are some I enjoy, such as Hairspray from 2007, The Little Mermaid and Strange Magic. All of them had lots of songs, but I got the impression of a progressing plot and I was having a lot of fun with the songs and what was going on during them. But for me there’s a serious problem when the characters don’t stop singing for even two minutes, especially when we don’t even get a proper origin story of the protagonist. The plot is egg-shell thin, the cat costumes all uncomfortably look like we took a turn into Strip Club Street, most of the characters seem only there to sing an unnecessary song (one of which repeats a chorus half a dozen times), and the worst part is I was exhausted within the first 20 minutes.
I don’t think this is a movie worse made than Cats, but not only have I had more time to digest it, but this movie had so much more potential and responsibility. This reimagining of Superman as an evil little boy can be angled as a commentary piece on toxic masculinity, which is fine. I think the issues of boys and men who feel entitled to whatever they want and are willing to step on others to get ahead, disregarding feelings with no proper punishment, are all very serious. The problem with Brightburn is there wasn’t proper reasoning displayed for the titular character to go off on a rampage. He has a loving family, a mother and father that care for him. Without any proper reasoning behind his decisions, even comparatively to the toxic-ly masculine, it was very unbelievable. Also, it has the sad horror movie trope of killing off people slowly and predictably whenever they’re alone. And about ten times in this film, the camera goes to Brightburn, then to a scared target who looks away one second and the camera goes back and blam! He’s gone. It got tremendously annoying and the ending was irredeemably bad. Altogether, my pick for worst film of the year.
Now, there were a lot of movies I saw expecting to hate and really didn’t. In fact, Hellboy, The Kitchen and The Goldfinch were all critically panned movies, and I really enjoyed each of them, one of them making it onto my Top 10 Best. I was wondering, what are some of your least favourite releases from this – er, last year? Whatever they are, thanks for reading! Looking forward to a brand new year of blogging!