Worst Movies of 2021

Here we are again: we’ve reached the end of 2021, so it is time to take a look at which movies were the worst of the year according to the zeitgeist.

spacejam

This aggregated list of the worst-perceived movies of the calendar year has been an annual endeavor for me since 2016. 2020 was a bit of an oddball, with many outlets electing to skip their “worst of the year” rankings. However, I recently went back to create a 2020 aggregated list while waiting for 2021 “worst of” lists to drop.

chaoswalking

As with previous years, I want to emphasize that this is a measure of public opinion – I’m not assessing any kind of objective quality, but rather gauging the public perception of which movies were the worst of the year. I measure this by compiling published year-end “Worst of 2021” lists (from sources like The Chicago Sun-Times and Variety), then I tally up how often each film appears on these lists. It makes for a simple frequency distribution to visualize how widely despised these various 2021 films were. If you would like to see my tallies, they are available here.

Dear-Evan-Hansen-Trailer

This year, I pulled from 22 published year-end lists of the worst movies of 2021. This year continued a recent trend of a narrowing distribution of films making “worst of” lists: only 100 films were listed across the aggregated 2021 lists, down from 113 in 2020 and 127 in 2019.

As with previous years, there was not a universal consensus for the worst film of the year. In fact, I believe that this year’s “winner” had the fewest votes of a winner I have seen, as it was only included in 10 of the 22 year-end lists I collected, meaning 12 critics completely omitted it from their listings. While there was a single clear winner this year, there was a tight cluster of films towards the top of the distribution. Without further delay, here are the rankings.

  1. Dear Evan Hansen (10/22)
  2. (Tie) Chaos Walking / The Woman in the Window (9/22)
  3. (Tie) Music / Space Jam: A New Legacy (8/22)
  4. Vanquish (7/22)
  5. (Tie) Cosmic Sin / Thunder Force (6/22)

Are there any films that you expected to see that didn’t make the cut? Personally, I was a bit surprised that House of Gucci didn’t slip into a higher position. Of this list, I only caught The Woman in the Window, which I thought was mediocre, but nowhere near the mess of something like Prisoners of the Ghostland. Are there any “worst of 2021” contending films that I need to cover for the blog? Let me know!

Worst Movies of 2020

Hello again, my dear neglected followers and spambots! I have briefly emerged from my reclusion for doctoral studies to deliver a year-late aggregated ranking of the worst perceived movies of 2020.

artemis

Initially, I hadn’t planned to make this post. Despite making an aggregated list of the worst-perceived movies of each year since 2016, I wasn’t particularly motivated to cover 2020 at the end of last year. Honestly, part of that was because I assumed that many places were following The AV Club’s lead in skipping the Worst of 2020 lists. While it does appear that they weren’t the only ones to skip out – a few of my other usual sources didn’t have a post for 2020 either, like Rolling Stone – plenty still put out their annual list of demerited films.

Now that we are hitting the end of 2021, I decided to look back on the widely-maligned year of 2020, as I wait for the inevitable “worst of 2021” lists to be published.

taxcollector

As with previous years, I want to emphasize that this is a measure of public opinion – I’m not assessing any kind of objective quality, but rather gauging the public perception of which movies were the worst of the year. I measure this by compiling published year-end “Worst of 2020” lists (from sources like The Chicago Sun-Times and Variety), then I tally up how often each film appears on these lists. It makes for a simple frequency distribution to visualize how widely despised these various 2019 films were. If you would like to see my tallies, they are available here.

dolittle

This year, I pulled from 19 published year-end lists of the worst movies of 2020. On the whole, there was a narrower distribution of movies for 2020 than for 2019: down to 113 movies from 127. However, the 2020 total was still higher than the total movies that received votes in 2016, 2017, or 2018.

As with previous years, there was not a universal consensus for the worst film of the year. The “winner” was only included in 13 of the 19 year-end lists, meaning 6 critics completely omitted it from their listings. Unlike previous years that have featured plenty of ties at the top of the list, there were three clear medalists for 2020. However, there was a glut of movies vying in the fourth and fifth positions. Without further delay, here are the rankings.

  1. Dolittle (13/19)
  2. Artemis Fowl (10/19)
  3. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island (7/19)
  4. (Tie) The Grudge / Like A Boss / The Last Days of American Crime (6/19)
  5. (Tie) Songbird / Irresistible / The Wrong Missy / The Tax Collector / 365 Days / After We Collided (5/19)

Are there any films that you expected to see that didn’t make the cut? Are any of these films in need of reappraisal? Are there any that I need to cover for the blog? Let me know!