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.
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.
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.
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.
- Dolittle (13/19)
- Artemis Fowl (10/19)
- Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island (7/19)
- (Tie) The Grudge / Like A Boss / The Last Days of American Crime (6/19)
- (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!