Like every year, 2018 has been a real case of good news/bad news when it comes to Hollywood releases. For every satisfying, well-crafted blockbuster, there are three more duds that never should have seen the light of day. The worst part is, it ain't over yet. Here are the movies 2018 can file under most disappointing/downright bad. Sorry not sorry.
'The Happytime Murders'
There is a funny movie to be had with the "Roger Rabbit" meets "Sesame Street" story of a Melissa McCarthy's human detective partnered with an R-rated puppet. This is not that movie.
'Pacific Rim: Uprising'
The first "Pacific Rim" was a fan-favorite riddled with story, pacing, and inert character issues. But surpassed that for some because robots punching monsters. This sequel doubles-down on those problems (especially in the lack of characters to remotely care about). It also has one big monster fight at the end, and one too many robot battles. Because that's what people paid to see, only one monster battle in a franchise built on the back of them. In their defense, the film lacked the funds necessary to pull off the monster battles both it and fans deserved. The sequel was so fraught with behind-the-scenes issues from studio folks, with one being that did not want the first film's theme in the movie. Also Scott Eastwood has as much charisma as an pencil holder. His "acting" is slightly less terrible that first day of high school play rehearsals.
'The Cloverfield Paradox'
We can certainly appreciate the novel way this attempt at a "Cloverfield"-verse installment was announced, with the trailer debuting during the Super Bowl and the actual film hitting Netflix mere hours later. Unfortunately, that film wound up being a huge disappointment. With its messy, almost incomprehensible storyline, we're not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to rejigger this low-budget sci-fi flick to become part of an established, respected franchise.
'15:17 to Paris'
The challenge with adapting a real-life story of heroism is often stretching an incident that lasted a few minutes into a full-length film. Director Clint Eastwood may have cracked that code (more or less) with 2016's "Sully," but not this time around. "15:17 to Paris" should have been a short film, not a feature-length production. Casting the real heroes to portray their big-screen counterparts is also, dramatically speaking, a problematic and costly choice.
We're always excited to see Jim Carrey try his hand at dark, dramatic roles, but it's all too rare to see those risks actually pay off. Carrey's intense performance can't even begin to salvage this empty thriller. We can understand why it took so long for "Dark Crimes" to make its way to the U.S.
It wouldn't be a summer movie season without at least one utterly pointless remake of a classic Hollywood movie. "Death Wish" filled that role this year, acting as a bland, soulless retread of the original. It certainly didn't help that no one was in the mood for a vigilante thriller in the aftermath of so many tragic mass-shootings this year.
'Father of the Year'
You have to admire the consistency with which Happy Madison Productions has tackled its partnership with Netflix. "Father of the Year" is the third Happy Madison film to earn a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Anyone hoping for David Spade's big comedic comeback will have to keep waiting.
With "Westworld" becoming the latest small-screen obsession these days, the bar is set pretty high for sci-fi/Western mash-ups. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you have James Franco and Bruce Thierry Chung's "Future World." Between the obnoxious directing style and the film's inability to lampoon classics like "Mad Max," there's no reason to waste your time on this one.
If there's a more obnoxious and emotionally bankrupt children's movie this decade, we'd hate to see it.
Dan Fogelman may be a force to be reckoned with on television, but "Life Itself" proves it isn't always easy to make the jump to directing feature films. "Life Itself" brings all the worst qualities of "This Is Us" to the big screen. This is easily the most heavy-handed and emotionally manipulative drama you'll watch in 2018.
Hey, it's another one of those nausea-inducing, melodramatic teen romance movies we can't seem to be rid of. The gimmick with "Midnight Sun" is that Bella Thorne plays a girl with a medical condition that makes her allergic to sunlight. The movie takes a legitimate medical problem and treats it like fodder for the dumbest vampire movie of the year.
"Taken" director Pierre Morel returned to that well this year with "Peppermint," which is basically a "Taken" reboot that swamps out Liam Neeson for Jennifer Garner. That's not the worst idea in the world, but you need more than inspired casting to make a good vigilante movie. Sadly, no one involved with "Peppermint" seemed to get that memo.
Logic dictates that when you want to make a Biblical epic about a man renowned for his superhuman strength, you want to have a pretty decent budget to work with. "Samson" settles for delivering the TV movie version of that story. Its heart may be in the right place, but that doesn't counteract the wooden acting, lousy special effects and bland story.
'Blumhouse's Truth or Dare'
From that weird evil smiley-face effect that runs throughout this meh horror effort, to the even more meh story and performances, we dare you to admit you paid to see this in theaters. We double-dare you to watch it at all. That will be scarier than anything seen here.
On paper, everything about "Terminal" sounds great. It's Margot Robbie starring in a stylish neo-noir thriller that's equal parts "Blade Runner" and "Pulp Fiction." But while Robbie's is predictably excellent, little else about "Terminal" actually works.
Like its predecessor, "Sherlock Gnomes" creates the impression that a bunch of studio executives brainstormed some pun-worthy titles, took a long lunch break and never actually got around to hashing out the story. We're not sure why this movie exists or why anyone needed a mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and garden gnome humor in the first place.
Sometimes a movie is exactly as bad as you expect it to be. "Show Dogs" is a family-friendly buddy cop movie about a human and his talking canine partner forced to go undercover at a dog show. At no point was that premise ever going to work out well.
Unsurprisingly, it's not easy to turn an Internet meme into a legitimately scary horror film. "Slender Man" is a thoroughly bland and ineffective horror movie that winds up being just like so many others dumped out by studios every September.
'The Vanishing of Sidney Hall'
"The Vanishing of Sidney Hall" is an uncomfortable reminder that even a studio as respected as A24 can deliver a total dud now and then. This ill-advised drama is basically pure toxic masculinity distilled into celluloid form. The cast is strong, but the movie itself is too off-putting for that to matter much.
Yeah, this movie happened. Remember this summer misfire? About adults playing a years-old game of tag, based on a real-life story that deserves a better movie? Yeah, we also forgot this existed, too. It's the anti-laugh. We wanted to love this cast, but the movie didn't wanna help us out.
Total Gross (Domestic): $212,746,681 (as of 12/12) While not exactly a critical darling, "Venom" showed just how much pent-up demand there is for this Marvel anti-hero among moviegoers. It's safe to say the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters has a long future ahead of it.