The 15 Most Disappointing Movies of 2016

Many critics like to do “worst movies of the year” lists, and I don’t blame them: they’re a lot of fun. But these lists rarely include the worst movies of the year; they tend to be a hodgepodge of blockbusters that didn’t quite work, because those are more interesting to write about than a bunch of D-grade horror movies few people have actually heard of.

With that in mind, I prefer to write about the most disappointing movies of the years—films that I was excited, or had high hopes, for that failed to capitalize on their potential. While some movies on this list are truly awful, most are just mediocre—but they nonetheless were disappointing beyond belief.

Here are the 15 most disappointing movies of 2016:

15. Bad Moms

Mila Kunis plays a MILF who decides she’s done trying to be the perfect mom. Great concept. But a lack of consistent humor and, more importantly, any sense of edginess or ambition, makes Bad Moms simply a bad movie.

14. The Accountant

The trailers were great. The concept is cool. And The Accountant has some solid action scenes. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is surprisingly stupid the more you think about it, resulting in an okay but ultimately disappointing affair.

13. Sully

Clint Eastwood’s latest drama works extremely well when it’s inside the cockpit showing the heroic actions of Captain Sully; when it’s not in the air, the drama is drama-less and Tom Hanks is stuck having boring phone calls with his wife.

12. The Girl on the Train

I should have known, given that the book was a predictable, B-grade version of “Gone Girl.” I had hope the movie could gloss over the book’s flaws. Instead, the director exaggerates them, leaving the audience with a sexy but silly thriller without any thrills.

11. The Birth of a Nation

The slave revolt film has more buzz than any other movie all year, but the end result is a project that is full of passion but marred by sloppy execution. It’s good, but not great, and this movie needed to be great.

10. X-Men: Apocalypse

Following two consecutive critically approved successes, X-Men: Apocalypse appeared to be just another solid entry in the franchise: instead, it’s an uneven, awkwardly paced film that wastes its potential and features a climax where Professor X and the villain repeatedly punch each other in a hallway in his mind.

9. Hail, Caesar!

Arguably the worst Coen brothers movie ever made, Hail, Caesar! has its moments (a dance sequence with Channing Tatum) but fails to tie them together in any meaningful way, resulting in a nostalgic waste of time and time.

8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The book is good. The movie is bad. Tim Burton once again proves he should no longer be making movies with this tonally off Harry Potter-wannabe that only becomes fun when it completely goes off the rails (think: skeletons fighting invisible monsters).

7. The Secret Life of Pets

The fantastic, simple concept behind this animated box office hit made the realization that the actual movie is a generic, boring and unfunny slog even all the more painful. Seriously, watch the trailers and you’ll see all of the good parts.

6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This spin-off has plenty to like, but there’s no denying that it lacks the awe-inspiring charm and magic that made the Harry Potter movies so good. Until proven wrong, this new franchise feels more like a cash grab than anything else.

5. Ghostbusters

With so much controversy regarding its all-female cast, more important questions were overlooked, such as “Is it good?” and “Is it necessary?” The movie isn’t terrible, but the comedy is hit-or-miss and it does nothing to improve on the original.

4. Independence Day Resurgence

Anticipation was high until the first trailer hit, which revealed that Resurgence would likely just be a “bigger is better” sequel long past its due–no one, however, could have predicted just how dreadfully boring and unoriginal it ultimately would be.

3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

In hindsight, we got exactly the movie many expected: an overly ambitious, style-over-substance epic that doesn’t quite bring all of its elements together. I stand by my original assessment that the movie isn’t that far from being pretty good–but as is, it’s a truly disappointing, if ultimately interesting, failure (note: there is a part of me that likes the movie more than Captain America: Civil War if only for the fact that it at least tries to be unpredictable).

2. Suicide Squad

If Batman v Superman was a failure, the fun-looking Suicide Squad would get things back on track, right? Sadly, this “darker and edgier” DC Comics tale ended up being even worse, with all of the fun parts having already been shown in the trailers.

1. Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne is not the worst movie on this list. Far from it. But given that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass had previously delivered two of the best action movies ever made, it’s still quite stunning that their re-teaming resulted in a bland, surprisingly stupid rehash of the exact same story.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Top 10 Movie Lists