Hollywood Reporter Critics Pick the 10 Worst Films of 2018

6:15 AM 12/20/2018

by THR Staff

From a pro-mafia biopic to a cringe-worthy L.A. riots drama, major misfires from two of our best working directors to a particularly dreadful Marvel adaptation, these were the worst movies of the year.

  • 10. 'Suspiria'

    Alessio Bolzoni/Amazon Studios

    Following his intoxicating plunge into the giddy pleasure and searing pain of first love, Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino misfires with this disappointing reinterpretation of a signature work by Dario Argento. While the 1977 original was a lurid fever dream of violent colors and nerve-jangling sounds, Guadagnino's approach is muted in both palette and tone, opting for insidious weirdness over shock and gore. But the material doesn’t benefit from this more intellectualized gaze, which drains the stomach-churning thrills of great horror. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 9. 'A Wrinkle in Time'

    Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Only the faintest glimmers of genuine emotion pierce through the layers of intense calculation that encumber Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's fantastical 1962 book about a girl's journey through multiple dimensions to find her long-missing father. The gifted director’s first big-budget studio extravaganza after breaking through with Selma and the great documentary 13th feels cobbled together with many diverse parts rather than coalesced into an engaging whole. It neither charms nor disarms. — TODD MCCARTHY

  • 8. '7 Days in Entebbe'

    Courtesy of Focus Features

    Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike play pro-Palestinian German radicals in Jose Padilha's lethargic, utterly superfluous thriller about the 1976 raid by Israeli counterterrorist forces to rescue 102 hostages from a hijacked Air France flight out of Tel Aviv. Among many clumsy touches are hackneyed cross-cutting in strategic action scenes and a lame romantic subplot between an Israeli special-ops soldier (Ben Schnetzer) and his apprehensive dancer girlfriend (Zina Zinchenko). "I fight so you can dance," he tells her in one of the more regrettable lines of the clunky screenplay. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 7. 'Kings'

    Courtesy of TIFF

    In her first English-language feature, French-based Turkish director Deniz Gamze Erguven, whose debut, Mustang, scored an Oscar nomination, deserves credit for revisiting an incendiary chapter in modern American racial conflict at a time of renewed unrest. But for all its honorable intentions to address sensitive issues that still sting, Kings is an unconvincing tonal patchwork. The movie dilutes its powder-keg depiction of the 1992 Los Angeles riots by crafting a central character for Halle Berry that's a glamorous candidate for sainthood — not to mention trapping her in a lame rom-com struggling to break free of its dramatic confines. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 6. 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms'

    Courtesy of Laurie Sparham/Disney Enterprises

    Disney's attempt to wrestle E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 story and the perennially popular Tchaikovsky ballet into a fairy tale with a modern attitude is like one of those big, elaborately decorated, butter cream-frosted cakes that looks delicious but can make you quite ill. Something else that The Nutcracker and the Four Realms calls to mind is those mechanized holiday department store windows, stuffed with so many busy elements you can barely take them all in before some obnoxious kid behind you is nudging you to keep the line moving. So much attention has been lavished on the sumptuous visuals that the story and characters are suffocated. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 5. 'Venom'

    Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

    The only moment in Ruben Fleischer’s thoroughly irredeemable Marvel adaptation that makes you sit up and take notice comes at the 71-minute mark, when the sight of a disheveled, stubbly, sweaty and bloated Tom Hardy jolts you with the realization that here is the perfect actor to one day play Harvey Weinstein. For that insight and that insight alone, this film is valuable. Those involved should reflect upon the truth of the pic's advertising tagline: “The world has enough Superheroes.” — TODD MCCARTHY

  • 4. 'Life Itself'

    Courtesy of TIFF

    The extent to which your tear ducts well up on cue in Life Itself — a function built into this assaultive bout of emotional uplift with the tireless regularity of a self-flushing toilet — will depend on your threshold for watching people smile through pain. Dan Fogelman is a skilled hand at this kind of shameless manipulation, pushing buttons with enough sophistication and character complexity to make his weepy NBC series This Is Us a hit with most critics as well as audiences. But his second feature as writer-director (following 2015’s Danny Collins) sends a classy cast down a multistrand narrative path that’s hopelessly schematic and self-important. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 3. 'Fifty Shades Freed'

    Universal Pictures

    Closing the book on what is arguably one of the worst film franchises in recent memory, this third and final adaptation of the best-selling E.L. James trilogy doesn’t quite end with the bang one would hope for. Although, if by "bang" you’re thinking what everyone else is thinking, then there are definitely a few of those. And there’s even the bang of a gun going off at some point in the third act. But in terms of drama, or melodrama, or just bad drama, Freed rarely delivers the goods while trying hard to give fans what they came for: more visits to the “playroom” for some lightweight sadomasochism, more eye-rolling plot mechanics involving Christian Grey’s troubled past, more reactionary views on love and marriage, more money shots of sports cars, private jets and vacation homes and more attempts to turn what may be one of the duller couples to ever grace the screen into two captivating characters. For good measure, the filmmakers also toss in a butt plug. — JORDAN MINTZER

  • 2. 'Robin Hood'

    Guy Ritchie's idiotic take on King Arthur worked out so wonderfully for all involved last year ($149 million worldwide box office on a $175 million budget) that someone still evidently thought it would be a good idea to apply the same preposterous modernized armaments, trendy wardrobe and machine-gun style to perennial screen favorite Robin Hood. It turned out even worse than anyone could have imagined in this all-time big-screen low for Robin, Marian, Friar Tuck, Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham, not to mention for Jamie Foxx as an angry man from the Middle East who's gotten mixed up on the wrong side of a Crusade, or maybe just in the wrong movie. Everyone involved in this mess should be required to perform some sort of public penance. — TODD MCCARTHY

  • 1. 'Gotti'

    Courtesy of Brian Douglas

    Most mafia movies, whether good or bad (and this one is very bad), try to show that power corrupts, crime doesn’t pay and the price of allegiance to the Cosa Nostra is often too high to handle. Such is not the case of Kevin Connolly’s altogether hagiographic — one could even say pro-mob — biopic. Starring John Travolta, it’s not only that the film is terrible: poorly written, devoid of tension, ridiculous in spots and just plain dull in others. But the fact that it mostly portrays John Gotti as a loving family man and altogether likable guy, and his son John Gotti Jr. as a victim of government persecution, may be a first in the history of the genre. — JORDAN MINTZER