I have pretty eclectic taste in movies, and I’m usually able to find something to like in even the most poorly-shot, scripted, or acted messes. But there are some films that are simply irredeemable. These are, according to my Letterboxd ratings, the five worst movies I have ever seen.
5. Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl is based on a series of young adult novels that I wasn’t aware of until I sat down to watch the movie with the Fanbyte staff as a Friday night treat several months ago. The film is narrated in flashbacks via Josh Gad as a dwarf who at one point unhinges his jaw like a snake and tunnels into a house by swallowing dirt and explosively shitting it out through his pants. Artemis Fowl is a kid who is trying to find his dad or hack the fairy world or something. There’s a vaguely racist scene where Artemis orders his black butler in combat against the fairies. We haven’t done another Fanbyte movie night since we watched this.
4. The Love Guru
In the 2000s, nobody could say no to Mike Myers. That’s the only way I can explain The Love Guru, a film in which Myers plays a spiritual advisor brought in to help a Canadian hockey player fix his relationship so that he can win the big game. The Love Guru is obnoxious, baffling, and agonizingly boring, but it did make me laugh at least once. In a scene revealing Myers’ character’s origins, Ben Kingsley makes a joke about his parents having sex in various positions. Myers — or more accurately, Myers’ head superimposed onto a child’s body — says “my parents are dead.” Cracked me up.
I saw Joker in a theatre and laughed so much that a very serious couple kept shushing me. “I’m sorry,” I told them, “I have a laughing disease.”
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2. Beach Rats
Beach Rats is one of a number of films that tried to ride the coattails of Moonlight. But there’s nothing of substance here — it’s a story about a chiseled, vapid white boy with no real problems other than his own internalized homophobia trying to score weed from gay guys online. At the film’s climax, the protagonist’s friends beat a gay man to death, after which we get some more shots of our shirtless dude being handsome in the morning sun. That video of British guys hitting each other with chairs is infinitely more fascinating and has far more to say about the subject of male homosocial/sexuality than Beach Rats.
1. Larry Crowne
Fanbyte Editor-at-Large John Warren suggested we watch Larry Crowne for an episode of our movie podcast, You Love to See It, which means that unlike the rest of the films on this list, you can hear my full thoughts on it in audio form. That’s fitting, because Larry Crowne is the worst movie I have ever seen. People talk about the Marvel movies as these titanic monuments to Hollywood excess, but they have nothing on Larry Crowne, a film about a middle-aged man who goes to community college that cost $30 million dollars to make. Artemis Fowl may have made me wish I was dead, but Larry Crowne made me wish death on Tom Hanks — and that’s a very powerful achievement.