Oh, 2021! While you’re weren’t as downright awful as 2020, you were by no means good to us. By pure comparison, of course 2021 would be seen more favorably to 2020. Anything would be better than the pure amalgamation of entropy and hatred that was 2020. But make no mistake, 2021 was still a pretty terrible year all around for most of us, thanks to an ongoing pandemic among many, many, many, many other negatives. And, like all years, no matter how bleak things may be, they can be even bleaker. 2021 gave us a nice selection of movies that were just the worst.
One might think about going to the movies to break away from the despair of the world, but I guess the joke was on us since we still had a pretty good selection of absolute dreck that released to theaters. To be perfectly upfront, going to a physical movie theater was still a risk for a fair amount of our staff, so our worst of list this year is a bit more sparse compared to previous years. That isn’t to say that there weren’t as many terrible movies that were released, but if we were going to brave the outside world for entertainment, we at Flixist tended to be a bit smarter about our choices, and you should try and research to make sure the movie you want to see if actually worth going out to see. Despite many of us not feeling 100% comfortable at the beginning of the year, we still have a pretty decent-sized selection of movies to fill up this list.
The same rules apply for entry on this list as they were in previous years. We at Flixist define our worst-reviewed movies of 2021 as films that scored a 3.5 or below. We define a 3.5 as a movie where “there is little reason to like this movie at all. It’s only saving grace is that it is not broken.” While we have a variety of scores this year, including a 1, some movies were fortunate enough to escape our critical lashing due to them being perfectly primed targets, but we just couldn’t get around to them. So consider yourself lucky Music and Tom & Jerry. This is purely a list of the movies that we reviewed over the year collected for one final public shaming as we kick them into the dumpster doused in gasoline known as 2021.
And with that, here are Flixist’s worst-reviewed movies of 2021 in descending score order.
The Marksman – 3.5
“The Marksman postures itself after the likes of ultra-grim Sicario but in no way deals with the repercussions of such traumatic violence or loosey-goosey regulation… It’s boring, and it feels like the characters themselves are bored. Go enjoy a hot dog instead.” – Sam
Profile – 3.2
“Profile did its very best to whittle me down, and it very nearly worked. I was pissed off when the credits rolled. I spent 10 minutes reading the actual article/book this was based on while watching [its] climax and I got more out of that than a nearly $3 million low-budget thriller ever could. Do yourself a favor; stay away from Profile.” – Jesse
“Spiral feels like a film made by those people who give [the Saw franchise] a cursory glance. A movie that is more interested in disgusting us than playing with expectations and delivering smart insights into why we even watch films like this. Spiral looks at the franchise’s twisting plots and death traps at a high level and thinks there is nothing more to do to make a successful film.” – Matt
“In all honesty, Like a Dirty French Novel reminds me a lot of my friend’s student film from college. Knowing he had an incredibly contrived and predictable plot, he started throwing in random editing techniques and playing scenes out of order to morph the idea of his film into a mystery rather than a linear narrative… I can appreciate certain aspects of this film, but it ultimately doesn’t come together in any interesting fashion.” – Peter
Witness Infection – 2.4
“I would be more likely to believe that Witness Infection gave someone indigestion than to believe someone actually liked it.” – Jesse
“Far be it from me to claim that Werewolves Within is the worst movie ever made or anything… Remove all the shock humor and it would be a generic as hell horror film… What sinks the whole endeavor is just that nothing ultimately comes together. That it then feels like going back in time 20 years to when sex comedies could get away with such rotten humor is like a cherry on top of a shit sundae.” – Peter
“The movie just reeks of consumerism propaganda. A meaningless plot with arbitrary conflict to serve as a vehicle to sell toys to kids. This isn’t family entertainment. This is a babysitter for your kids when you need 90 minutes to yourself that doesn’t want to help kids develop, but instead sells them toys that they’ll forget about in a month or two at best.” – Jesse
“Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog, Splat! Is what happens when any string of images and corresponding track of audio are cobbled together by enough talented people looking to make a living that they’d be willing to inflict this level of anti-humor and anti-fun on an unsuspecting, juvenile, captive audience (or young-but-not-getting-younger “film critic”) in the name of the almighty dollar.” – Sam
“With American flags waving in the background and shots of the Lincoln Memorial pass by their faces, the audience sings their heart out. Sing for the film that tells them the schools are evil, the politicians are evil, they’re coming to take your Bibles away, and you need to stand up for yourself with force. No. Just no. Stay in your corner God’s Not Dead: We the People and never, EVER, cross my path again.” – Jesse