Well 2020 sucked.
Even writing that, it feels like the understatement of the century. Between a worldwide plague, social and political upheaval, poverty and joblessness increasing to unheard-of heights, and numerous industries being crippled due to said plague, there’s no other way to say it. 2020 was absolutely awful. It’s not that surprising then if someone said that they weren’t really all that interested in film this year. Most of the major releases were delayed out of 2020 and the ones that did release didn’t really light the world on fire.
But to us lovers of film, this year helped some of us reignite our love of the medium. With nothing else to do besides sit at home and watch TV and movies, it really reminded us why films are so magical in the first place. They can help us escape from all of the chaos in the world and give us some solace for an hour or two. That’s why it’s all the more appalling when we reach out for that comfort and instead we get a face full of crap in the form of the worst-reviewed movies of 2020.
Since last year, Flixist has changed its scoring system, which necessitates an explanation of how we determined what our worst-reviewed movies of 2020 were. For the sake of this list, we have defined our worst-reviewed movies of 2020 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.” Unlike in previous years, we did not have any 1s this year, though that may be in part because of how most of the bad movies have been delayed out of 2020 and our now stricter and stringent review model. Make no mistake, these movies are bad and these are the films that we here at Flixist wish were left behind in the vacuous void known as 2020.
Here are Flixist’s worst-reviewed movies of 2020 in descending score order.
The Turning – 3.5
“In the early months of the year eager filmgoers coming down from the awards season onslaught of quality films often find themselves left with slim pickings at the theater; smaller franchise sequels and routine genre fare. The Turning falls squarely into the latter category, but sadly fails to entertain even those basic hopes and cravings.” – Sam
We – 3.5
“We is a messy film that will come off as silly to those who aren’t conservative enough to worry about the reputation of a politician who’s only crime was paying to have sex with an underage girl. ” – Kyle
Bloodshot – 3.3
“Bloodshot is, sadly, a failure on most counts. The concept is cool enough that serviceable action and effects could have carried the project. That isn’t the case here. It’s not simply that the action sequences are bad, it’s that they feel so misguided. It’s almost like a teenager who thinks they know what’s “cool,” but ends up making a total fool of themselves.” – Matthew
Hillbilly Elegy – 3.1
“[Hillbilly Elegy] has the same impact as chewing week-old gum… It probably had a flavor once upon a time, but now? It’s disgusting and you’re just looking for a trash can to toss it out in, never to remember it again.” – Jesse
“Look, there’s being nostalgic for a classic game/property and then there’s this. This goes beyond just basic fan-service or self-inserts. This borders on Square Enix coming out and saying that Dragon Quest V is a religious experience for fans… It kind of paints fans of the series as being obsessed about it to the point where it’s unhealthy.” – Jesse
Siberia – 3
“I have to credit the film’s experimental approach, but Siberia lacks any real meaning. While the film’s summary boldly declares that it “explored the language of dreams,” I struggled to believe this was really about dreams and more about one man’s waking hallucinations… [Director Abel Ferrara] should have quit while he was ahead with King of New York.” – Sian
Norm of the North: Family Vacation – 2.5
“The main conflict in this movie is that Norm loses his crown, which apparently is magical because it brings Spring to the North Pole. Yes… the North Pole has Spring… and without his magic crown, they will have an endless winter… in the North Pole…” – Jesse
Verotika – 2.5
“Heralded as The Room of horror movies, Verotika has all the markings of such a trashterpiece: the vision of a single man, a shoestring budget, and a complete lack of understanding as to how to write, shoot, or edit a film. As far as Verotika is concerned, I’m glad Danzig knows his movie is bad, and I’m not all that thrilled at the prospect of anything new from the musician-turned-filmmaker.” – Kyle
Artemis Fowl – 2.5
“Artemis Fowl thinks it’s clever when it really isn’t. This is one of the safest movies I’ve seen in a long time. It doesn’t rock the boat, it doesn’t challenge its audience, and it certainly doesn’t entertain. This is the kind of garbage that wouldn’t even fly as a made for TV movie.” – Jesse
Vanguard – 2.5
“The plots of martial arts films have progressed over the years to not only be more philosophical but contain excellent dissections of what makes their heroes tick. Vanguard doesn’t want to have any of that. This is a film primarily about the action, though it also loves to stop that action to exposit garbage at you that is not only written in an incomprehensible manner but delivered with some very hokey acting.” – Peter
Iron Mask – 2.5
“Dispelling the illusion an audience might hold that, given the rich history of Chinese martial storytelling, Iron Mask might yield a nugget or two of well-choreographed action are any of the film’s fight scenes. They’re jarring, without impact, and about as satisfying as watching children put on a school play. At least there you can say “Aw, they tried.” I don’t know that anyone in Iron Mask really tried.” – Sam
Infamous – 2.3
“Infamous is a film that thinks it wants to say things but actually, very obviously, wants to say nothing. It is, ironically, the very thing it wants to hate. The vapid, commentary of someone who read the CliffNotes on society then decided to post about it on Instagram. It wants to be about our addiction to social media and the ends we go to to get attention from total strangers but its hollowness is akin to the very social networks it tries to demonize.” – Matthew
Jurassic Thunder – 2
“I should have been drunk for this.” – Kyle