Some movies receive tons of press and hype before their premiere and ultimately live up to their lofty expectations. However, some, like the following movies, really flop at the box office and with fans despite high expectations. This, my friends, is what we like to call a big, fat disappointment, and there has been plenty of disappointing movies over the years.
At the moment, I’m faithfully crossing my fingers that Infinity War (2018) will live up to its hype and not end up on a list like this someday. All the talk on social media following the premiere is pretty enthusiastic. Hopefully, these aren’t just opinions caught up in the glamour of a premiere but rather true indicators of what good movie it will be.
In the meantime, let’s laugh at all of these disappointments.
The Emoji Movie (2017)
The Dark Tower (2017)
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
After Earth (2013)
#10: The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
The idea of delving into the lives of animals has just been run into the ground by this point and there’s not much more that can done be with it. Despite voice acting from comedians Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Jenny Slate, and Eric Stonestreet, this movie cannot be saved. The crude humor falls flat and not even the most immature of children would find it funny. The adult jokes are too far above kids’ heads but too far below actual adults to be considered humorous. The plot has been used a million times before. The Secret Life of Pets basically tried to use a tired idea to appeal to every age group at once, and it failed miserably.
#9: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises honestly just suffers from a severe case of little-brother syndrome (something I titled myself and will be trademarking shortly after this is published). Nothing could ever live up to the dark cinematic excellence that was The Dark Knight (2008). Bane could never be as evil or as ruthless as Heath Ledger’s Joker. It just feels like yet another run-of-the-mill action movie trying in vain to add to its franchise.
However, this movie is still fantastic. It just couldn’t live up to its predecessor’s expectations.
#8: Suicide Squad (2016)
While there were some fans of this movie, it had a lot of issues and definitely could have been better. Like most movies that bomb, it had practically no plot and instead focused too much on its characters. Sure, we got some awesome characters like Harley Quinn and the Joker, but director David Ayer had no idea what to do with them. Was he supposed to create a believable villain? Was he supposed to give more than a few minutes of screen time to Jared Leto? Apparently, he had no idea so he did neither. Even Will Smith’s presence couldn’t pull this movie out of the landfill.
#7: Shrek the Third (2007)
I’ll just start this by saying that I actually hate Shrek (2001). Maybe this is because I was exposed to a particularly horrible YouTube video (YOU ALL KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT) or maybe it’s just because I’m not a huge fan of crude humor. Either way, I didn’t think it could screw up anymore than it already had.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. Shrek 2 (2004) was actually a high point in the series, including a wicked fairy godmother with an emotional eating issue and some wicked pipes. Then Shrek the Third came out and shoved its poorly-written plot and rote humor in everyone’s faces and expected them to be grateful. Long story short, it sucked.
#6: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lighting Thief (2010)
Let me just say that this one was personal. I read the book series and I loved it. Those characters were like my best friends in elementary and junior high. I was so excited to see the movie.
But my dreams were immediately dashed. Annabelle’s hair was brown, not blonde like it should have been. The actors were all teenagers when they should have been twelve-year-olds. Half of the plot points from the book were tossed in favor of more “exciting” ones in the movie, including the blatant product placement of an iPod to defeat Medusa. Anyone who’s read the book can agree with me on this one — this adaptation was just a mess.
The only good thing about this movie is the early 2010s fashion, which I hope becomes popular again one day — and the casting of Logan Lerman.
#5: The Last Airbender (2010)
Heaven knows what M. Night Shyamalan was thinking when he created this horrid thing. It’s like he made the entire movie by looking at a picture of Aang with his arrow tattoo and just made up the details as he went. The casting was terrible and not even close to accurate. The mood was entirely wrong and the pace was too slow to capture the attention of its young target audience. And they didn’t even pronounce Aang’s name right — it’s “ang” not “ong!” As far as TV-to-movie adaptations go, this is by far the worst one I have ever seen.
#4: Stars Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999)
I’m going to admit my age here but I wasn’t even a year old when this movie came out, so I can’t truly comment on the reception at the time, but I have a pretty good guess of what it was like. After seeing the perfection that was the original trilogy, people were expecting that same Star Wars magic. They were hoping to be taken to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately, they were taken to a galaxy that held Jar Jar Binks, midichlorians, and an overabundance of green screens. Not even the star power of Ewan McGregor or Liam Neeson could salvage this mess.
#3: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
As much as I enjoy Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones, this movie just massacres everything I love about the series. First of all, the decision to cast Shia LeBeouf just didn’t age well. Secondly, the plot was paper-thin. Maybe Steven Spielberg was tired when he made the film. Maybe he was just hoping that the audience would subconsciously add in their own plot points from the rest of the series. Either way, it really didn’t work and the movie fell short of creating an engaging story line. And finally, aliens. Freaking aliens.
#2: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
“Why did you say that name? Martha? Why did you say that name? WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?”
As soon as I heard that line, I knew this movie had just lost all credibility it had. The whole plot was based on miscommunication and Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) misguided sense of justice. DC desperately tried to be like Marvel with Captain America: Civil War (2016), but unfortunately their drummed-up argument between Batman and Superman (Henry Cavill) just didn’t ring true. It could have been a story about a playground fight between two seven-year-old boys and not lost any of its appeal.
#1: Justice League (2017)
Maybe this movie just suffered from too much of the Wonder Woman (2017) high, but it for sure did not live up to expectations. It didn’t even make it past the starting line — it fell over as soon as the starter gun popped. Whether it was the laughable special effects or the cringe-worthy jokes that all bombed, it just wasn’t up to the standards DC set with Wonder Woman. It’s a shame, too, considering they could have done so much with Jason Momoa as Aquaman and built more upon the other superheroes’ stories, like the Flash. Unfortunately, they decided to focus all their energy on trying to make Ben Affleck look less like a washed-up playboy and more like the Dark Knight, which was a waste.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on top 10 disappointing movies? Did we miss any? Comment down below!
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OK, Kali. My thoughts on your picks. Secret Life of Dogs was fairly entertaining in-and-of-itself, even though I noticed a similarity in its plotting to “Toy Story”. That is, the “three’s-a-crowd” tale. With The Dark Knight Rises, it’s expected to have some letdown given the high bar that “The Dark Knight” set. I never found it overwhelmingly bad, but I can understand some of the complaints of muddled motivations that people lob at it. With Suicide Squad, it was a victim of a growing trend within the DC Extended Universe: Studio Interference. Because it was ultimately edited by a team that specializes in movie trailers, the editing weakened the plot, the true villain was laughable in its execution and its soundtrack was ripping off “Guardians of the Galaxy” since it wanted that vibe without understanding why it worked for G.O.T.G. With Shrek The Third, it’s been years since I last saw it in in my one-and-only time. Other than a few specks here and there, it doesn’t stand out too much to me. With the first Percy Jackson film, I’m only familiar with it via a review from “The Book Was Better”. As such, no impact on me since I never saw it in its entirety. With The Last Airbender, everything I’ve heard about it makes me sympathies with the Avatar: T.L.A. fans. From trying to cram the entire first season into one film to bad miscastings, this is a prime example of Shamalyan during his decade-long insanity (starting the “The Village” and ending with “After Earth”). With The Phantom Menace, I can understand the hatred towards Jar Jar and the unintended racist alien caricatures, along with a moment of betrayal to established lore and the overuse of CGI (just to name a few). Out of the entire prequel trilogy, this usually gets the most hate, but I mainly feel indifferent towards it since everyone else has launched their Hate Missiles onto it already. With Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I remember liking it in the theater. However, I haven’t gone back to it too much since then but not because I despise it. I can understand the lack of energy from the older stars and some un-necessary moments of CGI, but the infamous “Nuke The Fridge” moment never really bothered me while the alien reveal at the end does make sense for the ’50s time period since alien invaders were all the rage back then. With Dawn of Justice and Justice League, blame Studio Interference for the same reasons that doomed Suicide Squad. Crucial scenes cut out in order to fit a rating or a mandated run time, narratively messy or just OK and films that should be amazing spectacles are ultimately hampered by the lack of a definitive vision that EVERYONE should be focused on. With this long paragraph out of the way, share your thoughts.
You bring up some points that I hadn’t thought of, like the similarity The Secret Life of Pets has to Toy Story and the concept of studio interference. I agree with basically everything you said, except for the fact that The Phantom Menace gets the most hate. I would say Attack of the Clones gets more hate simply because of that vomit-inducing love story that took up basically the entire runtime lol besides that, great analysis!
I don’t agree with The Dark Knight rises I think that was an excellent movie, but I fully agree with the other 9. Another that should be on this list is Starship Troopers
I’m not a crude humor fan nor Shrek fan myself.
And yeah, Dark Knight Rises was super disappointing!
I’m actually surprised Age of Ultron isn’t on this list, not that it was a terrible movie, but it was certainly one of my biggest disappointments; advertised for nearly a year as a more serious, personal sequel, only to end up a bucket of one-liners and set-ups for what were ultimately better movies down the line. Still, I’d agree with most of this list.
An always fun-to-read “bottom ten” list that I won’t quibble with too much, but I have to ask, how did John Carter [of Mars] not rate at least an honorable mention?
OH MY GOSH THAT FREAKING MOVIE HOW DID I FORGET IT LOL
I’ll leave it off though because my Dad really likes it so I won’t crush his dreams. Just know that it most definitely should be on this list haha
Actually, I’m with your dad, I enjoyed it, though not in a top-ten way. It seemed to remain faithful to the premise of the book, at least as I remembered it 40+ years after reading it, and the presence of Lynn Collins in a leather bikini smooths over a multitude of rough spots. The fact remains that a lesser studio than Disney would have been bankrupted by the disastrous box office. It’s that that I base my vote for bottom-ten on rather than the product on the screen. The pacing was a bit choppy, but it looked great.
I agree with everything on the list except for the Phantom Menace. I remember seeing it in theaters and being blown away by the army of droids and the actual lightsaber combat. It was the first time that lightsaber combat was actually a battle instead of two guys poking each other with sticks. Do I recognize everything that’s wrong with it like Jar Jar and Jake Llyod? Absolutely! But there was magic seeing that in theaters that I haven’t felt again until Rogue One.
That’s actually a great perspective and I really appreciate it. I guess I just assumed that everyone hates the prequels, but it still would have been pretty awesome to see it in theaters!
I might quibble over the inclusion of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ but, otherwise, a pretty accurate list.
Yeah I won’t fight you there. It was a good movie but it just could never beat “The Dark Knight” in my eyes
Absolutely, agree one hundred percent. But finding it sandwiched between ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ is quite shocking.
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