Matt’s Worst Films of 2020

  1. Dolittle
Universal Pictures, Team Downey

Certain bad movies leave you begging everyone you know to see them. They’re so bafflingly terrible that you can’t believe they got made in the first place. Dolittle is not one of those movies. I mainly was just really bored. It’s the kind of inept, big budget studio family movie that has nothing to offer but stale cringe comedy, the wasting of many big names, and terrible CGI.

2. Fatale

Hidden Empire Film Group

One of the most excruciatingly stupid films I’ve ever had the painful displeasure of sitting through. Hilary Swank is really trying to elevate this Lifetime movie Fatal Attraction knockoff, but there’s no saving this thing from itself. I could go into what this film gets wrong about gender roles and race relations in the United States, but it would take all day and I’ll just say it gets everything wrong.

3. Fantasy Island

Blumhouse Productions

A character at one point brags about how they’re going to leave a one-star review after their crappy experience. And, well…

4. Tenet

Warner Bros. Pictures

A gorgeously cinematic hot mess. Released when Covid numbers were down in September 2020, this was the movie designed to bring audiences back to the theaters. Tenet is an incomprehensible slog with no real characters and no reason to care about anybody. It’s cerebral and complex, or at least it wants you to think it is. It’s lots of sound and fury signifying nothing. This feels like the most egregious vanity project of Christopher Nolan’s career yet.

5. Unhinged

Solstice Studios

Russell Crowe as a huffing, puffing, walking MAGA hat and Caren Pistorius in the lead female role no actress with name recognition would take. Also a movie released exclusively in theaters in September, Unhinged was not the movie to welcome audiences back to theaters. There was, in fact, never a better argument for staying home this entire year.

6. Antebellum

Photo by Matt Kennedy

A high-concept thriller that should have worked far better than it did. With plenty of horrific imagery of slavery that starts right at the top of the movie, there seems to be very little purpose. The violence we see doesn’t feel like a rallying call, it feels like exploitation. And worst of all, this film makes a complete waste of Janelle Monae, who is giving this film far more than it deserves.

7. Irresistible

Busboy Productions, Plan B Entertainment

I think it’s just indisputable at this point that Jon Stewart is just not a filmmaker. With material that should be second nature for him, this toothless political satire only has the distinction of having the most ironic film title of the year. A satire with no bite, a wildly inconsistent script that refuses to take a side and a devastating waste of Rose Byrne make this a pretty terrible viewing experience.

8. Superintelligence

New Line Cinema

Melissa McCarthy needs to stop letting her husband direct her in movies. She can pretty much do anything and it’s been well established where her strongest talents lie in comedy. Superintelligence ignores all that and gives you an extended joke about her character falling off a bean bag chair in its first five minutes. And it only gets worse from there.

9. The Rental

Courtesy of IFC Films
Courtesy of IFC Films

Paper-thin characters, actors with no chemistry, suspense that doesn’t land, and a really lazy ending make this a profoundly frustrating experience. This could have been stellar. The bones of a good story are there, but then nothing materializes. Dave Franco’s career as a director is certainly off to a rocky start.

10. The Grudge

Ghost House Pictures

Probably not a good thing when the only purpose of the jump scare is waking the audience up.

One comment

  1. What’s the backstory on Fatale? Was it made for Lifetime or was it dumped on Lifetime? I’ve seen a few films on the channel that, cinematography-speaking, were above the flat-norms of the channel. And they had still-not-down-and-out actors, or at least actors who were in theaters at one time, like Swank, in the cast. Those Lifetime films usually come from cheapjack Canadian production houses that grind out the damsel flicks in quick succession with unknown actors.


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