There have been some fantastic movies released in 2021, including Dune, The Green Knight, and Last Night in Soho. These are the movies that may well be nominated for an Academy Award and chances are, you might rate them in your top 10 lists of the year too.
But as is normal in any given year, there are those movies that just don’t cut it. These are the films that are likely to be nominated for a Razzie rather than an Oscar. You may have had the misfortune of seeing some of them already!
Below is our list of what we consider to be the worst of 2021 – but feel free to leave us a comment if we have missed out any movies that you think deserve to be on this list!
Without further ado, TheReviewGeek team present our top 10 worst movies of 2021!
10 – The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a reasonably enjoyable movie, largely thanks to the casting of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson who gelled well together. However, there was really no need for a sequel, and after seeing this badly scripted effort, you will probably agree.
This time, Salma Hayek joins the cast, as a con artist who coerces Reynolds’ bodyguard into rescuing her hitman husband (Jackson), after he lands himself in trouble with mobsters. So far so good.
The movie complicates itself with a tiresome plot about a Greek terrorist mastermind (Antonio Banderas) who wants to destabilize Europe after the EU places sanctions on Greece. Needless to say, the hitman, his wife, and his former bodyguard become embroiled in a plot to stop him. Yawn!
There is little of value here. The action isn’t as good as that seen in the last movie and the jokes aren’t as funny either. Very talented actors are stuck with a script that simply isn’t fun and the movie plods along in a predictable fashion. Another sequel would not be welcome but knowing Hollywood, you can expect to see The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Next Door Neighbour in the next couple of years!
9 – Cinderella
Did we really need another Cinderella story? Much less one with James Corden in. There have been quite a few over the years and none of them have fully captured the magic of the 1950’s Disney original. But here we are again, with Camilo Cabello as Cinderella in this boring and messy musical adaptation.
Despite being another rehash of the classic story, there are differences here. This time, Cinderella is a dress designer who wants to start her own business. The ugly stepsisters aren’t particularly ugly. And the wicked stepmother isn’t all that wicked. Why these changes? Well, the movie is all about girl power and so desperate is it to be a feminist take on the original, that it sucks all that was good out of the beloved fairy tale.
Of course, if you’re a fan of musicals, you might get some pleasure out of this. The singing rarely stops so you may be happy with the karaoke tunes that are belted out at regular intervals. However, they aren’t enough to paper over the heavy-handed script that places too much focus on female independence over any semblance of movie magic.
Sadly, despite wishing for it to happen, the fairy godmother didn’t turn this lacklustre effort into a pumpkin!
8 – Twist
As you can probably guess from the title, this is yet another adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist. This latest re-imagining of the story is set in modern-day London and Oliver (known simply as Twist in the movie) is a graffiti artist. While evading the police one day, he bumps into a character called Dodge (the Artful Dodger, obviously), and ends up working for Michael Caine’s Fagin.
There is nothing inherently wrong with giving the story a contemporary setting but this is more a Guy Ritchie caper movie than a Dickens adaptation. Not that Ritchie directs the movie.
That task is given to Martin Owen, who tries to appeal to a more youthful audience by giving his characters streetwear and orchestrating scenes where they have to parkour around the city. If the plot was interesting, this wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly, it’s not.
Dickens knew how to write a good story but the screenwriters of this movie clearly don’t have his talents. This is an empty-headed effort with risible dialogue and a rather dull narrative, and is far removed from the classic story we know and love.
The fact that the movie is so bad is a shame. With a better script, Caine could have played a good Fagin, but his talents are wasted here. Lena Heady, as the gender-switched Bill Sykes is also dealt a bad hand, as is the rest of the cast, including Raff Law and Rita Ora. After seeing this movie, you won’t be asking for more!
7 – Music
Previously known for her music videos, Australian musical artist Sia makes her first foray into Hollywood moviemaking with this misguided effort. It tells the tale of Zu (Kate Hudson), who is asked to take over guardianship of her autistic half-sister Music (Maddie Ziegler). What follows is an autism drama that uses musical numbers and flashy set pieces to hammer home its messages of tolerance, acceptance, and family.
On a surface level, this movie doesn’t seem all that bad. The soundtrack is good, the dancing is decent, and the production design for the dream-like musical sequences is mostly excellent. However, none of this matters when the rest of the movie is so poor.
Ziegler is a talented dancer but her performance as Music is a very bad one, as she wildly overplays the autistic traits of her character. In some regards, her performance is downright offensive, and I say this as somebody who has lots of experience working with people with autism.
Of course, Ziegler isn’t totally to blame as her performance should have been reined in by Sia. Instead, she has been allowed to get away with facial tics and other contortions that are rarely reflective of real-life autism.
The script is misguided too, especially within the moments when restraint is used to calm Music during one of her meltdowns. These mishandlings of autism are the reasons why Music has become the subject of much controversy and as such, caused the movie to fail so badly.
6 – Tom and Jerry: The Movie
Once again we have a live-action/CGI hybrid featuring beloved cartoon characters from our past. And once again, we have another disaster on our hands. After the disappointing failures that were Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, and Woody Woodpecker, it was pretty much expected that this would be bad, and the final result confirms these expectations.
In this movie, the famous cat and mouse duo get up to their usual hijinks as they cause havoc in and around a Manhattan hotel. The animation is fine but it doesn’t quite gel with the live-action backdrops, and this creates major problems whenever Tom and Jerry have to interact with the human stars of the movie, which include Chloe Grace Moretz and Rob Delaney.
All could be forgiven if the movie was funny but sadly, it isn’t. Considering the original cartoons were hilarious, this is a real shame. There is nothing here to tickle the funny bone, as every attempt at the slapstick humour of the duo’s past falls flat. Do yourself a favour and watch Tom and Jerry’s animated shorts instead.
5 – Earwig And the Witch
Studio Ghibli is famed for its hand-drawn animation and magical stories, as showcased in such classic movies as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Much of the studio’s success is down to Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of most of the studio’s works, but sadly, he only has a ‘planning’ credit for this latest title, Earwig And the Witch. His absence is clearly felt!
Directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of the legendary Hayao, this foregoes the traditional 2D animation that Studio Ghibli is known for in favour of something that is fully 3D. On the one hand, this is understandable, considering the success of Pixar and Dreamworks who have brought this form of animation into the mainstream. However, the animation in this movie looks cheap and is far removed from what we have come to expect after seeing Toy Story, Finding Dory, etc.
To make matters worse, the story is bad too, with none of the charm that we have come to expect from the studio. It even lacks a proper conclusion so it’s clear no love has been poured into this.
You can’t fault the studio for trying to move into a creative new direction but with a movie this bad, they are in danger of losing their reputation for quality animation and story writing. Thankfully, Hayao, after a short-lived retirement, is coming back to make another movie. Here’s hoping it returns Studio Ghibli to its former glory and that Hayao’s son learns some valuable lessons about moviemaking from his father.
4 – After We Fell
After We Fell is the third of four ‘After’ movies (the fourth is coming next year), and like the others in the series, is based on a series of novels that were originally published on the fanfiction site, Wattpad. They detail the lives of Tessa and Hardin, a young couple who fall in and out of love for reasons that you are unlikely to care about, and are the YA equivalents of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.
I’m sure there are people out there that enjoy these films and the books they were based on. However, this is still bottom of the barrel stuff, especially for people who want intelligent scripting in their romantic movies.
The previous films in the series were terrible but in setting up the relationship between the two protagonists, there was still a point to them. But in After We Fell, nothing happens! And I mean that, as there is nothing in the way of character development at all. Instead, we get a few jealous moments, some tedious sex scenes, and two characters who utter drivel every time they open their mouths.
Having invested my time thus far, I will likely watch the fourth and final movie. I don’t for one second believe it will be any good but it will be interesting to see if it’s as bad as this appalling sequel.
3 – Cosmic Sin
This sci-fi disaster lives up to its name as it’s bad on so many different levels. The writing is weak, the special effects are poor, and the acting is largely awful!
It’s Bruce Willis’ performance that is the worst. This once well-regarded actor has made a habit of turning up in low budget movies and sleepwalking his way through them. He has made a ton of them this year, each one as bad as the other, and it’s clear that the actor has stopped caring for his craft and his loyal fans. It’s safe to say that Willis’ career has now died hard, which is a shame when you consider the quality of the movies he used to star in back in the 80’s and 90’s.
Of course, you may still be tempted to watch the movie if you’re a sci-fi fan, regardless of Willis’ contempt for his audience. The plot, while hardly original, promises a few moments of action as Willis and his space crew go up against a hostile alien civilization. But believe me when I say you shouldn’t bother.
Independence Day got this type of story right, and it had the budget to back it up. This has nothing to recommend and is a guaranteed waste of your time if you dare to give it a go.
2 – COVID-21: Lethal Virus
The Covid virus is bad enough but for some reason, moviemakers have decided to inflict extra pain on the world by making movies about it. Now, usually we wouldn’t riff so hard on low budget movies. The acting is never as good as its Hollywood counterparts and there are sure to be some hiccups along the way.
However, this low budget zombie apocalypse thriller takes advantage of the COVID pandemic to disastrous effect. The effects are terrible, the editing is just as poor (one scene shows daytime, the next night) and the whole project has such a clumsy story that we just had to add it onto this list.
It currently has a 1.6 rating on IMDB so our reviewers aren’t the only people who suffered through this B-movie nightmare!
1 – Vanquish
Hands down the worst movie of the year (in this writer’s opinion) is Vanquish. As an action movie with barely any action and a plot that could be written on the back of a cornflake, this is truly awful stuff and is best avoided; unless you think you have what it takes to vanquish your pain as you sit through this mess.
The movie stars Ruby Rose who plays a caretaker to Morgan Freeman’s ex-cop and is another effort to turn her into an action star. Sadly, she doesn’t get to flex her muscles or her acting talents, so is largely wasted here.
The plot (what little of it there is) involves our protagonist going on various escapades after she is blackmailed by Freeman, who kidnaps her daughter. Why he does this isn’t worth discussing, as there is no clear explanation of his motives, other than the fact that he’s not the hero ex-cop that many people consider him to be.
The movie is a terrible waste of Freeman’s talents, though the actor should have known better than to work with the director (George Gallo) again. They previously teamed up on one of 2019’s worst movies, Poison Rose, and that was as painful to watch as this shambolic bore-fest.
Look elsewhere for your action kicks and give this one a miss. It’s a badly directed, badly acted, and badly scripted movie that has absolutely nothing of merit to recommend. The worst!
So there we have it, our picks for the 10 worst movies of 2021! It’s been a tumultuous year of highs and lows. 2022 also looks set to be a big year for the movie industry too. But of course, we all know there will be some real stinkers along the way!
What did you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know what your worst movies were from this year in the comments below!