Alibi V.27 No.51 • Dec 20-26, 2018 

Reel World

The Worst Films of 2018

Reel World

We love you, Hollywood. You give us superheroes and Star Wars movies and you never question us when we dump Milk Duds in our popcorn. But sometimes you can be so cruel. Pauly Shore? That Saturday Night Fever sequel? Barney’s Great Adventure? Eight The Fast and the Furious films? You did these things, Hollywood. You did these things to us.

Which brings us to this year. Here are the top 10 transgressions Hollywood made in the name of cinema in 2018.

Forever My Girl—Do you love painfully sappy and contrived Nicholas Sparks movies so much that you’re willing to watch a sub-Lifetime Channel knockoff of one? Well, then, I can’t help you. But Forever My Girl can.

God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness—Here we are once again, preaching to the choir. Not even the church crowd came out for this faith-based bomb in which a committed priest tries to save a campus church from evil, secular college professors! For Ted McGinley completists only.

The 15:17 to Paris—Crusty sentimentalist Clint Eastwood can direct a great film on occasion (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Mystic River). But rarely have Clint’s filmmaking instincts been as off as in this piece of jingoistic nonsense. In 2015 three vacationing Americans tackled a gun-wielding terrorist on a French train. Good on them. But having Clint cast those heroes (Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler) as themselves is a swing and a miss. Not only can they not act, but Clint struggles to fill all that time surrounding the roughly two minutes they spent tackling the terrorist.

Mile 22—This espionage thriller was supposed to star Indonesian marital artist Iko Uwais (The Raid). But actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg (who made Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day together) took over and pushed Uwais into the background. The result is a confused smashup of action movie clichés. Hilariously, Wahlberg and Berg announced this would be the first in a trilogy—until it was released and tanked at the box office.

The Happytime MurdersIt’s OK, Melissa McCarthy. You suffered through this laughless, R-rated puppet movie. But you also starred in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Robin HoodIf the British legend can survive Kevin Costner, I suppose it can weather this anachronistic atrocity. The clear product of a coked-out studio executive’s mandate, this film’s sole reason for existing seems to be to answer the age-old question, “Would Robin Hood be cooler with more explosions? Like, way more explosions?”

Show DogsThere’s always room for at least one talking dog movie on the Worst Films of the Year list. This one is special, though. It actually got yanked from theaters, edited and rereleased as the “re-cut edition” after … well, anyone who bothered to watch it balked at jokes about the practice of groping canine testicles at dog shows. Kids love jokes about testes, right?

Fifty Shades FreedIn the end we were all shamefully forced to admit this series was less erotic than the average episode of “Golden Girls.” At least, as the title on this trilogy-capper promises, we’re now free of it. Never thought I’d say this, but if I never see Dakota Johnson take off her panties again, I’ll die a happy man.

Death of a Nation—Mere months after he was given a full pardon for illegal campaign contributions by President Trump, right wing nut job Dinesh D’Souza—totally coincidentally—made this hilariously inept documentary “proving” that Donald Trump is the best president since Abraham Lincoln.

GottiJohn Travolta goes full-on Vinnie Barbarino to play Mafioso John Gotti in this wildly misguided piece of gangster worship. This jumbled mess of a biopic spends most of its time trying to convince us that Gotti Jr. (Spencer Rocco Lofranco) and his convicted murderer of a dad were a couple of standup guys. No sale.