Alibi V.29 No.1 • Jan 2-8, 2020 

Reel World

The Worst of 2019

the worst

The year 2019 is officially over, and there are plenty of Americans telling the last 365 days not to let the door hit them in the ass on the way out. In a myriad of ways, 2019 sucked. Now, we can look forward to a fresh new 2020 and all the promise that it brings. But our concerns in this section are not political, economic or social. They’re cinematic.

In the last issue of the Alibi, we talked about the best films of 2019. And we had some laudable ones, let’s not forget. But now, let us take the opportunity to usher out the previous stinker of a year by rooting through the dumpster that was 2019 and digging out the worst films of the year. Good riddance to bad movies! Here’s a rundown of the worst films of 2019.

The cheapo sci-fi drama Replicas looks like it fell through a hole from an alternate universe in which Keanu Reeves never made The Matrix and became a failed, direct-to-video star in the mid-’90s instead.

The “Matthew McConaughey as a sexy boat captain caught up in murder” thriller Serenity boasts the most far-fetched twist ending of any film of last year (or any year, for that matter).

The Goldfinch proves that even Pulitzer Prize-winning novels can be the subject of lifeless, pointless, wildly self-important art house dramas.

Here’s hoping the trend of turning inspirational self-help novels in which dogs talk (and eventually die) into sappy films ends with The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Journey.

If you loved Miracles From Heaven, the 2016 “true life” Christian drama about a kid who fell into a hollow tree and didn’t die, because Jesus—then you’ll probably still be bored by Breakthrough, the “true life” Christian drama about a kid who fell through some ice and didn’t die, because Jesus.

Siri and Alexa already exist to destroy our lives, so a comedy about a self-aware virtual phone assistant that becomes emotionally attached to its socially awkward owner (Adam DeVine, better in small doses) seems kinda redundant. Jexi (the last film to be released by the now-defunct CBS Films) might skate by on its bland cultural insights if it were at all funny. It’s not. Watch 2013’s Her instead. Same premise, much better movie.

Playmobil: The Movie and UglyDolls are 2019’s most exemplary double-feature of unnecessary, D-list, CGI kids’ movies: lazy computer animation, bland stories, a pileup of celebrity voices and an overly obvious moral that comes at kids like a baseball bat.

John Travolta (more or less doing something Robert Downey Jr. expressly warned actors not to do in Tropic Thunder) plays an action movie star’s biggest (and most mentally disturbed) fan in The Fanatic, a perfectly preposterous disaster written and directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. Like the guy didn’t get enough criticism for his awful music. Easily the worst film of the year, and the only one worth watching for the sheer giggles.