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Ranking: Top 15 Worst Films of 2023

Welcome back to the blog readers. 2023 was a fantastic year for film, but there were some that wound up being not as good as those. Like I said on my previous ranking, I did miss a good amount of films in 2023 that I plan on getting to in 2024, so don't you worry. Right now, I "have" to talk about these 15 pieces of trash. Not like I want to, but I have to. And if you want to read the full review on these films, my blog has all of them (but you don't, so why bother?). So, on to it then. Which film would earn the prestigious title of being the worst of the worst of the year? If you know me, you will know already. If not, stick around to find out.


NOTE: I cannot promise that I will not use spoilers on this list, so read this post at your own peril. This is your official spoiler warning; you have been warned. I guess I will also use this opportunity to give you a language warning, especially on some of these dumpster fires.

 

15. Cocaine Bear


Have you ever thought about what would happen if a bear got its hands on come crack cocaine? Neither have I to be honest. And after this, I really do not want to see a shark get its hands on cocaine either. Let's be honest with ourselves for a minute; nobody asked for this film, and it is not memorable enough to be remembered. Don't hate the player, hate the game.


There is a positive to the film though, and that is the performances of O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Alden Ehrenreich. They were the standouts of a cast that included Keri Russell, the late Ray Liotta, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Matthew Rhys. And unfortunately, the rest of the cast is just as forgettable in this film. And that really sucks because that is some A-level talent doing next to nothing.


I really cannot call the action "action," the same way I cannot in good faith call this a horror film. Yes, I can hear you saying "it's a comedy-horror," but there is nothing scary or funny about this film. The horror is not scary and the comedy is not funny. I liked the film more on the initial watch, but it has not aged well for me. If you want a campy film then this is your cup of tea. Just saying, this is just my opinion.

 

14. Retribution


Remember when Liam Neeson was a bonafide action star? So do I. Remember when the films he did were actually good? Yeah, so do I. The biggest issue that I have noticed is that the aura of Liam Neeson no longer exists, and anytime he has a film releasing, it's just "oh." The biggest issue I have with this film, other than everything, is the fact that I heard nothing about this film before I saw it. So I had no expectation or nothing.


I was right to not have any expectations, because I was extremely bored with this film. What this film felt like was a Speed (1994) ripoff, and not a very good one. The acting (save for Jack Champion, who continues to impress me) is wooden and hollow, especially from Neeson. His character is as wooden as a board and I am not invested at all. This film also wastes a talent like Matthew Modine, and I don't even know what the hell Aryan Moayed was doing here.


There is a lot that is wrong with this film, chief among them is that it is lazy. The script feels half-baked with no sense of originality, the music is akin to elevator music, and the action...holy shit, the action is nonexistent. It feels more like a thriller film than an action film, and it doesn't even do that right. For a Neeson film, I am extremely disappointed (and I like Non-Stop (2014)).

 

13. The Boogeyman


Let's be honest with ourselves here. There is some horror that is good, and then there is horror that is bad (just wait until further on). But then, you have horror films that put you to sleep. The Boogeyman is another Stephen King adaptation that falls completely flat on its face, although one performance saves it from becoming a nightmare.


Vivien Lyra Blair's name may not be familiar to you, but her face is. She portrayed young Leia Organa in Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) and charmed the hell out of me. I honestly love her performance in this film as well. Unfortunately, all of the other performances are not as good. Chris Messina is just there, Sophie Thatcher does nothing original or imaginative for her role, and David Dastmalchian is wasted in his role.


The horror in this film is unoriginal and bland and leaves you with no sense of despair or dread. This is why Evil Dead Rise worked so well (although it was not my favorite horror film of the year, it was damn effective in this category), there you felt that. The film still felt too long at 1:39, and Rob Savage's direction is bland and lazy. There were people in our theater that seemed like they were high, so maybe you will have a greater appreciation for the film in those circumstances.

 

12. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom


I hope by now you know that I am a big proponent of superhero films. I even find some redeeming qualities in some of the weakest films (I'm looking at you Thor: The Dark World (2013)). Despite all the releases in 2023, I did not find myself as interested in this Aquaman (2018) sequel, and I was right to not be excited. This is the first superhero film that I found boring, and me saying that means this film had to be bad.


Jason Momoa is unequivocally Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and that can be both a positive and a negative. It is a positive in the sense that seeing him as his real life personality is awesome. However, it is a negative because this eliminates the charm of the character in my eyes. And the rest of the acting is not great either. Amber Heard should not be here, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren look bored, but Yahya Abdul-Mateen II gives a solid performance.


The story looked like it tried to say something, but I feel as if it fell flat in the end. The music bored me, if I am being honest. The action was cookie-cutter as hell, although one fight scene between Arthur and David was finely coordinated (and reminded me of a Star Wars-esque lightsaber battle). So yeah, unfortunately, the DCEU ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. On another note, Superman: Legacy comes out in 2025.

 

11. Barbie


Did you guys expect to see this film on this list? I didn't before I saw the film in July, right at the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. I was lightly anticipating this film due to the talent in front of and behind the camera. But, in a swift stroke of luck, I wound up being very disappointed in the film. It's not because there aren't things that I don't like, I think I am unfairly comparing Barbie to Little Women (2019), a film that I loved.


Margot Robbie was fun in the role of regular Barbie, and Ryan Gosling delivered an Oscar-worthy performance as Ken. I also liked America Ferrera's character, who seemed like the most realistic character in the film. However, every other performance was mid in my opinion. Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, and Dua Lipa as some of the other Barbies were just there; and Scott Evans, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, and John Cena as the other Kens were just there as well. Ariana Greenblatt, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell, and Michael Cera just felt out of place, although the final scene with Perlman and Robbie was great.


The message of femininity being good and the potential dangers of toxic masculinity is spot-on (and something that will definitely anger a lot of snowflakes), but the scrip was lackluster, and the music (save for like 3 songs) was a letdown. This will probably get a shit ton of Oscar love so just prepare yourselves for that. Also watch this at your own peril. It is definitely the most divisive film of the year (save for Sound of Freedom), but it is not terrible, just disappointing.

 

10. The Exorcist: Believer


Hello darkness, my old friend. The original Exorcist film released in 1973 is regarded as one of, if not the greatest horror film ever made. So when news came out a new film trilogy would be made, and by the person behind the recent Halloween trilogy (Halloween Ends (2022) was my pick for the worst film of that year), you know there were going to be some reservations. The trailer was epic though, and I actually got my hopes up only to be led astray. This film is not good.


Although I was magnetized by the performance of Leslie Odom Jr., there really is not much in the way of performances that struck me really. Jennifer Nettles was good in the minor role she was in, Ann Dowd from Hereditary (2018) was just there, and the child performers (Lidya Jewett and Olivia O'Neill) do not take enough risks for me. Even Ellyn Burstyn and Linda Blair felt like wasted characters in this film.


This film breaks the cardinal rule for horror films: be scary somehow, by completely falling flat on the horror. It feels almost like a bad Lifetime drama rather than a supernatural horror film, and it began to piss me off. Then throw in the religious allegories and you officially lost me. The same way the film lost money at the box office. The same way the sequel lost its director, and in the same way we all definitely lost interest in seeing any films from this universe again. Hey, at least we have the original.

 

9. Plane


Gerard Butler for a lot of people is a mixed bag. Is he the next big action star, or just another wannabe like someone else I will be getting to later on this list? The jury's still out but this film is just as bad as the title. Why name the film Plane if the film isn't even about the fucking plane to begin with, and becomes a character drama regarding the main character? Fucking hell.


Butler made the Has Fallen (2013-present) series watchable, as I quite enjoy these films (I think Angel Has Fallen (2019) is my personal favorite, then Olympus (2013) and London (2016)). But Butler has no charisma in this role that feels like an amalgamation of all his previous roles. Mike Colter is forgettable as the convict and later ally to Butler's character, and I cannot remember another single actor that was in this film.


Plane has terrible pacing issues and a story that feels more like a mash-up of some of the best action films ever made, but acts more like an insult to them rather than a tribute. The action is lazy and boring, and the script is pretty laughable. I still find this film infuriating, not as much as other films though, and I know I'm not the only one. I will definitely not be rushing out to see the sequel, conveniently called Ship. This has to be a joke, right? Why the fuck are you calling the sequel Ship if you know it won't be abo-


(This is Joe's assistant. I forced him to delete a substantial amount of that last rant due to the fact that it ran on for about 5 paragraphs. Please excuse the mental lapse in judgment and enjoy the rest of this list.)

 

8. Missing


Since I never saw the first film in this "anthology" series, Searching (2018), I had never really been exposed to the "screenlife" genre of film. I honestly did not know what to expect when going into this film, but I definitely did not expect to get what I did. A terrible first half that felt like another Lifetime drama, and a second half that actually was gripping and engaging to me. I also just think the screenlife idea killed the potential of the film.


Storm Reid, who has literally been everywhere these last few years, and deservedly just won an Emmy for her role on The Last of Us (2023-present) is awesome in her role in the film as a teenage girl desperate to get her mother back. Everybody else though; holy hell, be prepared to forget about them 10 minutes after seeing the film. Luckily none of the other names are big enough to remember, they're just not memorable enough.


The mystery portion of the mystery thriller is not entertaining or engaging, and again feels like a bad Lifetime drama. I spent most of my time with my head in my hand sulking at what I was seeing. In the end, when we get to the thriller portion of the film, I am actually engaged and hooked. Where was that in the first half of the film? I really hope they don't plan on greenlighting a sequel because that would be a waste of time and a waste of money. Speaking of a waste of money...

 

7. Fast X


Fast & Furious 6 (2013) is where I was inserted into the franchise. And I was very receptive to it too. Paul Walker's death hit me hard as a 16-year old kid. I can admit the films after have gotten goofier and sillier, but someone please explain to me right now, why the actual FUCK did Fast X have to cost $340 million dollars to make? I know Justin Lin leaving hit hard, but the film did not need to cost that much. Plus the film is the goofiest and silliest out of the bunch, and it hurts it a lot.


This film series has never been one to generate Oscar-worthy performances, but Jason Momoa is absolutely brilliant in his role of Dante Reyes. In a role that is the polar opposite of Arthur Curry (as we have previously discussed), the fun and playful side of Momoa work to the character's strengths. I also did like Alan Ritchson's role and Jason Statham returns to the role that actually gives him charisma (more on that later): Deckard Shaw.


The action has become laughably ridiculous to the point of it becoming actually ridiculous. The scene where Dom drives off the dam was so far from realistic, and the bomb in Rome is just as worse. I also hate the decision they made to kill John Cena's character after only a film and a half. There are a lot of decisions about this film I would have changed, including the desperation appearance of Dwayne Johnson. I really hope Fast X: Part 2 is a lot better.

 

6. The Equalizer 3


The film series that I have had a love/hate relationship with (but if I'm being honest, it's a mostly hate): The Equalizer. I have had issues with these films in the past due to terrible pacing issues and non-memorable characters. Denzel Washington is too big of a star to be in these films, and action star does not really suit him, if I'm being honest. Unfortunately, The Equalizer 3 suffers from a serious case of deja vu disease. The same problems that plagued the first two plague this one.


Denzel Washington again proves why he should not be an action star, and sports a bald head to prove it this time. I feel as if he fell out of love with this franchise and only did it knowing it would be the final film in the series. Dakota Fanning and David Denman are basically pointless in the film, although the ending where he returns the money to the old couple was satisfying.


Terrible pacing again plagues this film. The first hour of the film is again an exposition dump, and the real action doesn't even begin until 30 minutes before the end of the film. I hate these films for always doing this to me, although the one redeeming quality of the film is the score. Well, like they always say: fool me once, shame on you and fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times and I'm just a fucking idiot at this point.

 

5. White Noise


The second most infuriating film of the year for me, and the biggest disappointment. Noah Baumbach completely floored me with his film Marriage Story (2019), which I ranked seventh in that year's best films list. That film starred Adam Driver who gave the best performance of his career. When I heard of this film's existence, I expectedly got giddy for it. But boy was I wrong to get giddy. While Driver and Greta Gerwig give good performances, this film says a whole lot without really saying much at all.


Like I said, Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig give phenomenal performances, better than they had any right being. Their characters were gripping to me, even if they were given not the best material. Everybody else gave outlandish performances, especially Don Cheadle. He honestly had no business being in this film, and his performance was grandiose just for the sake of being grandiose.


The script was overwritten, and that is one of my two biggest problems with the film. This is the thing that I am the most upset about with this film. It feels too overcomplicated and disjointed at many times throughout the film. I did not need to hear a profound conversation in every scene. And the pacing is some of the worst of the year, with this film acting like 3 separate ones, the second thing that pissed me off to no end. I better stop before I say too much.

 

4. Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire


Zack Snyder has always been getting my flowers. I enjoyed a lot of his DCEU films, but there comes a time for all good things to come to an end. So I was excited to see this film because I was curious to see if we'd be getting a new sci-fi action universe. I was right about one thing: we are getting that universe, but I was wrong to be excited for this film because this film is putrid.


The acting is stiff and wooden and not memorable at fucking all. I cannot think back and remember one performance I liked, and that is not good for a Snyder film. Although I will say that the only performance that felt grounded and not grandiose was that of Charlie Hunnam. Everybody else was either bored or lazy. Even Anthony Hopkins felt out of place in a film like this.


There is barely any action in this film (only at the end), and it is really dull. The story is also bland as hell, the script is poorly written in my opinion, and the film acts like a mashup of the best sci-fi films. And it feels more like an insult to those films than it does a tribute. Sound familiar? Same issue. I mean, I probably will watch Part Two: The Scargiver (2024) though. Why? Probably because I fucking hate myself.

 

3. Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre


Remember back at number 7 I said that Deckard Shaw is the only role that somewhat gives Jason Statham charisma? Oh yeah, that is true. Statham has absolutely no charisma as an action star. That's my hot take, sue me. And this film does not help the against cause here. A bland action film that takes no risks and makes no waves in the thick of all of the action films to ever be released.


As you already know, I do not like Jason Statham as an actor, and this film is a prime example as to why. In this film specifically, he was boring as hell the whole way through. Aubrey Plaza, someone who has had a bit of a career resurgence, falls flat in this film, and I could not care about her character. Cary Elwes, Hugh Grant, and Josh Hartnett are just here to be here (Hartnett was way better in Oppenheimer (2023)).


I know what I said about the performances being lackluster and boring, but I wish I didn't have to say everything else was boring too. The lackluster action was boring, the story was boring and felt like a rehashing of Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning (2023), the script was bad, the pacing was bad, just everything about this film was incredibly bad. A sequel was teased, but I hope it never comes.

 

2. The Pope's Exorcist


I had already had my reservations about this film because the trailers did not pique my interest. Unfortunately, I have a family that likes these kinds of films. Wouldn't you know that they liked it? But here's the thing. I liked it in another way. I liked it in the way that I saw it more as a comedy than a horror film. I am not kidding you here. There were multiple points in the film where I was laughing uncontrollably. That is how bad the film is.


Russell Crowe's performance is as laughably bad as his Italian accent in this film. He definitely overacted in the film and it rubs off on all the other actors. I'm going to do something different here. It's a game called I list a bunch of actors in the film and you figure out if you have ever heard of them. Ready? Speed round. Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe, Frano Nero, Cornell John, and Ralph Ineson. You heard of any of them? Neither have I.


The story in this film is as bland as any bad horror film the last few years. There was nothing of substance to sink your teeth in for this horror film. The horror in the film is so bad I was laughing at it. No, seriously. It is that fucking bad. The script is piss-poor, and I hate films that feature religious allegories. I heard a sequel is in the works, so please avoid it, as this is the worst horror film of 2023.


Now if you know me, you know what this final entry will be.

 

1. Meg 2: The Trench


And here we are. I probably was wrong for expecting this film to be better than the first one (which I ranked as the fifth worst film of 2018), and knowing my family, I should have better prepared myself for what I was about to go through. Without a doubt in my mind, I can say confidently that I have seen a lot of films in my life, and this is by far the worst film I have ever seen.


Speaking of Jason Statham having no charisma, he is more lifeless in this film than he is in Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre. It almost feels like he is sleepwalking through the entire film. And the rest of the acting is much, much worse. Wu Jing, Cliff Curtis (for some ungodly reason), Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris Mencheta, Skyler Samuels, and Melissanthi Mahut round out a cast that reaches the absolute lowest of lows in terms of performances. Everybody either overacts or doesn't act enough.


Everything else is just as bad as the acting. The script is one of the worst I have ever seen and every other line had me putting my head in my hands. The film, at 1:56, still felt too long and dragged for most of the duration. And the story made no logical sense. There was no reason for the giant squids or the damn dinosaur creatures. And the side plot with the miners made literally no sense either. The whole thing is just a giant fucking shitshow and I hope nobody has to see this abomination of a film ever. Burn it all, burn every fucking copy of the film, take it off streaming, do whatever you have to do. I better stop before my assistant ruins the fun again.

 

So there you have my list of the worst films of 2023. Thank you all for reading, and I hope to see you all for the next review. Hopefully, we can all go into 2024 without these dumpster fire films on your radar. So I will see you for the next post.

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