By John H. Foote
When composing a Top 10 List of movies, I always like to follow it up with the 10 worst. So, here it is, the worst of the worst I have seen this year. Not much else to say, except no one sets out to make a bad film. But sometimes they do.
1. THE HARDER THEY FALL — A black western, which could have been exciting had the director invested one iota in the characters. All style, and very little substance. Suffice to say, I hated every moment of this mess. Have never disliked Regina King in a film…until now.
2. THUNDER FORCE — Two fine actresses are trapped as superheroes in this disaster of a film. Melissa McCarthy and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer look downright humiliated to be stuck in this “comedy”. Really? It was supposed to be funny? Oh. Seriously?
3. SPACE JAM – THE NEW LEGACY — I know, I know it wasn’t made for me. neither was the first one, which I remember warmly and with much affection as I saw it with my daughter on a Sunday afternoon. No kids with me watching this, which might have helped ease the torment, but didn’t. Painful.
4. KING KONG VS. GODZILLA — Why? And why make it and throw logic out the window?? Kong was always, ALWAYS, 25 feet tall. Here he towers over the skyscrapers that get knocked over as the two monsters go to war. When did this growth spurt happen? Ludicrous and stupid. Hated it.
5. THE STARLING — Melissa McCarthy had a bad year. One she attempted a superhero film that was awful (see above) and two she attempted another dramatic film after scoring an Oscar nomination for her previous work in Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2019), which was brilliant. This one, uh, nope.
6. AWAKE — Kind of a silly film where the inhabitants of earth are unable to sleep. They should have watched this movie. Trust me … dull, dull, dull.
7. MORTAL KOMBAT – Long-awaited film, boring, uninteresting despite strong production values. But that’s not enough to draw in the crowds.
8. DEAR EVAN HANSEN — Hated this movie. Did not see the Broadway play and will never see it now. The film was terrible, badly acted, directed, edited, just a mess for which could have been a very moving movie. Instead…no.
9. CHAOS WARNING — Two immensely likable stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland do their best in this science fiction thriller that never gets off the ground. In fairness not as bad as it is, well, stupid and insipid.
10. SHADOW IN THE CLOUDS — Just a stupid movie on all fronts. Part war epic, part supernatural thriller but mostly really stupid film with Chloe Grace Moretz hiding a secret aboard a bomber. Claustrophobic to be sure; not even the fine Moretz can save this.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.