BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

In the spectrum of flops and bad movies, there are films that are so bad that they become enjoyable and attain a cult status. Movies like The Room, Samurai Cop and Iron Sky jump to mind when thinking about masterpieces of absolute trash that fail to deliver convincing dialogue, story or characters but are strangely irresistible.

Unfortunately for 2016, this is a year that hasn't really dished out on cult classics, and rather will be remembered in film history as a year of big flops. The blockbuster summer we were so hyped for failed to wow — to put it politely — highlighted by the lackluster box office response from Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman and the embarrassing Ben Hur.

But what was the worst film of 2016? We delve into box office stats and Rotten Tomatoes splats to see which ones save some charm, and which ones should be erased from our collective memory.

1. Dirty Grandpa

  • Box office return: $94,073,028
  • Budget: $11.5 million
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%
  • Starring: Robert DeNiro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza
DeNiro and Efron up to no good in 'Dirty Grandpa' /
DeNiro and Efron up to no good in 'Dirty Grandpa' /

DeNiro's career started nosediving shortly after Analyze This and his filmography since suggests he might have the same agent as Nicholas Cage as he has added his name to stinker after stinker. Dirty Grandpa takes the cake, with DeNiro hitting the absolute bottom of the barrel as the legendary actor plays a grandfather who wants one last crazy adventure with his grandson, played by Zac Efron.

Check out the trailer below:

No dirty joke is left unturned, no innuendo is omitted as the geriatric playboy attempts to sleep with as many women as possible, urging his grandson to do the same before he gets married to his stifling fiancée. There's something irresistible about watching a legend like DeNiro bury his legacy with films like this and this one is surprisingly funny when it's not reveling in the mud of bad taste.

See also:

2. London Has Fallen

  • Box office return: $195,725,584
  • Budget: $60 million
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%
  • Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart
Eckhart and Butler try and escape the disaster that was 'London Has Fallen'
Eckhart and Butler try and escape the disaster that was 'London Has Fallen'

Gerard Butler is a name that pops up frequently in worst films lists as he alternates between saccharine rom-coms and meat-headed action films. In an age where we live in constant fear of terrorist attacks, we go to the cinema to escape the panic of news media, but Gerard Butler wants to dance in the fire of a destroyed London. Butler plays Mike Banning, who describes himself as being built from "Bourbon and bad choices" and who is responsible for taking care of the POTUS, played by Eckhart. While attending a summit of world leaders, Pakistani terrorist Barkawi, attempts to capture the POTUS with a full scale attack on London.

Check out the trailer below:

Disaster films have been popular since the '90s, so it comes as no surprise that some audiences lapped this up. The gratuitous and outrageous destruction of London can only be described as terror porn and seems highly insensitive in light of recent attacks in France and Turkey. The film is built around the simple mission of keeping the POTUS alive and therefore neglects the massive loss of life as London is reduced to rubble. Butler still kicks back at the end, clinking glasses with Eckhart to pat each other on the back for a mission accomplished.

3. Warcraft

  • Box office return: $433,537,548
  • Budget: $160 million
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 28%
  • Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster
The bland, CGI world of Warcraft
The bland, CGI world of Warcraft

Historically, video game to film adaptations have always been a minefield; one misstep and you end up with whatever the Super Mario Bros. film was supposed to be. Very few games have such a die-hard following as World of Warcraft, so producers of the Warcraft film had their work cut out for them. When Duncan Jones (the mastermind behind Moon) was announced as the director, nerds everywhere breathed a sigh of relief and thought it might actually be an intelligent adaptation that pushed the universe in a new direction.

Check out the trailer below:

Somewhere in pre-production I can imagine someone suggesting using CGI for everything, making the film one long cut scene from a video game. The only thing that seems real in the film are the faces of the actors, which begs the question: Why make a live-action film without live-action? Throw in exposition-heavy dialogue that confuses those new to WoW and pisses off die-hard fans and you've got yourself one of the biggest duds of 2016.

4. Hardcore Henry

  • Box office return: $14,333,790
  • Budget: $2.5 million
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%
  • Starring: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennet
Video game or film? What's the difference in 'Hardcore Henry'? / STX
Video game or film? What's the difference in 'Hardcore Henry'? / STX

One film that tried to bring something new to the ever-closing gap between the film world and the video game world was Hardcore Henry — a stylish action film that was shot entirely in 1st person. The film put the audience in the driver's seat as if they were playing Call of Duty or GTA, witnessing the action first hand but not having an effect on it.

Check out the crazy trailer below:

While the film had some exhilarating action sequences that left you gripping your cinema chair, there wasn't much else to grasp on to; featuring forgettable characters (the protagonist doesn't have a name and can't speak) and a wafer-thin damsel-in-distress story pushing things along — "There's an army between you and your wife, let's go get her" — The writers seemed to have neglected the fact that success in the video game world requires a good story (Witcher, Metal Gear Solid, Fallout) as well as innovative action and graphics, leaving Hardcore Henry on the instantly forgettable shelf.

5. The Do-Over

  • Box office return: ?????
  • Budget: ????
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 5%
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, David Spade

There are actors who once had illustrious careers but now accept the weakest projects to mumble their way to a paycheck; Bruce Willis, Nicholas Cage and Gerard Butler to name a few. Sandler is king in this domain with a filmography built on half-baked scripts, featuring the same tired co-stars and targeted at the same audience of 12-year-old boys.

Check out the trailer below:

This time Spade plays a feeble, suburban dad who's fed up with his life, but things turn around when he bumps into Sandler's Max (nickname Maxi-pad) who takes him on a wild adventure. After threesomes and jet-skiing, Max surprises him by faking their own deaths, allowing them to start over with their lives. After the donkey diarrhea scene in Sandler's previous venture Ridiculous 6, no one expected Netflix to sign off on another Sandler project. The Do-Over is essentially the excuse for Sandler to go on a paid vacation with his friends and make a movie on the side.

What do you think was the worst film of 2016?


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