Spotlight was deemed 2015’s best film at the Oscars, and thankfully, none of the films we had our readers submit as the year’s worst came close to snatching the crown. From flat reboots to eye-roll-inducing sequels to one shocking surprise, here are the worst films of the last year, according to our readers.
‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’
Mall Cop 2 was the sequel no one asked for, yet it was a movie a shocking number of people actually plaid money to see. Utilizing the same gags, the latest in the Paul Blart series falls flat even as the cop travels to the glitzy Las Vegas Strip.
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’
Marvel fans might be drained from Avenger overload the last few years. The success of the 2012 film has spawned numerous spin-offs for each of the superheroes that star many of the other avengers as well. The superhero market is also getting saturated thanks to Marvel’s own deal with Netflix, so the timing of Age of Ultron may have been too much for the comic book crew for which the film was mainly targeted.
Adam Sandler had one of his weakest years on-screen yet. Along with The Cobbler and the controversial Ridiculous 6, sci-fi adventure Pixels rounded out three misses for the former SNL star.
As one would expect, director Michael Bay’s take on Benghazi was as over-the-top and filled with sensory overload as any of his other films. Not even John Krasinski, TV’s boy next door thanks to The Office, could add any charm to the overly explosive film.
’50 Shades of Grey’
A movie based on a book series based on Twilight fanfiction is a hard sell for those not initiated into the cult of 50 Shades fans, but even those who loved the series were turned off by the bland, merely R-rated take on the BDSM love story. Keeping the film from being a total loss was a stellar soundtrack featuring hits from the Weeknd and Ellie Goulding as well as a sultry, slowed-down remake of Beyoncé’s hit, “Crazy in Love.”
Its theme song may have won a Golden Globe and Oscar for Sam Smith, but that doesn’t mean audiences were feeling the latest Bond adventure. Starring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the elusive spy, the film had a lot to live up to with how acclaimed and beloved 2012’s Skyfall had been.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
As acclaimed as the recent installment of the Star Wars franchise had been, it’s tough to win over such a longstanding, devoted fandom. Episode VII not only made some controversial decisions with its original cast — including a shocking death — but it also introduced and focused on a team of new ones that older fans may not be ready to fully accept into the beloved series’ universe.
Vacation was a reboot made with the best intentions, but it wasn’t quite as laugh-out-loud funny as the originals from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. For the film, Rusty Griswold (played by Ed Helms, originated by Anthony Michael Hall) takes center stage, taking his family on a road trip vacation just like his dad Clark (Chevy Chase) did throughout his life. Not even cameos from Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth could save the over-the-top, dry film from floundering.
Four years after the wildly popular HBO series wrapped, Entourage returned with a big-budget bro fest drowning in cameos and lacking the spark the original series was famous for having. The show’s four stars — led by the central movie star Vince Chase and his shark of an agent Ari Gold — are all back and going even bigger as Gold, who’s now a studio head, hires Chase to not only star but direct a movie. The latest adventure is filled with the same hijinks as the show’s original run, but the jokes don’t land as nicely as they did back then.
Much like Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man reboot from a few years ago, Fantastic Four‘s most recent addition to the franchise came too quickly after a previously successful run. Jessica Alba and Chris Evans were at the helm of a successful pair of FF movies, so the new cast — comprised of Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Miles Teller — had tough competition. On top of that, the movie itself was empty and humorless compared to the films from a decade ago. It was so purely loathed that our own Peter Travers gave it an astounding zero stars in his harsh review.