Top 10 Most Disappointing Films of 2018
I’m going to take out my frustrations on MoviePass with this list, because they really made me angry this year ever since they changed their policies.
I’m not sure if I’m just getting more picky with movies this year, or if my expectations are just unreasonably high. But 2018 had its fair share of films that were just flat out disappointing.
Some are doomed from the start, and some really let me down. Again, to preface, the films on this list are not bad, per se (most of them are), but just plain old disappointing, for one reason or another.
Moviegoing is subjective, we all know this; you can have a reaction to a movie on one bad day and then have a different reaction to the same movie on a good day. But this is my blog and this is how I feel about these movies, so shut up.
According to Andrew, these are my top 10 most disappointing films of 2018.
10. The Girl in the Spider's Web
The first incarnation of Stieg Larsson’s book series was excellent: Direction by David Fincher, and an Oscar-worthy turn by Rooney Mara. And then there was the anticipated return of the series with The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Neither Fincher nor Mara returned for the film, replaced instead by Fede Alvarez in the director’s chair and Claire Foy taking over the role of Lisbeth Salander. As a result, the film did not have pack nearly the same punch as the film preceding it. In fairness, Fincher and Mara are a tough match to live up to, especially when having to make a sequel of an already brilliant film.
9. First Man
I promise I’m not just going to bash movies that Claire Foy was in- this is merely just coincidence that Spider’s Web and First Man happen to be featured one right after the other. Now, this isn’t a bad movie. It just could have been a lot better. I was underwhelmed. What is it with people thinking that portraying notable Americans as stoic assholes is an interesting choice? I thought Ryan Gosling was a good choice for Neil Armstrong, but give me a little something than stoic brooding for two and half hours. I also want to discuss Damien Chazelle’s direction of this film. I felt like his heart wasn’t in it as much as it was for Whiplash and La La Land, and I think it has to do with the fact that he wrote both of them. Josh Singer, who wrote The Post and Spotlight, wrote First Man. To that effect, I felt like Chazelle was interested in the visual aspect of the story and nothing else. Also, if Neil Armstrong was going to cry on the moon, he wouldn’t have been the first person on the moon. On a brighter note, Claire Foy is fantastic in this.
8. Red Sparrow
Jennifer Lawrence in a Salt-esque spy thriller… meh. She looks amazing in the very gritty trailer, but the style of the film is about all that it brings to the table. Too much reliance on graphic violence and sex, which hides a lack of story. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actor, but Red Sparrow is a dud of a film.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story
I am a huge Star Wars fan. That being said, I didn’t love Solo. Now don’t get me wrong- the movie does a lot of things right. The world building and visual effects are exceptional. Even Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo is pretty good. But what I didn’t understand what the big picture. Why did this film being made? I didn’t have a problem with Ehrenreich playing Solo, but Han Solo was never a character that required a backstory for me. The entire film is based off one line in Episode IV, about making the Kessel Run. From there, the storyline is far and few between. It’s not really necessary to know why Han and Chewie became friends. And even though we know that now, a lot of the character arcs seem too quick and too forced. Also, what was that twist at the end about??? I didn’t think Star Wars: Rebels or Clone Wars was canon, but I suppose it is now. This was the first Star Wars film I left with a bad taste in my mouth.
6. The Happytime Murders
Honestly, I thought this movie could be pretty good. Avenue Q does a lot with vulgar puppets, but we’ve never seen a film go to quite the lengths that the musical had. Enter The Happytime Murders, a film that is akin to if you went down on the wrong part of Sesame Street. The Happytime Murders is great in concept, with a great supporting cast, including Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph, but it falls flat in execution… while going way too hard in other areas. Could have used a bit less of all of the puppet sex and used more story.
How many times did this movie’s release date get pushed back? Also, who went to SEE this movie? So this one is like a watered down version of The Revenant combined with Ice Age. In Paleolithic Europe, a tribe of hunters (that speak a “fictional language” train some teenagers on how to become hunters. One of the teenagers is hurled over a cliff by a bison and left for dead. And then he becomes friends with a wolf and thus begins the cliche that dog is “man’s best friend.” Give me a break with this one. The film was delayed almost a full year (from September 2017 to August 2018) before it was released. Was there any doubt this film would suck? Didn’t think so.
4. The Cloverfield Paradox
I think Netflix’s decision to release this film after the Super Bowl was both clever and suspicious. It was clever in that the latest installment of the Cloverfield franchise had almost no marketing campaign, dropped an ad during the Super Bowl, and then was released immediately afterwards- a very interesting marketing technique. It was suspicious in that the film was initially dropped by Paramount over fears that the film would not make any money. Netflix’s acquisition of the film can be viewed as jumping on the dead horse that is this film to get any kind of notoriety from it. The actors in the film were not even aware of the title, the advertisement, and the planned release until the morning of the Super Bowl. They couldn’t have stuck with one of these? John Goodman’s performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane was pretty good, but the original Cloverfield is where they should have just left off.
3. The 15:17 to Paris
A true story. The real heroes. Shut the heck up, Kyle.
I’m sorry to say that this film was doomed from the start. With all due respect to my father, who really enjoys Clint Eastwood’s work, as well as any kind of historical fiction involving American heroism, but this had probably one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen. From a trailer played endlessly before just about every film I saw both this year and last, to using the real people who experienced the event (pretty cool, but they’re still untrained actors), to a thin backstory leading to a climax of an event that lasted but a few minutes, there was no question this one was going to fail. The film made $57 million against a $30 million budget. Nobody cared about this one, and for good reason.
2. Welcome to Marwen
This thing had some serious Oscar buzz, and now look where we are. When I saw the trailer for this one, I thought the incorporation of stop-motion animation and puppetry was clever. But it threw off the film for me, and thus made the real-life scenes feel less gripping like they should have been. Mark Hogancamp is a fascinating individual, and Steve Carell brings some heart to the character. His story is compelling and his message is clear- but it was a failed attempt at a very creative concept. But hey, they say the first one through the wall always gets bloody. Maybe we’re just not seeing something in this film upon first viewing.
1. A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time had all the makings of the summer’s next blockbuster: A $150 million budget; Upcoming and Oscar-nominated director Ava Duvernay; An all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Zach Galifianakis; Not to mention one of the most famous pieces of literature ever written. They even had backing by Disney. And still, they found a way to mess it up in every way possible. First, the positive: It was a very important film in 2018, celebrating female empowerment and diversity. That’s probably about it. The film didn’t make sense, and it relied way too much on CGI for me to feel any kind of invested. Disney has been known to make flops every once in a while, and, to be fair, they aren’t really major players when making live-action dramas (for example, Tomorrowland and Finest Hours), but this is unprecedented. The film grossed $137 million worldwide against its nearly $150 million budget. It would have needed to gross at least $400 million in order to turn a profit. This bomb most likely resulted in the studio losing anywhere from $86 to $186 million. If this doesn’t define the term “disappointment,” I want to know what does. With all the right cards in its hand, A Wrinkle in Time managed to fold its way into mediocrity.
What other films this year were you disappointed by? Leave a comment down below.
And be sure to check out the rest of According to Andrew’s Best of 2018 spread by clicking HERE.