Plenty of 2010s movies were massive hits audiences and are remembered fondly today as potential classics, ranging from the Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice In Wonderland to the hit Disney film Frozen. For every 2010s hit, however, there were more than a few duds scattered throughout the decade.
These movies missed the mark with audiences thanks to poor storytelling, whitewashing, horrible CGI effects, and being unfaithful to the source material. Despite being less than 15 years old, these movies have already aged poorly.
Updated on November 17, 2022, by Mayra García: As time passes and culture changes, movies that people used to love are analyzed in a new, often unflattering, light. Audience’s perspective on films change, turning once beloves movies into uncomfortable reminders of the past.
15/15 Alice Through The Looking Glass Was A Failure (2016)
The sequel to Disney’s live-action Alice In Wonderland, Alice Through The Looking Glass was heavily panned by critics and audiences for its convoluted plot and character development. It didn’t help that the movie promised to delve into the Red Queen and White Queen’s tumultuous history with each other and underdelivered on that front. It’s likely no accident that none of the other live-action Disney adaptations have gotten sequels since. Disney knows it isn’t a good idea.
14/15 Battleship Was A Complete Miss With Audiences (2012)
Battleship was released in 2012 based on the board game of the same name. The film focuses on a group of small warships forced to take on extraterrestrial naval fleets to thwart their evil plans. Despite featuring real-life missile destroyers and consulting the Science & Entertainment exchange for science-related matters during production, Battleship was criticized for its formulaic plot, poor writing, and lack of character development. The film itself was a box office bomb and lost $150 million for Universal Pictures.
13/15 La La Land Whitewashed Jazz History (2016)
Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, La La Land follows the love story between a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress who want to make it in LA. The musical explores how the characters’ dreams modify their romantic dynamic and all the what-ifs of their relationship.
Now more than ever, proper racial representation is a must in movies and television. Since Jazz history is highly connected to Black American history, it makes no sense that La La Land didn’t explore this. Many viewers can’t help but notice that Gosling’s character acts like a “white savior” in La La Land.
12/15 The Last Airbender Was Heavily Panned For Whitewashing & Many Other Issues (2010)
The Last Airbender shocked audiences in the worst way possible when it was released in theatres. The film criticized by fans of the original cartoon and critics for whitewashing, plot holes, an unfaithfulness to the source material, bad visual effects, and a poor 3D conversion.
The Last Airbender was supposed to be the beginning of a trilogy, but further sequels were canceled thanks to universal backlash and low profits. Fingers are crossed that the upcoming Netflix live-action series will do better by the franchise.
11/15 The Goldfinch Failed To Impress Audiences (2019)
Despite the book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt being so popular, the movie adaptation was a box-office bomb and lost an estimated $50 million. While the cinematography and performances were praised, especially with Ansel Elgort playing the lead role, the movie was criticized for its plot and overall narrative pacing. Fans of the book were also unimpressed with the changes the movie, including the ending and altering key aspects of Boris’ character.
10/15 Ezra Miller’s Recent Scandals Ruined We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin tells the story of Eva Khatchadourian, a former travel writer working as a travel agent who has to deal with the aftermath of his son, Kevin, committing a massacre in their town. Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, the film deals with Eva’s journey to understand her son’s behavior.
We Need To Talk About Kevin is an emotional journey led by Tilda Swinton’s amazing acting. Unfortunately, it also features Ezra Miller as Kevin. Given the actor’s current scandals for attacking people and indulging in dangerous behavior, it’s impossible to watch We Need To Talk About Kevin without feeling a bit disturbed. Not even Swinton’s acting skills save the audience from that.
9/15 Green Lantern Suffered From Terrible CGI Even For Its Time (2011)
Green Lantern received generally negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office, resulting in losing chances of a possible sequel. Despite a good performance from Ryan Reynolds, the movie suffered from bad CGI effects and writing, as well as troubled production behind the scenes including stalled development time and changing directors. It didn’t help that some actors, including Reynolds, were injured during filming.
8/15 Collateral Beauty Was Criticized For Its Writing (2016)
Collateral Beauty did well at the box office, but was heavily panned by critics due to poor writing and dialogue. Despite featuring major star power in the likes of Will Smith, Helen Mirren, and Keira Knightley, their acting alone could not save the movie.
While Collateral Beauty meant well telling the story of a man working through grief over his lost daughter, the story was underdeveloped and poorly paced. The dialogue was especially criticized for being overly melodramatic and cheesy.
7/15 Tomorrowland Was Too Bland To Be Memorable (2015)
Despite Disney heavily advertising Tomorrowland before its release in 2015, the film was criticized for a lack of focus on the titular park, the screenplay’s uneven storytelling, and the special effects getting in the way of telling an effective story. Despite poor performance at the box office, Tomorrowland is still considered one of the better films based on a Disney theme park attraction – for now.
6/15 The Avengers Doesn’t Hold Up In A Post-Phase Three World (2012)
After introducing dozens of characters to the audience, the MCU ended Phase One with The Avengers. The film marked the first team-up between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against Loki and the Chitauri. As the first MCU crossover, The Avengers hyped the fans from beginning to end. Unfortunately, it hasn’t stood the test of time. From a lack of diversity to terrible CGI sequences and Joss Whedon’s own spotty role in the film’s production, The Avengers has aged poorly.
5/15 The Dark Tower Turned A Beloved Book Series Into A Farce (2017)
The Dark Tower was a highly-anticipated science/fantasy film adaptation of the book series of the same name by Stephen King, but it was not successful with audiences or critics. This movie was criticized for compressing the multi-novel source material into a singular story, being unfaithful to the books, and for the story itself being boring.
Stephen King himself later admitted that the commercial and critical failure was due to compressing the source material, toning down the violence, and changing the protagonist to Jake instead of Roland.
4/15 Blue Is The Warmest Color Isn’t As Progressive As Everyone Thought (2013)
Written and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue is the Warmest Color focuses on Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle, a teenager who discovers her own sexuality when she meets Emma (Léa Seydoux), an openly lesbian woman. Given these topics, the film became an LGBTQ+ staple in its time.
Almost 10 years after its premiere, Blue is the Warmest Color has been widely criticized for offering a lesbian romance completely filtered by the male gaze. The unnecessarily long sex scene between the actresses has been ridiculed. Now that both Seydoux and Exarchopoulos have accused Kechiche of exploitative shooting practices, it’s hard not to see Blue is the Warmest Color as little more than Kechiche’s fetish.
3/15 The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones Tried To Start A Franchise That Never Happened (2013)
The Mortal Instruments was a film adaptation based on the book series of the same name by Cassandra Clare. Critics criticized the film for its cheesy romance, complicated plotlines, and nonsensical world-building. Many critics compared the movie to Twilight at the time, likening Mortal Instruments to a knock-off. There were plans for a sequel, but they were dropped. Instead, the film’s universe continued in a television series called Shadowhunters.
2/15 Cats Was The Kind Of Train Wreck People Didn’t Even Want To Look At (2019)
The film adaptation of Cats was heavily panned for its CGI, editing, performances, plot, and overall screenplay. The film was a box-office bomb and lost Universal Pictures an estimated $114 million. To make matters worse, the original release of Cats contained several CGI-related errors, including Judi Dench’s regular human hand appearing instead of Old Deuteronomy’s cat claws. Cats went on to “win” six Razzie awards, including Worst Screenplay and Worst Director.
1/15 Call Me By Your Name Glorifies A Relationship Between A Minor & An Adult (2017)
Based on the André Aciman novel, Call Me by Your Name revolves around the relationship between 17-years-old Elio Perlman and Oliver, a graduate student working with Elio’s father. Although the film tries to pass it off as a cute summer fling, it’s difficult to watch Call Me by Your without acknowledging the age gap between the two main characters.
This plot was already questionable during the film’s debut, but then Armie Hammer was accused of several cases of sexual and emotional abuse. It’s now impossible not to see Oliver as a predator who completely took advantage of Elio’s loneliness.
NEXT: 10 LGBTQ+ Movie Characters Actually Played By LGBTQ+ Actors