Because of budget constraints and amateur actors, it’s not really fair to include independent B-movies on a “worst-of” list. Besides, some low-budget films are so awful they’re actually pretty fun. To truly be one of the worst of all time, a movie must have studio backing and an all-star cast but still fail to entertain.
Even that, however, is not enough to qualify a film as one of the worst ever. Howard the Duck was a real stinker with a big budget and star power, but it was so cheesy that it had campy entertainment value. The worst movies ever have financial backing, great casts, and no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
10/10 Amsterdam Lost Its Way
A movie starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington should be as close to a sure thing as there is. A supporting cast of Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro should make that film a guarantee at the box office. Amsterdam had all of that and still managed to be one of the biggest bombs ever.
The film follows 3 friends trying to uncover a plot to overthrow the U.S. government, which in theory is interesting, but the story meanders and drags. It tries to be quirky like a Cohen Brothers movie but comes across as more annoying. Ultimately it’s a boring waste of talent that lost its way while losing $100 million for the studio.
9/10 Nothing But Trouble Is Nothing But Boring
The 1991 film, Nothing But Trouble, accidentally established the new genre of “Comedy Without Laughs.” Starring comedic heavyweights, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, and John Candy, there isn’t a single funny moment in the entire film. The only reaction from the audience was second-hand embarrassment for everyone in the cast.
That cast included Demi Moore, fresh off her leap to superstardom in Ghost, but she was lost in this poorly-executed attempt at comedy. The story was supposed to be a humorous send-up of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but instead, it was accurately as sad as the sequels, TCM: The Next Generation and Shock Treatment.
8/10 A Complete Lack Of Focus In Gigli
It’s tempting to say audiences and critics rejected Gigli because they weren’t sure how to pronounce the title. The truth is, the movie was an awful, disorganized mess of a romcom, lacking both romance and comedy. Packing the talents of Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Lainie Kazan, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken, the film was a box office disaster.
With a budget of $75.6 million, Gigli only grossed a pathetic $7.2 million, making it one of the biggest flops ever. More astounding, the ending was rewritten and re-shot after negative reviews from test audiences. Presumably, the producers felt it was too costly to rewrite and re-shoot the entire movie because there’s no way the test audiences’ only problem was with the end.
7/10 Everybody Chilled On Batman & Robin
In the ’90s, George Clooney was a top leading man, Chris O’Donnell was a rising young star, and Alicia Silverstone was in high demand, so it made sense to cast them in Batman & Robin. What didn’t make sense was using such a weak script that no actor could shine. The writing was on par with a hokey ’70s sitcom, with an unimaginative plot to boot.
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman couldn’t save what is considered the worst of the Warner Bros. initial Batman series films. Granted, Arnold as Mr. Freeze, had some good one-liners, but overall, the dialog was trite and insulting to the one’s intelligence. Audiences definitely chilled on this banal entry in the Batman universe.
6/10 The Adventures Of Pluto Nash Don’t Include Any Laughs
The Adventures of Pluto Nash is another “Comedy Without Laughs” that proves throwing talented comedians at a bad script doesn’t make it funny. Staring reliably hilarious actors like Eddie Murphy, Randy Quid, Jay Mohr, Peter Boyle, and John Cleese, the film couldn’t squeeze a chuckle or even a smile from the audience.
Adding to the futility of wasted talent, the movie also featured the likes of Rosario Dawson, Luis Guzmán, Joe Pantoliano, Pam Grier, Burt Young, and Illeana Douglas. This box office bomb must hold the record for the most good actors in a bad film.
5/10 Who’s Afraid Of The Wolfman?
It’s not the easiest task to be a werewolf movie that isn’t scary, but The Wolfman, pulled that feat off effortlessly. Staring Benico del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Emily Blunt, the 2010 remake of the 1941 classic The Wolf Man, didn’t offer a scare, a jump, or even a chill by the time the final credits rolled.
In addition to lacking any sort of tension, the movie was also a tragic waste of talent. A Max von Sydow cameo ended up on the cutting room floor, Rick Baker’s brilliant creature designs were overshadowed by mediocre CGI, and Danny Elfman spent a lot of time scoring a movie almost nobody would see.
4/10 Ishtar Is On The Road To Nowhere
Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty are two of the biggest stars ever, who have turned in countless memorable performances. They also appeared in the utterly forgettable 1987 film Ishtar. The pseudo-comedy attempted to capture the fun of the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope “Road to…” films but ended up drier than the Sahara desert they filmed it in.
Not even a great supporting cast of Charles Grodin, Carol Kane, and Tess Harper could breathe life into the lackluster script. Lacking any purpose or entertainment value, the film was the cinematic equivalent of a seminar on banking regulations. The only thing notable was that the movie came in way over budget and died at the box office.
3/10 The Green Lantern Shouldn’t Have Gotten The Green Light
The 2011 film, The Green Lantern, was intended to be part one of a trilogy and the official launch of the DC Extended Universe. Instead, it was a box office failure that infuriated fans and provided another setback to Warner Bros. in its quest to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the star-studded line-up of Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Angela Bassett, Geoffrey Rush, Tim Robbins, and Michael Clarke Duncan, casting wasn’t the issue. The film suffered from a poorly written script, a goofball tone, and a lack of faithfulness to the source material. It did provide some gags for Reynolds in the Deadpool (Marvel) films, so it wasn’t a complete waste.
Heaven’s Gate was such an unmitigated disaster, it is studied in film schools as an example of how not to make a movie. Despite an action-packed cast of Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, Joseph Cotton, Jeff Bridges, and Terry O’Quinn, the Western was a sluggish melodrama, akin to watching paint dry.
Director Michael Cimino blew past the initial budget four times over and turned a final cut that was 3 hours and 39 minutes of the slowest, least entertaining film ever made. Audiences hated the movie so much, it was pulled from theaters after only a week. Ultimately, Heaven’s Gate was so bad it caused the demise of United Artists studios and effectively halted Cimino’s promising directing career.
1/10 The Mother! Of All Bad Movies
With a brilliant cast consisting of Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer, the 2017 film mother! is equally pretentious and preposterous. It’s supposed to be a metaphor for God, creation, and the Garden of Eden, but nothing lines up with the stories of the Old Testament.
This alleged psychological horror is neither thought-provoking nor chilling, but rather dopey and aimless. The movie presents itself as something with deep meaning but in the end, the audience is left with less than nothing. As an unwatchable unentertaining exercise in self-importance, mother! is the single worst movie with the best cast ever made.
NEXT: 10 Worst Reviewed Movies That Still Won An Oscar, According To Rotten Tomatoes