We’ve celebrated the greatest films of 2019. Now it’s time to remember the cringe-worthy catastrophes that had the audacity to take up cinema space and charge admission. Here’s our picks for the worst films of 2019.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott
This new Aladdin is an awkward and perplexing exercise in Disney recycling. A remake that leaks brief moments of wonder and then spends the rest of its life tied to a post. It’s also proof that humans don’t look good in CGI blue.
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito
Couldn’t Tim Burton have thought of anything more original for these characters to do? Everyone is a marionette, hoisted by strings, controlled by the devices of the plot, yanked this way and that. Everything they do is a mechanical step toward a robotic conclusion.
Director: Jenny Gage
Stars: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Khadijha Red Thunder
After is as melodramatic as it sounds. There are many similarities that can be drawn between it and the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. For starters, neither is any good. If you could take every romantic cliché in existence and put it into a single film, you’ll end up with something that resembles After.
5. Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Not even a Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team-up is strong enough to save Hobbs & Shaw from crumbling under the weight of its own stupidity. Worst of all, it revels in emphasising just how stupid and artless it is. I didn’t think this was possible, but watching Hobbs & Shaw actually made me miss Vin.
4. The Dead Don’t Die
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny
Rather than indulging in gleeful gore, The Dead Don’t Die is a sluggish shuffle that lacks a pulse. Jarmusch is an ill fit for the genre, draining it of energy and supplanting it with a slow lament about environmental decay, political inaction a sense of doom
3. The Lion King
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen
There is a reason why animals shouldn’t speak in the movies. They don’t express emotion the way humans do. I felt like I was staring into empty eyes. The animals looked convincing. Their mouths moved. I heard their voices, but no one was home. This Lion King is a grave miscalculation.
Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift
Tom Hooper’s queasy visuals and artistic oversight undo one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s more charming musicals. If you can look through the strangeness, you’d have a good time. Unfortunately, the strangeness is stubbornly impenetrable.
1. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Director: Simon Kinberg
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
This is quite plainly a bad movie, meek in ambition, clumsy in storytelling, lacking in character and emotional depth. At the end of the day, I struggle to think of who would, could and should enjoy Dark Phoenix. I am certainly not among them.
Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures & Roadshow Films