2017 has basically been one of the the best years for cinema in our lifetimes. Not only were we able to put together a top 20 films of the year, we were also able to find 10 more under the radar movies to recommend.
However (and this is a big however) there have been plenty of disappointing films along the way, because no year is perfect. And this year reaaaaally wasn’t.
So, Prometheus was more divisive than a chestburster coming through a chest cavity, but at least it was trying something new. Alien: Covenant was the worst kind of reboot – replaying Alien set-pieces we’ve all seen a million times before, while keeping all the Prometheus mythology that so switched off audiences last time.
As a result, the word of mouth was basically a loud scream, and it died at the box office. We thought Ridley Scott had learned the lessons of the past and was going to put the franchise right, we couldn’t have been more wrong.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
We liked it, but there’s no getting away from it – The Last Jedi was a massive disappointment for a large section of the Star Wars community. Petitions have been launched to erase it from the franchise, and people are asking Disney to remake Episode VIII before they get to Episode IX – it’s all been a bit of a disaster, really.
Still, people hated Empire Strikes Back when it was first released, so there’s still a chance people will be less disappointed in the future. But, for the time being, hate is definitely leading to suffering.
The Dark Tower
Wooooah boy. When the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic fantasy series The Dark Tower was announced, fans went into a frenzy of excitement. Then it came out, and received the cinematic equivalent of a shrug and a yawn.
Fan weren’t so much angry as they were baffled – how was it possible to make such a dull movie from such rich material? Whatever the reason, the planned sequels / TV show spin-off look about as likely as Stephen King writing the next 50 Shades sequel.
Oh, The Mummy. Mummy, mummy, mummy. What on EARTH were you supposed to even be? A gruesome horror film? A fun monster movie? An action film? A comedy? A romance? A warning from the past about the follies of launching a cinematic universe before the first film’s even out?
Whatever The Mummy was meant to be, it didn’t connect with audiences. As a result, all of us who were excited about new Universal monster movies had to dig out our blu-ray box sets of the originals and pretend they were in colour.
Expectations were suitably lowered by Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, but fans were still looking forward to Justice League, because surely Warner Brothers couldn’t get their most important franchise movie wrong, could they? Oh boy, could they.
Awkward humour, terrible effects, baffling character decisions and one of the worst CGI villains in the history of CGI villains, this made Spider-Man 3 look like Spider-Man 2.
Okay, so bear with us on this one. It might seem hard to remember, but at one stage, some of us were actually excited about the Baywatch movie. It starred The Rock (and we love #Rockbusters), and it sounded like it would be a similar mix of loving spoof / weird tribute that made 21 Jump Street so special. And then we saw it.
It wasn’t even ‘so bad it’s good’ – it was ‘so boring it made us fall asleep.’ Dwayne Johnson does his best, but no-one else seemed to particularly care about this movie, least of all Zac Efron (who’s now admitted he only did it for the money). Let’s hope Baywatch 2 is dead in the water.
Even before Mattsplain Damon became a figurehead for the #NotAllMen movement, Suburbicon was a disappointment. Fan of quality cinema couldn’t wait for it, thanks to its pedigree behind the camera.
Directed by George Clooney, written by the Coen brothers, featuring Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore, and, yes, Matt Damon, there seemed to be plenty to anticipate.
Sadly, everyone involved seemed off their game, with the final cut often feeling like three seperate films competing for dominance. Still, at least – unlike every other entry on this list – there’s no sequel on the horizon.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie arrived at precisely the right moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sandwiched between the grim Captain America: Winter Soldier and the dour Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Gunn’s goofy space opera felt like a breath of fresh air at it proved that Marvel Studios was capable of more than just spandexed heroes bashing each other above New York.
It has since topped many polls of the best Marvel films to date, so expectations were high for GOTG Vol. 2, but unfortunately it never reached the dizzy heights of its predecessor. Many jokes felt repeated or overdone, and with the bulk of the action confined to Ego’s planet, the film was strangely inert. Here’s hoping things improve in Vol. 3 which arrives in 2020.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Starring Ryan Reynolds riding high on an unprecedented wave of critical appreciation for Deadpool, The Hitman’s Bodyguard teamed everyone’s favourite Vancouverite with Samuel L Jackson which – on paper – sounds like a match made in comedy heaven.
However it was an ugly, turgid, laugh-free dirge that hopped from Coventry to Amsterdam, and featured Gary Oldman giving his most straight-to-DVD performance as an Eastern European warlord since Child 44. Even a riotously foul-mouthed performance from Salma Hayek couldn’t save this over-baked Europudding.
Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of the hit Jo Nesbo crime thriller topped off a miserable year for its star Michael Fassbender, who kicked off 2017 with the utterly boring Assassin’s Creed, which he followed with Alien: Covenant, and the critically-mauled Song To Song. The Snowman boasted an all-star cast including Rebecca Ferguson, JK Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Toby Jones, the award-winning director of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the prestige of Martin Scorsese as exec producer, but it turned out to be one of the year’s worst movies.
When the director himself began distancing himself from the movie before it even hit cinemas, you knew there was trouble on the cards. This is destined to become a staple for the best worst movie crowd.