Sometimes, movies are merely bad. We’ve all sat through dozens of films that are far from pleasant experiences, whether they’re attempting comedy that doesn’t land, drama hamstrung by bad acting or horror that fails to send that chill down the spine of audience members.
But some films are worse than that. Some are so bad that it’s a chore to even make it to the end and, often, it’s easier to just tap out and give up.
That was exactly the topic of discussion over on Reddit this week, where movie fans revealed the films they just couldn’t make it to the end of without walking out of the cinema or switching to something different on TV.
Unsurprisingly, last year’s high-profile musical fiasco came up more than once on the Reddit thread, just a month after it swept the board at the Razzie Awards. One user said they left the cinema after just half an hour after being “creeped the hell out” by the bizarre visuals of Tom Hooper’s film — and that’s not even the rumoured Butthole Cut.
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There was, however, a groundswell of discussion in the thread about the potential for Cats to become a cult classic — the 21st century equivalent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. One user even said that laughing and joking through Cats turned out to be one of their most enjoyable cinema experiences ever.
Mean Girls 2
The most popular comment on the whole thread pointed to this dreadful made-for-TV 2011 sequel to the generation-defining teen classic Mean Girls. Featuring a whole new selection of students at the central school, the only cast member from the original movie to return was Tim Meadows as the principal.
Mercifully, the movie is now mostly forgotten by just about everybody, to the extent that one commenter referred to outrage at a Mean Girls quiz night when the sequel was used as a topic. Fans, meanwhile, are pinning their hopes on Lindsay Lohan’s continuous hints at a true sequel and an upcoming adaptation of the Mean Girls musical for the big screen.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Like Cats, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was a favourite of the Razzies when it was released. Fifty Shades of Grey received five Razzies in 2016, Fifty Shades Darker won two in 2018 and Fifty Shades Freed, comparatively modestly, only won one of the ignoble awards in 2019.
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The first movie was a popular choice in the thread, with the initial commenter who suggested the movie pointing out that they couldn’t even get past the initial “meet cute” scene between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Ouch.
The Emoji Movie
Months before it ever saw the light of day in cinemas, people were holding up The Emoji Movie as a symbol for everything that is wrong with modern movies. Critics largely agreed. So it’s no surprise that, a few years later, the film was a popular choice in this thread, with one commenter describing it as “almost a parody of every CGI kids movie”.
Certainly, a movie in which Patrick Stewart plays a walking poop has a lot of work to do to get anywhere near credibility.
Alexander Payne is one of the most respected names in thoughtful, satirical comedy movies, most notably in classics like Election and Sideways. His most recent film was the 2017 satire Downsizing, which focused on a world in which people can commit to an operation that shrinks them to a height of five inches, allowing for a more efficient, inexpensive existence. It was a divisive film and a commercial failure.
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The unfortunate Reddit commenter who suggested this movie pointed out that they had discovered it while searching for a “feel-good, goofy” movie like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. No wonder they couldn’t make it to the end.
Scary Movie 5
The fifth film in a franchise that was probably obsolete the moment its first movie chose to parody something that was already a self-aware spoof, Scary Movie 5 is a bad film in just about every sense of the phrase. It marketed itself based on a brief prologue in which Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan played versions of themselves and, for the most part, it trusts entirely in the comic power of Ashley Tisdale lamping people with frying pans.
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When the movie came up in this Reddit thread, the initial commenter said they usually like “no-effort parody movies” of this ilk. In this case, however, they rented the film a few years after its release and returned it before even getting to the end. Not a fan of kitchenware-based slapstick, it seems.
The story of Robin Hood has been told many, many times over the course of cinema, whether it’s Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe behind the titular outlaw. In 2018, it was Taron Egerton who anchored Robin Hood, alongside a deliciously evil Ben Mendelsohn as the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham. Reviews were poor, the box office disappointing and even Egerton has now turned against it.
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Unsurprisingly given that, plenty of the Reddit users in that thread didn’t make it to the end of the rather disappointing blockbuster. One commenter said that “the whole thing was so goofy and stupid that I couldn't be bothered finishing it”.
Gigli is, according to the Reddit commenter who suggested it, the “mouldy cardboard of movies”. They said they only made it through 35 minutes of the film before pulling the plug and, frankly, it’s easy to see why. Starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the height of their “Bennifer” tabloid fame in 2003, the crime world romance has a pitiful six per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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As with other entries on this list, Gigli was a “success” at the Razzie Awards, winning half a dozen gongs, including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor and Worst Actress. It was also an enormous box office failure, struggling to earn back the hefty pay packets handed to the two stars.
Holmes and Watson
Billed as a reunion for the Step Brothers duo of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, Holmes and Watson was quietly ushered into cinemas during the Christmas period in 2018. After years in development hell — Sacha Baron Cohen was initially due to play Holmes — it immediately became a box office bomb and was dubbed one of the worst movies of the year by the critics and audiences unfortunate enough to make it their festive cinema trip.
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Walkouts were reported at the time and so, naturally, it was a popular answer to this particular Reddit question. One user said that they saw a group of teenage boys — “the least discerning movie audience of all time” — leaving the cinema within the first 20 minutes. It’s a damning statement.