The worst movies of 2020

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If there was ever a year in which you didn’t want your day ruined by a movie, it was 2020. But thanks to an audience desperate for new streaming content, there was no shortage of miserable duds.

Here, our critics painfully force themselves to remember the worst films of the year.

Johnny Oleksinski

Katie Holmes and Jerry O'Connell in a scene from “The Secret: Dare To Dream.”
Katie Holmes and Jerry O’Connell in a scene from “The Secret: Dare To Dream.”
Everett Collection

In the first 15 minutes, a child utters the word “pizza,” and a pie magically appears at the door. She — hold onto your lunch — manifested it. You see, this bunk spirituality movie starring Katie Holmes was based on the self-help book “The Secret.” Not so secret was how much it sucked.

"Buddy Games."
“Buddy Games.”
Courtesy of Saban Films

This movie about toxic masculinity made poison look preferable. A group of middle-aged dudes head into the woods every year for a stupid competition of manhood. It had one job — be funny — but not a single joke landed.

THE HUNT, from left: Hilary Swank, Betty Gilpin, 2020. ph: Patti Perret / © Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
Hilary Swank takes on Betty Gilpin in “The Hunt.”
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Col

One of the last movies to hit theaters before they shut down for months, “The Hunt” was a downer of a way to go out. The satire was about a secret base in which “elites” hunt “deplorables” for sport. It could have been a riot under the pens of smarter writers. Instead, it just made viewers feel gross.

Edgar Ramírez as Graham Bricke in “Last Days Of American Crime”
Edgar Ramírez as Graham Bricke in “Last Days Of American Crime”
Marcos Cruz/Netflix

As confusing as it was wretched, Netflix’s dystopian crime thriller was little more than interconnected torture-porn sequences that made no sense. It lost me early on when a man without skin set fire to the hero I couldn’t care less about.

Lara McDonnell in "Artemis Fowl."
Lara McDonnell in “Artemis Fowl.”
©Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection

Not everything on Disney+ is a winner. The studio obviously kicked Kenneth Branagh’s pitiful excuse for a fantasy film to its new streaming service because it wasn’t worth holding for a theatrical release or spending millions on marketing it. Screen legend Judi Dench was directed to grunt like Bruce Springsteen.

Sara Stewart

Glenn Close in a scene from "Hillbilly Elegy."
Glenn Close in a scene from “Hillbilly Elegy.”
AP

Even Glenn Close as a chain-smoking, spitfire matriarch can’t save Ron Howard’s cringey adaptation of the best seller about quicksand-like poverty in Red America. 

Robert Downey Jr. in "Dolittle."
Robert Downey Jr. in “Dolittle.”
AP

Turns out the seemingly limitless charms of Robert Downey Jr. do have a limit, and this farting-CGI-animal farce is it.

Lin Shaye in 2020's "The Grudge."
Lin Shaye in 2020’s “The Grudge.”
YouTube

This terrible remake left me with a grudge, too; not the demonic kind, but an aversion towards really bad versions of great Japanese horror movies.

Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish in "Like A Boss."
Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish in “Like A Boss.”
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

If only Tiffany Haddish, who just turned down a non-paying three-hour pre-Grammys telecast gig, had been as choosy when offered this deeply dumb working-gals comedy.

Mark Rylance and Johnny Depp in "Waiting for the Barbarians."
Mark Rylance and Johnny Depp in “Waiting for the Barbarians.”
Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

This is a heavy-handed authoritarian metaphor featuring Johnny Depp as a brutal villain. Which turns out to be pretty good foreshadowing for his real-life story this year.



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