What Sucked In Movies This Year

Some Things Were Good, But More Things Weren’t. Like These Things.

This past movie year was pretty strong in terms of art-house cinema, pretty entertaining in terms of popcorn pictures, and pretty damn rife with bitch-worthy flicks. Here are my ten biggest gripes about this year’s offerings.

THE WORST

The Predator. Unnecessary. Silly and self-referential and lazy. This much graphic gore shouldn’t 1) desperately strive to be fun or 2) end up being so fundamentally boring. Adding a “The” is the perfect way to show that no one involved really gave a shit anyway.

MOST OVERHYPED

Roma. Oh my fucking God stop calling this a masterpiece. People act like it’s the Orgasmatron. What did I see? A good movie with a few flaws. And that’s OK to say.

MOST INNOCUOUS

If Beale Street Could Talk. Such a sweet, sweet, sweet, beautifully forgettable film. Exactly two scenes are seismic (a blistering extended confrontation between two families over an unexpected pregnancy, and a jaw-dropping monologue by Brian Tyree Henry about his prison time). The memory of everything else will sumptuously, delicately, gorgeously dissolve away within hours.

MOST DISAPPOINTING

Ready Player One. Oh, right. That came out this year. A movie chock-full of ’80s references by a filmmaker who clearly isn’t nostalgic at all for the decade he helped define.

Self-referential army: ATTACK

 

MOST POINTLESS PLOT

Mission: Impossible—Fallout. Sure, I tried to follow the film’s byzantine pretzel logic until I wised up. It’s a sucker’s bet to do anything but watch an aging movie star freefall out of a plane / motorcycle maniacally through Paris / helicopter irresponsibly over a mountain range. Tom Cruise is in the DV/DA phase of his overlong and increasingly-desperate career to deliver physical excitement. He will happily die for our pleasure. Who needs story?

MOST OVERPLOTTED PLOT

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. You had us at “Young Dumbledore must defeat his dearest friend.” Why dress up this drawn-out duel by taking a fringe magizoologist and turning him into the Frodo Baggins of an apocalyptic Harry Potter prequel epic?

MOST PRETENTIOUS

Deadpool 2. Oh dear Lord why the fuck do we have to keep thinking that Ryan Reynolds’ sass attacks are brilliant pop-culture takedowns?

MOST FULL OF ITSELF

Incredibles 2. Because I guess Mr. Mom storylines are still relevant?

MOST DEPRESSINGLY CORPORATE CASH-GRAB

Solo: A Star Wars Story. If you show how Han Solo got his name, or how he met Chewbacca, or how he won the Millennium Falcon, or how he got his blaster, or how he once had a girlfriend, then he really isn’t cool anymore. (Strangely enough, dashing robot-fucker Lando Calrissian just got a lot more interesting.)

MOST SHOCKINGLY VIOLENT COMEDY

Game Night. Hey there, Game Night: leave those blood-gushing laughs to The Predator.

Stephen Garrett

Stephen Garrett is the former film editor of 'Time Out New York’ and has written about the movie industry for more than 20 years. He is also the founder of Jump Cut, a marketing company that creates trailers and posters for independent, foreign-language, and documentary films.

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