Oh, 2016, we hardly knew thee. Which is good because after all the celebrity deaths, The 2016 Presidential Election, Harambe, the Orlando Shooting and the Disney Gator Attack, I think we were all pretty much dancing a jig to see you go. However, that’s neither here nor there. We’re here to talk about another bad part of 2016; the worst movies to grace the big screen. Let’s face it, we had some doozies. I’m sure the other reviewers on The Nerd Stash will have their own opinions on the worst films of the year. However, these were mine. These are my picks for the top 5 worst films of 2016.
#5: Tell Me How I Die
2016 was graced with some terrible horror films. I could go on forever about how much I hated The Forest and Don’t Breathe, However, both of those films were Oscar-worthy when compared to this. Tell Me How I Die involves a group of young adults who decide to participate in a clinical drug trial. Does this trial take place in a hospital or a lab close to civilization? No, it takes place in a luxurious building way outside of town, in the middle of the woods, during a blizzard. Why would any of them agree to this? Because they are very stupid people.
Anyway, evidently this is the second trial and a past patient, who was given a higher dosage of the drug, is out to kill them all. Tell Me How I Die was just a painful horror film that I would not wish upon any of you. The acting was horrendous, the characters were idiots and the villain was a joke. The film ruined a potentially interesting idea in favor of just making another generic slasher film. It’s not worth your time in the slightest.
#4: When The Bough Breaks
How many times can someone make a blatant rip-off of Fatal Attraction before we finally wise up? We had Swimfan, The Crush, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Single White Female, Obsessed, The Perfect Guy, Sleeping With The Enemy, The Boy Next Door and now we have When The Bough Breaks. I’m sure there are others but those are the only ones I can think of right now. Funny enough, When The Bough Breaks, Obsessed, and The Perfect Guy are all Screen Gems Productions. Listen, it’s bad enough you keep putting me through garbage Resident Evil Adaptations. It’s another thing to add salt in the wound by remaking this trite over and over.
I shouldn’t even have to tell you the plot. If you have seen any of the films I mentioned above, you have seen this movie. It does nothing different. It is a generic rehashing of done-to-death material and one of the worst to date. Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall are both good in this film. But the sad thing is, that only makes me hate the film more. It’s wasting the talents of two good actors. I hope that they can get better work in the future. As for Jaz Sinclair, she has two modes; stoic and Looney Tunes. I’m sorry to say that what works for Nicolas Cage, does not work for her. However, this isn’t the only movie in 2016 that wasted the talents of great actors.
#3: Collateral Beauty
Collateral Beauty is one of the most heartless, emotionally manipulative films I have ever seen. That’s a real shame too because I can definitely see it was well-intentioned. Collateral Beauty even has some great performances from wonderful A-list stars. However, what the movie is and what it’s trying to be are two completely different things. If you saw trailers for this movie, you would have no idea what is really going on. The trailers were an absolute misleading lie and, after seeing the film, it’s honestly not hard to see why. It’s marketed as a film where a man is visited by physical representations of Death, Love and Time. Kind of like A Christmas Carol type deal. I’m going to reveal something that you may consider a spoiler, but it’s really not. This is the actual plot of the film.
After Harold (Will Smith), loses his daughter, he stops running his company properly. His three co-workers/friends played by Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, and Michael Pena, are all worried they might lose their jobs. So, after discovering that Harold is writing letters to Death, Love and Time, they hire three actors to portray Death, Love and Time so that these people can follow him around and talk to him. Do they ultimately do this to help him? No, they do this so that a private investigator can record Harold’s conversations with these people. This way, Edward Norton can digitally remove them from the video and make it look like Harold is talking to no one. Why would his friends do something so heartless? So they can get him fired and keep their jobs … I am not kidding.
The lead performances are tear-jerking at times but the script is such manipulative garbage. The dialogue isn’t even dialogue, it’s a bunch of great actors speaking in trailer lines. It is a film that is trying to be uplifting but, in the end, is entirely mean-spirited. Who would do something so horrible to a friend who lost his daughter? Who would be this evil, especially around the holidays? Yes, the film takes place at Christmas time. Also, how does Edward Norton have Hollywood level technology that would allow him to erase an entire person from an iPhone video? This movie is really stupid, incredibly manipulative and mean-spirited to an unsettling degree. I hated Collateral Beauty and it is one of the worst films of 2016 by a clear mile.
#2: How To Be Single
I saw How To Be Single in early 2016 when it was released. I walked out of the theater so incredibly pissed off and just adamant that no film in 2016 could be worse. Notice it’s only at number two. I really hope you people appreciate what I go through for you because in cases like this, it’s not only hard, it’s painful. How To Be Single is an absolute albatross of filmmaking. A testament to artistic and comedic incompetence. As manipulative as Collateral Beauty was, this was definitely worse.
The main characters in this film are just awful. Alice (Dakota Johnson) gives up a three-year relationship to go have a series of sexual escapades in New York City. Then when that doesn’t work out, she tries getting her old boyfriend back only to discover he’s with someone else. Okay, and I’m supposed to feel bad for the idiot, who gave up a three-year relationship with someone she claimed to “love” in order to go have sex with random guys in the city? No, she’s an idiot, I feel no sympathy for her, she deserves everything she’s going through. If this is how she treats a good relationship, she doesn’t deserve happiness. She deserves to be alone and miserable. Nice try, though, movie.
However, she’s not the only character we follow. We also follow Robin (Rebel Wilson), the most annoying human being in New York City. Then there’s Lucy (Allison Brie), who is completely psycho looking for a boyfriend. When I say psycho, I mean Bella Swan psycho. If you ever come across a woman like this on a date, then RUN! Run fast and run far. Lastly, we follow Meg (Leslie Mann), who’s actually not so bad. She gets one or two funny lines and she wants a child. For a movie so devoid of decent humor, she got a couple laughs out of me and her story wasn’t that bad. That being said, she’s barely in the movie. The movie mostly follows these other characters, all of whom are terrible, not just as characters but as people. How To Be Single needs to die.
#1: Independence Day: Resurgence
You can argue all you want that the movies above are worse than this. From a technical standpoint, they probably are but not to me. Why? Because I didn’t wait twenty years for How To Be Single or Collateral Beauty. I went to a special screening of this film on opening night where they showed this film and the original back-to-back. The difference in absolutely everything was just staggering. I’ve heard the argument over and over that the original Independence Day was just as dumb. I completely disagree with that and if you’d like to know why, follow this link to my review of the original film. At best, Independence Day: Resurgence is below average garbage. At worst, it’s unwatchable garbage.
The film brings back a handful of the actors from the original and it barely focuses on them. Even when it does, they all feel like shells of their former characters. Remember how David’s entire motivation in the first film revolved around winning back his wife and being the man she knew he could be. Well, chuck that out the window because his wife wasn’t even in the movie. She wasn’t even mentioned at all. Instead, they just give David some new sexy archaeologist girlfriend for no reason whatsoever. It was such a spit in the face. Two of the original characters die for absolutely no reason. They die for nothing because the film clearly doesn’t care. The new cast that the film does focus on are so boring and one-note, you could just replace them all with cardboard boxes. They are bland and lifeless.
The action scenes feel on repeat, the effects themselves are garbage compared to the effects of the original and the movie fails to even give us a coherent narrative. The story was terrible and felt half put together. This isn’t a surprise given that Independence Day: Resurgence had six writers. Yeah, SIX WRITERS! Yet, not one of them knew they were writing one of the most unforgivable science fiction sequels of all time. Independence Day: Resurgence was a lifeless shell of its original predecessor that should just be buried and forgotten. The fact that this film had twenty years to develop only angers me more. Independence Day was a masterpiece in my eyes. Independence Day: Resurgence was the worst film of 2016 and one of the worst sequels ever made, period.
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.