The 2019 movie season has come to a close and we are 25 days away from the 92nd edition of The Academy Awards. For those unaware, I watch and rate all movies released each year on a scale of 0-100 and then release the rankings leading up to the Oscars. Over the course of the next 18 weekdays, I will count down from 185 all the way to the top spot. Let's just cut to the chase with the worst of the worst, the Bottom 15 movies of 2019...
171) The Kitchen (19/100): We have to stop taking talented actors and actresses, teaming them up and movies, and supplying them with awful scripts. 'The Kitchen' is a rather empty movie in terms of any emotional connection to its lead characters, which is a shame when you have Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss leading your movie. The direction is also a complete mess and there is never a consistent flow established with the movie.
172) A Madea Family Funeral (18/100): The eleventh... ELEVENTH... movie in the Madea Cinematic Universe isn't the worst of the bunch, but it is pretty tough to get through. I respect Tyler Perry a lot, and there are a handful of things I like that he puts out there, but the Madea franchise has run its course. The finale of the franchise is stale and the jokes and humor are just far too overdone to really move the needle for me.
173) Cats (17/100): Pound-for-pound the single biggest misfire in the history of Hollywood. You can read my entire thoughts in my full review, but 'Cats' was somehow worse than I could have imagined. Such a shame...
174) Running With the Devil (17/100): At this point, Nic Cage is a volume shooter when it comes to movies. For every 'Mom and Dad' or 'Mandy', you get something like 'Running With the Devil'...
We have to get through this list, so I won't stop and explain my thoughts on what is and isn't working for Nic Cage, but if he happens to show up on the list again later, I'll get into it.
175) Black Christmas (16/100): I am much lower on this remake (the third time they've done it) than most people have been since it came out. A big theme with the bottom half of my rankings is how angry these types of remakes have made me. We complain about superhero franchises and big IP from the major studios, but these smaller remakes, which feel like unwanted cash grabs, are the movies I view to truly be diluting the market. 'Black Christmas' simply doesn't have enough charm for its style or creative scares to stack up with the rest of its genre.
176) A Score to Settle (15/100): Oh would you look at that, Nic Cage again! Here is my concise, single thought on Nic Cage in 2020: the more strange, creative and "arthouse" of a project is, the better it will be for the legendary actor. 'A Score to Settle', a cliched Taken-esque action-thriller, falls on the "serious" role side of things for him and he just simply doesn't shine as much there. I implore Nic Cage's agent to be more selective going forward with his movies, in the right role he is a delight to watch on screen.
177) Tall Girl (13/100): Like a bad Disney Channel Original Movie from the 1990s, 'Tall Girl' borders on "so bad it's good" territory for me. I talked about it at length in a short YouTube video, but the premise is absolutely preposterous and the movie is loaded with strange, unlikeable teenage characters. It's very much a cookie-cutter young adult coming-of-age Netflix movie.
178) Domino (12/100): Brian De Palma is an absolute legend, but he is on a very cold streak of nearly 25 years at this point. 'Domino' is a major flop from the 'Mission: Impossible' director as the movie plays out like a low-budget amateur version of the Tom Cruise franchise. It is such a baffling fall from grace for a director who will forever be known as one of the best of the best.
179) Replicas (11/100): Speaking of making movies that cater to the skills of an actor, I present to you 'Replicas' starring Keanu Reeves. This is a movie that I actually saw in the "worst of the year" spot for some movie reviewers, and it is hard for me to argue against placing it there. You have to write to the strengths of Keanu (See "Wick, John") and we don't get that with 'Replicas'. It's a whacky sci-fi movie that is all over the map and will turn your brain into mush if you think too long and hard about it.
180) Jacob's Ladder (10/100): Another remake, or reboot, that just simply didn't need to happen. The problem with the new 'Jacob's Ladder' is that it feels so half-assed as if it was lazily made on the off chance it might spark the interest from fans of the original and make a nice profit.
181) Countdown (09/100): TECHNOLOGY IS BAD! A movie that feels as though it was made five years too late, 'Countdown' has the qualities of a product that popped out of that manatee tank from South Park...
No genre has innovated and pushed the limits more than horror/thriller over the last few years, even when it comes to small budget productions. There is simply no reason we should still be getting movies like 'Countdown' in 2020.
182) The Curse of La Llorona (07/100): There is also no reason that we should be getting movies in a pretty-decent horror/thriller franchise as bland as 'The Curse of La Llorona'. I know James Wan is not involved, but how can this movie feel like such a small, uneven effort in comparison to the rest of the Conjuring Universe? There is nothing here that will wow or impress you in terms of originality, it's a movie that plays off the Conjuring name and rides of the coattails of jump scares from start to finish.
183) The Fanatic (06/100): I will respect any movie opinion, no matter how much I disagree with it, but I am not understanding the folks who are impressed with John Travolta's role in 'The Fanatic'.
Unsettling? Off-putting? Strange? I'll take all of those words and then some to describe 'The Fanatic', and I won't use any of them as a compliment. I understand the "toxic fandom" angle they're going for with the movie, but none of it lands for me and the entire thing was just flat out uncomfortable to watch. Travolta does avoid going back-to-back after 'Gotti' bottomed out the list last year.
184) Serenity (05/100): Look, it's a terrible, nonsensical movie… but it has the most shocking twist of any movie released in 2019. It's dumb on levels unimaginable, but I would still suggest watching 'Serenity' just so you can discuss the movie with someone.
185) The Hustle (04/100): In most years, a movie with a 4/100 rating might not be in the Bottom 5, but, nevertheless, here we are with 'The Hustle' in the 185th and final spot. Another reboot/remake, this time of the 1988 comedy 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', this movie is devoid of humor and genuine fun. It's lazy, unimaginative and the best example of the year when it comes to the lack of original ideas in Hollywood. Give me something new, take these talented actors and actresses (Anne Hathaway hitting the Bottom 5 twice this year) and give them roles that will excite me enough to head to the theater. No one wants a movie where a pivotal scene involves wiping the inside of a toilet bowl with a french fry…
Way to go 'The Hustle', way to go…
We have gotten the worst movies of the year out of the way! Tomorrow we will look at 161 through 170 and, in the meantime, you can still rate all of the movies released on a scale of 0-100 below. Make sure to subscribe (click here) to Lights Camera Barstool to enjoy our twice-a-week movie podcast…
Give your rating for all 2019 movies: