The Worst Movie of 2021, According to Critics
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  • Post published:30/12/2021
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Moviegoing in 2021 was a mixed bag: While the COVID pandemic ebbed and flowed, audiences returned to theaters when they could, but many preferred the safer (and cozier) choice to stream at home. The offerings were varied, and there were plenty of standout films. As is the case every year, however, there was also plenty of garbage. So, what were the worst movies of 2021?

To find out, we took a look at review aggregator site Metacritic’s ranked list of every 2021 release, then headed straight for the bottom to find the films with the lowest scores. These are the movies that, on average, got the worst reviews from critics. They include major blockbusters alongside little-seen indies, and plenty of movies in between. Read on to find out how many of these films you suffered through this year—and if you agree with the critical consensus.

RELATED: The Worst Movie of 2020, According to Critics.

30

A Journal for Jordan

still from a journal for jordanstill from a journal for jordan
Sony Pictures Releasing

Metascore: 37

“Certainly among the worst films of the year considering the reputable talent involved, this inspirational drama stains [Denzel] Washington’s directorial filmography,” writes Carlos Aguilar for The Wrap.

29

Demonic

still from demonicstill from demonic
IFC Midnight

Metascore: 36

Demonic isn’t just a low-budget supernatural–sci-fi thriller; it’s also a shallow one, a boring one, a poorly conceived one—and the characters stink too,” writes William Bibbiani for The Wrap.

28

Mainstream

still from mainstreamstill from mainstream
IFC Films

Metascore: 36

“Indeed, the strangest thing about Mainstream (and it is a strange, strange film) is just how out of touch it feels,” writes Rory O’Connor for The Film Stage.

27

He’s All That

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Netflix

Metascore: 36

He’s All That is, yes, a nightmarish, joyless commentary on influencer-beholden adolescence told through the crutch of nostalgia and starring a charisma-less TikTok star,” writes Brianna Zigler for Paste.

26

Space Jam: A New Legacy

still from space jam a new legacystill from space jam a new legacy
Warner Bros. Pictures

Metascore: 36

Space Jam 2‘s desire to tap into the nostalgia associated with its predecessor leaves the sequel feeling unoriginal and predictable,” writes Abrar Al-Heeti for CNET.

25

The Unholy

still from the unholystill from the unholy
Sony Pictures Releasing

Metascore: 36

“If the devil did exist then surely he’d have the power to destroy films as dull as this,” writes Benjamin Lee for The Guardian.

24

The Kissing Booth 3

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Netflix

Metascore: 36

“In the face of icky writing, limp directing, awful pacing, horrific green screen, and terrible jokes, star Joey King spent three film adaptations of Beth Reeckles’ YA novels injecting heart and humor into her Elle Evans. Still, King’s charm isn’t enough to save the series,” writes Kate Erbland for IndieWire.

23

Naked Singularity

still of john boyegastill of john boyega
Screen Media Films

Metascore: 36

Naked Singularity isn’t a typical courtroom drama. It’s a heist flick, a sci-fi romp, and a message film all rolled into one. And it’s a pretty terrible example of all three genres,” writes Robert Daniels for Polygon.

22

The Affair

still from the affairstill from the affair
Bioscop

Metascore: 35

“How can a movie this visually glossy be so devastatingly uninteresting and dull?” writes Odie Henderson for RogerEbert.com.

21

Awake

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Netflix

Metascore: 35

“It’s difficult to imagine a high-concept thriller that coalesces around its one-line conceit less convincingly than director Mark Raso’s Awake,” writes Pat Brown for Slant.

20

Home Sweet Home Alone

still from home sweet home alonestill from home sweet home alone
Disney+

Metascore: 35

Home Sweet Home Alone is a very odd duck—a movie that basically replicates the three-decades-old Home Alone template, but in a way that feels slightly weird and ill-conceived,” writes Brian Lowry for CNN.

19

Thunder Force

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Netflix

Metascore: 34

“The trailer for the film is way better than sitting through it. It’s a tedious mess to endure and seemed like way more fun making than watching,” writes Mark Kennedy for the Associated Press.

18

Yakuza Princess

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XYZ Films

Metascore: 34

“There’s a lot of walking and talking, but this thing never really moves fast enough, not even during its action scenes,” writes Simon Abrams for RogerEbert.com.

RELATED: The Worst Movie Sequel of All Time, According to Critics.

17

The Blazing World

still from the blazing worldstill from the blazing world
Vertical Entertainment

Metascore: 33

The Blazing World falls short narratively and visually, not leaning hard enough into its stylistic possibilities to leave an impression past its opening credits,” writes Monica Castillo for RogerEbert.com.

16

Every Breath You Take

still from every breath you takestill from every breath you take
Vertical Entertainment

Metascore: 32

Sam Claflin is best in show, but his performance is undercut by the film’s inability to escalate or explore the ramifications of its premise,” writes Chuck Bowen for Slant.

15

Tom & Jerry

still from tom and jerrystill from tom and jerry
Warner Bros. Pictures

Metascore: 32

Tom & Jerry is five to ten minutes of action that might have worked in one of the cartoon duo’s shorts, surrounded by an inordinate amount of unimaginative, unfunny human-based conflict,” writes John DeFore for The Hollywood Reporter.

14

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

still from hitman's wife's bodyguardstill from hitman's wife's bodyguard
Lionsgate

Metascore: 32

“Full of action without thrills, comedy without laughs, noise without meaning and violence without reason (or even any cool combat choreography), it’s a headache with a Hollywood marketing budget,” writes Cary Darling for the San Francisco Chronicle.

13

A Week Away

still from a week awaystill from a week away
Netflix

Metascore: 32

“This isn’t an unwatchable movie, just an underachieving and forgettable one, and somehow that’s more irritating than a disastrous swing for the fences would’ve been,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz for RogerEbert.com.

12

The Starling

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Netflix

Metascore: 31

“Every implausible scene, every unconvincing character, every contrived dollop of symbolism, every toe-curlingly misjudged and unearned emotional climax seems as if it has been concocted in some secret bio-warfare lab for assaulting your mind with pure, toxic nonsense,” writes Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian.

RELATED: The 20 Worst Movies Starring Oscar-Winning Actors.

11

The Reckoning

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Shudder

Metascore: 31

“The film left me shaking with anger more than fear,” writes Cath Clarke for The Guardian.

10

Diana: The Musical

still from diana the musicalstill from diana the musical
Netflix

Metascore: 29

“This is not a considered look at someone’s life; it’s a cash-in that just wants to get to the tragic end, hoping that the audience will convince themselves that they felt something along the way,” writes Richard Lawson for Vanity Fair.

9

Infinite

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Paramount+

Metascore: 28

Infinite feels like a depressing fable about the movie industry,” writes Alison Willmore for Vulture.

8

Blithe Spirit

still from blithe spiritstill from blithe spirit
Sky

Metascore: 26

“Completely miscast with uninspired production, this remodeling of Blithe Spirit is a faint shadow of its [Noël] Coward roots, a resurrected retired poltergeist without its same purpose or vigor,” writes Jenny Nulf for The Austin Chronicle.

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7

The Misfits

still from the misfitsstill from the misfits
The Avenue Entertainment

Metascore: 25

“The characters are bland, the dialogue is atrocious, the action is mediocre, and even the heist is a boring bust,” writes Brian Tallerico for RogerEbert.com.

6

Breaking News in Yuba County

still from breaking news in yuba countystill from breaking news in yuba county
United Artists Releasing

Metascore: 24

“It’s the kind of movie that seems to suck your soul out while you’re watching it, variably crass and slapstick humor landing with a bloody thud,” writes Ryan Lattanzio for IndieWire.

5

American Skin

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Vertical Entertainment

Metascore: 24

“Infuriatingly manipulative and insufferably preachy, American Skin examines the cultural issues tearing apart U.S. society and reduces them to cheap theatrics,” writes Tim Grierson for Screen Daily.

4

Midnight in the Switchgrass

still from midnight in the switchgrassstill from midnight in the switchgrass
Lionsgate

Metascore: 24

“Although the film’s narrative is passable at best, it struggles to maintain any momentum due to uninteresting characters and predictably bad writing,” writes Ferdosa Abdi for Screen Rant.

RELATED: These Are the Movies on Rotten Tomatoes With 0 Percent Ratings.

3

The Virtuoso

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Lionsgate Films

Metascore: 24

[Anthony] Hopkins isn’t awful in The Virtuoso, but the movie that surrounds him is,” writes Peter Debruge for Variety.

2

Music

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Vertical Entertainment

Metascore: 23

“An old-fashioned piece of shameless hokum, Sia’s Music might be hilarious if it weren’t so offensive,” writes Bilge Ebiri for Vulture.

1

Vanquish

still from vanquishstill from vanquish
Lionsgate

Metascore: 22

“The fighting is unsatisfying, and renders the film a failure,” writes Johnny Oleksinski for the New York Post.

RELATED: The Worst Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated.

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