The Top Five Worst Films of 2021

A Guy Who Talks About Movies
6 min readJan 6, 2022

2021 was a weird one.

It was a year we had a lot of hope for because of the nightmare that was 2020. But for a lot of the year it was still the same nightmare that was 2020 and then when things finally did sort of get back to normal, it was filled with anxiety about whether you’d get Covid or if we were going to get locked back up again.

In terms of films, most waited until the cinemas properly opened back up again. When they did, we did get a steady stream of blockbusters and smaller flicks which almost made you think everything was normal. It wasn’t, but it felt like it.

Because of the limited film release schedule for five months, we are sticking to a Top Five again this year. So here we go, the Top Five Worst Films of 2021.

5. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

The first two G.I. Joe films were rubbish attempts at being Transformers movies. That is why they were widely rejected and it seemed like the franchise was dead. Yet here we are with a reboot. No idea how that happened and why Hollywood expected people to come out in a pandemic year, where people showed they’d only be lured to the cinema to see things that really intrigued them, to see it but it happened. It didn’t help that it was also very bad. The action is poorly done and is a jumble of cuts and pans which do everything but draw you into the action. Outside of those scenes, it’s dull, predictable and an absolute snoozefest. One of the most pointless films in a year.

4. Old

A few years ago, it became the norm that a critic would put an M. Night Shyamalan film on his Worst Films of the year list. But then he actually got on the Best lists with Split and while Glass divides opinions, it does at least do that. No one argued about the merits of The Last Airbender, we all agreed it was awful. So in a year of turmoil, it’s sort of soothing to return to some sort of normality with Old. It’s a terrible Shyamalan film that reminds you of all of his awful habits which made people call him one of the worst mainstream directors of all time. It’s how he drains the emotions and range out of his actors no matter how talented they are, the plodding pace of a story which sounds far more interesting on paper than it actually ends up being before it all ends being rather mediocre and you wondering what you did with your time. This film will certainly age you.

3. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

I remember when every horror film had to have a sequel that was pretty much just a retread. But the paying public punished those films by not seeing them and while there are still horror sequels, they tend to be anthology efforts like The Conjuring. This movie brings us back to the bad old days. Tournament of Champions is such a retread that I’m quite convinced you could tell people that they are rewatching the first film and they’d probably believe you. The first film wasn’t exactly brilliant either so it’s not like some of the other horror sequels which at the very least were retreading some brilliant movies. This simply a retread of a mediocre one which makes you question what the scriptwriters were doing with their time after doing Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V. Probably trying to work out how to go on holiday abroad without paying hundreds of pounds to PCR test companies.

2. Fast and Furious 9

In one way, I am pleased Fast and Furious 9 happened. We needed a reliable blockbuster franchise to release a movie this year early into the re-opened cinemas so we can see where we are at. If this film had flopped, we could assume people were not ready to return to the cinemas and we could avoid potentially great franchises being killed by the spectre of Covid. So seeing this film come out and do decently was quite heart warming for those of us who wish for cinemas to live on. It’s a shame then that the movie plumbed new depths for the franchise. Just like the last film, which I also hated, it is incredibly po faced and being led by the block of wood that Vin Diesel who shows the acting range of a rubber duck throughout what is meant to be an emotional turmoil of a movie. Everyone’s personality is drained so they too can also be blocks of wood like Vin Diesel and that just makes the preposterous action scenes seem out of place. There’s also some emotional manipulation which feels wrong and honestly it just makes me feel burned out.

  1. Dear Evan Hansen

Why? Just why? That’s what I thought when watching this movie. It felt like every time the film makers had to make a choice, they made the wrong one. They did not look at the source material and see that the story of a teenager who emotionally blackmails his way into the family whose son committed suicide might cause some negative reactions with a cinema audience, notably one that’s just gone through a pandemic which has ravaged the mental health of this planet so maybe making this a bit of a touchy subject for many. Then they decided to not cast someone who looks like a teenager, instead getting the guy who played the role on Broadway. He now looks comfortably in his 30s and every scene with him in a school just makes you think he is a narc. Then he gets with the sister of the boy who committed suicide, seriously guys what the hell is wrong with this movie, and it starts to feel a little bit noncey because she does look like a teenager. What this all amounts to is a main character who is hatable but the film demands we sympathise with. To add to this, the sound mixing in THIS MUSICAL means you can’t hear the lyrics to the songs. Musicals tell their stories through songs, the lyrics are crucial and this film may have redeemed some of the awfulness with the actually fairly catchy tunes. But no, the background music drowns it out and condemns this part of the film. Dear Evan Hansen is the worst musical I’ve ever seen because with Cats at least you can enjoy the terribleness of it. Here, you just have to spend time with a terrible person and maybe hear a song if you’re lucky. It is the worst film of 2021 and this film can just piss off.



A Guy Who Talks About Movies

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.