It’s time of year again, time to tote up the winners and losers. And there were certainly some losers this year. Aliens, robots, and virtual faces await you in my list of the ten worst films of 2017.


  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The first Kingsman was a cartoonsihly brutal deconstruction of the spy genre. Matthew Vaughn is so determined that this sequel outdo its predecessor at every turn that he forgets what it was that made the original so much fun. The Golden Circle is dull, uneven, and lacks any imagination. And the less said about about that creepy, ill-advised sex scene (if you’ve seen the film, you know which one I mean), the better.

Read the full review here.


  1. Rules Don’t Apply

Warren Beatty spent forty years working on this. A film which takes that long to make can go either way, and unfortunately Rules Don’t Apply went the wrong way. It’s a Howard Hughes biopic with a romantic comedy inexplicably tacked on. Or is it a romantic comedy with a Hughes biopic inexplicably poking its nose in? I don’t think even Beatty knows for sure. But Rules Don’t Apply‘s biggest crime is simply this: it’s really boring.


  1. Assassin’s Creed

The Assassin’s Creed video games may have their share of po-faced, needlessly complicated plots, but at least you can take time out to clamber across historical landmarks and stab virtual baddies in the face. You can’t do either of those in this astoundingly brown adaptation (which inexplicably stars Michael Fassbender, who really should know better). All you can do is sit there and try to weather its po-faced, needlessly complicated plot. Sadly, we’re still waiting on the proverbial good video game movie.


  1. Rings

This revival of the creepy child horror franchise starts off with a genuinely intriguing premise: a scientist mounting a large scale research project into the video tape that kills people. Then the filmmakers realise that they’ll have to, you know, do something with that premise, and so they abandon it in favour of a brain-deadeningly tedious retread of the first film. What’s more, in a bold move for a horror film, Rings isn’t scary at all. How innovative.


  1. Split

M. Night Shyamalan’s latest could have been a fairly decent high concept thriller, if it wasn’t for the disgustingly offensive treatment of mental illness. Dissociative identity disorder is a real mental disorder suffered by real people, but Shyamalan is shamelessly content to use it as the trashy hook in his lurid little film. He even slips in a psychiatrist character to lend undeserved respectability to his dangerous misrepresentations. Cinema has a long and sordid history with dissociative identity disorder, but Split, with its dangerous nonsense about violence and body chemistry, may be the worst offender yet.


  1. The Dark Tower

I could have given The Dark Tower a pass if it had been an original property. Then it would have been just another innocuous franchise starter. But it’s not an original property – it’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s sprawlingly epic sci fi-fantasy meta-adventure. King’s multiverse spanning opus is whittled down and diluted into a product that confuses newcomers and aggravates fans. A sequel and TV series are in the works, and to that I say no thankee, sai.


  1. Alien: Covenant

We don’t need to know where the xenomorph comes from. It’s a force of nature; it turns up, kills people, and we watch in gleeful terror. You wouldn’t give a convoluted origin story to a volcano, or a tsunami, or a tornado. But here we are: the xenomorph exists because a naughty robot got Shelley and Byron mixed up. Thanks, Ridley.

Read the full review here.



  1. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

It has King Arthur, it has a sword, but there is nothing legendary about Guy Ritchie’s disastrously dull retelling of the ancient tale. Legendarily grey, perhaps. Because it’s so baffingly grey. Why is it so grey? They must have had colours back then. Must have. Why is this film so grey? WHY?

Read the full review here.



  1. Transformers: The Last Knight

The fifth (fifth!) in Michael Bay’s mindbogglingly bad – and mindbogglingly successful – Transformers series isn’t the worst of the lot; but it is, by a dizzingly wide margin, the most boring. Planets literally collide (like, actual planets), and it so much meaningless noise. I’m going to go all literate (not to mention highly unoriginal) here and quote Shakespeare: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Read the full review here.


  1. The Emoji Movie

A film worse than Transformers: The Last Knight? The world really is going down the toilet. The Emoji Movie is a soul-crushing, mind-numbing, will-sapping crime against sentient beings everywhere. The plot is a dispirited attempt to ape the best of Pixar (not to mention The LEGO Movie). The jokes aren’t jokes, they’re just words that come out of the characters’ mouths. And at one point, the characters stop what they’re doing to play Candy Crush. I’m not joking; they literally put they’re quest on hold to play a game of Candy Crush. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all the effort I’m willing to put into describing the cinematic abomination that is The Emoji Movie.

And there you have it: my 10 worst films of 2017. Feel free to loudly disagree in the comments.


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