The Worst of 2017

Published on December 28th, 2017

Michael Dalton gives us his list of the worst films of 2017.

  1. Passengers:Who bankrolled this brainless $200 million space opera? On a ship bound for a utopia in an outer galaxy far, far away that’s carrying the new residents all in hypersleep, one of its occupants, played by Chris Pratt (who is he again?) in error, awakens far, far too early, gets lonely, and selfishly decides to wake up the prettiest fellow passenger (Jennifer Lawrence) to keep him company. Michael Sheen and Lawrence Fishburne round out the cast of this infinitely forgettable film.
  2. The Fate of the Furious:Will the cash registers never stop with the ding-a-ling for this utterly stupid franchise? This motley crew, who once were content to be sexually aroused by revving engines and gleaming hubcaps, have now morphed into government operatives. Their enemy? Charlize Theron, glaring in icy dreadlocks and skintight everything, who holds a child and mother hostage in her quest for some kind of world domination.  “Let’s get this party started” she coos as she creates vehicular mayhem in Manhattan with the push of a button. I’m still waiting.
  3. Alien: Covenant:You would think that Ridley Scott, the man who started this galactic nightmare back in 1979, would know where to take a new chapter of this never-ending story. It has its moments and seeing H.R. Giger’s diabolical creation is like reuniting with a long lost friend but there are just too many holes in this universe now, most notably the one the spaceship mistakenly flies through.
  4. The Mummy:In one of the most PC horror films in many a year, the pint-sized but always heroic Tom Cruise took the reins of this mindless launch of Universal’s “Dark Universe” franchise. Russell Crowe, in a Razzie-ready performance, is in here too as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Looking like a Christmas pudding in a suit, his Ray Winstone impersonation is one for the Hall of Fame. Watching these two megastars bash each other around is actually hilarious entertainment, if only it was meant to be.
  5. Annabelle: Creation:As if the first instalment about this painfully obvious demonic doll wasn’t bad enough, here’s more, set on a ranch somewhere where a dollmaker and his wife reside and, despite creepy goings on from up in the rafters all the way down to the basement, decide to let orphans come and stay. Nutty, shockingly acted, and worst of all, not a fright in sight.
  6. Madame:What a ridiculous, mean-spirited little affair this is. Toni Collette, it must be said, is perfectly cast as a well to do wife living in Paris who comes up one guest short at a snooty dinner party so she cons her maid, played by the always beguiling Rossy De Palma, into taking the seat. Romance between her and the much-prized guest, a wealthy art broker, blossoms much to her mistress’s dismay who then makes it her business to end it. Pointless and cruel.
  7. mother!:Where does one even begin to describe this celluloid atrocity? I’d rather just end by saying this exploitative nonsense, that apparently carries some really deep biblical meaning, is obviously designed to raise our blood pressure and even challenge us with its supposed metaphors (they’re All buried beneath the vile action that barely pauses). In interviews director Darren Aronofsky made his goal clear when he declared he’s bothered little by audience reaction, good or bad, as long as there is one.
  8. Suburbicon:George Clooney’s traumatic misfire starts off well enough. Grinning Stepford-style families traverse the manicured lawns of the glorious Suburbicon while underneath a conspiratorial, murderous heart lurks, courtesy of the Coen brothers (the dusted off screenplay was shelved back in the late 90s). A neat little story and one Clooney should’ve stuck with but over-indulgence darkened the day when he added a grotesque story about the arrival of a black family (who exist as symbols only, rather than flesh and blood human beings). the neighbours don’t like it, and they waste no time expressing their round-the-clock disapproval.  Ugly, desperate, and offensive.
  9. Jigsaw:It all seems so long ago now that James Wan and Leigh Whannell ushered us into the mercilessly redemptive world of Jigsaw, a terminally ill mastermind who determined to even things up with an unkind world by torturing the ungrateful. It wasn’t actually. It was only seven years ago the curtain was drawn with Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. Now the game has started up again, only with less inventive traps, even worse actors, and surprisingly sloppy direction by the Spierig boys (remember the brilliant Predestination?) And that finale! Oh boy have we been here before.
  10. Murder on The Orient Express:Did director Kenneth Branagh even read the text before he took on Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit? Does he know anything about the indomitable Hercule Poirot? Was he aware Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, and Michelle Pfeiffer were in the movie too? Does he have even the faintest notion of how to create mystery and suspense? Did he look in the mirror after he glued all those barbershop leftovers to his face? I thought not.