Ten disappointing movies of last decade
For this list, we’re taking a look at movies released between 2010 and 2019 that had so much potential, but fell well below expectations. To be fair, these movies aren’t the worst of the worst per se. A couple are – at the very least – watchable, but their failure to live up to the hype will always leave a sour taste in our mouths. Be warned, here lie spoilers.
10. Prometheus (2012)
With Ridley Scott returning to the director’s chair, fans were ready for “Prometheus” to breathe new life into the “Alien” franchise. This prequel admittedly wasn’t without some stunning visuals, intriguing ideas, and compelling performances, particularly from Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender.
Instead of delving deeper into this universe’s mythology, though, the film just asked a ton of questions with few answers. Did we mention the co-creator of “Lost” co-wrote this? We’re not saying that this movie needed to explain everything, but the mysteries laid out here aren’t especially gripping and – in the end – we don’t really care what it all meant.
While not the franchise’s darkest hour, “Prometheus” was nonetheless a snooze-fest and the last thing we should be in an “Alien” movie is bored.
9. Terminator Genisys (2015)
With Arnold back, “Terminator Genisys” seemed poised to reboot the franchise in epic fashion. However, audiences grew skeptical once the first trailer dropped, revealing that this installment would retcon all previous films – including the good ones! Then again, maybe a fresh start was for the best after so many missteps? With James Cameron even giving a ringing endorsement, “Genisys” was sure to deliver, right? Turns out that “Salvation” wasn’t even close to rock bottom.
“Genisys” left loyal fans feeling betrayed with PG-13 action, an over-reliance on nostalgia, and a plot that made no sense. The poor reception to “Genisys” derailed plans for a new trilogy set in this timeline, prompting “Terminator: Dark Fate” to simply ignore everything following “T2.” Good call.
8. The Dark Tower (2017)
If the past decade proved anything, it’s that the works of Stephen King are still ripe for Hollywood. Since “The Dark Tower” series is largely seen as his crowning achievement, it seemed a good idea to bring the Gunslinger and Man in Black to the silver screen.
Rather than focusing on the page-turning rivalry between those two, however, the film saw little Jake Chambers take center stage. The results thus felt less like “The Dark Tower” and more like a last-ditch effort to cash in on the dwindling young adult movie craze.
The film wasn’t even a direct adaptation of King’s books, instead delivering a bland continuation that confused newcomers, enraged fans, and completely missed the point of its source material.
7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
The first “Fantastic Beasts” was a promising start to a new chapter in the Wizarding World. Alas, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” sucked out much of the wonder and whimsy that made people fall in love with J.K. Rowling’s original creation. Rowling’s screenplay needlessly shoehorned in characters from the books without doing anything interesting with them.
This took away from screen time that could’ve been used to develop Newt, Tina, and other principal characters. The story somehow managed to be both convoluted and uneventful, making “Crimes of Grindelwald” feel like a minor stepping stone in a franchise that fans aren’t even sure they want anymore. Plus, there were barely any fantastic beasts this time around!
6. Zoolander 2 (2016)
This long-awaited sequel immediately got off on the wrong foot, revealing that Derek’s wife is dead, his son got taken away, and his “Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good…” has been destroyed. Because that’s what we wanted to see happen to Derek after fifteen years! But hey, the plot doesn’t really matter in a “Zoolander” movie. “Zoolander 2’s” biggest crime is that it’s virtually devoid of anything resembling comedy.
Whereas the first film was stupid yet clever, this follow-up wound up being just plain dumb and even lazy. Not only were the celebrity cameos totally wasted, but a majority of the gags were recycled. Didn’t anyone working on the film notice this? It feels like we’re taking crazy pills!
5. The Mummy (2017)
While not many people were pleading with Universal to develop a Dark Universe, the idea of seeing all the classic monsters join forces definitely showed promise. In what’s gotta be a record, “The Mummy” killed this cinematic universe right out of the sarcophagus. Actually, this wasn’t even Universal’s first attempt at a shared universe of monsters, as “Dracula Untold” was originally seen as a potential launching point. The fact that Universal dropped the ball twice made “The Mummy” all the more infuriating.
This movie started world-building without even deciding what it wanted to be. Combining elements of “The Avengers,” “Mission: Impossible,” and the Brendan Fraser “Mummy” movies, Universal turned in a muddled mess that tried pleasing everybody, but satisfied nobody.
4. Green Lantern (2011)
Deadpool isn’t the only one who would love to expunge this movie from Ryan Reynolds’ résumé. For decades, Green Lantern was one of the most beloved and respected heroes in the DC pantheon. After this lackluster adaptation landed, though, Green Lantern started to become the butt of the joke and it’s going to take an incredible reboot to restore his former glory.
Until then, we’re stuck with an uninspired origin story that falls back on every overused superhero trope and packs in so much CGI that it could be mistaken for a cartoon.
We’re just glad that Reynolds went on to make much better superhero movies and so did his co-star, Taika Waititi. Yeah, you forgot he was in this too, didn’t you?
3. The Last Airbender (2010)
On one hand, anybody who was looking forward to “The Last Airbender” should’ve known that they were setting themselves up for disappointment. As wonderful as the animated series is, you can’t condense an entire season’s worth of storylines into a feature film and expect the same results. On the other hand, it was a live-action version of “Avatar!” At the bare minimum, this adaptation should’ve offered some inventive action sequences, inspired casting choices, and fun recreations of beloved scenes.
With M. Night Shyamalan helming the project, however, the action was sluggish, the casting was mystifying, and the best moments from the show were robbed of their humanity. Whatever the in-development live-action Netflix series has in store for us, at least nothing will ever be worse than this.
2. The Hobbit (2012-14)
Given the success of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, it was only a matter of time until “The Hobbit” hit theaters. Fans were given cause for concern when news broke that this relatively short children’s book was being turned into a two-movie epic, which inevitably became a three-movie epic. Although “The Hobbit” trilogy had a theatrical runtime of almost 8 hours, we didn’t get to know anybody very well. The dwarfs were mostly glorified extras, the new characters contributed little, and even Bilbo got lost in the shuffle.
If you edited the trilogy’s best bits into a single film, we’d have a worthy successor to “Lord of the Rings.” As is, though, getting through this a drawn-out journey could feel like a chore.
1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
You could argue that “Suicide Squad” was the lesser film, but the DCEU’s avalanche of disappointment started with this train wreck.
How do you screw up a live-action movie that finally unites Batman and Superman on the big screen? For that matter, how do you botch a movie that borrows from “The Dark Knight Returns” and “The Death of Superman?” Well, you remove all the color, cram in a dozen other DC characters, cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and hire the guy who directed “Sucker Punch” to tie it all together, that’s how! “Batman v Superman” was such a colossal letdown that our hopes for “Justice League” were crushed. And we’re just going to say it, the Snyder Cut wouldn’t have magically fixed everything!