From Affleck to Sandler.
With a rapidly changing library of titles, hosting your own movie marathon on Netflix is pretty easy. But instead of cherry-picking timeless classics or old favorites to enjoy, why not pay attention to those unfamiliar titles that you constantly find yourself weeding through and have yourself a bad movie marathon?
We sifted through the awful, absurd, and just plain WTF offerings of Netflix and managed to whittle an extensive list down to 25 semi-digestible entries. Representing all genres and countless questionable career moves, here are some truly abysmal titles whose creators will never have to worry about pesky things like counting money or Oscar statuette placement.
The worst movies on Netflix
1) Love Wedding Marriage
Directed by Dermot Mulroney, Love Wedding Marriage has the dubious distinction of scoring a rare 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, one of two Mandy Moore movies (along with Swinging With the Finkels) to earn the honor. In Love Wedding Marriage, Moore plays an alleged Berkeley graduate and relationship counselor with all the acting skill of an energetic high school cheerleader, and she gets no help from on-screen husband Kellan Lutz, who feels less like a romantic partner than her gay best friend. The film, co-starring Jane Seymour and James Brolin as Moore’s wackily estranged parents, wants to be a commentary on modern commitment, but as the New York Times memorably put it, it feels more like “punishment for a crime you can’t remember committing.” —Nico Lang
Stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have come a long way from this 2008 YA schlock-fest. Stewart, in particular, is slowly earning a reputation as one of the best actresses of her generation, and Pattinson recently received raves for his performance in the Safdie brothers’ Good Time following the film’s premiere at Cannes. But for those who came of age in the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, there’s a part of us that will always remember them for their roles in this epic and absurd tale of a romance between a human girl named Bella and a vampire boy named Edward. Catherine Hardwicke does her best to elevate author Stephenie Meyer’s source material, but in the end, Twilight is simply too silly and immature to ever be good. Still, this breathy love story was a phenomenon for a reason, and the chemistry (or was it anti-chemistry?) between Stewart and Pattinson, fueled by their equally tumultuous real-life relationship, makes it worth a rewatch. Twilight is bad, but almost 10 years later, it’s definitely not forgettable. —Chris Osterndorf
Screengrab via LionsgateVOD/YouTube (Fair Use)
3) The Cobbler
Adam Sandler has made a lot of bad movies in his career (Jack and Jill, anyone?), but perhaps none is more bizarre than The Cobbler, which is a Netflix category unto itself. It’s the world’s first—and probably last—Jewish body-switching gentrification comedy. Sandler plays a schlubby cobbler gifted with the magical ability to transport into the body of anyone’s shoes he happens to try on, which leads to some unexpected transphobic and racist hijinks. The Cobbler isn’t just a bewildering, offensive disaster, it’s a downright depressing one. Directed by future Oscar-winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), this film was supposed to announce Sandler as a serious actor. Instead, its failure further doomed him to a lifetime of co-starring in David Spade movies. —N.L.
4) True Memoirs of an International Assassin
There are so many bad Adam Sandler movies on Netflix, it’s easy to forgive one for thinking that this action comedy starring frequent Sandler crony Kevin James was a part of their ever growing list of Happy Madison-esque exclusives. Although the script by Jeff Morris appeared on the 2009 Black List—a yearly industry roster of the best unproduced screenplays—the final result failed to live up to the story’s buzzy inception. At the end of the day, True Memoirs of an International Assassin stands as nothing but yet another reminder of Hollywood’s tolerance for white male mediocrity that is embodied by Kevin James. —C.O.
Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube (Fair Use)
Serena boasts an amazing IMDb page. Directed Susanne Bier—who helmed the 2011 foreign-language Oscar winner, In a Better World—Serena re-teamed America’s favorite pairing: Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Fresh off the success of American Hustle, it seemed as if the frequent co-stars could do no wrong. Not quite. The film was so bad that it didn’t even screen in theaters, ignominiously dumped onto streaming platforms. That’s for the best, because the fewer people that see this soapy noir bore, the better. The screenplay, in which Cooper plays a lumber baron and Lawrence his unhinged wife, seems to actively hate its actors and want to see them suffer. It’s a mess of bad accents, dialogue, and life choices—like a one-night stand you’d rather forget. I suggest you do. —N.L.
6) The Human Centipede: First Sequence/The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence
Yes, Netflix is currently missing the middle installment in this trilogy. No, you should not feel compelled to seek out The Human Centipede 2, nor should you complete the exercise in torture that is watching the whole trilogy. Although the first Human Centipede movie was a notable example in pushing the “shock cinema” genre to new levels of depravity, the third film (if you can even call it that) is just proof that director Tom Six is trying as hard as he can to troll his audience. —C.O.
Screengrab via Shudder/YouTube (Fair Use)
7) Judge Dredd
Before 2012’s much better Dredd, there was this 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle. Stallone, who won the Razzie for “Worst Actor of the Century,” gives one of his most mumbly performances ever in this comic book adaptation about “judges” who serve as an all-powerful police force in a dystopian future. Judge Dredd definitely isn’t good, but for those nostalgic for ridiculous ‘90s action movies or hardcore Sylvester Stallone fans (the Italian stallion tends to be a commanding presence, even in his worst performances), it’s one of the best among Netflix’s worst. —C.O.
8) Daddy Day Care
Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin play stay-at-home dads who open their own daycare after getting laid off in this family flick which EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum describes as, “A parent-and-kid-oriented comedy about the adventures of men doing the hard work of mommies, which couldn’t be more timely — or less delightful.” It’s true, the high-concept premise probably felt almost progressive when the movie came out in 2003. And the film’s supporting cast, which includes the likes of the great Regina King and Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston, is top notch. Too bad the end result was “aggressively simple-minded” (Roger Ebert) and a “nearly unwatchable… endurance contest” (James Berardinelli). Could be worse, though; it could be Daddy Day Camp. —C.O.
9) United Passions
United Passions not only has the honor of receiving a whopping score of “1” on Metacritic, it also holds the title of the lowest-grossing film in U.S. history. To make matters worse, just as the movie, which explores the origins of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, was opening, FIFA itself was accused of mass corruption and President Sepp Blatter was suspended from all football-related activities. Given that the film lost almost all of the $27 million budget that FIFA sank into it, perhaps the powerful football organization will think twice before it takes on such blatant vanity projects in the future. —C.O.
Netflix has plenty of options for all the Nicolas Cage connoisseurs out there. Whether you’re a casual fan or a diehard Cage-head, you will find no shortage of options when it comes to the inscrutable actor on streaming. Most of them are bad, a few, memorably so. Outcast has the distinction of featuring not just Nic Cage, but Hayden Christensen (Mr. Skywalker himself!) in preposterous Chinese period garb. The plot has something to do with a mysterious warrior who teams up with the children of a Chinese Emperor to avenge his death. None of that really matters, though. What matters is Nicolas Cage in a ponytail, screaming like a maniac. —C.O.
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Elizabethtown is proof that hell exists. The film wasn’t so much directed by Cameron Crowe as it was foisted upon humanity as a punishment for our sins. Crowe’s sixth turn behind the camera is something that the director typically does well: a comedy-drama about a guy who has everything, forced to learn life lessons after losing it all. It’s the same template as Jerry Maguire, except this time the formula turns to a big bottle of rotten milk. The film’s journey toward redemption and forgiveness (set to an indie soundtrack) is glib and preachy and its characters are some of the most insufferable creations ever committed to film. Kirsten Dunst plays Claire, a flight attendant who injects herself into the life of Drew (Orlando Bloom) with the frantic passion of a serial killer. Their romance is intended to be endearing, but it feels more like a prequel episode of America’s Most Wanted. —N.L.
12) The Other Sister
Everything in The Other Sister is terrible. The film was directed by career hack Garry Marshall with the same nuance he brought to New Year’s Eve and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. But The Other Sister isn’t just maudlin sap, it’s so poorly made that it seems to be making fun of the very people it wants to celebrate. In the film’s most infamous scene, Carla (played by Juliette Lewis) gets lost in her own house. —N.L.
13) Grace of Monaco
The past few years have not been kind to royal biopics. In 2014, Naomi Watts earned her first Razzie nomination for the exploitative, navel-gazing Diana, a look at the former Princess of Wales’s doomed love affairs. Then there was the even more ill-fated Grace of Monaco, which was dumped on Lifetime after being all but laughed out of Cannes. It’s a trainwreck. The project probably seemed like sure thing for Nicole Kidman: Director Olivier Dahan’s previous picture was La Vie en Rose, the Edith Piaf biopic that won Marion Cotillard an Oscar. His follow-up was about another Oscar winner, Grace Kelly. But Dahan shoots his actors in the face: The performances are absurdly, unbelievably over the top. It all seems intentional, as if Grace of Monaco is trying to do something, but God only knows what. —N.L.
14) Little Boy
As Alison Willmore’s BuzzFeed review put it, “Little Boy looks like a heartwarming drama but feels like a horror movie.” It’s a tonal misfire of epic proportions, where the only thing more confusing than the premise is the cast (Kevin James? Michael Rapaport? Tom Wilkinson? And is that Emily Watson? What are any of you doing in a movie together, much less this one?) For anyone really looking to punish themselves, there’s apparently an Indian remake of the film out there as well. Oh, and just to make the lunacy complete, the remake stars a 51-year-old man in the central role. —C.O.
Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)
15) One Day
Honest. Raw. Original. None of these are words one would use to describe this 2011 romantic drama from Lone Scherfig (An Education.) Starring Anne Hathaway (doing her best) and Jim Sturgess (not as much) as the star-crossed Emma and Dexter, whose love story unfolds over multiple years and plot twists, One Day is the kind of film that’s so melodramatic, even the most sentimental of viewers are likely to go, “that’s a bit much.” Based on a much better-received novel by David Nicholls, the movie has an especially over-the-top ending, meant to be tear-jerking but more likely to inspire eye-rolling instead. —C.O.
Screengrab via MovieClips/YouTube (Fair Use)
16) Burying the Ex
Once upon a time, Joe Dante did good things. Marvelous things. You know him as the man behind Gremlins, Innerspace, and The Howling. However, judging from this retrograde, stunningly misogynistic dud, his politics are stuck in the ’80s. Burying the Ex is just as bad as its plot description sounds. Max (Anton Yelchin) wants to break up with his needy, annoying girlfriend, Evelyn (Ashley Greene), but he gets lucky: She dies! That frees up Max to move onto another hottie who is way too good for him (Alexandra Daddario), despite the fact that losing your girlfriend, even if the relationship isn’t great, would likely be a traumatic experience for anyone. He’s fine, though, and not a sociopath at all. Max’s plans for sweet your-girlfriend-is-worm-food nookie are foiled when Evelyn rises from the dead to nag him. What a drag. —N.L.
17) To the Wonder
Terrence Malick very rarely makes movies. Before the current decade, he had only directed five in his entire career: Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, and The New World. But shortly after the success of 2011’s The Tree of Life, which many (myself included) consider to be a masterpiece, he announced a slew of new projects. That ignited rumors that the reclusive 72-year-old was dying and was attempting to get out as many movies as possible in the time he had left. This equation might seem ageist if To the Wonder weren’t a truly, madly, deeply awful film—by far the worst thing its director has ever done. The film, starring Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck, takes many of the stylistic techniques that made his previous film such a marvel and makes them into spiritual kitsch. If you love ponderous voiceover, no character development, and shots of Olga Kurylenko twirling, this is the pseudo-philosophical mumbo-jumbo for you. —N.L.
18) Remember Me
There are romantic tearjerkers that are melodramatic to the point of being annoying (see One Day, above). And then there romantic tearjerkers that are so melodramatic, so overtly manipulative, they’re almost offensive. Remember Me, which stars Robert Pattinson and Lost’s Emilie de Ravin, is maybe the ultimate example of this. The end of the movie is absolutely ludicrous, not to mention crazily, brazenly overwrought to a degree that one has to wonder what everyone involved was high on when they signed off on it. —C.O.
Screengrab via LionsgateVOD/YouTube (Fair Use)
19) The Sharknado Franchise
Is there anything else you really need to know about the Sharknado films at this point? Sharks. Storms. Ian Ziering. Tara Reid. With the exception a mockumentary spinoff and the fifth installment, due out later this year, the whole SyFy series is currently available on Netflix in all its glorious badness. As the tagline for the original reads, “Enough said.” —C.O.
Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)
20) Jenny’s Wedding
LGBT-centered movies about marriage and family are a good idea. Treacly movies starring Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as unconvincing lesbians are not. Heigl stars here as the titular Jenny, who finally decides to come out to her family after getting engaged to her partner, Kitty (Bledel), whom they thought was just her roommate. Writer/director Mary Agnes Donoghue, who previously penned the screenplay for Beaches, clearly has an ear for melodrama. But when the subject of your film is same-sex marriage, it’s best the end result doesn’t feel like a “Hallmark card.” —C.O.
Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)
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21) The Killer Inside Me
There are bad movies which are worth watching, and there are bad movies that should be avoided at all costs. The Killer Inside Me is the latter. Please, please, no matter what you do, don’t watch this stupid, misogynistic, vile piece of crap (starring Casey Affleck, as if the rest wasn’t bad enough). Just don’t. —C.O.
22) The Canyons
Lindsay Lohan is not a bad actress. But if her last movie ever was The Canyons, people would probably remember her as one. Some material cannot be elevated. And if fact, after watching The Canyons, one has to wonder whether the intention was to let the film wallow in its own filth all along. It would make sense, coming from director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo) and especially from writer Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), whose combined fascination with the campy, the depraved, and the seedy reaches epic proportions in this on-the-nose satire. Their casting of Lohan as a Hollywood party girl only goes to accentuate this. But don’t get taken in; this supposedly edgy movie is about as interesting as a bag of rocks, not to mention twice as ugly. —C.O.
Screengrab via Voltage Pictures/YouTube (Fair Use)
23) The Ridiculous Six
Adam Sandler’s first feature as part of his four-picture Netflix deal is a train robbery disguised as a movie. The comedian has admitted that he views his movies as paid vacations, and with The Ridiculous 6, Sandler has gotten Netflix to bankroll the world’s most expensive party in which all of his friends are invited. The Frank Coraci-directed film is a loose spoof of The Magnificent Seven with the barest pretense to plot, logic, and common sense, and it’s incredible to consider that it took two people (Sandler and Tim Herlihy) to write a screenplay that appears to be so utterly nonexistent. If you like incessant fart jokes, Native American stereotypes, and the sight of Taylor Lautner wearing buckteeth, go for it. Otherwise, run for the hills. —N.L.
24) White Chicks
What is it about bad comedies that makes them so much worse than other kinds of bad movies? Perhaps it’s a matter of distance. When you’re watching an ill-conceived drama, the fact that it’s intended to be taken seriously allows for ironic mockery. It’s much harder to make fun of a poorly made comedy—because it’s supposed to be in on the joke. A good example of this is White Chicks, the 2004 Wayans Brothers comedy that features the most disturbing prosthetics in film history. To go undercover as two sorority girls, a pair of FBI agents don what are basically Michael Myers masks. White Chicks would play much better as a horror film. The result is so godawful and unbelievable that it almost passes for brilliant, and the film has attracted a number of apologists over the years. But don’t be fooled: If Freddy Got Fingered can weasel its way into a cult following, anything can. —N.L.
25) Son of God
Most faith-based movies are bad to begin with, as they usually let their preachiness interfere with the story. But what makes Son of God even worse is that it’s not really a movie at all. More accurately, Son of God is an elaborate montage, cobbled together from the miniseries The Bible (also available on Netflix) in an attempt to create something resembling a narrative. Did it make money? Sure. Was it good? No. A little sermonizing could be forgiven here (we are talking about the story of Jesus, after all), but what’s less acceptable is the sheer laziness on display in this ham-fisted, PG-13 version of The Passion of the Christ. —C.O.
Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube (Fair Use)
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
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