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They can’t all be zingers.
When picking the worst movies on Netflix, it’s hard to know where to start.
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. (Here’s our guide for the worst Netflix original movies. While there’s some overlap between the two, there are plenty of terrible movies to go around.)
The worst movies on Netflix
When Elle Evans runs a kissing booth at her high school’s Spring Carnival, she unexpectedly finds herself locking lips with her secret crush–Noah Flynn, the brother of her best friend, Lee, who is absolutely off limits according to the rules of their friendship pact. Instead of being a coming-of-age movie about a woman who discovers her autonomy, The Kissing Booth plays far more into sexist tropes and allows Lee and Noah to commodify Elle’s body, turning her into a thing to fight for ownership over rather than a person who’s allowed to make her own decisions. —Tess Cagle
I love the Rock. Everyone loves the Rock. I could watch Dwayne Johnson in practically anything. But this 2005 adaptation of the classic first-person shooter game is a mess. Thankfully, there are a few moments just ridiculous enough to make Doom watchable. But neither those moments nor the Rock’s presence can redeem the movie overall. —C.O.
3) A Question of Faith
The description for A Question of Faith on Netflix reads, “A death. A crime. An unexpected illness. When all seems lost for three families, faith shines a light.” So, spoiler alert, the answer to A Question of Faith is… yes. A better question would be why so many religious movies are terrible. Seriously, Christians, get your act together. —C.O.
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.
5) Only God Forgives
If you enjoyed Drive but thought Ryan Gosling had too much dialogue, you might like Only God Forgives. Gosling reteams with director Nicolas Winding Refn for this crime drama about a drug-smuggler who seeks out his killer’s brother to challenge him in a boxing match to the death. It’s violent, it’s stylized, it’s so thin on plot you’ll want to feed it a Thanksgiving dinner. But like I said, it does get that chatty Ryan Gosling to just shut up already! —C.O.
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Bright is an utterly silly, completely ridiculous movie, seemingly born out of algorithm-generated, genre-hybrid logic. One can almost hear Netflix executives reading back the data analytics: “People like fantasy, and cop movies, and Will Smith. If we put them in a movie together we can’t lose!” Unfortunately, this type of thinking is also why Bright ends up a messy mix of conflicting ingredients. —C.O.
7) The Outsider
There was a time when the words “Netflix’s Jared Leto yakuza movie” might not have been instant cause for panic. In 2018, however, it should come as no surprise that The Outsider, a new Netflix original starring Leto as an American G.I. in post-World War II Japan who rises through the ranks of the yakuza, is a disaster. The film gets off to a decent start, dropping us in a Japanese prison and introducing us to Leto’s Nick with no explanation. But what starts out as a sense of patience graduates into a feeling of bewilderment as we leave the intriguing setting of the prison. As Nick climbs up the yakuza ladder from there, the movie goes downhill fast. —C.O.
The idea of the actual singularity? Pretty scary. This movie based on it? Just scary bad. This Johnny Depp clunker from 2015 not only helped solidify the actor’s downward trajectory, it reaffirmed the fact that what makes for crazy science doesn’t always make for good sci-fi. —C.O.
9) The Sea of Trees
Everything about this movie which finds Matthew McConaughey traveling to Japan’s so-called suicide forest is just… no. The nonsensical plot, the maudlin tone, the absurd twist… no, no, no. no. Bad movie. —C.O.
10) Some Kind of Beautiful
Some Kind of Beautiful is some kind of terrible blessing from the bad movie gods. IMDb literally describes it as, “A drama about a Cambridge poetry professor who begins to re-evaluate his life of Byronic excess.” Really it’s more of a romantic comedy, starring Pierce Brosnan as the Byron-aping professor as well as Jessica Alba and Salma Hayek as his love interests. It’s the kind of movie so ill-conceived, so poorly constructed in every way, it gives a bad name to the entire rom-com genre. —C.O.
11) Love and Honor
The premise of Love and Honor is so absurd, it’s hard to even talk about it with a straight face. The film stars Liam Hemsworth as Mickey, a small-town boy who gets dumped by his girlfriend, Candace (Teresa Palmer). Heartbroken, Mickey and his best friend Dalton (Austin Joiner) devise a plan to help him win her back… by going AWOL in Vietnam. That’s right. Who exactly is supposed to be the good guy here? Who’s the bad guy? Love and Honor thinks it’s romantic, but really it’s just stupid. —C.O.
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12) As Above, So Below
A brief poem for you, if you will: “As Above, So Below. To the French catacombs, these characters will go. Bad stuff happens, don’t you know. Should you watch this horror movie? The answer is no.” —C.O.
13) Yoga Hosers
Kevin Smith doesn’t get enough credit. He may not be a technically savvy filmmaker, but he’s an excellent writer, and the movies he made in his ‘90s heyday are still classics of that decade. That being said, this 2016 comedy about two teenage yoga enthusiasts battling an ancient evil in Canada is just awful. —C.O.
14) The Open House
The Open House is a prime example of Netflix’s “dump it and see what happens” strategy. It stars Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why) and Piercey Dalton as a mother and son who move into a friend’s mountain home when they can’t afford their rent following a family tragedy. Unexplained, eerie, and haunted stuff follows. It’s a slow-cooking and predictable flick, with an unearned payoff that boils to a gruesome ending. If you like carnage, skip to the end. —C.O.
15) The Babysitter
Bad horror movies always have a chance to salvage something if the kills are creative, and a few of the offings here fit the bill. There are arterial sprays that would make Quentin Tarantino smile. But this campy flick from music video director McG about a babysitter with a fetish for human sacrifice can’t get out of its own way: bad dialogue, bad acting, painfully self-aware jokes that play on horror clichés. It’s like going trick-or-treating and coming home to find out your bag is mostly full of Tootsie Rolls. —Eddie Strait
When Aiden and Maira, a wealthy Indonesian couple, take in the Aiden’s niece, Vanya, following the death of her parents, she only starts to show signs of normalcy again after they give her the movie’s titular doll. Aiden and Maira become concerned though, when Vanya soon begins to talk to her deceased mother, whose spirit she believes has come back to be with her. This prompts the couple to enlist the help of two paranormal experts, Laras and Raynard, who reveal that the spirit Vanya has been communicating with is much more sinister than they initially thought. Though the movie contains some B-movie “so bad it’s good” laughs, Sabrina is mostly a cheap-looking snoozefest. —C.O.
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If, for some reason, you missed the lamebrain guys from your high school who used to complain about girls putting them in the “friend zone,” then you’ll find plenty to commiserate about with Adam Devine. The film follows Devine’s character, Noah, as he travels back in time to make his best friend, Avery, fall in love with him and keep her from marrying her beefcake fiancé, Ethan. These Groundhog Day-esque hijinks are physically painful to watch, as Devine proves unfit for a rom-com leading man role, and the supporting cast fails to show even mild enthusiasm. When We First Met tries to split the difference between cutesy and crude, and subsequently accomplishes neither. —Bryan Rolli
18) The Ridiculous 6
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.
19) The Silence
It’s impossible to not think of A Quiet Place while watching The Silence. The film stars 16-year-old Ally (Kiernan Shipka) and her dad, Hugh (Stanley Tucci), who are forced to leave their home when the bat creatures, called “vesps,” begin attacking major metropolitan areas, hunting by sound. If video stores were still a thing, The Silence would sit on shelves hoping to trick people into a rental. Instead, it’s masquerading as a Netflix release. The Silence is a thoroughly bad movie that will make you wish you were watching something else. It is the Transmorphers to A Quiet Place’s Transformers. —E.S.
20) The Emoji Movie
The Emoji Movie is the spiritual opposite of The Lego Movie. It is a cynical cash grab, a commercial designed to sell phones and apps to children whose attention spans have already been damaged by technology. At a whopping hour and 26 minutes, the studio barely fits a story into what has to be the laziest animated movie in recent history. And if that wasn’t enough to dissuade you, it also stars T.J. Miller. —C.O.
Ibiza is unrelentingly lame. That is the only way to put it. Gillian Jacobs plays Harper, who works for a PR firm and is sent overseas by her caricature of a bad boss, Sarah (Michaela Watkins). On their first night out, the women hit a party, Harper sees the DJ on a screen, and immediately falls in love. But Harper only has a couple days, plus a cumbersome work meeting, standing between her and true love. Ibiza is one of the more forgettable Netflix releases to come out. It’s a bad movie, but not bad in an entertaining way like The Cloverfield Paradox or The Polka King. It’s bad in the way that makes you resent having spent your time on it. —E.S.
22) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Johnny Depp returns for his fifth go-round as the swashbuckling Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The title proves prophetic, as the series’ latest installment has nothing interesting to say and takes a painfully long time not to say it. The Pirates franchise, and Jack Sparrow’s character, could serve as an allegory for Depp’s career as a whole: once charming and youthfully exuberant, but now a dead man walking. —B.R.
23) Barely Lethal
Barely Lethal stars Hailee Steinfeld as Megan Walsh, a teenage special-ops agent who’s so fed up with fighting crime that she fakes her own death and enrolls in high school so she can live a normal, teenage life. If the title’s gross pun doesn’t gag you out, the utterly rote plot will put you to sleep. Barely Lethal might try to pose as a self-aware play on the overstuffed teen action comedy genre, but acknowledging its abundance of cliches doesn’t make them any more fun to watch. —B.R.
Digital-age Netflix comedy #realityhigh is #notgood. Use any Instagram filter you like, the story’s the same ol’ setup. Teen movies can be transcendent and terrific. But in the era of self-involved YouTube stars, this one is designed for one specific age demographic. My dislike for the movie is almost as predictable as this rote story about a girl who goes from nerd to popular, to not popular, to eventually being popular for being her nerdy self. It’s shot to look like a music video, with pretty faces, bright colors, and flashy camera moves in abundance. But it’s as boring as Saturday school and as mind-numbing as a standardized test. —E.S.
25) Locked Up
Locked Up is a movie about an American teenage girl who gets sent to a correctional facility in Southeast Asia after getting into a fight at school. It’s also a cinematic marvel. Not because it’s good. Oh, no, it’s far from that. It’s a marvel that an entire cast and crew made this film, looked back at the laughably bad jail cell brawl scenes—replete with lifeless choreography and cringeworthy slo-mo—and thought this movie was fit for release. Netflix classifies Locked Up as “steamy” and “violent.” You’ll feel hot while watching, but only from fury over the fact that this movie exists. —B.R.
Need more ideas? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, gangster movies, Westerns, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, and standup specials when you really need to laugh. Or check out Flixable, a search engine for Netflix.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Nico Lang is an essayist, movie critic, and reporter who specializes in the intersection of politics and LGBTQ issues. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Jezebel, Esquire, and BuzzFeed, among other notable publications.
Chris Osterndorf is an entertainment reporter and movie critic based in Los Angeles. He holds a degree in cinema from Chicago’s DePaul University. His work has appeared on the Daily Dot, Mic, the Script Lab, Salon, the Week, xoJane, and more.