From Ben Affleck to Adam Sandler.
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
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
2) August Rush
It’s hard to say exactly what it is that makes August Rush so bad. Maybe it’s that the story of an orphaned musical prodigy (Freddie Highmore) searching for his parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is unbearably treacly. Or it’s that things take a weird, creepy turn when the main character meets a jolly but evil hobo (played by Robin Williams) who takes him in. It could be it’s that all these talented people signed on to do this movie and somehow it still ended up being garbage. Whatever the reason, August Rush is best enjoyed, if at all, for what it is: a curious trainwreck. —Chris Osterndorf
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.
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.
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 Human Centipede: First Sequence/The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence
Yes, Netflix is currently missing the final installment in this trilogy. No, you should not feel compelled to seek out The Human Centipede 3, 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 second 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.
8) 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. —Chris Osterndorf
9) The Paperboy
The Paperboy is both one of the worst movies you will ever see and a precious gift, sent from the heavens to be cherished by us mere mortals. Before Lee Daniels gave us Empire, there was this divisive 2012 disasterpiece, featuring Nicole Kidman peeing all over Zac Efron. I’ve spent a great deal of my career advocating for this movie and trying to get people to watch it, precisely because it is truly, completely, bewilderingly one of a kind. It’s the kind of bad movie that when you find out friends of yours haven’t seen it, you make them stop everything and immediately watch it with you. Some movies are bad but also boring and they fade away. There is absolutely nothing boring about The Paperboy. —N.L.
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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11) Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is as bad as the original Sin City is good. In a 0-star review, Nathan Rabin wrote that it was so terrible, “it makes its predecessor seem much worse by association.” Stupid, misogynistic, and pointless, it may be the epitome in a recent trend of unnecessary sequels. Even a stellar cast featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Brolin along with returning players Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, and Mickey Rourke can’t save this worthless excuse for a movie. Worst of all, it totally wastes the masterful Eva Green (who also starred in 300: Rise of an Empire the same year, speaking of unnecessary Frank Miller sequels) in what should have been the perfect role for her. —C.O.
12) Before We Go
Chris Evans’ directorial debut, about two strangers who spend a night together in Manhattan after one of them misses their train, feels like a quintessential vanity project. Evans co-stars with Alice Eve, and no matter how attractive these two are onscreen together, the movie is a misguided mess. It feels mean to say, but Captain America should maybe stick to saving the world because directing doesn’t seem to be his forte. —C.O.
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.
15) 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.
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) Charlie St. Cloud
Charlie St. Cloud shall forever be known as “the movie where Zac Efron plays catch with his dead brother” (not a spoiler). It’s just as bad as it sounds, truly one of the worst movies on Netflix, imitating the Nicholas Sparks school of romantic saccharine to the letter. This movie came out in the days when no one knew how funny Efron is, so he was usually forced to rely on his hunky good looks, and even those can’t save this movie. —C.O.
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 of a mockumentary spinoff, 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.
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.
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21) When We First Met
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
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.
23) 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.
24) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is the kind of terrible, sexist, lowest-common-denominator romantic comedy that gives the whole genre a bad name. And yet for some reason, people still love it. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson play a couple exaggerating the worst stereotypes about their gender in order to win a bet. There’s very little about this movie that works, but it plays up the worst tropes of the romantic comedy genre so well it almost feels like a parody of itself. —C.O.
25) 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.
We also have Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, 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 comedy specials when you really need to laugh.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.