The 4 Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

Trying to determine the worst film one has ever seen can be just as difficult as choosing the best, maybe even harder because you have to revisit films that you would never want to see again.  This can be a tricky process: just how bad was the acting?  How incoherent was the storyline?  Can the direction just be mediocre to qualify as one of the worst movies you’ve ever seen, or does it have to be dreadful?  Can the editing make sense, at least?  To whoever has had to sit through a movie (or an excuse for a movie) that had a combination of all these problems, you have my sympathy, because I have been there as well.

There are some films out there that are so bad they’re actually good.  People sit together and get a kick out of making fun of terribly made films.  Movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space, or Manos: The Hands of Fate actually have cult followings not because they’re cinematic masterpieces, but because they’re the complete opposite of that!  I myself can admit that I have a whole slew of terrible movies that I can watch over and over again and be completely entertained.  Unfortunately, this article is not about those kinds of movies.  This article is about the bad movies: the movies so bad that you actually felt physical pain, the kind of movies you wanted to walk out of and demand the last two hours of your life back, the kind of movies that made you question your friends for even recommending them to you.  Yes, those kind of movies.

First off, when compiling a list like this, I threw out all the movies that were made to specifically suck: I don’t think the guys that made Date Movie or Epic Movie had any intention to make something that was any better than what they turned out to be.  Next, I got rid of the “good bad movies.”  Like Plan 9 and Manos, those movies actually have some redeeming qualities.  Why only four movies instead of five or more?  Because I couldn’t bear to torture myself with having to remember more than four terrible movies.  Finally, I took in to consideration the goal of the filmmakers: in this humble writer’s opinion, the worst kinds of movies are those that think they are better than what they are.  Where the filmmaker gets bogged down in their own inflated sense of artistry that they lose sight of what makes a film engaging: interesting and complex characters, a coherent storyline, and a fresh and interesting way of telling that story.  Surprisingly, after I put all those aspects into consideration, many of the films that came out were from the last 20 years.  Whittling it down even more, most of the movies came out in the last 10 years, go figure.

But enough small talk, here are the top four (or should I say “bottom four?”) worst films I have ever seen:

#4:  Enough (2002)

Forget about Gigli, forget about The Wedding Planner, forget just about every other movie she’s ever been in, Enough is not only the worst movie Jennifer Lopez has ever made, but one of the worst movies ever made, period.  The story of a wife trying to escape an abusive husband with her child, then finally putting matters in to her own hands is fine, but was executed in such a nasty and unsympathetic way that by the end of the movie I hated every character.  Billy Campbell is completely miscast as the husband, who for the first half of the movie is a crazy, controlling villain from a slasher movie, and by the end turns out to be a clumsy, idiotic buffoon.  Lopez is completely unbelievable as the lead, which at the beginning of the movie is a helpless victim but after a 5 minute training montage becomes The Terminator.  The icing on the cake is the final scene, where Lopez, confronting her soon-to-be-dead husband, explains, “self defense is not murder.”  I’m sorry, but hunting down your husband, breaking in to his home, rigging the house so he can’t leave, and beating him in to a pulp is not self defense, it’s murder.

#3: She Hate Me (2004)

What the heck was Spike Lee thinking when he made this movie?  It’s amazing to think that the man who made Do the Right Thing and X would make a movie like this.  The main problem with this movie is that it is completely unfocused with what it wants to deal with.  Is it about a man trying to uncover corporate corruption?  Is it about that same man putting himself up to impregnate lesbians for a substantial fee (because of course, during an economic crisis, what else can a man do?)?  Is it about gangsters?  Is it about the Watergate Scandal?  Is it about racism?  Is it about all of these topics?  Anthony Mackie, the actor who plays the lead role, would go on to be in much better movies such as Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker, but here he plays a character lost in a script trying to deal with too many things at once.  The worst part of the whole experience?  Having to sit and watch a whole herd of sperm, each one actually displaying a little version of Anthony Mackie’s face, make their way to a woman’s egg.  It’s a picture that has remained burned in to my brain, but not in a good way.

#2: King Lear (1987)

Jean-Luc Godard is one of the pioneers of modern filmmaking.  Without him, we wouldn’t have jump cuts or characters talking directly in to the camera.  However, as his career moved passed the French New Wave, it seemed his work was concerned more with playing with film as a narrative instrument and less with telling a consistent story with interesting characters.  In King Lear, a character by the name of William Shakespeare Jr. the Fifth (huh?) tries to restore the lost art of humanity through his own memory, or something like that.  Along the way, we encounter a female who may or may not be his daughter, mobsters, goblins, and Woody Allen.  This is such a strange, and intolerable film, at one point we hear the main character recite the work of the original Shakespeare, then a moment later cut to a title card that has utterly nothing to do with what happened before it or after it.  The pace is extremely slow and uneventful, some characters seem to walk passed each other as if they were invisible, and it all seems to take place at an odd resort.  This is the kind of film where the director became completely lost in his vision.  I hate using the word pretentious to describe a film, but in this case I feel it may be appropriate.  Oh and by the way, can somebody tell me why Molly Ringwald (from Sixteen Candles fame) and Burgess Meredith (Mickey from the Rocky movies) both make appearances in this movie?

…and the #1 worst movie I have ever seen is…

Honor de cavalleria (2006)

Most people probably have not heard about this independent Spanish film, and they should thank their lucky stars that they haven’t.  This movie is an insult to movies, it’s an insult to bad movies, it’s an insult to insults of bad movies.  This sorry excuse of a film deals with Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho, as they travel the Spanish fields and forests.  At roughly 90 minutes, the movie feels like it is 4 hours long.  Barely any dialogue is spoken, and when there is dialogue, it makes no sense.  The entire film watches these two characters walk quietly through the countryside, nothing is told about their background, their motivations, or about anything in general.  The only action that happens in the film is when Don Quixote apparently has a sword fight with an imaginary enemy.  The cinematography is murky and unpleasant, there is no musical accompaniment, the storyline is non-existent, and most of the time one cannot even see what is going on because no lighting was used during the night scenes.  At one point of the movie, the two characters sit still next to a tree for nearly 5-10 minutes; they don’t move, they don’t speak, absolutely quiet for that entire duration.  This was such a horrible and painstaking experience, I had a headache coming out of it.  The only reason I even watched this movie was because a friend needed help for a school project, and for having to sit through it as well, I dearly hope she got an A.  I would not wish this movie on my worst enemy, and if anyone were to dare try and watch it, you have been fully warned.


Allen is a moviegoer based out of Seattle, Washington. His hobbies include dancing, playing the guitar, and, of course, watching movies.

You can reach Allen via email or Twitter

View all posts by this author