Choosing the best movies of the year in June is silly on the surface.
The bulk of Oscar-bait fare arrives after October, with some entries hitting theaters as late as Christmas Day. Clearly, any “Best of” list assembled now will be incomplete.
The same doesn’t hold true for the year’s worst films.
Case in point: 2019.
We’ve already seen enough terrible films to flesh out an annual “Worst Of” list. Can the next six months compete? Let’s hope not.
Two beautiful Oscar winners. A strong supporting cast. And a release date that shifted more times than Joe Biden on abortion. “Serenity” isn’t just a terrible movie. It’s a budding cult classic in the grand “Troll 2” tradition.
It’s that laughable.
The high seas drama isn’t as amateurish as that 1990 stink bomb. In ways it’s actually worse given the talent involved, including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jason Clarke.
What were they thinking?
Director Jim Jarmusch gathered the greatest zombie movie cast in screen history, and then gave the stars nothin’ to do. That’s not entirely true. Jarmusch coaxed Steve Buscemi to wear a “Make America White Again” hat to own Trump supporters.
Beyond that sly bit of commentary, “Die” is a deadpan dud. Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton mumble stale one-liners while zombies overrun Small Town U.S.A. The film’s political messaging will make even liberals blush. The bigger crime? Making a zom-com this interminably dull.
Director Ari Aster announced his sizable talents with his 2018 debut, “Hereditary.” One year later, he redefines the “sophomore slump” with “Midsommar.”
This endurance test of a film (140 minutes!) packs some smart ideas but bludgeons them with self-indulgent filmmaking. Even Florence Pugh, a legit rising star, can’t salvage this train wreck.
“Midsommar” delivers one-dimensional characters better suited for a slasher film. Aster spills some blood, no doubt, that’s assuming you’ll be awake to see it.
How clever of Liam Neeson to send up his action hero image with this parody. Oh, wait, this isn’t meant to be a comedy. The 60-something star still has it, but whatever “it” is can’t be seen amidst this storytelling wreckage.
Part action romp, part paint-by-numbers plotting, “Cold Pursuit” fulfilled the promise of its trailer. Hey, isn’t that just like the “Mr. Plow” episode from “The Simpsons?”
The year’s second quasi-parody also demands to be taken seriously. Bad call.
Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a small town girl (from Boston!) who gets too close to an older woman with a secret. The unintentional laughs bubble up quickly, and by the third act you’re either howling or shaking your head in disbelief.
At least co-star Isabelle Huppert is having a blast. Audiences weren’t so lucky.
Gender swap remakes are all the rage, but few of them are worth the bother. Yes, I’m talking to you, Lady Ghostbusters. You might want to give those gals a second chance after suffering through this “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” update.
At least “Ghostbusters” had Kate McKinnon cranked up to 11. Here, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilsion faithfully retell the “Scoundrels” story sans laughs. How did they pull off that con? Start with a dumber than Lloyd Christmas opening, and remind us that Michael Caine and Steve Martin are irreplaceable.
It seems cruel to put a monster movie like this on a “Worst of” list. It’s Godzilla, not Shakespeare. What did you expect?
“King of the Monsters” belongs here. Trust me.
The second film in the rebooted “Godzilla” franchise insults our intelligence at every turn. Why hire Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Ken Watanabe only to mock them with silly dialogue and clunky exposition?
Worst of all, the monster battles are a bust. The franchise has all the CGI tools at its disposal, but they couldn’t even nail this essential element. You’ll wish a man in a rubber suit popped up, if only for nostalgia’s sake.