In other years, when I've sat down to write my list of the worst movies of the previous 12 months, many titles came rushing to mind, and sometimes even editing the list down to 10 was a challenge. Say what you will about 2016, I had to sit down and comb the records of what I'd seen before picking out the lousiest movies that the year had to offer. Except for "Warcraft." I immediately thought of "Warcraft." Here, then, is my list of the 2016's most awful films, listed alphabetically (except that "Warcraft" is the absolute worst).
"Alice Through the Looking Glass"
In a year riddled with sequels that nobody asked for -- looking at you, "The Huntsman: Winter's War" -- Disney's second live-action dip into the world of Lewis Carroll was an eye-punishing time-waster that felt hastily conceived and indifferently acted.
"Believe" / "God's Not Dead 2"
Faith-based movies ran the gamut in terms of quality and production value this year, but these two deserve condemnation not only for their pedestrian acting and thoughtless cinematography but also for pushing messages (Crush your enemies! Starve your workers!) that would get a thumbs-down from the Messiah they're ostensibly promoting.
In a year when "Paterson" seemed to crack the code of how to make writing look compelling on screen, we also got this film, which failed in its mission of finding any kind of drama in book-editing, even when that editor is Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) attempting to prune the prose of Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) to a manageable size.
"Gods of Egypt" / "X-Men: Apocalypse"
These two pyramid schemes took the deities of ancient Egypt and turned them into stick figures bumbling through idiotic, inane adventures.
"Keeping Up With the Joneses"
Watching Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot trying to make chicken salad out of this movie was like sitting through an NBA game where the Chicago Bulls have anvils chained to their legs.
2016 was loaded with biopics good, bad and indifferent of music legends (Miles Davis, Hank Williams, Chet Baker), but this risible portrait of the great Nina Simone was genuinely painful, embarrassing and misguided.
"Suicide Squad" / "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice"
"Grim and gritty" is as valid a formula for superhero movies as any, but "dumb and bloated" isn't a good look, and it's the one that Warner Bros. apparently embraced for this year's DC Comics adaptations.
One of its characters literally pooped glitter, which is as good a metaphor as any for a film so assaultive on the eyes (the color scheme was a rainbow nightmare) and ears (thanks so much for the misbegotten pop covers, music producer Justin Timberlake).
Or "White Privilege: The Movie." Jonah Hill (who must have thrown Golden Globes voters one heck of a lunch) and Miles Teller played entitled dudes who made and lost their money as would-be arms dealers. The movie never quite decided what it thought of that.