How great was 2017 for movies? Adam Sandler starred in a movie that made it to my Best List. How lousy was 2017 for movies? I had to cram a dozen titles into a 10 Worst roster.
10. "War Machine"
This would-be satire presumably had something to say about the hot mess that is the War on Terror, but between Brad Pitt's never-not-pulling-a-face performance and the screenplay's heavy-handed and excessively narrated attempts at political insight, the results were an unfunny mess that wasted a stellar cast.
Open Road Films
9. "Home Again"
Reese Witherspoon was the queen of the small screen this year with "Big Little Lies," but her cinematic outing in the directorial debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer (whose only apparent qualification for the gig was being the offspring of two filmmakers) left her stranded in a cutesy and deadly dull tale of a newly separated mom falling for a brash young would-be director.
8. "CHIPS" and "Baywatch"
The "Jump Street" movies made mining comedy out of a terrible old cop show look so easy that we got stuck with these two miserable failures that lacked laughs and a point of view. The funniest thing about "Baywatch" was when the producers tried to blame Rotten Tomatoes for the film's embarrassing opening-weekend numbers.
7. "The Last Face"
The road to hell has rarely been paved with such good intentions; director Sean Penn cast Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as super-photogenic doctors falling in love and saving lives in African war zones, but the dialogue was so vapid and over-ripe that audiences giggled uncomfortably when they weren't averting their eyes from grotesque battle footage.
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
6. "Friend Request"
A teen witch torments a popular young college girl via social media in the kind of movie where we're supposed to be struck by the tragedy of the heroine's Facebook friend spiraling downward to zero. Your attention will go on a similar trajectory. It's the kind of horror movie where the comic relief isn't funny, but almost everything else is.
5. "Transformers: The Last Knight"
The makers of "King Arthur" should have sent a muffin basket to the "Last Knight" crew for making this latest giant-robot saga the year's dumbest movie partially set at Camelot. Otherwise, the only reason for this film to exist is so that we can finally hear Sir Anthony Hopkins summon his decades of theatrical training to pronounce the word "Megatron."
STX Entertainment/Roadside Attractions
4. "The Space Between Us" and "The Only Living Boy in New York"
If only 2016's dreadful "Collateral Beauty" had come out a few weeks later, screenwriter Allan Loeb could have scored a trifecta of mawkish dramas about sensitive boy-men who learn to love (and audiences who are shocked, shocked to learn in Act 3 that Character A and Character B have been secretly related all along).
Sony Pictures Animation
3. "The Emoji Movie"
There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of taking those faces in your phone and building a movie around them, but you'd actually have to make them into characters and give them a plot that mattered if you didn't want to wind up with this dreary and inane kiddie adventure that's less interesting than 90 minutes of watching someone else play Candy Crush Saga.
2. "The Assignment"
Action legend Walter Hill turns gender-confirmation surgery into the stuff of leering exploitation in this seamy tale of a hitman given a woman's body against his will. Even if the treatment of trans issues weren't so repellent, this cheapie was poorly shot and clumsily edited, with actors like Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver doing their very worst.
1. "The Book of Henry"
Believe the hype: Colin Trevorrow's one-for-me follow-up to "Jurassic World" was the kind of embarrassment that made bad-movie lovers run to the theater. Henry dies midway through the movie -- trust me, it's not a spoiler, it's a selling point -- but still leaves really explicit instructions for his flighty mom to murder their abusive neighbor, the police commissioner. If James Franco wants to make a "Disaster Artist" sequel, he might start here.
Now be sure to check out Alonso Duralde's picks for the best movies
of the year.