The critics may have Rotten Tomatoes at their disposal, but regular moviegoers can always counter with the Internet Movie Database.
A longtime popular feature of IMDb has been the star rating system, which allows visitors of the site to rate movies on a 1-10 scale. While the system has been criticized for various flaws, it does provide a general overview of which films are alternately adored and reviled by the site’s readers.
The highest rated movies on IMDb can be found on the Top 250 list, while the lowest rated are collected on the Bottom 100. Older films are often pushed off the lists for newer releases, but there does appear to be some consistency when it comes to which titles are ranked the best of the best or, conversely, the worst of the worst.
Of the 100 lowest rated movies on IMDb, many are foreign-language productions that never reached the U.S. or Canada, while several others are films that went straight to DVD. And then there are the countless grade-Z obscurities that wouldn’t be on the list had they not been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
To streamline this list, it was decided that it would only include the lowest-ranked movies that received theatrical distribution in North America.
Here, in ranked order from the least lambasted to the most despised, are The 20 Worst Movies Ever Made, According To IMDb.
20 BATTLEFIELD EARTH — 2.5/10
It’s a testament to humankind’s blanket hatred of 2000’s Battlefield Earth that the film turns up not only on this list but also on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the worst science fiction movies ever made. Critics and moviegoers may not always agree, but it seems they’re united against the sight of John Travolta in dreadlocked hair extensions.
Adapted from L. Ron Hubbard’s novel, the film finds Travolta playing a member of an evil alien race that arrived on our planet and proceeded to alternately slaughter and enslave all humans. Budgeted at $73 million, Battlefield Earth was greeted with awful audience word-of-mouth to go along with awful reviews, resulting in a worldwide gross of only $29 million.
As the movie only covered approximately the first half of the mammoth book, Travolta had planned to follow up with a sequel. Needless to say, the utter failure of this film guaranteed the sequel wasn’t going to happen.
19 LAWNMOWER MAN 2: BEYOND CYBERSPACE — 2.5/10
Like mad scientists running amok, studio suits opted to take the title of a Stephen King short story, “The Lawnmower Man”, and graft it onto a completely unrelated script. The Lawnmower Man was a modest success when it hit theaters in 1992, but King wasn’t impressed, successfully suing to have his name removed from the finished product. He didn’t need to repeat the lawsuit with 1996’s Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, since its makers wisely opted not to mention him in any capacity.
The original film casts Jeff Fahey as Jobe, a simple-minded gardener subjected to tests that turn him into a genius/computer-generated god. Fahey, whose performance was painfully broad, is replaced in the sequel by Matt Frewer, who’s merely bland.
Jobe is still trapped in cyberspace and still trying to take over the world, but between the derivative plot and the lackluster visual effects, audiences couldn’t have cared less.
18 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD — 2.5/10
The 1998 bomb Chairman of the Board has been so thoroughly ignored by moviegoers that it’s a wonder enough people have seen it to rate it on IMDb.
The stage comedian Carrot Top — an acquired taste if ever there was one — stars as a nutty inventor who inherits a major corporation from a dying businessman (Jack Warden). While others (Larry Miller and Raquel Welch) try to steal the company from him, he’s busy coming up with wacky ideas like a TV dinner that actually comes with a TV set inside it.
Chairman of the Board premiered in less than 200 theaters across the nation — that’s a reasonable number for an art-house release, but not so much for a mainstream comedy. In at least one city, it opened at the dollar theater, skipping first-run establishments altogether. Playing to empty auditoriums from coast to coast, it was quickly yanked from release, managing to gross only $181,000.
Aside from cameo appearances as himself, Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson never again graced the silver screen after this bomb.
17 THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE — 2.5/10
Not every movie can claim to set some sort of record, which makes 2012’s The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure a very special film indeed.
Opening in the summer of 2012, this family flick follows Goobie, Toofie, and Zoozie as they attempt to retrieve a bunch of wayward balloons. During their escapades, they meet such characters as Bobby Wobbly (Cary Elwes), Marvin Milkshake (Chazz Palminteri), and Lero Sombrero (Christopher Lloyd).
Budgeted at $20 million, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure was promoted as an interactive experience in which kids were encouraged to stand up and make noise during the movie. The tots who did attend doubtless had plenty of room to sashay around the multiplex auditoriums, as the film set a new record for the all-time worst opening weekend for a movie debuting on over 2,000 screens.
Its three-day box office take from 2,160 theaters was $443,901 — that’s a miserable per-theater average of $205 and change.
16 GIGLI — 2.4/1o
It’s somewhat amazing that Ben Affleck was able to survive 2003’s Gigli, a movie whose very title became shorthand whenever the subject of awful movies came up. Following the release of this debacle, who could possibly have guessed that the male half of Bennifer would go on to become both an award-winning director and Batman?
Affleck and Jennifer Lopez play Gigli and Ricki, two mob enforcers assigned to kidnap a prosecutor's mentally challenged brother (Justin Bartha). As they carry out their task, Gigli starts to fall for Ricki, even though he knows she's a lesbian. The romantic angle falls dismally flat because Affleck and Lopez have absolutely no chemistry together - even more baffling, given their very public and steam real-life relationship.
To alleviate the tedium, Christopher Walken turns up for one scene, apparently doing an Al Pacino impersonation. Then Al Pacino pops up in a later sequence, also doing an Al Pacino impersonation. At this point in their respective careers, Walken's Pacino is easier to take than Pacino's Pacino.
15 LEONARD PART 6 — 2.4/10
For five consecutive seasons, The Cosby Show was the highest rated prime-time series in the nation. During this stretch, star Bill Cosby opted to test his clout at the box office by producing, co-writing, and starring in 1987’s Leonard Part 6, an ostensible comedy about a secret agent who battles a vegetarian and the murderous animals under her control.
Reviews were brutal, box office was nonexistent, and Cosby himself disowned the picture and urged folks not to see it. Those who did check it out could at least pass the time counting the number of Coca-Colas spotted throughout the film — Cosby was a Coke spokesperson at the time, and the product placement reaches a fever pitch.
For his part, Cosby laughed off the whole ordeal, even appearing on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show brandishing the three Razzie Awards he won for the film (Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Picture).
14 ALONE IN THE DARK — 2.4/10
Most bad movies at least possess occasional lulls in their ineptness, brief moments salvaged by, say, a clever line of dialogue or an interesting character insight. Alone in the Dark, director Uwe Boll’s amateurish horror yarn from 2005, defies that assumption — it stumbles from one astonishingly awful sequence to the next until the viewer's head feels like it will explode Scanners-style.
In this adaptation of the video game series, Christian Slater headlines as a detective whose interest in the supernatural leads him to a case involving demonic interdimensional beings. Tara Reid (mispronouncing "Newfoundland," by the way) co-stars as a brainy anthropologist, perhaps the most mind-boggling bit of miscasting since a Bond flick offered Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist who strutted around in short-shorts.
Thanks to such flops as Postal and In the Name of the King, Boll has a stellar reputation for making terrible movies. Few, though, have been as mercilessly savaged — and gleefully ridiculed — as Alone in the Dark.
13 EPIC MOVIE — 2.3/10
Over the course of approximately a decade, the writer-director team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer has been behind numerous broad spoofs that have instilled fear and loathing in movie reviewer and moviegoer alike.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the highest rated of the duo’s eight movies in this joint capacity is 2006’s Date Movie at 7%; on IMDb, the highest rated feature among audiences is 2015’s Superfast! at 4.1. Those are hardly inspiring scores, yet they're rated far higher than 2007’s Epic Movie.
The primary plot of Epic Movie is a send-up of The Chronicles of Narnia, with the Pervertski kids traveling to the land of Gnarnia and battling the White Bitch. Before it’s over, they’ll encounter such colorful characters as pirate captain Jack Swallows, candymaker Willy Wonka, the Harry Potter and X-Men gangs, and even Borat. It’s all rather witless, and certainly no match for a vintage issue of MAD Magazine.
12 CROSSOVER — 2.2/10
On paper, 2006’s Crossover sounds like the type of underdog sports flick that often soars — whether it’s in the field of boxing (Rocky), basketball (Hoosiers), baseball (A League of Their Own), or basically any other game this side of badminton.
Here, the featured sport is streetball (aka street basketball), and the best of the best can be found on a team known as Platinum. But the arrogance of these reigning champions rubs best buddies Tech (a pre-MCU Anthony Mackie) and Cruise (Wesley Jonathan) the wrong way, so they elect to prove their superiority on the court by pitting their team, Enemy of the State, against Platinum.
With its modest budget, Crossover did manage to break even at the box office. According to audiences turned off by its erratic pacing and clichéd script, though, it was little more than a cinematic air ball.
11 SON OF THE MASK — 2.2/10
Based on the Dark Horse comic series, The Mask was a sizable hit for Jim Carrey back in 1994. A sequel seemed like a foregone conclusion, but once Carrey made it clear he would not be returning to play Stanley Ipkiss and his whirlwind alter ego, the project hit a brick wall.
It took eleven years before Son of the Mask hit theaters, but without Carrey or a lingering audience interest in this franchise, the 2005 sequel proved to be a massive critical and commercial bomb.
In place of Carrey, Son of the Mask offers Jamie Kennedy as Tim, a struggling cartoonist who comes into contact with the same mask from the first film. The Norse god Loki (Alan Cumming) wants his mask back, but before he can acquire it, he must contend with Tim, Tim’s baby boy, and the family dog — all of whom end up donning the mask during the course of this frantic and unfunny feature.
10 GLITTER — 2.2/10
The 2001 flop Glitter is a vanity piece so awkward and unsightly, even Mariah Carey’s fans were embarrassed by all the self-adulation taking place on-screen.
While she would later earn kudos for her supporting turn in 2009’s Oscar-winning Precious, Carey here displays all the acting ability of a chia pet. She plays the role of Billie Frank, who goes from being a struggling back-up singer to landing a major label contract, putting out a hit album, recording music videos, and attending awards shows. Such a career trajectory would normally take years, but thanks to the film’s chainsaw editing, all of these events seemingly occur in the time it takes to get a haircut.
The fact that Glitter was released 10 days after 9/11 probably didn’t help its fortunes, but it’s hard to imagine a movie as rancid as this one succeeding at any point.
9 WHO’S YOUR CADDY? — 2.1/10
According to Roger Ebert’s 1999 interview with Bill Clinton, the former President of the United States loves Casablanca, L.A. Confidential, The Ten Commandments, and American Beauty. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 interview with The Hangover director Todd Phillips, the former Prez loves 2007’s Who’s Your Caddy?
Reportedly, Clinton caught Who’s Your Caddy? on a flight to Thailand and later relayed his enthusiasm for the comedy after bumping into the Hangover crew (there shooting Part II). Alas, his admiration isn’t shared by the nation at large.
Antwan Andre Patton, better known as rapper Big Boi of Outkast, plays a successful hip-hop artist who wants to join an elite country club in order to play golf. When the all-white establishment denies him membership, he decides to retaliate in unexpected ways. Yes, it’s the “slobs vs. snobs” hook immortalized by Caddyshack, so it’s hardly surprising that Who’s Your Caddy? was slammed for being an inferior rip-off of the 1980 comedy favorite.
8 HOUSE OF THE DEAD — 2.1/10
Alone in the Dark helmer Uwe Boll makes a second appearance on this list, this time for the cruddy 2003 horror flick House of the Dead.
Based on the arcade and video game series of the same name, House of the Dead centers on a group of college-age kids who head to a remote island to attend a rave. Upon arriving, they find that zombies have taken over the island, and the only way to survive is to blast their way out.
In recent years, Boll has made headlines for cussing out fellow directors and movie stars. He also lambasted, well, basically everyone on the planet who wouldn’t give him Kickstarter funds to finance more movies. Then in 2016, he suddenly announced that he had retired from the filmmaking business.
7 THE EMOJI MOVIE — 2.0/10
The Emoji Movie only came out approximately a month ago, and yet it’s already represented on IMDb’s Bottom 100. While the passage of time might see it eventually wedged from the list (as often happens with just-released movies on both IMDb’s Best and Worst lists), the fact that it placed so low at such lightning speed indicates that the hate is strong for this one.
A movie based entirely on iPhone symbols sounds even more desperate than a movie based on a trading card series (The Garbage Pail Kids Movie) or a film based on a downloadable game app (The Angry Birds Movie), but such a stunning lack of imagination has never stopped Hollywood before.
Set inside a smartphone, the plot involves an unhappy emoji (voiced by T.J. Miller) who needs to learn that it’s OK to be different. Along the way, he encounters Poop — that this unsightly emoji is voiced by no less than Patrick Stewart might remain the most depressing movie news of 2017.
6 GOING OVERBOARD — 1.9/10
Even before his Saturday Night Live gig, Adam Sandler made his film debut with 1989’s Going Overboard, in which he played an aspiring stand-up comedian who lands a job aboard a cruise ship.
Since he hit the big time, Sandler rarely mentions Going Overboard and regards it as a complete embarrassment. When a movie is disowned by the man who takes full credit for such atrocities as Grown Ups and Little Nicky, it certainly gives one pause.
For a film that would have sunk into oblivion were it not for its star’s eventual ascension, Going Overboard is mostly fascinating for its supporting cast. Burt Young (Paulie in the Rocky flicks) plays a grouchy dictator. Billy Bob Thornton appears as a heckler. Comedy legend Milton Berle portrays himself. Actor-turned-director Peter Berg (Battleship) pops up in a small role. And years before he snarled at Leo and Kate in Titanic, Billy Zane has a more benevolent seafaring role as King Neptune, rising from the ocean to offer our hapless hero some career advice.
5 FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY — 1.9/10
While various American Idol winners and losers have gone on to vibrant music careers, only Jennifer Hudson, an Oscar winner for Dreamgirls, can boast of any significant success in film. Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini certainly gave cinema a shot with 2003's From Justin to Kelly, but they came up noticeably short.
When the first season of American Idol ended in September 2002, Clarkson had been chosen as the winner while Guarini was the runner-up. Seeking to take advantage of their contractually obligated stars, the show’s producers hustled the pair into From Justin to Kelly, a musical about a waitress and a college student who hook up during Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale.
From Justin to Kelly debuted in the summer of 2003, a mere 10 months after American Idol had wrapped. Yet the fan devotion that propelled the pair to TV stardom didn’t extend to the multiplex, as the film was laughed off the screen and died a quick box office death.
4 THE HOTTIE & THE NOTTIE — 1.9/10
Despite receiving rancid reviews for her supporting stint in 2005’s lackluster House of Wax remake, so-called celebutante Paris Hilton again flexed her minimal thespian abilities in 2008’s The Hottie & the Nottie. Critics and filmgoers were even less charitable this time around.
Paris plays Cristabell Abbott, a fashion plate who refuses to date until she can find a boyfriend for her BFF, June Phigg (Christine Lakin). That proves to be quite the challenge, though, as June is a wallflower suffering from rotting teeth, acne outbreaks, thinning hair, and other outwardly afflictions.
While the filmmakers would doubtless insist that The Hottie & the Nottie was all about discovering one’s inner beauty, everyone else saw it as a tasteless and even cruel rom-com primarily designed to serve as a vanity project for the moonlighting heiress.
3 DISASTER MOVIE — 1.9/10
The team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, already represented on this list with Epic Movie, plumbed even further depths with 2008’s Disaster Movie. While such abysmal efforts as 2008’s Meet the Spartans and 2010’s Vampires Suck at least performed fairly well at the box office, this one turned out to be a financial flop for the duo.
Appearing in theaters just seven months after Meet the Spartans doubtless didn’t help — surely there was only so much stupidity the human mind could tolerate in one calendar year.
As usual, the filmmakers take an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to comedy, so while the title promises a send-up of disaster flicks, the film also take lame potshots at everyone from Amy Winehouse to Indiana Jones and everything from Alvin and the Chipmunks to No Country for Old Men.
Incidentally, Friedberg and Seltzer aren’t done yet. Up next is a sci-fi spoof tentatively titled Star Worlds Episode XXXIVE=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue.
2 SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 — 1.6/10
The nation congratulated itself for surviving 1999’s Baby Geniuses, an insufferable family film centering on talking babies. The celebration turned out to be premature.
The talking tykes returned five years later for 2004’s Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, a sequel held in even more contempt than its reviled predecessor. Instead of the original’s Kathleen Turner and Christopher Lloyd, this follow-up finds Jon Voight and Scott Baio stranded in a nonsensical plot in which the toddlers combat an evil media tycoon (Voight).
For the record, Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 are both included in the IMDb Bottom 100. There have since been a trio of belated made-for-video sequels all starring Voight(!) — 2013’s Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels, 2014’s Baby Geniuses and the Treasures of Egypt, and 2015’s Baby Geniuses and the Space Babies — but all have thus far avoided making this list.
1 SAVING CHRISTMAS — 1.5/10
Put together so incompetently that it barely qualifies as a movie, 2014’s Saving Christmas is basically 80 minutes of an insufferable Kirk Cameron lambasting Christians for not being his equal when it comes to intolerance and close-mindedness. According to Cameron, the true meaning of Christmas can be found not in charitable deeds but at the bottom of a hot mug of cocoa.
Far more entertaining than anything thrown on the screen is what transpired off it after the film’s release. Pouting over the film’s 0% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Cameron implored his Facebook groupies to flood the site with raves for his stinky stocking stuffer. Instead, naysayers went to both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and voted the film all the way down to the depths of Hell.
Currently, Saving Christmas is the lowest rated American movie on IMDb. If it wasn’t for the 2015 Turkish film Code Name: K.O.Z. in the #1 spot, it would be the lowest rated movie, period.
Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think of them? Let us know in the comments!
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