It takes a special kind of terrible film to score zero percent on movie reviews website Rotten Tomatoes’ legendary Tomatometer. We’re not talking about the so-bad-it’s-good kind of flicks here, either. These are the so-bad-it-hurts kind of movies. Don’t believe us? Well, even 2019 punching-bag Cats managed to claw a sad 20 percent score. And the stinkers on this list, including clangers from Bruce Willis, Jim Carrey and three – three! – from John Travolta, have each been awarded a big fat zero after getting no fewer than 20 reviews. So fasten your seatbelts, kids, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
40. Stolen (2009)
Star Jon Hamm told website nj.com in 2010 that he thought Stolen was “an interesting switcheroo after Mad Men.” But we wonder if he felt the same way after seeing the finished product. Especially as The New York Times newspaper compared the murder-mystery flick unfavorably to average episodes of plodding TV spin-off Law & Order: SVU. The terrible reviews could also be why director Anders Anderson hasn’t stepped behind the camera since.
39. Constellation (2005)
Writer-director Jordan Walker-Pearlman can count Gene Wilder as his uncle, and his Constellation boasts a pretty impressive cast. Yep, that’s Gabrielle Union, Zoe Saldana and Lando Calrissian (*ahem* Billy Dee Williams) you can see on the poster. Yet all this means nothing when the final drama is deemed to be a TV movie-style sob-fest.
38. Simon Sez (1999)
Dennis Rodman and Dane Cook… together at last! Presumably, the ex-basketballer was being lined up as a potential future action star with Kevin Elders’ misfiring Simon Sez. But the critics… well, the critics were not very nice, let’s put it that way. Magazine Entertainment Weekly called the action-comedy a “shoddy mess” and “bargain basement.” And the picture took less than $300,000 at the box office.
37. Folks! (1992)
The studio spent $15 million bringing Folks! into the world – and most folks probably wish it hadn’t bothered. Even the star power of Tom Selleck couldn’t help Ted Kotcheff’s comedy recover much more than a third of its budget back at the box office. But perhaps that had something to do with the critics calling the film “ageist,” “tasteless” and just downright awful…
36. Return of the Living Dead: Part II (1988)
The original 1985 Return of the Living Dead, from director Dan O’Bannon, holds an impressive 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet the sequel, imaginatively titled Return of the Living Dead: Part II, scored a brain-dead zero. So what happened in between the two zom-com flicks? It seems writer-director Ken Wiederhorn forgot to reanimate the fun and creativity of the first one.
35. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
Steve Guttenberg made his last appearance in the Police Academy series with this entry, subtitled Citizens on Patrol. Incredibly, though, the comedy entered the box-office charts at number one with a laudable $8.5 million on its opening weekend. Considering critics pretty much hated Jim Drake’s flick – and let their readers know about it – that’s not bad going at all.
34. Precious Cargo (2016)
Bruce Willis gets top billing in Max Adams’ Precious Cargo, but the actioner really belongs to Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Yeah, the same guy who played Zack in TV’s Saved by the Bell. But as website RogerEbert.com said the film suffers from “utter forgettability,” perhaps Willis was wise to apparently phone in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it performance.
33. Max Steel (2016)
Writer Christopher L. Yost has had a hand in a couple of the most well-received TV shows and movies of the past few years. We’re talking Thor: Ragnarok and The Mandalorian. Yet Yost is also at least partly responsible for Max Steel – an action flick by director Stewart Hendler. Magazine The Hollywood Reporter called the film “truly depressing.”
32. Transylmania (2009)
Scott and David Hillenbrand’s Transylmania holds a record that absolutely nobody wants. The vampire comedy “enjoyed” the lowest-earning release weekend of any movie, ever, showing on more than 1,000 screens. What were the per-screen average box-office receipts, you ask? Roughly $262. As a character in this spoof might say, that really sucks. Sorry.
31. Merci Docteur Rey (2002)
Andrew Litvack apparently worked on 2018 sci-fi High Life, starring Robert Pattinson. That film was critically adored, rocketing to an enviable 82 percent “certified fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating. Yet when Litvack had his solo stint in the director’s chair for Merchant Ivory’s Merci Docteur Rey, the New York Post newspaper called the resulting comedy “brainless and pointless.” Yikes.
30. A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)
Jada Pinkett Smith had to audition no fewer than three times to get her part in A Low Down Dirty Shame. And even before that she was begging the movie’s director-writer-star Keenen Ivory Wayans for a job on his show. But considering that the action-comedy scores a resounding zero with critics, we have to say that it’s a “low down dirty shame” that all her efforts seemingly went to waste.
29. Killing Me Softly (2002)
Director Kaige Chen won a BAFTA for his 1993 movie Farewell My Concubine. And Variety magazine has even labeled him “one of China’s greatest filmmakers.” So hopes were probably pretty high when Chen decided to make his first English-language feature. But then the erotic thriller Killing Me Softly came out – and Chen went back to making movies in his homeland.
28. Bolero (1984)
Erotic odyssey Bolero was a family affair for Bo Derek. The pin-up was the producer and star, and her husband, John Derek, was the man behind the camera. Yet the flick cost $7 million to make, took two years to lock down and another $4 million to promote. Was it worth it? Well, um, no. In the end, Bolero walked away with six Golden Raspberry Awards, including “Worst Picture.”
27. Homecoming (2009)
Homecoming was directed by Morgan Freeman. Wait, what? *Checks notes* Ah, here we go. Homecoming was directed by Morgan J. Freeman. So the guy partly responsible for Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant – not the Oscar-winning star of stage and screen. Maybe that’s why hardly anybody saw this zero-rated thriller.
26. Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
The movie that gave the lie to its predecessor’s tagline, which ran, “There can be only one.” It seems that nobody likes Highlander II: The Quickening. Seriously. This is a film where its own star, Christopher Lambert, tried to leave before he’d even finished filming it. Then, when the fantasy picture was having its world premiere, director Russell Mulcahy couldn’t watch it to the end. As for the critical reaction, Roger Ebert called the movie “hilariously incomprehensible.” And he was being kind.
25. The Disappointments Room (2016)
There are some pretty big names involved with The Disappointments Room. You’ve got D.J. Caruso in the director’s chair, Wentworth Miller on scripting duties and Kate Beckinsale in front of the camera. So it must have been all the more (ahem) disappointing when the horror-thriller set a then-record for dropping out of 97 percent of theaters in its third week of release.
24. Look Who’s Talking Now (1993)
John Travolta and Kirstie Alley reunited for Look Who’s Talking Now, the threequel to Look Who’s Talking. This time around, though, original director Amy Heckerling left the hotseat for Tom Ropelewski, and instead of kinda-talking babies we’ve got kinda-talking dogs. The result is, according to newspaper The Washington Post, a “crude and mawkish” family comedy. Perhaps one to send to the doghouse, then.
23. Mac and Me (1988)
Alien-themed movie Mac and Me gets a lot of stick for being essentially an E.T. rip-off and a very long commercial for McDonald’s. But there are some redeeming qualities to director Stewart Raffill’s family flick. Like, did you know that a percentage of the movie’s profits supported the Ronald McDonald’s House charity? That makes it worth watching, right? Right??
22. Staying Alive (1983)
John Travolta refused to be a part of a sequel to Saturday Night Fever for many years. But then, as bizarre as it sounds, Sylvester Stallone got involved and suddenly Travolta was all in. Yet even though Staying Alive was a hit at the box office, it failed to please viewers. The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus calls the drama “shockingly embarrassing.” Yeesh.
21. Redline (2007)
In 2007 Redline made headlines when one of its stars crashed a $1.5 million Ferrari. Unfortunately, though, the publicity failed to excite audiences and critics enough to actually go out and see Andy Cheng’s movie. Mind you, Redline’s executive producer was – according to Vanity Fair magazine – one of the men partly responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. So maybe it’s karma.
20. Cabin Fever (2016)
The original Cabin Fever came out in 2002. This remake – actually one of four movies in the Cabin Fever franchise – arrived just 14 years later. The director, Travis Z, even used the exact same script from the first horror outing. So it’s easy to see why The New York Times was left pondering, “Who benefits from the existence of this film?”
19. Shadow Conspiracy (1997)
The cast list for thriller Shadow Conspiracy is eyebrow-raising. There’s Charlie Sheen in the starring role, and Linda Hamilton and Donald Sutherland provide capable support. Even the director, George P. Cosmatos, was responsible for hits such as Tombstone and Cobra. Which all goes to show that even talented people can make apparently terrible films.
18. 3 Strikes (2000)
Writer-director DJ Pooh is the producer behind records by the likes of Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. And even in the movie business, he’s written parts of the popular Friday franchise. But when it came to 3 Strikes, Pooh failed to make an impression on either critics or audiences. The comedy ended up making less than $10 million at the box office.
17. Wagons East (1994)
At just 43 years old, actor John Candy died after suffering a heart attack while working in Mexico. The beloved star was there for Peter Markle’s Wagons East – and that’s seemingly the only reason people might remember the comedy Western. Luckily, the public already has plenty of other films to remember Candy by.
16. Problem Child (1990)
Problem Child caused plenty of problems upon release. The first issue? Its poster showing a cat in a tumble dryer. That image resulted in protests from an animal rights group. Then the subject matter – parents hating their adopted child, essentially – raised eyebrows with child abuse groups. Yet Dennis Dugan’s comedy was enough of a success to prompt two sequels, a TV series and a remake. Go figure.
15. Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)
Eleven years after The Blue Lagoon – which scored just 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – the sequel seemingly no one asked for arrived in theaters. Return to the Blue Lagoon was directed by William A. Graham and stars a young Milla Jovovich… And that’s pretty much all there is say about a drama The Seattle Times newspaper compared unfavorably to a “standard airline commercial.”
14. The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)
The Nutcracker in 3D could hardly come with better credentials. The director is the acclaimed Andrei Konchalovsky, it stars the likes of Elle Fanning and Nathan Lane, and the budget was a staggering $90 million. Yet Metacritic ranked the fantasy as one of the worst films of 2010 – and it earned just $20 million at the worldwide box office. Oh dear.
13. London Fields (2018)
Historian Simon Schama said Martin Amis’ novel London Fields was “never likely to be bettered” by the author. Yet when the movie adaptation from director Mathew Cullen arrived in 2018, critics agreed that it could hardly be worse. The crime drama was even the subject of a lawsuit in which Cullen claimed he couldn’t support the current cut of the film.
12. Stratton (2017)
Man of Steel star Henry Cavill backed out of Stratton less than a week before he was due to start filming. And perhaps that was a wise decision. After all, once Simon West’s actioner hit screens – with Dominic Cooper in the lead role – the critics were far from kind. Variety’s polite take was that the flick was “solidly pro” but otherwise, shall we say, not very good.
11. The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
Adam Sandler’s first Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6, arrived on the streaming platform mired in controversy. The problem? Native American extras had quit the production over its depictions of their culture. But even putting aside the Western’s divisive messages, critics agreed that the comedy just isn’t very funny. Sandler’s fans would probably have something to say about that, though.
10. Dark Crimes (2016)
Dark Crimes is a 2016 movie that didn’t get released in the States until 2018. And even then the crime drama practically went straight to streaming. That two-year delay should give you a clue about how people perceived the film’s quality. Director Alexandros Avranas and star Jim Carrey – sporting a bushy beard and a dodgy Polish accent – seemed to take most of the flack from critics.
9. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Star Michael Caine once claimed that even he hadn’t watched Jaws: The Revenge. “However,” he said, “I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” And if the lead actor is saying that about a film, the bar isn’t exactly very high, is it? So it’s no surprise that critics were quick to take a chomp out of Joseph Sargent’s lackluster sequel.
8. The Last Days of American Crime (2020)
Directed by the magnificently named Olivier Megaton, The Last Days of American Crime landed on Netflix at seemingly the worst possible time. Why? The movie dropped in June 2020 and includes sequences involving severe police brutality. And while this didn’t sit right with many critics, the flick took a further panning for just being plain bad.
7. National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2003)
In September 2004 National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers was released into 1,062 theaters countrywide. But during the comedy’s opening weekend, it made an average of only $379 per screen. Just in case you were wondering, that is not good. At the time, the New York Post noted that director Gary Preisler had a dozen different films in development. Yet this so far remains his only directing credit…
6. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
Yep, you read that right: this is second installment of the Baby Geniuses franchise. What makes Bob Clark’s Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 even more mind-boggling is that its cast includes Oscar-winner Jon Voight. Oh, and don’t worry if you missed the original flick. That film – Baby Geniuses – scored just 2 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Pinocchio (2002)
To be fair to Pinocchio, Roberto Benigni’s fantasy flick is an Italian movie that was re-cut and dubbed for American audiences. And it’s this altered version that critics hated so much. The reviewer for newspaper the Chicago Reader even noted that while the original was no masterpiece, it is a vast improvement upon this “truly awful” flick.
4. Gotti (2018)
Rotten Tomatoes actually became part of the story surrounding the much-maligned Gotti. After the crime drama’s release, its marketing team accused Rotten Tomatoes of hiding some good reviews. But then the critics pointed out that the audience score on the site was also suspiciously high – almost as if it had been manipulated… Whatever the case, Kevin Connolly’s film retains its 0 percent critic score.
3. A Thousand Words (2012)
Brian Robbins’ A Thousand Words could have been a victim of bad timing. The film was made in 2008 when star Eddie Murphy was riding high on an Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls. But the comedy didn’t hit theaters until 2012 – when the actor was down in the dumps after misfires such as Meet Dave. Or, you know, it could just be a bad movie…
2. One Missed Call (2008)
Japanese director Takashi Miike – a man known for putting extreme violence on the big screen – was responsible for the original One Missed Call in 2003. And despite the horror only getting a 44 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, this American remake arrived just five years later. Unfortunately, though, director Eric Valette and star Edward Burns made the second-worst reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes.
1. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu are capable of making good action flicks. The Mask of Zorro? Kill Bill: Volume 1? We’d happily watch them any day of the week. But when the pair teamed with director Wych Kaosayananda to bring us Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, everything seemingly went wrong. With 118 registered reviews, Ballistic is officially the worst-reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history.