The Worst Films Released in 2023, According to Critics

Despite the strikes that occurred in the last part of the year, in general it could be said that 2023 was a great year for the film industry. To begin with, the confinement caused by the pandemic that hit the world at the beginning of 2020 finally formally ended, and with it people began to gradually return to movie theaters to live the experience that no streaming platform can offer. On the other hand, we had the Barbenheimer phenomenon , the simultaneous release of Barbie (88%) and Oppenheimer (95%) that represented not only a fun conversation among moviegoers around the world, but also several lucrative weekends for a box office that I desperately needed something like that. Large international festivals also resumed their operations without the restrictions imposed by the World Health Organization ( WHO ) and with this we had the arrival of great productions directed by some of the best filmmakers that made us laugh, cry, reflect and even fear. .

Among other things, several titles that were delayed so that they could have a theatrical run also finally saw the light of day, and while some justified the waiting time with great stories and amazing special effects, others left a bitter taste in the mouth and the feeling that they would have been better being broadcast on some platform. This year also represented the fall of superhero cinema, partly due to public fatigue due to the saturation of content and partly due to the poor manufacturing with which the films were being delivered: with poor CGI, plots that lead to nothing, a formulaic script based on previously seen tropes, among other things. And if that were not enough, there were also many surprises both good and bad, and the latter are the reason why we are here.

From failed adaptations, unnecessary sequels and original proposals that should have remained ideas, at Tomatazos we have taken on the task of listing the worst films released this year according to international critics. Although genres vary in taste and each person can have their own judgment regarding the titles that we are going to mention, the truth is that there is a general consensus regarding them that has been generated based on the reviews issued by the media. most respected in the entertainment industry, and many times this can help you choose what to invest your time and money in when there is such a large offer of movies and television series premiering week after week. Without further ado, we invite you to welcome 2024 by reviewing, as Amanda Waller would say inSuicide Squad (25%)of 2016, “the worst of the worst” of this year.

What are the worst international films of 2023?

The Marvels (52%)

In the sequel toCaptain Marvel (60%)directed byNia DaCosta, Carol Danvers, now recovered from Kree oppression, is faced with the consequences of a destabilized universe. Her duty leads her into a wormhole linked to a revolutionary Kree, connecting her powers with those of Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) and her astronaut niece, Monica Rambeau. Under the name “The Marvels,” this unusual trio must learn to work together to save the universe. However, The Marvels turns out to be more of an amalgamation of disparate ideas than a movie per se. On the one hand, the plot is limited in its exploration of characters and worlds, depriving the audience of a complete experience, all by focusing on following the trend of recent MCU entries by setting expectations for the future without managing to tell a story. truly significant. If we add to this an indecision about the tone it intends to adopt and disconcerting narrative decisions, the film ultimately fails to reach the heights expected of a Marvel Studios production.

Alberto Corona from Cinemania :

It is, indeed, a very bad movie. Even terrible, and in certain moments hardly bearable. During its tiring footage, it chains together the commonplaces that have made Marvel a blockbuster standard (humour, zero-planned action, the dance of cameos), but as its succession arrives with a tragically untidy packaging, it not only makes one think that this is its worst possible version. It also leads to the suspicion that the Marvel Universe has always been broadly like this, and only now that the formula stagnates due to a temporary imperative can we see the emperor naked.

Rebel Moon (Part One): The Fire Girl (30%)

In the anticipated space opera ofZack Snyderconceived for Netflix, Kora, a young woman with an enigmatic past played bySofia Boutella, begins a new life in a peaceful rural colony after crashing on a remote moon. Everything changes when the tyrant Balisarius and his cruel emissary discover that the farmers have been inadvertently involved with the Bloodaxe insurgents, played byCleopatra ColemanandRay Fisher. Veldt’s survival now depends on Kora and Gunnar, a farmer unrelated to the wars. Together, they recruit a diverse group of warriors, including Kai, Titus, Nemesis, Tarak, and Milius, to confront the armies of the Home World. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, despite the intriguing premise and meticulous attention to set, costume, and prop design, Rebel Moon ends up feeling like an amalgamation of influences, mythologies, and epic narratives that have been handled more effectively in the past. In general, the Netflix original fails to exploit its full potential despite having outstanding actors, a generous budget and Snyder ‘s visual seal , becoming a combination of lack of originality, underdeveloped characters and excessive action.

Hrvoje Milakovic from Fiction Horizon :

Rebel Moon is a film that does not live up to its potential. Despite Snyder’s reputation for creating visually stunning films, this foray into the space opera genre is a mix of borrowed ideas and unoriginal elements. The lack of compelling characters, an engaging plot, and innovative design make it a forgettable addition to the science fiction genre. While the film may offer some entertainment value for fans of Snyder’s visual style, those looking for a fresh and engaging sci-fi story will likely be disappointed.

Napoleon (57%)

In what was anticipated to be one of the most ambitious projects inRidley Scott, Napoleon was billed as a dazzling action epic about the tumultuous rise and decline of the iconic French emperor, played by Oscar winnerJoaquin Phoenix, highlighting his addictive relationship with his one true love, Josefina, and showcasing his military tactics and visionary policies in dynamic, realistic battle sequences. However, the structure of the film leaves the feeling of only seeing the backbone of the story given its lack of cohesion and depth. To critics, Scott seems undecided about which version of Napoleon’s story he wishes to present, reducing everything to superficially told vignettes, offering little beyond what we already know. And although visually the film is quite compliant, it fails to be enough to shake the feeling that the final product feels choppy, rushed and lacking narrative momentum.

Brian Tallericoby Roger Ebert :

Once again, Scott’s skill is on full display here, but it’s in service of a deeply superficial script, one that approaches the major events of its protagonist’s life with very little passion or purpose, and very rarely ties them together. with some kind of impulse. A phenomenal actor is reduced to a ghostly presence in the middle of the film, and his partner, the character who needs to give the film a beating heart, comes off as two-dimensional and empty.

Five Nights at Freddy’s (30%)

Arriving to steal the box office this Halloween season, Blumhouse presented its adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s , one of the scariest and most popular video games (particularly with young audiences) of the last decade. The plot follows a troubled security guard who starts his job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, only to discover that the night at Freddy’s is much more challenging than anticipated. Given the time it took to arrive, the expectations placed on this film were not low, and it was truly sad to see that both fans and casual audiences were disappointed by an inert and unconvincing narrative that struggled in vain to find coherence in absurd situations. Throughout its almost two hours, the adaptation byEmma Tammibecomes a tedious experience with awkward pacing, a lack of tension and bland jokes, failing to capture the vibrancy that made the original game stand out in the first place.

Brian Lloyd from Entertainment.ie :

For a film that is based on such an original idea and had some truly exciting moments, the film adaptation pales in comparison. There’s little atmosphere to be found, very few laughs or scares, and ultimately feels overwhelmed by trying to service a larger story that often unfolds over the course of hours, if not days (or nights in this case ) (…) When it comes to the grand finale, there is little left to keep anyone but the most devoted fans of the franchise entertained. Why spend five nights when it’s barely worth it?

The Expendables 4 (18%)

In the fourth installment of the Expendables saga , Barney Ross (played bySylvester Stallone) leads an elite team made up of prominent film figures, includingJason Statham,Dolph Lundgren,50 CentandMegan fox. Together, they face a new action-packed challenge, deploying their wits, experience and trademark brute strength to overcome it. Despite the promise of strong emotions, the film has notable shortcomings: lack of big stars, a truly ABSURD plot, embarrassing visual effects, predictable plot twists that contribute to the narrative being monotonous, among many other things. In the end, the disappointment is palpable when confirming the absence of charisma and charm that made the franchise attractive in its beginnings, and the only thing left to hope is that they finally let the series die before more embarrassing stumbles like this one.

Paul Klein from FilmHounds :

The problem with the film is that it has clearly lost any appeal that the previous films had. The stars are few and far between, the action is basic shooter nonsense and the plot makes no sense, but without Stallone’s stoic leadership you have nothing to hold on to. There are no one-liners except for a reference to Mean Girls.

Megalodon 2: The Great Abyss (39%)

The Megalodon 2: The Great Abyss promised to take the excitement to new heights and depths with multiple giant Megalodons and an all-star cast led byJason StathamandJing Wu, however, proved to be all about roar and little bite. The sequel’s plot follows a brave research team on an exploratory dive into the dark depths of the ocean, but is thrown into chaos when a malevolent mining operation threatens their mission. This triggers a high-stakes battle for survival, pitting the protagonists against colossal megalodons and ruthless environmental plunderers. Although it is enjoyable to see Statham in action, the sequel does not represent an improvement over its predecessor (also battered by international critics), maintaining its uncertain tone that navigates between the ridiculous and the serious, lacking a clear identity. Despite its ambition to be bigger and wilder, the film falls short of the level of fun it could and should provide, leaving the viewer yearning for more excitement and narrative coherence.

David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter :

As much as it is a pleasure to watch Statham launch explosive harpoons from a jet ski, The Meg 2: The Great Abyss offers only scattered pleasures. It’s too ridiculous to deliver any serious scares and too tonally uncertain to convince us that it’s a running joke. Even as the mindless summer fun it’s intended for, the overlong film falls short.

Winnie The Pooh: Honey and Blood (38%)

In Winnie The Pooh: Honey and Blood , one of the worst slashers in recent history, the days of adventure and fun come to an abrupt end. Pooh and Piglet, bereft and abandoned by Christopher Robin, find themselves in the sad need to fend for themselves. As time progresses, their innocence fades, transforming into savage creatures that, in a blood frenzy, terrorize a group of young people isolated in a remote cabin. From the beginning, Miel y Sangre does not invite it to be taken seriously, weaving ridiculous situations that prevent any empathy with the characters. Of course, the performances leave a lot to be desired, continuity errors multiply as the plot progresses, and the film lacks a compelling story that it can’t even deliver on something as basic as the delivery of gore.

AJ Navarro of Pólvora :

…although Winnie the Pooh Honey and Blood reinvents this classic character very freely, it falls short not only in its money and narrative, but also in the violence and gore that it could offer, because despite offering some quite savage deaths or winks at Pooh’s inner wildness, nothing is properly grounded, offering just a small taste of what could be…

The Exorcist: Believers (20%)

From the director’s handDavid Gordon Green, who recently led the resurrection of the Halloween franchise , The Exorcist: Believers arrived to stain the legacy of the deceased’s classicWilliam Friedkin. In the film, after the tragic loss of his pregnant wife in an earthquake in Haiti 12 years ago, a man named Victor Fielding has raised his daughter, Angela, alone. However, when Angela and her friend Katherine disappear in the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened, a series of events is unleashed that forces Victor to confront the darker side of evil. In his terror and desperation, he seeks help from the only person alive who has witnessed something similar: Chris MacNeil. The film stands as one of the biggest disappointments of the year as it is full of interesting ideas that do not always translate into coherent and satisfying situations. Although for critics this does not reach the level of the worst film in the franchise, they agree that it is the least intriguing thanks to its routine and fragmented narrative that forgets its purpose of scaring. In the end, what remains is a blatantly boring work that, between poor pacing and mediocre jumpscares, gives the feeling of having gotten lost along the way like its two protagonists.

Johnny Oleksinski from New York Post :

Their heads rotated 360 degrees. They vomited green mud. They violently shouted bad words. No, not the demon-possessed girls in The Exorcist: Believers, but the angry audience of the horrible movie. After a promising start, the sixth film in a franchise that should have proudly ended 50 years ago provokes fury (…) Once the girls unwittingly play host to the devil, Believers begins to resemble any other imitation interchangeable from The Exorcist, only softer and barely creepy.

Ghosted (27%)

Sometimes having two of the most talented and popular actors on board right now isn’t enough to make a good movie, as proven by Ghosted .Dexter Fletcher, the filmmaker behind the excitingRocketman (83%)2019. The plot begins when Cole (Chris Evans) falls madly in love with the enigmatic Sadie (Ana de Armas), only to discover that she is a secret agent. Before they can decide on a second date, they both find themselves involved in a borderless adventure to try to save the world. Even judged on its genre, the film fails to be particularly romantic or comedic, and while both Evans and de Armas are competent as individual leads, they fail to generate the necessary magic as an on-screen couple. In the case of directing, Fletcher seems to throw various elements into the blender in the hope that something works, but few things manage to stick with the viewer due to the lack of inspiration in the images and narrative. In the end, the laziness that permeates the entire production is depressing and difficult to ignore.

Bhuvanesh Chandar of The Hindu :

Chat GPT could have written a more interesting plot than Ghosted, another unbearably boring action game with a lot of opulence: big stars, flashy cameos, beautiful settings and incredible production value, enough to suffocate you and make you look past the novelty missing. But it’s all pretty terrible. The dialogue doesn’t feel organic, and two plants would share better chemistry than Evans and Ana in these scenes.

Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya – The Beginning (5%)

Entering with honor on the list of worst live action anime adaptations, Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya – The Beginning ofTomasz Baginskifollows Seiya, a stubborn street teenager who embarks on fights for money in search of his kidnapped sister, but his destiny takes a drastic turn when he discovers mystical powers hidden within himself. Entering a world of sacred battles, ancient magical training, and the protection of the reincarnated goddess Athena, Seiya must sacrifice everything to claim his rightful place among the brave Knights of the Zodiac. We could do an entire article talking about everything that is wrong with this Hollywood production, but broadly speaking we have a narrative that Westernizes the most important elements of the story instead of staying faithful to the material, very poor special effects that take away all of it. the credibility of what we are seeing on the screen, a messy plot where things happen without explanation or meaning, and uneven performances by the entire cast. Failing to satisfy even the most adamant fans, this lackluster effort is certain to suffer the same fate as the infamousDragonball Evolution (14%): to be remembered only for how abysmal it was.

Erick Romero from IGN Latin America :

Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya falls into the curse of anime adaptations and does not understand the original material, preferring to base itself on the Netflix adaptation, making it even worse, so that it is digestible for a Western audience with super soldier plots to which The only thing missing is the speeches with the American flag waving in the background. The performances of Madison Iseman and Sean Bean are excellent but you fail to connect with the characters, all the trailers were dedicated to showing elements that seemed to respect the original material, but that in the end are just a trap for the fans.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (42%)

To close our list with a flourish (or rather copper), we have the recent Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom , under the direction ofJames Wanand withJason Momoa,Patrick Wilson,Amber HeardandYahya Abdul-Mateen IIin the distribution. The plot follows Black Manta, obsessed with avenging the death of his father and determined to defeat Aquaman, who seeks help from his imprisoned brother, Orm, former king of Atlantis, to face a new threat. To the chagrin of all those who expected something from the piece that was to close the arc of the DCEU in style, this sequel lacks ambition, emotional impact and greatness in its scenes, settling for following the formula and using cheap humor that fails more times than it lands. For critics, the result is surprising considering the standard set by the first installment, where everything felt more organic and risky; here, not even Momoa ‘s charisma manages to lift the film from the depths, becoming a bitter farewell for these characters and a universe that could never take off.

Marco Antúnez from Tomatazos :

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, the sequel to Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, is further proof of the illness that has afflicted the industry for more than half a century at Warner Bros.: executives do not let creators work on the films. risks, but in what is “proven” and in the production of epigones — possibly arguing for the “reproduction of success.” (…) The abuse of clichés makes the film predictable. For example, humor. Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom delivers unexpected laughs, not all of them deliberate. Good jokes, good stitches, skits and other intelligently plotted pantomimes. A handful of puns, some original jokes. Some well-applied histrionics. But only as an entertainment instrument, not as critical, ironic or reflective intelligence.

Also read: The Most Anticipated Movies of 2024

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