So Many Bad Films And Only 19 'F''s: A Look At The Films That Audiences Think Are The Worst Of All Time




Since the release of mother! two weeks ago, and it's famous Cinemascore rating of 'F', we decided to take a look at all the films that have received the 'F' score and try to figure out why.

First, a bit of background on CinemaScore and what they do.

From the site's About Us page:

CinemaScore is the industry leader in measuring movie appeal. We provide unbiased measurement of audience response that helps gauge movie appeal and success by polling movie audiences on opening night for their reaction to the latest major movie releases. 
In 1978, CinemaScore was born when its founders saw a need for theatre audiences to have a "public voice" for their opinions about movie appeal. Professional movie critics often dominate public conversations in the news about movies; while movie critics' interpretations are interesting and helpful, their reviews often emphasize a movie's meaning, not whether the movie appealed to live audiences. And while a movie critic only provides a single perspective on a movie, a statistically robust sample of a national audience offers a broader and more varied point of view. 
CinemaScore's movie research brings the opinions of theatre audiences into the public arena. On opening night around the country, CinemaScore polls moviegoers for their opinions on new movie releases. Audience members fill out ballot cards right at the theatre, grading a movie A to F and providing demographic information. CinemaScore uses this direct balloting approach to establish a movie's grade—its overall "CinemaScore." 
With such a wide variety of entertainment options available and so many different ways to watch movies today, the need for a "movie-quality benchmark" is greater than ever. CinemaScore helps moviegoers make better choices about what movies to watch—people can more easily find the on-screen stories that appeal to them, as well as spend more quality time with family and friends. After providing reliable, audience-generated movie reviews for over 34 years, CinemaScore has earned the respect of Hollywood studios and news organizations—including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Hollywood Reporter—as well as moviegoers worldwide.

So basically, CinemaScore was what imdb.com and Rotten Tomatoes are today. I can see this being a big deal before the internet, but now it doesn't seem to really matter if a film has a high or low score. Like with any film, people base their initial opinions on what they have seen, and know, about a film. It is interesting to note that in the almost 40 years that this company has been around, there have only been 19 films to score an 'F'. That means that notoriously bad films like Battlefield Earth, The Happening, Gigli, Catwoman, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and White Chicks are not as bad as the films on this list. Some of you may agree, some will not. Let's take a look and find out.

This list is in alphabetical order.

Alone in the Dark (2005)


Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff, and Tara Reid look confused. The audience looks back, confused as well.

I think that this one can go unexplained, but what the hell, I bite.

This is the second of many video game adaptations by Uwe Boll, the crazed German who found a loop in German tax law that allowed investors to take a tax deduction on money invested into a film, whether the film was a hit or not. If this sounds like the plot to the Mel Brooks film The Producers, then you would be right on the money.

The film itself is terrible. The effects are weak, the direction lazy, and the acting is laughable at best. I know that people say that Tara Reid as a scientist was completely unrealistic, but I didn't find that to be the worst thing about the film. The fact that entire action scenes take place in a pitch black environment, meaning that we couldn't see anything on screen, is way worse than Tara Reid's acting.

This is a film that earned it's 'F' score.

The Box (2009)


James Marsden and Cameron Diaz try to figure out if you can fuck The Box. Spoiler Warning: You Can't

Do you remember Richard Kelly? No? He was the director of Donnie Darko, a film that became a huge cult classic, and would allow Kelly to live his dream of making films, either writing them or directing them. After Donnie Darko, Kelly wrote the screenplay for the Tony Scott film Domino, he wrote and directed the awful Southland Tales, a film that was booed at the Cannes Film Festival, and he wrote and directed The Box.

Based on a short story called Button, Button, the film stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as a couple who receive a small wooden box and instructions: push the button for an instant million dollars, no questions asked, BUT doing so will kill someone that they do not know. They have 24 hours to weigh the morals of money vs life.

This is a strong premise, but the film is such a bore that we just want to push the button ourselves, hoping that one of the actors onscreen dies, so at least something happens in the film. While the film is bad, I don't think that an 'F' score is the right rating. The film is a one star film at best, to be on a list as short as this one really makes you think about what people consider the worst films ever made.

Bug (2007)


Michael Shannon tries to look inside Ashley Judd's mouth, but she ain't having it.

Bug is the first film on this list that is actually good. Here is a film that deals with paranoia and messing with people's minds.

The film tells the story of a woman who has run away from an abusive relationship. The woman moves into a rundown motel and meets a man at her job. They start a relationship and soon move into together, but soon they are overrun and terrorized by bugs that are trying to get into their room.

The film sounds really good and the trailers do a good job of selling the film. So, why did this film get an 'F' score? I believe that a big chunk of people can't handle films that make them think. Bug is a film that shows us one thing and then gives us something else. It isn't necessarily a mystery film, but it doesn't spell things out either. The film deals with some complicated issues and the film has a downer of an ending, which is something that audiences don't like either.

Darkness (2002, but released in 2004)


Bathtub time fun with Anna Paquin

At first, I thought that this was the film The Darkness, directed by Doug McLean, who is no stranger to this list, but upon further review this turns out to the Anna Paquin-starrer in which she and her family move into a new (to them) house that turns out to have secrets.

I don't know if this film belongs on this list. It is really stupid, but there are plenty of other films that could beat this film in a fight to the 'F'. The film is littered with dumb ideas, a substandard script, and questionable acting choices. The film, however, does do a decent enough job of creating a creepy atmosphere and the ambient noises add to that. After thinking about it for a while, I don't think that this film belongs on this list. It is way too forgettable to be on a "worst of" list.

The Devil Inside (2012)


Do you really think that the devil would appear in a film THIS bad? No, he'd go for the bigger films like Despicable Me 3 or any of the Marvel films

Now here is a film, if there ever was one, that belongs on this list, but not for the reasons that you think. The film itself isn't half bad. The film is a found footage, Exorcist-type film that has some pretty creepy scenes in it. The film is by no means a good film, but one that you wouldn't think would be found on this list. That is until you get to the ending (or lack thereof) of the film.

The woman making the documentary is possessed by demons and a man who was helping her throws her into a car and starts driving the house of an exorcism expert. The man, who is also possessed by demons, decides to swerve into oncoming traffic. The car is then hit by a truck and flips over many times before coming to a rest...

Cut to black. The film is over. Some people may see this as something of a brave move. Just have your film end. It has happened before. The Hatchet films end in the middle of a scene only for the sequel to start in the exact place in the scene that the first film stopped in. That isn't a bad way to keep your films going. The thing that earned this film it's 'F' score is what happens after the crash. There is a text box that comes up that tells us that we can learn more about this case if we visit a website that they show on screen. So basically you sat through a not so great film only to be told to go to a website to find out the true ending to the film. Which is worse now, because if you watch the film today and then go the website, it is gone. So, you can't see the "true" ending to the film. Way to go.

Disaster Movie (2008)


a bunch of jackasses are about to do something, but no one cares.

Spoof films are hard to get right. If you do happen to do it right, you get films like Airplane!, The Naked Gun, and Scary Movie. You do it wrong, and you get films like Date Movie, Epic Movie, Vampires Suck, Superfast!, and Disaster Movie.

All of these "Blank Movie"s are done by the same duo of "filmmakers", Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. These guys are not really filmmakers in the common sense. They just put random scenes and references together and hope that people go see the shit that have made.

So the question is: If all the films are that bad, then why choose Disaster Movie over any of the other ones? It's a good and valid question that I can't think of an answer for. Maybe this one just didn't connect for people like the others did. Or maybe the audience was fed up with being fed this shit every year and decided to revolt. Whatever the reasoning behind just one of the films being on this list rather than the list being all the films, this is a film that definitely deserves to be on this list.


Dr. T and the Women (2000)


Richard Gere just found out that the gerbil saw its shadow, which means back inside for another six months

It has been years since I have seen Dr. T and the Women, so I can't remember too much about it, but I don't remember the film being bad. Looking at the scores on imdb.com, none of the critical scores go less than four and the audience rating for the film is at a 4.6. These numbers do not make sense if this film got an 'F' on cinemascore. The film didn't do very well, grossing $13 million at the box office. The film isn't offensive, maybe a bit crude, but nothing that would constitute an 'F' score.

edit: I think that I may have found why the film was given the 'F' score. The film features a medically explicit birth scene. Audiences don't mind things like this if they are in a horror film, but a comedy that features a scene like that throws the audience off and definitely offended those who saw it in the theater.

Eye of the Beholder (1999)


Ashley Judd points a gun at someone while trying to find the last Cheeto that she dropped on the floor

This is yet another film that is on this list for seemingly no reason. The film is a decent thriller at best with the plot revolves around a man who becomes obsessed with a female serial killer and abandons everything in his life to follow her and feed his obsession.

Now, there is nothing wrong with this set up and the acting is good. So, why would it land on this list? The only thing that I can think of is the fact that the film doesn't really have an ending. The film can just keep going because the plot and all the actions in the film are just on repeat. Something happens, the action moves to another location, that same thing happens again, repeat. Outside of that and it not being the best film in the world, I can't see why this is on the list.

Fear Dot Com (2002)


Stephen Dorff doesn't care what this woman has to say. He is just amazed that you can fold someone in half and stuff them into a jar

Fear Dot Com is a harmless horror film that thinks that it knows a lot about technology, but clearly doesn't. The film was produced by Dark Castle, a production company formed by Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, Jared Bush, and Gilbert Adler to produce horror films that were supposed to harken back to the days of William Castle (hence the name of the company), and they did start off like that, producing flashy remakes of House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts, but soon they were just making flashy horror films that were about as scary as watching a normal film.

None of the films produced under the Dark Castle banner were all that great (except for Ninja Assassin, the company's last film. That film rocked!), but none of them deserved the dreaded 'F' score. I have seen the film twice and, while there is graphic violence and the like, there is nothing that would warrant that type of rating. Maybe the constant use of strobe lighting might have had an effect of some of the audience members, but that would be about it.

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)


Lindsay Lohan looks to Daredevil for advice about playing the piano. Daredevil is thinking about it.

This one I don't really have to go into too much detail, but I think that anyone reading this, who remembers this film, is going to know why this film got the 'F' score. Alright, all together. One...Two...Three. One legged sex scene. I heard others say Lindsay Lohan and that couldn't be the reason that this film got the rating. No. It had to be the scene where Lohan, who is missing a leg because of an attack, has sex with her boyfriend. People don't want to see two legged Lohan have sex, let alone one with one leg.

Now, I know that will be seen as insensitive, but there are a lot of people who do not like deformities of any kind, especially during a sex scene, which is supposed to sexy and hot. Many can not handle the fact that not everyone in the world has all of their hands and toes, arms, and legs. That is the sad state of affairs, but it is the truth and, more than likely, the reason the film got the 'F' score.

By the way, the film isn't too bad. 

In the Cut (2003)


Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo are trying to hide in the forest from the camera crew. They did not succeed.

There have been few films that have sidelined a career more than In the Cut. The film deals a lot with sex and one night stands and the whole lot. And it stars America's Sweetheart (at least one of them because that title goes around like gonorrhea at an all night orgy.) Meg Ryan, who took the film because she had just been in a ton of light and fluffy films and she needed to get her edge back.  The film was directed by Jane Campion, who is a director who likes having her leading ladies, and sometimes leading men, in the nude. Holly Hunter AND Harvey Keitel both got very naked in her film The Piano.

Here, Campion deals with the underbelly of society and sex and murder. The thing is, the dark and disturbing scenes are handled very well. Some might say a little too well. She also gets Meg Ryan AND Mark Ruffalo to do the nudity thing.

I think that audiences were expecting the type of crime thriller that we had been getting ever since Seven (1995) was released. The type that is dark and moody and takes us the edge of darkness, but doesn't push us in. In the Cut pushed audiences into the darkness and audiences were not ready for that. They still wanted their thrillers dark, but not "Shower many times after watching" kind of dark. 

Killing Them Softly (2012)


No matter what you tell me, Brad Pitt can look homely at times. Just sayin'

Killing Them Softly came from the same director who made The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, so the film was going to have long passages where nothing seems to happen. Well, that didn't happen entirely (at least to my knowledge) because I stopped watching the film about 30 minutes in. I found the film to be very plodding and boring. Nothing really happens that we haven't seen before, but nothing to earn the film the 'F' score. The film is harmless. Boring as shit, but harmless.

Lost Souls (2000)


Winnona Ryder is trying to figure out how to steal the sinks in this bathroom.

I wonder how it feels to be the director of this film, Janusz Kaminski. The man is Steven Spielberg's cinematographer and has won two Oscars for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. This should not have been the film that he made as his directorial debut.

The film deals with religion and it is a horror film, so the filmmakers thought that the film could be the new Exorcist, considering that film had been re-released in theaters the same year that this film hit. The film is well made. Kaminski and his crew put a lot of time, effort, and talent into making this film look amazing. They did not, however, use the same expertise on the script, which is pretty bad. The film doesn't have anything that I would consider 'F' score material, but, then again, I do like films where people get pulled apart by animals or zombies or zombie animals. That being said, the film is harmless and does not belong on this list.

Lucky Numbers (2000)


John Travolta knows that this film is bad. Just look at the look on his face.

Ok. I honestly can not think of anything from this film that would warrant an 'F' score. This film is based on a true story (which people like), starring John Travolta (whom people like), and has everything in it that would make a con film at least good. The film isn't very good, but 'F' bad? No. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but it is not offensive, just stupid.

mother! (2017)


Javier Bardem makes the mistake of letting Parcher through the door. Don't you know that the man is just a figment of John Nash's imagination?

The inclusion of mother! on this list didn't make much sense to me until I watched the film. In fact, the film doesn't do anything all that offensive or bad for much of the film's run time. This is a paranoia film, like many we have all seen. But then something happens close to the end of the film that isn't divisive as it is just weird and on the nose. I don't think that there is a person out there that wasn't weirded out, even for a brief second, by what happens in the final act of the film.

Now, if you are with the film this far, then it you know the whys as to what happens, but if you are easily offended, or can't figure out why the characters are doing what they are doing, then you will hate the film, like those who gave it an 'F' score. Does the film deserve an 'F'? No, but I can see why it got one.


Silent House (2012)


Elizabeth Olsen cries over the realization that she is in fact NOT as strong as a car.

Silent House is a neat little thriller with a nice promotional campaign. The ads claimed that the film was shot in one take, lasting the entire length of the film, and that the film happens in real time. What does this add to the film? It adds an extra sense of dread because the audience is meant to feel that we are watching this in real time. That what happens in the film really happens to her. This is a great concept, but did it lead to the film getting the 'F' score?

I can't answer that for certain, but I can tell you that there is nothing in this film that has been found in countless other films. There is nothing in the film that would warrant an 'F' score.

Solaris (2002)


George Clooney thought that they were remaking 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was not very happy about it.

Here is a film that doesn't deserve its 'F' score, but I can see why it got it.

Solaris was advertised as a George Clooney film, which it is, but it is not the type of films that he was known for. Up to the point in his career, Clooney made comedies, dramas, romances, and action films. Solaris is a slow burn type film, depending on the audience to stay with it to the end in order to get what the whole thing meant. This is not what audiences wanted. They wanted Clooney either mating with aliens, shooting aliens, or cracking jokes with aliens. They did not want to see slow shots of beautiful production design and long periods of time where little to no dialogue is spoken. The film is meditative in its ideas and audiences did not want that. Hence the 'F' score.

The Wicker Man (2006)


Nicolas Cage teaches the class how to point at things that you want, but don't have the money for. Just off screen is the skull of a dinosaur.

I don't think that there are many people out there that don't know the awesome trainwreck that was The Wicker Man, starring Nicolas Cage. This, of course, is not to be confused with the original The Wicker Man from 1973, starring Christopher Lee.

This Wicker Man follows a similar plot as the first one, but ends in hilarity rather than horror. Infact, there really isn't too much horror in this film. Sure, there are some jump scares, and a frightening image or two, but the film is definitely NOT a horror film.

So, why did this film receive an 'F' score? Just watch the video that I have left below and you will see for yourself. The one thing that I don't get is that THIS is the "so bad it's good" film that gets the justly deserved 'F' score, but equally awful films like Battlefield Earth and The Last Airbender get away with a D+ and C respectively.





Wolf Creek (2005)


This is the last thing that many people who visit Australia see before they die.


Audiences love horror films. Well, let me rephrase that: Audiences love SAFE horror films. If you look at the list of the highest grossing horror films of all time, you will see that, while the some of the films on this list contain images and scenes that audiences had never seen before, the rest of the list is comprised of films that rely on jump scares and shoddy CGI. The list is comprised of mostly "safe" horror films.

This brings us to Wolf Creek, a horror film that relies on mood and atmosphere, rather than blood and guts, to make the film scary. Don't get me wrong: the film does have it's fair share of blood and guts, but the film doesn't linger over them like the Saw sequels do. This is a film that builds its fear slowly and puts the audience at ease before scaring the shit out of them.

Because the film is a visceral experience and treats the violence in the film as realistic as possible, the film was hailed by some critics and booed by others, like Roger Ebert. Audiences want their hand held and Wolf Creek doesn't do that. It presents well defined characters who have horrible things happen to them without a mystery to solve.

So there are the 19 films that have been given the 'F' score from Cinema Score and the reasons as to why I think the films get the score. Not everything is black and white in this topsy turvy world of ours and not every bad film gets the 'F' score that they deserve.