30 worst movies of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s

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30 worst movies of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s 1

If you’ve already seen the best movies of the past few decades, then maybe it’s about time to watch the worst ones. While some people would argue that watching a badly reviewed movie is a complete waste of time, there are actually a lot of individuals who find delight in identifying plot holes and examining all forms of awfulness in a film. If you think that you’re pretty much like that, then hate-watching could be your next favorite pastime. To help you take your first steps into the world of hate-watching, below is a list of the worst movies from 1980 to 2009, as voted by the members of Golden Raspberry Award Foundation ― the organization behind the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the Razzies.

Can’t Stop the Music (1980)

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Directed by Nancy Walker and written by Alan Carr and Bronté Woodard, Can’t Stop the Music was promoted as a biographical film about the disco group Village People. The movie, however, only had a vague resemblance to the actual story of the group’s formation, earning itself not only the Razzie Awards for Worst Picture but also for Worst Screenplay in 1980. Starring the real members of Village People and featuring a brief appearance of Bruce Jenner, the film was called “an absolute trainwreck” by Neil Minow of Yahoo! Movies. Variety criticized the performance of the stars, writing, “The Village People, along with ex-Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner, have a long way to go in the acting stakes.”

Mommie Dearest (1981)

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Based on the memoir and exposé of the same name by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest depicts Joan as an abusive and manipulative mother. Though it was a box office hit ― grossing $39 million worldwide against a $5 million budget ― the Frank Perry-directed film was panned by critics mainly because of its bizarre script and exaggerated acting on the part of Faye Dunaway, who played Joan. In his one-star review, renowned critic Robert Ebert called the flick “unremittingly depressing, not to any purpose of drama or entertainment, but just to depress. It left me feeling creepy.”

Inchon (1982)

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Starring Laurence Olivier, Inchon is an epic war film about the Battle of Inchon, which is considered as the turning point of the Korean War. Though Olivier was praised for his performance as General Douglas MacArthur, his acting prowess wasn’t enough to save the film from criticisms. “Olivier is convincing in his role throughout most of the saga, the only member of the cast to achieve that status,” read Variety’s review of the Terence Young-directed movie. “[But] the screenplay generally treats all others as one-dimensional buffoons, giving them lines that are unintentionally laughable.” Sadly, the film was also a commercial flop, only grossing $5 million at the box office against its lofty $46 million budget.

The Lonely Lady (1983)

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Believed to be based on the life of writer-actress Jacqueline Susann, The Lonely Lady follows aspiring screenwriter Jerilee Randall as she tries to achieve success in Hollywood by cozying up with powerful yet toxic men. In her review of the film, Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that Pia Zadora ― the actress who played Jerilee ― “[has] got spunk,” but that that didn’t prevent her from being “the tiny centerpiece of a badly acted slovenly looking movie that isn’t even much fun.” The Peter Sasdy-directed movie only earned $1.2 million at the box office against a budget of $6 million.

Bolero (1984)

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Bo Derek stars as Ayre “Mac” McGillvary in this romantic drama that centers on the protagonist’s sexual awakening and her search for an ideal first lover that will take her virginity. Directed by Bo’s own husband, John, the movie was nominated in nine categories at the 5th Razzie Awards and ended up “winning” six, including Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay (John Derek), Worst New Star (Olivia d’Abo), and Worst Musical Score (Peter and Elmer Bernstein).

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

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The second installment in the Rambo franchise, Rambo: First Blood Part II finds Sylvester Stallone’s Vietnam War veteran John Rambo getting released from prison by federal order to document the possible existence of prisoner of wars in Vietnam. While the movie is packed with explosive action scenes, those alone aren’t enough to protect it from the meticulous eyes of critics. Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the movie left viewers “with nothing but detached aesthetic appreciation.” Since Rambo “can seemingly do anything,” Wilmington said “it’s hard to feel tension or concern about his fate.” Despite its mixed reviews, the film was a major box-office blockbuster, grossing $300 million worldwide against a budget of $25.5 million.

Howard the Duck, Under the Cherry Moon (1986)

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Though its soundtrack and stop-motion special effects were generally praised by critics, Howard the Duck was heavily panned by critics for its dull humor, mediocre performances, inconsistent tone, and odd live-action appearance of the title character. Due to his poorly functioning mouth and expressionless face, Howard’s look was criticized as being unconvincing.

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Tied with Howard the Duck for Worst Picture at the 1986 Razzie Awards was the musical film Under the Cherry Moon. Starring and directed by music legend Prince, the movie “won” five awards at the 7th Razzie Awards. In addition to sharing the title Worst Picture with Howard the Duck, it also took home the awards for Worst Actor (Prince), Worst Director (Prince), Worst Supporting Actor (Jerome Benton), and Worst Original Song (Love or Money).

Leonard Part 6 (1987)

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Leonard Part 6 is a spy parody film starring Bill Cosby as CIA agent-turned-restaurateur Leonard Parker. The Paul Weiland-directed movie was so bad that Cosby himself denounced and disowned it in the press a few weeks leading to its theatrical release. Cosby, who also produced and wrote the movie’s story, even advised the public not to waste their money on it. Apparently, the people did listen to his appeal, as the movie only grossed $4.6 million at the box office — a mere fraction of its $24 million budget. In addition to “winning” Worst Picture at the 8th Golden Raspberry Awards, the movie also got the titles Worst Actor (Cosby) and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds).

Cocktail (1988)

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Cocktail, based on a book of the same name by Heywood Gould, stars Tom Cruise as young New York City business student, Brian Flanagan, who takes up bartending in order to make ends meet. Though Cruise was charming in the movie as he was in his previous films like The Color of Money and Top Gun, Cocktail’s boring plot didn’t save it from becoming the Worst Picture of 1988. “There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise’s talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep’s banal fantasy,” read Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus for the film. Despite earning overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, the film was a huge box office success, grossing more than $170 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

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Considered by many as the worst installment in the Star Trek film series, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier ― according to Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus for the movie ― is “filled with dull action sequences and an underdeveloped storyline.” The performances of the principal cast members were satisfactory, but the special effects were generally considered poor. Ryan Murphy of The Miami Herald pointed out that the film completely fell apart after the USS Enterprise-A crew arrived at Sha Ka Ree, where the “great special effects that graced parts I through IV are nowhere to be seen.” Though the film did good at the box office, its negative critical reception jeopardized the production of future Star Trek features.

Ghosts Can’t Do It, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)

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Six years after their film Bolero “won” Worst Picture at the 1984 Razzie Awards, real-life couple John and Bo Derek earned the same “recognition” in 1990 for their movie, Ghosts Can’t Do It. Directed by John, the romantic crime film tells the story of Kate (Bo) and Scott (Anthony Quinn), who are happily married, despite their 30-year age difference. But after Scott suffers a heart attack and is unable to have sexual intercourse, he commits suicide and becomes a ghost that only Kate can see and speak with. To make it possible for Scott to return as a human, they conjure up a plan to have a young man drown, so that Scott can take his body and make love with Kate again. In addition to that ridiculously absurd synopsis, the movie also features a cameo appearance by Donald Trump, who was nominated for the Worst Star category at the Razzies that year.

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Tied with Ghosts Can’t Do It for Worst Picture in 1990 was the action comedy film, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Directed by Renny Harlin, the movie stars Andrew Dice Clay as the titular private investigator, whose beat is the music industry in Los Angeles. Though Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times commented that Clay had the confidence and screen presence for a successful acting career, the film itself was “loud, ugly and mean-spirited.” Surprisingly, despite being a critical and commercial failure, the film has since achieved cult status in countries like Hungary, Spain, and Norway.

Hudson Hawk (1991)

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Though Bruce Willis proved in the 2010 movie Cop Out that he also has a knack for comedy, that didn’t really show in his 1991 film Hudson Hawk. Directed by Michael Lehmann, the action comedy movie stars Willis as the titular master burglar who is immediately blackmailed into performing a heist on his very first day of parole. Though Willis had a few funny moments in the movie, critic Gene Siskel said that “the film might have been salvaged if Willis and [his partner-in-crime Tommy Messina] Danny Aiello had been the only zany characters against a cast of straight men, as opposed to a cast full of overacting where everyone tried too hard to make each line funny.”

Shining Through (1992)

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Based on the novel of the same name by Susan Isaacs, Shining Through is a World War II drama film starring Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith. The Razzie Awards declared the movie as the Worst Picture of 1992, as it focused more on the sex appeal between the two lead actors rather than the story. Several amusing parts of the novel were also not included in the movie, and those that made the cut were poorly done. In her review of the movie, Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that “David Seltzer’s film version of Shining Through manages to lose also the humor of Susan Isaacs’ savvy novel. Even stranger than that is the film’s insistence on jettisoning the most enjoyable parts of the story.”

Indecent Proposal (1993)

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Though a box-office success, grossing nearly $267 million worldwide on a $38 million budget, Indecent Proposal was panned by critics mostly because of its failure to keep the story interesting beyond its initial titillating premise. Based on the novel of the same name by Jack Engelhard, Indecent Proposal follows married couple David (Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Demi Moore), whose relationship is put to test when a stranger, John Gage (Robert Redford), offers Diana a million dollars to spend the night with him. According to Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, “Indecent Proposal starts out kinky and turns into a languid-and shockingly banal- domestic soap opera.” This was echoed by James Berardinelli of ReelViews.net, writing, “once the setup is over … Indecent Proposal starts to fall apart, with … contrivances getting worse with every passing minute.”

Color of the Night (1994)

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Starring Bruce Willis and Jane March, Color of the Night received mostly negative reviews from critics. TV Guide called the film an “embarrassing Hitchcock knock-off,” while Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times described it as a combination of “all the worst ingredients of an Agatha Christie whodunit and a sex-crazed slasher film.” While it’s obviously a mediocre film, viewers won’t be bored watching it. In fact, the movie is listed in The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.

Showgirls (1995)

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Written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Paul Verhoeven, Showgirls is another film about stripping that ended up being a complete disaster. The movie stars Elizabeth Berkley as Nomi Malone, a street-smart drifter who ventures to Las Vegas and climbs the seedy hierarchy from stripper to showgirl. Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus calls the film “vile, contemptible, garish, and misogynistic – and that might just be exactly Showgirls’ point.” Roger Ebert shared similar sentiments, describing the movie a “sleaze fest” that only presents “Eszterhas’ masturbatory fantasies.”

Striptease (1996)

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Based on Carl Hiaasen’s novel of the same name, Striptease stars Demi Moore as Erin Grant, an FBI secretary-turned-stripper who becomes involved in dirty politics and a child-custody dispute. If that interests you, don’t expect too much, as the story of the movie only ends up in the background, with Moore’s erotic scenes getting more of the spotlight. In her review of the film, Barbara Cramer said that Striptease was predictable and would appeal mostly to “post-pubescent schoolboys or closet voyeurs.”

The Postman (1997)

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The Postman stars Kevin Costner as a nomadic drifter who stumbles across the uniform of an old United States Postal Service mail carrier and unwittingly inspires hope to his fellow survivors living in post-apocalyptic America. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film “good-hearted” but also “goofy… and pretentious.” The movie’s dragging pace and almost three-hour runtime were also an issue, as many viewers lost their interest in the film halfway through it. “The dragging pace is one of several agonizing defects in this bloated sci-fi action drama,” wrote Peter Stack in his review of the film for San Francisco Chronicle.  Chuck O’Leary had similar concerns, admitting that “the first half of Costner’s The Postman is actually quite interesting, but it falters badly in the second half with a few unintentional howlers.”

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998)

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Directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Joe Eszterhas, this mockumentary film stars Eric Idle as a director named Alan Smithee who steals the negatives to his latest film and goes on the run. Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus describes the film as “a witless Hollywood satire whose hammy, obvious jokes are neither funny nor insightful of the movie business.” In addition to receiving the title Worst Picture at the 19th Razzie Awards, the movie also “won” Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star, and Worst Supporting Actor.

Wild Wild West (1999)

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This western comedy film stars Will Smith and Kevin Kline as two U.S. Secret Service agents who work together in order to protect U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and the country from all kinds of dangerous threats during the American Old West. With a hefty budget of $170 million, the movie features pretty decent special effects, which seemingly received more attention from the producers than the film’s script. As a result, the movie turned out to be a “cartoon.” According to William Arnold of Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the film offers “no emotional involvement with its characters and no dramatic imperative.” In addition to “winning” the Worst Picture category at the 20th Razzie Awards, Wild Wild West also took home the following awards: Worst Screen Couple (Will Smith and Kevin Kline), Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld), and Worst Original Song (Wild Wild West).

Battlefield Earth (2000)

Battlefield Earth

Based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth stars John Travolta and follows a rebellion in the year 3000 against the alien Psychlos, who have ruled Earth for 1,000 years. Reviewers criticized almost every aspect of the film, including the acting, cinematography, script, special effects, and art direction. Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus calls the film “a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly” that is “ugly, campy and poorly acted.” Though film critic Leonard Maltin found Travolta’s performance “weird but amusing,” this was overshadowed by the movie’s “clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences, and a leaden pace.”

Freddy Got Fingered (2001)

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Just from its terrible title, viewers shouldn’t expect so much from Freddy Got Fingered. Directed and co-written by Tom Green, this satirical black comedy film stars Green as a 28-year-old slacker who wishes to become a professional cartoonist. Though the Freddy Got Fingered’s plot resembles Green’s struggles as a young man trying to get his TV series picked up ― which would later become the popular MTV show The Tom Green Show ― the film is filled with offensive gross-out gags that made it the Worst Picture of 2001. Film critic Leonard Maltin called the movie an “instantly notorious word-of-mouth debacle” that became the poster child for all that’s wrong with movie comedy.” Maltin also pointed out a few of the disturbing gags featured in the film, including “the maiming of an innocent child and a newborn spun around in the air by its umbilical cord.”

Swept Away (2002)

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A remake of Lina Wertmüller’s 1974 Italian film of the same name, Swept Away was written and directed by Guy Ritchie, starring his then-wife and musical legend Madonna. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the original movie was “incomparably superior” to the remake, which was “utterly missing” vitality or emotional resonance of the main characters. A.O. Scott of the New York Times particularly criticized Madonna’s performance. “In her concerts, music videos and recordings, Madonna has often been a mesmerizing performer, but she is still not much of an actress,” Scott wrote. “Striking a pose is not the same as embodying a person, and a role like this one requires the surrender of emotional control, something Madonna seems constitutionally unable to achieve.”

Gigli (2003)

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Written and directed by Martin Brest, Gigli is a romantic comedy film starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Though Affleck and Lopez were romantically involved during the production, Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus for the movie states that the then-real-life lovers “lack chemistry” onscreen, which obviously doesn’t help the movie’s “bizarre” and “clumsily plotted” story. Despite the negative comments about Gigli, critics Robert Ebert and Owen Gleiberman both agree that the movie isn’t complete trash. Ebert said that people behind the film “didn’t quite get to where they wanted to be, but the film is worth seeing for some very good scenes. Gleiberman, meanwhile, wrote that Gigli was “a watchable bad movie, but it’s far from your typical cookie-cutter blockbuster.”

Catwoman (2004)

Catwoman

Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Catwoman stars Halle Berry as Patience Phillips, a meek designer who discovers a conspiracy within the cosmetics company she works for that involves a dangerous product which could cause widespread health problems. After being discovered and murdered by the conspirators, she is revived by Egyptian cats that grant her superhuman cat-like abilities, allowing her to become the vigilante Catwoman. Though Berry looked badass in her leather superhero suit, that didn’t save the film from being hailed as the Worst Picture of 2004. In his review of the film, Keith Phipps of A.V. Club called Catwoman “relentlessly gaudy and in love with its PG-13 approximation of kink.” Phipps also wrote that the movie is just “an excuse to pose Berry in ever-skimpier outfits.”

Dirty Love (2005)

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Written by Jenny McCarthy and directed by her then-husband John Mallory Asher, Dirty Love stars McCarthy as struggling photographer Rebecca Sommers whose life falls apart after finding her model boyfriend in bed with another woman. Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus calls the film a “laugh-free … comedy dead zone” that is “aggressively crude and shoddily constructed.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, meanwhile, found the movie “pitiful [as] it doesn’t rise to the level of badness.” In fact, in addition to being voted as Worst Picture at the 26th Razzie Awards, the movie also took home the following awards: Worst Director (Asher), Worst Actress (McCarthy) and Worst Screenplay (McCarthy).

Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

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A sequel to the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct, Basic Instinct 2 stars Sharon Stone who reprises her role of crime mystery author Catherine Tramell from the original movie, who finds herself in trouble in London. As with SFPD Detective Nick Curran in the first film, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass is appointed to evaluate Catherine but becomes a victim of her seductive yet psychological games. After reading the new script by Leora Barish and Henry Bean, the director of the original film, Paul Verhoeven, refused to direct the sequel ― an apparent foreshadowing of how bad the movie would turn out. Rotten Tomatoes’ critic consensus states that Basic Instinct 2 was “unable to match the suspense and titillation of its predecessor” because its plot is “so ludicrous and predictable it borders on so-bad-it’s-good.”

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

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Starring Lindsay Lohan in a dual role, I Know Who Killed Me tells the story of a young woman who insists that her identity is that of another lady after being abducted and tortured by a sadistic serial killer. Though supposed to be a thriller, a lot of critics agreed that there’s nothing thrilling about it, as it was distasteful and ludicrously plotted. In his review of the movie, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said the film had “a nonsensical plot that grows sillier by the second, tawdry special effects, heavy-handed symbolism that’s big on electric-blue hues, and mechanical performances.” The movie was also considered as a career nadir for Lohan, with Empire Online commenting that the actress’ embattled dual performance in the film would “spoil” fans’ amusing memories of her in Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, and The Parent Trap.

The Love Guru (2008)

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Considered by many as the career-killing film for Mike Myers, The Love Guru stars the Austin Powers and Shrek actor as the Guru Pitka who helps the Toronto Maple Leafs actualize their potential to win the Stanley Cup after the team has been plagued with losses. Though the film features a lot of attempts to make viewers laugh, only a few landed. Jay Stone of the National Post called the film “shockingly crass, sloppy, repetitive and thin,” summarizing it as an “88 minutes of ridiculous sight gags and obscene puns.” Robert Ebert, meanwhile, criticized the writing of the film, commenting that it “could have been written on toilet walls by callow adolescents.”

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

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The sequel to the 2007’s Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen takes place two years after the first film and revolves around Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who is caught in the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. While the first movie had an actual story, a lot of critics agreed that the sequel was simply a special effects extravaganza. “If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination,” wrote Robert Ebert in his review of the film. Despite its negative reviews, the film surpassed its predecessor at the box office, grossing a total of $836.3 million worldwide against a budget of $200 million.

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