The 13 most disappointing movies of 2021
We're not mad, just disappointed...
Instead of going with the usual Worst Of list, we decided to go in a slightly different direction this time.
Mainly because there is a very good chance that the actual worst movies of 2021 were completely unknown releases that nobody really saw.
So instead, we've collected the biggest offenders of getting us hyped, only to leave us feeling hollow and empty by the time the end credits rolled.
The set-pieces weren't great, the plot wasn't all that interesting, and the bad guy (played by a terribly accented Ray Winstone) was one of the MCU's worst. But the biggest problem with Black Widow is that it REALLY should've come out years ago, maybe right after Civil War. Instead, we got a film set after the death of the primary character, completely sucking any and all tension out of the action.
One redeeming factor: Florence Pugh is now in the MCU.
Oscar-winning horror writer Jordan Peele supplying the script for this legacy sequel was enough to guarantee we'd see this in cinemas. The cast were all fantastic, the imagery was striking, the subtext of gentrification an interesting one... but it wasn't scary. At all. Not even one little bit.
One redeeming factor: Those weirdly creepy upside down opening credits.
Having directed two of the biggest box office hits of all time, the Russo Brothers reunited with Tom Holland post-Infinity War and Endgame for this story of a army veteran-turned-back robber. 144 minutes later, we're wondering whether they should just stick to directing Marvel stuff.
One redeeming factor: Tom Holland proves he's incredibly watchable in just about anything.
Coming 2 America
Over 30 years since the original, Eddie Murphy and co. return to their iconic characters, but forgot to bring any laughs along with them. Continuing a weird trend in 2021 comedies revolving around date rape (see also: Vacation Friends), it starts off unfunny, remains unfunny, and ends unfunny.
One redeeming factor: The soundtrack is pretty good, actually.
Don't Breathe 2
The longer-than-it-should-have-taken sequel to the surprise 2016 horror hit left a bad taste in everyone's mouth when the villain of the original finds himself repurposed as the hero this time around. Turns out not every horror movie needs a sequel.
One redeeming factor: ..... nothing comes to mind.
Don't Look Up
That cast! That director! That premise! How did it all end up THAT unmemorable?? Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and Mark Rylance do great work, but some of the famous folk (Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, even Leo at times) felt like they were simply allowed to go off-script for far too long.
One redeeming factor: Rylance telling DiCaprio how he was going to die was a bizarrely effective scene.
House of Gucci
Remember, this isn't the WORST list, and there is actually quite a bit to enjoy in Ridley Scott's second cinematic outing of 2021 (after The Last Duel). But considering the cast, the story, the setting and everything else involved, this is one of those occasions when the end result is nowhere near the sum of its parts.
One redeeming factor: Ridley Scott's press tour for this movie was a non-stop source of entertainment.
Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright going full horror sounds perfect on paper, but what we got was a style-over-substance attempt to evoke classic genre directors like Dario Argento and Alfred Hitchcock. It looked incredible, but by the time that very questionable ending arrived - so... wait... who is the film is saying were the real victims here?? - we were more than happy to check out.
One redeeming factor: The recreation of swinging sixties London was stellar.
M. Night Shyamalan continues his hit and miss reputation with a big swing, resulting in a big miss. The idea of ageing being a source of horror is decent enough, but Shyamalan seems to have temporarily forgotten how real people talk, so we're left with these dialogue vessels spouting exposition on a beach for what feels like forever.
One redeeming factor: That scene with the newborn baby was properly horrifying.
Netflix's most expensive project to date ($200 million!) brought together The Rock, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot for a "sexy" and "exciting" international action thriller. Except it wasn't sexy, or exciting, and the whole thing felt like a glorified excuse for Dwayne and Ryan to plug their booze brands. Oh, and having not learned the lesson from Game Of Thrones or Yesterday, we get another Ed Sheeran cameo.
One redeeming factor: The Ed Sheeran cameo is very brief.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
The original Space Jam isn't great (don't @ me), but with Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther) co-writing and co-producing, how bad could it be? Very, as it turns out. A $150 million conveyor belt of appearances by properties owned by Warner Bros., it felt like an answer to a marketing question: How can we update our Space Jam merchandise range?
One redeeming factor: It was kinda fun spotting famous background characters during the climactic game.
Quite why Chris Rock decided that Saw was the franchise he wanted to help reboot is lost on us. He's the lead actor and executive producer here, dragging down Samuel L. Jackson along with him. Wanting to tackle racism within the horror genre has worked wonders elsewhere (see: Get Out), but really feels like an overthought here.
One redeeming factor: Some of the kills were satisfyingly gruesome.
The Woman in the Window
One of the most popular bestsellers of recent years. The director of Atonement working with a shockingly A-list cast. All the pieces were in place for this to be the next Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. Instead, it was so bad that Netflix turned to spoofing it themselves with an upcoming release. Incredible scenes.
One redeeming factor: That bit where Amy Adams takes a small rake to the face is guaranteed to generate a full body reaction.