You’ve seen the best, now it’s time for the worst. A quick note: the presence of a movie on this list doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t enjoy it.
6. Point Break
This remake of the 1991 classic isn’t as bad as you might think, but it’s still pretty bad. A few decent action sequences can’t make up for the complete lack of character development and a needlessly complicated plot. Do yourself a favor and watch the original instead.
5. Jurassic World
Though not the least competent movie on this list, Jurassic World is ultimately an exercise in wasted potential. Chris Pratt, who was such an appealing lead in Guardians of the Galaxy, gets stuck playing one of the most generic protagonists in recent memory, and the rest of the cast is equally forgettable. As for the dinosaurs, there’s nothing new here, and somehow the effects look worse than the first movie. Even the climactic T-Rex vs. I-Rex showdown left me cold.
4. The Boy Next Door
Despite occasional flashes of self-awareness, this erotic thriller is still a treat for fans of the so-bad-it’s-good. After a milf-y Jennifer Lopez separates from her husband, she has a one-night-stand with her hunky new neighbor, who develops a disturbing obsession with her. The Boy Next Door shamelessly indulges in every cliché of the genre, and is all the better for it. Those willing to embrace its soft-core cheese will have plenty of fun.
3. Jupiter Ascending
The Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic is a clusterfuck of glorious proportions. Channing Tatum plays a half-man, half-dog soldier who’s sent to rescue Mila Kunis, the unknowing reincarnation of the queen of the universe. This insane plot, combined with howlingly bad dialogue (“Bees are genetically designed to recognize royalty”), would have been enough to get Jupiter Ascending on the list. But the movie’s ace in the hole is Eddie Redmayne as the villain, who turns in a performance so over-the-top it would make Nic Cage proud.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron represents the worst qualities of the recent glut of superhero movies. It’s not that it’s bad (though it is); it’s just so calculated. There are absolutely no surprises here; everything plays out exactly how you’d expect it to. And because of Marvel’s staunch refusal to kill off any major characters (or show any collateral damage), the supposedly apocalyptic stakes are essentially non-existent. Joss Whedon’s dialogue has never felt more labored, and the action sequences are aggressively forgettable. Don’t worry if you missed this one, the next model will hit theaters in a few months.
1. American Ultra
This was the worst time I had at the theater this year, bar none. American Ultra isn’t funny, it isn’t cool, and it isn’t entertaining. While it has a (relatively) interesting premise, absolutely nothing about the movie feels original. Despite a couple of competent action sequences, American Ultra is a chore to get through. Avoid it at all costs.