The Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018

2018 Worst

Thankfully, the films above were ones I avoided.

 

My love for movies is vast and may have no limits. So much so that, once in a while, my mind tricks me: “Yes, the movie is supposed to be bad, but it might show that you are willing to sit through anything in order to be a professional critic”.

It is true I am willing to sit through any film if it brings me closer to being a professional movie critic, but the following ten films were the ones that tested me more than any other this year.

 

10.

10 Aquaman

With the exception of 2017’s Wonder Woman, DC really is not hitting hard on the cinema front, and it continues with Aquaman. Yes, Jason Mamoa was good, but anyone with a brain stem could have predicted every possible outcome of this watered down material.

 

9.

9 FBTCOG

As big of a fan as I am of the original Harry Potter films, the newest ones are lacking in the department of character development and grace. Even with a plot twist at the end that had some bit of interest, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald was nothing short of exhausting.

 

8.

8 Venom

Say what you will about the MCU, but at least they don’t fail when it comes to plot (mostly) and villains. The same cannot be said about Venom, which is sad because I would love to see Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock again if these companies could just get along.

 

7.

7 JWFC

There was new promise in 2015 when Jurassic World came out, reviving the dinosaur universe. Then came Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which, while it looked nice, put the movies back near extinction.

 

6.

Irreplaceable You

 

 

No spoiler: Netflix original films are not always great, but Irreplaceable You is beyond the level of sappy and impossibilities you find on the Hallmark channel. I would call it the worst romantic film of the year, however…

 

5.

5 The Kissing Booth

I am a fan of romantic comedies when they are smart and witty, both of which The Kissing Booth is not in the same time zone of. Good young actors are caught in a script that just gives the taste of blah.

 

4.

4 TCP

 

 

Okay Netflix, I promise this is the last time you will have a movie on this list. Marketing of The Cloverfield Paradox was well done, but that is the only thing that can be said positive about this sci-fi crap fest.

 

3.

3 The Meg

I have seen all but the last of the Sharknado movies, and those were better than The Meg.  A bucket of chum has a much more pleasant smell than this film.

 

2.

2 Slender Man

If my good friend James in Michigan is reading this, consider this my deepest apology. When we last saw each other, I went with you and your family to see Slender Man, because nothing else was out. You paid for my ticket, and I would not blame you for pressing charges against me.

 

1.

1DOAN

 

Of all the movies I have seen in 2018 (both good and bad), I have talked about none more than The Death of a Nation. At the end, Dinesh D’Douza gives us the website to go to if we want to learn more. When I went, I saw no facts there. Perhaps most painful of all for the film is that, at only three in a half minutes in, Hitler commits suicide. If Hitler killing himself because he does not want to be in your movie is not a metaphor for how much your movie sucks, I don’t know what is.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I've loved before

There is palpable chemistry between Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo)

There are a good number of rarities that occur in director Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Such include teenagers that act like actual teenagers,  well talented acting youths, and a Netflix original that is actually enjoyable (unlike their recent film The Kissing Booth, which I would review if I could ever power myself through the thing).

But back to this film. Based off of a book of the same name by Jenny Han, the movie introduces us to Lara Jean (an extremely lovable Lana Condor). She is entering her Junior year of High School after her sister Margot (Janel Parrish) has left for college, leaving Lara Jean with her widowed dad (the always wonderful John Corbett), her little sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart), and next door neighbor/former best friend Josh (Israel Broussard). I say former not because they grew apart, but because he was the former boyfriend of Margot, so a friendship would be difficult at best.

Since about the pre-teen years, we learn that Lara Jean has kept letters she has written to certain boys she has had crushes on over the years (Josh being one of them). Kitty finds out about the letters and mails them out. This is not because of Kitty being a mean, bratty little sibling. It is because she loves her sister and that love trumps over Kitty not knowing her sister will have a hard time for the near future.

While some recipients are no longer on the table (such as her freshman year homecoming date Greg who is gay, played by Andrew Bachelor), the main drama comes with Peter (Noah Centineo). He was Lara Jean’s first “kiss” during a spin the bottle game in seventh grade, and has just recently broken up with one of Lara Jean’s former friends Gen (Emilija Baranac).  Peter and Lara Jean therefore come up with an idea: pretend to be dating so that it makes Gen jealous enough to take him back. Of course, a couple of ground rules must be put in order (such as no kissing).

While one of the keys of the film is Condor’s screen presence, another is her chemistry with Centineo’s Peter. The main scene for me was in the local diner, where they actually stop “pretending” and have a serious talk (we learn Peter’s dad had left him and has a new family now). That scene made me realize how this movie was going to be much better than anticipated.

One thing that threw me off was I realized there was more romance in this romantic comedy than there would be comedy. That is not to say I did not laugh: much of the comedic lines comes from Lara Jean’s best friend Chris (Madeleine Arthur), who is a strong personality to say the least. There is also a great deal of coming of age ness that made me feel some shades of John Hughes. The movie truly digs deep into the realism of those first few stages we feel when it is not just us falling in love, but the other falling in love with us.

Parents, there is some swearing (not sure if I counted any F bombs), and talk of sex. While there is no sex in the film, there is a hot tub scene where two characters are making out and is (minor spoiler) mistaken as sex. I would say High School and above, but maybe Middle School. Maybe.

I am still not sure I like the title of the film. I know it is based on a book (which is in a series), but I just felt the title seems off-putting. Nevertheless, when you consider some of the bad original films that Netflix has (like the awful Irreplaceable You), it makes it all the more reason to state that To All the Boys I Loved Before is truly a diamond in the rough.

 

Overall: Three and a Half Stars ***1/2