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5 movies that deserve more hate

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of lists here on Digital Trends about the best movies, the underrated films, and the hidden gems on Netflix that you should be watching. Today, we’re going in a different direction for movies that you may be better off avoiding altogether.

For the most part, the movies that we’ve chosen for this list aren’t overrated, but they are under-hated. And while some of these flicks have their fans, we weren’t the first critics to bury them…and for good reasons. These are the five movies that deserve more hate.

Tenet (2020)

Robert Pattinson and John David Washington in Tenet.
Warner Bros. Pictures

For anyone who feels that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong, exhibit A in the case against Nolan is Tenet. This isn’t meant to denigrate Nolan’s success with The Dark Knight trilogy or his amazing one-off films like Inception, Interstellar, and Oppenheimer. But Tenet is one confusing mess of a movie that feels like Nolan bought into his own hype. The film doesn’t even bother to give John David Washington’s leading character his own name. He’s just “The Protagonist.”

Audiences can typically follow time travel plots, so it’s easy enough to understand someone from the future coming back to destroy the past. Tenet really bungles that up with hard-to-follow ideas like inverted time and entropy that may have looked good on the page. In practice, those concepts make Tenet difficult to watch. This is a rare misfire from Nolan, and it deserves all the hate that it gets, and then some.

Don’t rent or buy Tenet on Google Play, Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV+.

Crash (2003)

The cast of Crash.

There are some people who have never forgiven Crash for winning Best Picture at the Oscars over Brokeback Mountain. But why dislike Crash for that when there are so many other reasons to hate it? Off the top of my head, let’s start with the way the film has a racist white cop, John Ryan (Matt Dillon), molest a Black woman, Christine Thayer (Thandiwe Newton), during a traffic stop and in front of her own husband, before ultimately letting Ryan be the hero when he saves Christine’s life by pulling her from a burning car later in the movie.

Director Paul Haggis and his co-writer Robert Moresco wanted Crash to be a film that explores race and racism, and the racial epithets flow freely. But this is a movie that feels like it doesn’t even understand its own themes. That’s one of the reasons why nearly every character in this film feels like cardboard imitations of the way real people act.

Don’t watch Crash on Amazon Freevee.

The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

Alessandro Nivola in The Many Saints of Newark.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The concept of a Sopranos prequel movie sure seemed like a good idea at the time. And yet The Many Saints of Newark opens with the ludicrous notion of the late Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) narrating the movie from beyond the grave. The movie even ends with Christopher claiming that he went to Hell for Tony Soprano, which was a completely bewildering way to go out of the story.

Some parts of this film actually work really well, especially Michael Gandolfini stepping into the role of young Tony Soprano, a character made famous by Michael’s father, the late James Gandolfini. There’s no real story to speak of, save for the way that Tony bonds with Christopher’s father, Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola). That’s why the ending is so unfulfilling. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, a lack of resolution is kind of a trademark move for The Sopranos creator David Chase.

Don’t watch The Many Saints of Newark on Max.

Water for Elephants (2011)

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants.
20th Century Studios

It’s only a coincidence that there are two Robert Pattinson movies on this list. If we really wanted to pile on Pattinson, we could have included any of the Twilight films or Remember Me with its infamous 9/11 ending. The reason we’re taking Water for Elephants to task is that it’s a romance film based on a successful romance novel that features two leads without any romantic chemistry! It’s the kind of thing that chemistry read tests were invented to solve during the casting phase.

Pattinson plays Jacob Jankowski, a veterinary student who joins the circus to care for the animals. While there, Jacob falls hard for Marlena Rosenbluth (Reese Witherspoon), the wife of the circus’ owner, August Rosenbluth (Christoph Waltz). In theory, we were supposed to see Jacob and Marlena bond while they treat her performing elephant, Rosie. And yet none of that translates to a believable on-screen romance. There may be worse movies, but this one deserves its hate too.

Don’t rent or buy Water for Elephants on Google Play, Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV+.

The Hangover Part III (2013)

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms in The Hangover Part III.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Someday, maybe Hollywood executives will learn that not every film needs to be turned into a trilogy. Even a sequel was pushing it for The Hangover, but The Hangover Part III is so out of gas that it manages to stop being a comedy. Do you want to see a giraffe meet a gruesome end on a freeway because Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) is such an unthinking moron? Because that’s played for laughs here, and it just isn’t getting any.

This time, the Wolf Pack reassembles to get Alan the mental help that he so desperately needs. Then sequel-itis sets in as the group’s old frenemy Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) breaks out of prison, and a rival crime lord, Marshall (John Goodman), blackmails Alan, Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), and Stu Price (Ed Helms) to help him get back the gold that Chow stole from him or else he’ll kill their friend, Doug Billings (Justin Bartha). All of this could have been a lot more enjoyable if the movie had only been a lot funnier.

Don’t rent or buy The Hangover Part III on Google Play, Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV+.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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