Bad movies are nothing new for cinema. For as long as Hollywood has been making films, there have always been a few particularly awful examples of filmmaking each year. 2023 was no exception. Since we live in the streaming era, we must point out that our rankings for the five worst movies of 2023 were all theatrical releases. If we started listing every terrible made-for-streaming movie, then we’d be counting them off here until 2024.
The real challenge was only coming up with five of the worst movies of 2023 because there were plenty of bad films that just weren’t awful enough to rank on this list. As tempting as it would be to load up this list with 2023’s terrible superhero flicks, rest assured that everything here is worse than The Flash and The Marvels. If you want to, you could track down these movies and watch them for yourselves. Or you can take our advice and steer clear of these turkeys. The choice is always yours.
God is a Bullet is the Sound of Freedom of Satanic cult films, except not even ghosts came out to see this one. It’s not as if director Nick Cassavetes couldn’t line up stars to appear in this film. Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maika Monroe, and Jamie Foxx are all very good performers. But you wouldn’t know that if you only had this flick as an example of their work.
To put it succinctly, this is a grindhouse movie that thinks it’s an art house flick. Coster-Waldau’s Bob Hightower is a sheriff’s deputy whose ex-wife is brutally murdered by a Satanic cult led by Cyrus (Karl Glusman). And since Cyrus has also kidnapped Bob’s daughter, Gabi (Chloe Guy), Hightower teams up with ex-cult member Case (Monroe) to infiltrate the cult and rescue Gabi. This film’s singular accomplishment is that it manages to make violence boring.
Don’t watch God is a Bullet on Hoopla.
If you were one of the few who saw Mafia Mamma in theaters, then you really have no one else to blame but yourself. Not since Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot has a movie’s title so blatantly warned audiences to stay away in the way that Mafia Mamma does.
Toni Collette stars as Kristin, a woman in the middle of a midlife crisis who discovers that she is the only heir of an Italian crime family. Inexplicably, Kristin is given control of this mafia empire, with her advisor, Bianca (Monica Bellucci), as the only person she can trust. This is all played for laughs, but the movie forgets a cardinal rule of making a comedy: to be funny. Mafia Mamma doesn’t land its jokes, and it’s a complete waste of time.
Don’t watch Mafia Mamma on Paramount+ with Showtime.
The Expendables movies aren’t exactly the best examples of the action genre despite loading up on some of the most recognizable Hollywood icons. But if the studio wanted to make sure that there was never another film in this franchise, then The Expendables 4, or Expend4ables, is the perfect way to ensure that no one will pay money for this dreck again.
Ironically, Jason Statham is one of the film’s few saving graces, as his character, Lee Christmas, gets to be the lead. But as a swan song for Sylvester Stallone’s action career, this one couldn’t have been more direct-to-video quality than if it was a Blockbuster Video exclusive. Director Scott Waugh embraces the incomprehensible action style of Michael Bay, and the story is your typical “stop a madman from igniting World War III” plot that we’ve seen so many times before.
Don’t rent or buy Expend4bles on Prime Video or other digital outlets.
There is something inherently hilarious about Love Again being the cinematic acting debut of Celine Dion (who plays herself), which also puts her in a central position to encourage the leading man, Rob Burns (Sam Heughan), to take a chance on love and discover what it means for himself.
Here’s what it means to this guy: Rob has been getting anonymous texts from Mira Ray (Priyanka Chopra) because his new number was the one that her dead boyfriend used to have. And since Mira poured her heart out in these messages, Rob decides to track down Mira and insert himself into her life as her new boyfriend without revealing that he cyberstalked her. That may have worked in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, but it’s a laughably awful premise in 2023. And the movie itself is no better. Avoid this one at all costs.
Don’t watch Love Again on Netflix.
Since Fool’s Paradise is Charlie Day’s directorial debut from a script that he wrote himself, it’s safe to assume that this was probably his passion project. Who knew that Day wanted to remake Bowfinger by way of Charlie Chaplin and Peter Sellers? Day casts himself as Latte Pronto, a childlike man who is almost completely mute. Through an unconvincing series of events, Pronto becomes the lead of his own movie and achieves overnight stardom and a Brangelina-style marriage with Hollywood starlet Christiana Dior (Kate Beckinsale).
Pronto’s rise is followed by his equally fast fall from grace. The problem is that nothing in this so-called comedy is funny, not even the pseudo-bond between Pronto and his publicist, Lenny (Ken Jeong). This film has no soul or artistry, and it’s so inept that it easily landed the top spot here on our round-up of the worst movies of 2023. If this is an example of what we can expect from Day as a filmmaker, then he shouldn’t quit his day job.
Fortunately for Day, his day job is co-starring on the long-running FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If this movie had that show’s sense of humor, it probably would have been a lot better.
Don’t watch Fool’s Paradise on Hulu.
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