Ranking This Summer's (Mostly Terrible) Movies
That's right. This adaptation of Stephen King's Cell boasts John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson as its stars, and yet still joined the ranks of Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, and Atlas Shrugged Part III on the relatively short list of movies that got a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. And it's well-deserved, since everything about this cell phone-fearing horror movie screams "amateur" and/or "about fifteen years too late."
Warcraft had only one job: to make a fun, thrilling adaptation of a beloved game. No one was expecting Citizen Kane, but we expected better than this limp, CGI-heavy, muddled mess.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The second TMNT movie is slightly better than the first, which is saying almost nothing. The franchise still manages to take everything cute about the ninja turtles and turn it into an unfunny, uncanny valley nightmare.
Suicide Squad may not be the worst movie of the summer, but it is definitely the most disappointing. After an entirely promising marketing campaign, the movie was a nonsensical, misogynistic, and toothless disaster. It rose a little higher on the list as a result of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis' game performances, but make no mistake: this is a terrible movie. Read our full review here.
Independence Day: Resurgence
For all of Resurgence's flaws, it knew what it was. Fans pretty much knew what they were getting into: a silly, bombastic, visually impressive, intellectually thin summer blockbuster. It accomplished all of those things just fine.
The Purge: Election Year
Shockingly enough, there was actually some potent and timely social satire in The Purge: Election Year (although nothing as crazy as the real election, to be fair). But in typical Purge fashion, it reveled in the same violence it was critiquing, and lost a lot of points for social commentary with its casual racism.
X-Men: Apocalypse was pretty disappointing after the success of Days of Future Past, especially since it couldn't even get the titular villain right. But unlike Suicide Squad, the good mostly outweighed the bad, especially when Quicksilver, Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp's Storm, and Michael Fassbender's Magneto are on screen. Read our full review here.
Equals is a visually beautiful and extremely emotional movie, featuring heartfelt performances by Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart. It's almost impossible to give it an unqualified positive review, since its story and dystopian vision is so derivative of better movies, but at least it's an ambitious failure. Read our full review here.
High-Rise wasn't a terrible movie, but it didn't come close to living up to the classic J.G. Ballard novel on which it was based. Tom Hiddleston almost saved it with a reliably charismatic performance, but ultimately it was more style than substance.
The Mind's Eye
In a summer when Stranger Things is taking the world by storm, The Mind's Eye is another fun throwback, paying homage to classic filmmakers like John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. It doesn't have too much substance, but it's a whole lot of fun, which is more than enough in this terrible movie season.
Poor Ghostbusters. After its trailer was the most-hated trailer in YouTube's history, and the film was plagued with online haters who were disappointed that women were in the movie the beloved franchise was being rebooted, the film had tons of bad press and flagged at the box office. But after all that, it was a pretty good movie, and a worthy entry in the Ghostbusters series. It didn't live up to the original, but it was funny, well-acted, and certainly undeserving of all the hate.
Star Trek Beyond
Speaking of movies with deceptively terrible trailers, Star Trek Beyond looked like another joyless entry in the rebooted franchise, but then turned out to be the fresh injection of fun and adventure that Star Trek needed. If the upcoming TV series has the same energy and optimism of Beyond, we'll be more than happy.
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War had an impossible task: make a fun, lighthearted Marvel movie about sensitive political themes, give almost every character in the MCU a fair shake, introduce Black Panther and Spider-Man, and still have time for heartfelt character moments and Marvel's trademark sense of humor. And the Russos pulled it all off with aplomb, giving us a fun-filled yet intelligent movie that tied up Cap's trilogy while also serving as a quasi-Avengers film, not to mention giving us an irresistibly charming Peter Parker. Some of the themes of the comics were watered down, but taken on its own, Civil War was a nearly perfect summer movie.
The Lobster was not only the best sci-fi film of the summer, but one of the best films of any genre to come out this year. Both darkly comic and unrelentingly sad, this dystopian satire of love and relationships is a pleasingly weird and original little movie, and definitely the most profound movie you'll see about lobsters.