Some bad movies rise to greatness because they’re enjoyably awful. There are notable so-bad-they’re-good classics on our list, such as “Showgirls” and “The Room,” which is considered one of the greatest bad movies of all time. We also have films that aimed high with all-star casts and award fodder plotlines that crashed and burned, like Nora Ephron’s madcap comedy “Mixed Nuts,” or ended up portentous and unwatchable, like Sean Penn’s save-the-refugees drama “The Last Face.”
Major movie stars show up over and over again on our list of noteworthy flops. Late career formulaic action flicks starring Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, or Bruce Willis make the list more than once. So do films with Keanu Reeves, who is famous for his deadpan delivery. He brings his signature wooden acting style to roles in several films on our list, including a serial killer in “The Watcher” and a clone scientist in “Replicas,” to name a few. Madonna also has the distinction of appearing in more than one bad movie on our list.
At Stacker, we recognize that genre captures the vibe of a film, and in this list we define dramas as films with a strong emotional center. Because we’ve compiled the worst dramas, these films show particular failure when it comes to conveying emotion. Many fail because they aren’t adept at making an audience care. Leaning into more open interpretations of what makes a drama is best practice for getting a pool of films that represent all possible expressions of the drama genre. You’ll find crime thrillers, horror movies, cop flicks, and romantic comedies—each fail at creating drama, but succeed at being terrible. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of drama.
Stacker compiled IMDb and Metacritic data from December 11, 2020 on all drama movies with over 2,500 votes on IMDb. We ranked them by Stacker score, an equally-weighted index between Metascore and IMDb user rating, #1 being the worst. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. If a movie did not have a Metascore, it was not considered.
Get ready for James Cameron’s directorial debut (featuring flying piranhas), as well as dismal sequels, blatant rip-offs, and big budget epics that skid off the rails. If you love a good bad movie, this is the list for you.
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