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2023 has been a most fascinating year for movies. Normally we think of Disney as the big boss of Hollywood, but this was a disappointing year for the Mouse House at the box office. Instead, Universal has been dominant with three of the top five movies at the global box office–The Super Mario Bros Movie, Oppenheimer, and Fast X–with Barbie from Warner Bros taking the overall crown. Even Five Nights at Freddy’s surprised, bringing in more money than any other Blumhouse film before it. But we’re not here to talk about top performers. This post is, as you can guess from the headline, about bottom performers: specifically, the worst-reviewed movies of the year, according to GameSpot’s sister site, Metacritic.
Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews for movies, TV shows, video games and other media, and the Metacritic score is the weighted average of a title’s review scores. This list will be looking at the films that were released in theaters or on streaming in the USA in 2023.
While this annual list is often populated mostly with low-rent movies you’ve never heard of, that’s not the case in 2023, with some notable titles and box office hits making the bottom 20 on Metacritic. And we also had some big names that just missed the cut, like David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer, which came in at #21, as well as The Meg 2: The Trench and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Director Calmatic had two films that just missed the cut, with his remakes of White Men Can’t Jump and House Party in the first half of the year. And Chris Pine’s directorial debut, The Poolman, would have come in at #2, but it’s spared from this list because it only played at festivals and hasn’t been released otherwise.
Among the films that did make Metacritic’s bottom 20 are a pair of record-breaking box-office hits, a couple long-awaited sequels that didn’t exactly hit the spot, and a very violent new version of a children’s favorite. And yeah, there’s at least one movie on here I think is worth defending, but that’s not surprising–there’s probably something you like on this list, too. Let’s take a look.