The Ten Worst Films of the 00's

The Ten Worst Films of the 00’s

In what will continue to be a series of articles on the films of the 2000s, which started with my ten favorite films, it is time to take one last (and hopefully painless) look at the absolute worst films of the decade.

I thought this list would be an easy one to compile, but it turned out to be much more difficult simply because I had to dredge up a lot of bad memories about movies that I wanted to forget the moment I left the theater. It would have been easy to make this list using just remakes (The Fog, The Pink Panther) or sequels (Transformers 2, Pink Panther 2). Hell, I could have made a ten-worst list using just romantic comedies (which, with the recent release of the absolutely awful The Bounty Hunter, it appears this decade is picking off where the last left off), but I wanted to try and cover all bases.

Make no mistake about it. This article is to guarantee that your readers don’t waste even one valuable second of the gift of your life watching these movies. If you see them on cable, race to change the channel or run screaming from your homes and go see another movie. Almost any movie in release (save for the aforementioned Bounty Hunter) will be better in increments than any of these films as a whole.

Here is my list of the ten worst movies of the last decade, which are listed in descending order of awfulness.


Surviving Christmas (2004)

The absolute worst holiday season set movie was this so-called comedy starring Ben Affleck as a wealthy business executive who finally realizes he is living an empty life. In an attempt to change things, he revisits his childhood home and pays the family that now lives there for the privilege of spending Christmas with them so he can avoid another lonely holiday season. Naturally, before the first day is over, he has overstayed his welcome. This ridiculously thin story thread is stretched out over 100 minutes, where nothing believable happens to characters you would only find in a movie. This was one of several failures for Affleck, who is still living off of the Oscar he won for co-writing Good Will Hunting some 13 years ago. Worst of all is the absolute waste of James Gandolfini’s talent.

9. CATWOMAN (2004)

Catwoman (2004)
Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004)
Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004)

Yes, this film was really bad, as you may have heard. What’s shocking is that this was Halle Berry’s first starring role after her Oscar-winning turn in Monster’s Ball. Berry plays (get this) Patience Prudence, a graphic designer for a cosmetics company on the verge of selling a new anti-aging cream to the public. Soon, she discovers the head of the company (wildly overplayed by Sharon Stone, who looks unattractive on film for the first time, and how did that happen?) is harboring dangerous, dark secrets about the product, and Patience is quickly dispatched. Instead of resting in peace, she becomes the title character and fights back against the evils of the cosmetic company. This is a dumb film that was poorly directed and edited with laughable dialogue and poorly shot action scenes. Admittedly, Berry looks terrific in her costume (let’s face it, but Halle Berry would look terrific in any costume), but the filmmakers make even the most basic mistake by waiting almost 50 minutes into this film before we see her as the feline heroine. Movies based on comics took a hard hit in the decade, and this was the worst.

8. LITTLE NICKY (2000)

Little Nicky (2000)

It wouldn’t be a ten-worst list without at least one Adam Sandler comedy. I had plenty to choose from, but for me, Little Nicky was at the bottom of the barrel. Those who know me well question why I continue to put myself through the torture of sitting through Sandler’s comedies, and my answer is always the same: Sooner or later, I just know Sandler is going to make a comedy worthy of his talents. He came close last summer with Judd Apatow’s Funny People, but that was more of a serious comedy. I am talking about one of the goofy comedies he makes, produces, and usually co-writes. That day still hasn’t come, but I am ever hopeful because I happen to be a fan of Sandler’s serious film roles. His last serious role, Reign Over Me, was not a very good film, but I thought Sandler was terrific in it and merited Oscar consideration for Best Supporting Actor. He had one powerful moment that left me in tears, and I wondered why he couldn’t portray smarter, more believable characters in his comedies. In almost every comedy, he plays a dimwit when the audience can see he is smarter than that. For what little it is worth, Little Nicky is about the devil refusing to hand over his empire to any of his sons, and two of them come to Earth to create havoc and start an evil empire for themselves. Sandler plays the third son, who comes after his brothers in the hopes of returning them to Hell. I just re-read that synopsis, and I can’t believe it either. This film is bereft of laughs and is appallingly bad. It’s always sad to see a considerable talent like Sandler wasted in junk like this.


The Sweetest Thing (2002)

Okay, so I couldn’t go on the whole list without at least one romantic comedy. After searching my lists and trying to weed out the better of the bad ones, I was left with this awful road picture comedy about three women who take to the road to help one of them get over the break up of a serious relationship. To be perfectly honest, I remember little from this film except that it wasted the talents (however much there is) of Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate.


Running with Scissors (2006)

This family drama was released in the fall with much hype and a lot of Oscar talk that ended quickly once the film was released. Supposedly based on a true story, the film follows the life of a teenager who is abandoned by his alcoholic mother and is forced to live with the family of the mother’s psychiatrist, only to discover that life with an alcoholic mother was bliss compared to what he has to deal with now. This movie depressed me. There isn’t a likable character in the whole movie, leaving no one to root for. There isn’t one pleasant scene, and, even worse, there is neither one single scene nor a single moment that is believable. If this really is a story of non-fiction, it’s a wonder that the teenager (who grew up to write the book the movie is based on) is not a permanent member of the loony bin. The film wastes the considerable talents of its actors, including Anette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, and Jill Clayburgh (a wonderful actress too little seen these days).

5. SWEPT AWAY (2002)

Swept Away (2002)

Once again, I couldn’t help but include a remake (or two) on this list. This Guy Ritchie film is a remake of Lina Wertmuller’s acclaimed 1976 film (unseen by me) about a shipwreck where the only survivors are a snooty, snobbish, spoiled millionaire woman (played by Madonna, in the worst performance by a woman in the decade) and a ship’s crewman whom she has looked down on. Once on the island, the roles will change in what is supposed to be a supercharged erotic drama but turns out to be all wet. Truthfully, I was hoping the man would club Madonna in the head with a coconut and be done with her.

4. OLD DOGS (2009)

Old Dogs (2009)

My choice as the worst film of 2009 is simply one of the worst comedies with major actors I have ever seen. Robin Williams plays a businessman who discovers that he is the father of twins, and his ex-girlfriend comes and dumps them on him for two weeks. Along with best pal John Travolta (who we will be reading about again below), the two try to be a great daddy and uncle for the kids. Director Walt Becker foreshadows every single gag so that the audience sees it coming moments before it happens, and he mistimes many moments, which is deadly for a comedy. Timing is everything, and Becker obviously can’t tell a joke without giving away the punch line too soon or stretching it out to lengths to the point where the audience should yell, “Alright, we get it.” This was a real challenge to sit through, and I was amazed that both Williams and Travolta could not smell this one coming from a mile away.


Battlefield Earth (2000)

This was, by far, the stinker of the decade as far as Hollywood duds go. It’s a confusing, poorly acted, and directed science-fiction adventure with John Travolta (Oh, John, how we yearn for Perfect) as an alien made to look like Pizza the Hut from Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs but only worse. The most shocking thing was the cheapness of the film’s visual effects, which were so bad that few people who saw the film laughed at it. There is no sense in trying to recycle the plot because it is ridiculously complicated and convoluted, and I don’t wish to spend one more second writing about this film.


Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)

The one sequel on my list made it because it was the only comedy in the whole decade where I never laughed, never chuckled, or even cracked a smile. The film is appalling in its bad taste. If there is one actor I don’t like and will never like, it is Rob Schneider. Schneider’s appearance in a film announces that the film is going to be bad and the fact that he is good friends with Adam Sandler, and he usually appears in Sandler’s comedies at one point or another (and Sandler usually appears in cameos in Schneider’s films and does so here, in a crude and worthless moment). Now, the first Deuce Bigalow film was bad, but it was Some Like It Hot compared to this film. A sequel was a bit of a surprise, seeing that the original was a box office flop, but it (somehow) caught on in its video/DVD release. In this film, the retired gigolo travels to Amsterdam to aid an old friend who is accused of serial killing the johns of prostitutes. He joins a gigolo association (isn’t that a scream?) and falls for a woman he soon begins to suspect is the killer (obviously Schneider doesn’t mind stealing from his old SNL pal Mike Myers, who had a similar plot with the far more amusing How I Married An Axe Murderer). I cannot stress enough how offensive, tactless, and stupid this film is.

1. HALLOWEEN (2007)

Halloween (2007)
Halloween (2007) Movie Poster

Rob Zombie’s Halloween is my choice as the worst film of the decade, and had it not been for the huge target Zombie was aiming to hit, I could have easily interchanged this and DBEG at number two. Zombie’s remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece is a shockingly bad film. Shocking because it had a great film for its blueprint and shocking because Zombie actually showed some flair as a director with his film The Devil’s Rejects, which was a sequel to his House of 1000 Corpses, another very bad film. In Rejects, Zombie showed a comedic wit buried beneath the vile gore scenes and a true love for movies. For Halloween, Zombie left the wit and his love for movies behind and kept in plenty of needless scenes of gore. I give Zombie credit for trying to make his version his own and distancing himself somewhat from Carpenter’s version, but in doing so, he has only reminded people that great (or even good) movies need not be tinkered with.

Zombie’s first of many mistakes is taking the Michael Myers character and turning him from a mythical “boogeyman” into simply a misunderstood, troubled child who is driven to kill animals because of a neglectful mother (who is a stripper that doesn’t strip in the stripping scenes), an alcoholic stepfather and a prissy older sister who cares only about her boyfriend. Zombie draws this family up as he did the families in his first two films, as hillbillies who don’t belong in society. Zombie’s next mistake is taking almost an hour (the first half of the film) to tell this story. By the time the film comes to the present day to tell the story of Myers’ Halloween homecoming, there are only 50 minutes remaining. At that time, Zombie rushes to introduce us to the three girls whom, I believed, would be main characters but are ushered in so quickly that when one of them dies, I was unsure which one it was because I couldn’t tell two of them apart. Since Zombie gives us no time to get to know these girls, we could care less if they live or die.

Malcolm McDowell is given the role famously played by Donald Pleasance in the original film, and he does what he can with the part and is acceptable merely because he is a terrific actor and would be acceptable in a role where he reads from the phone book. The actresses playing the heroines aren’t given much to do but scream, but that is the fault of Zombie’s script. Zombie also populates the film with many of the same actors he used in his earlier films (including his wife as Myers’ mother – it must be noted she is a terrible actress), but that only serves as a distraction. He also casts such horror veterans as Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif (who comes off best as the town sheriff), and William Forsythe. Reportedly, Adrienne Barbeau had a part, but it was left on the cutting room floor, making this the biggest break of her career.

What little suspense Zombie congers up are moments directly lifted from Carpenter’s original film. And since Zombie chose to make this version his own why did he use much of Carpenter’s original (and iconic) musical score? Oh, sure, I can see using the classic title theme but Zombie uses the rest of Carpenter’s music as well.

Zombie goes wrong so much of the time. I was actually shocked by it, and not in the good, horror movie “shock” way you would expect. Myers kills at will. No one is safe. There is no purpose, no rhyme or reason to it. Zombie’s use of period rock music is completely out of place but no more obvious than in a sequence in the first half taking place on Halloween night when young Michael finally snaps. During a montage sequence featuring the stepfather drinking, the mother stripping at work, the daughter having sex with her boyfriend, and young Michael pouting on his porch because no one will take him trick or treating, Zombie plays the Nazareth hit, Love Hurts, which brought laughter from the audience.

Other moments that make no sense include a McDowell leaving the young Myers in the care of a nurse while he eats using silverware (guess where the fork ends up?), Myers is able to find the home of his sister’s new foster parents without any prior knowledge of where they lived and the needless and brutal torture of one of the girls, who also happens to be naked.

The one moment of enjoyment I got from this film came late and was provided not by Rob Zombie but by my great friend John, who suffered through the film with me. At one point, McDowell goes to buy a pistol at a gun shop. The proprietor is none other than Micky Dolenz of the rock group The Monkees. McDowell makes his purchase, and when he encounters Michael later that night, he tries to fire the gun, but it jams on him. My great friend said, “Never buy a gun from a monkey.”

Author Gwen

Gwen is a freelance artist and writer for film, advertising, corporate projects, and web media. She feels his expertise in the entertainment industry provides a unique opportunity to engage the public through real-life stories and over a decade of experience and knowledge.