Under the Motion Picture Association rating system, R stands for Restricted. That means anybody under 17 has to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian because the movie contains adult material. That translates into harsh language, intense violence, sexually oriented nudity, drug abuse and so on.
Of course, some people want to see movies that feature violence (what war movie doesn’t?), and many outstanding urban dramas feature bad language and drug abuse. Yet, having these certainly doesn’t make a movie good. Some R-rated movies are so bad people under 17 should be thankful they can’t see them alone.
24/7 Tempo has put together a list of the worst R-rated movies ever made. It contains several movies you probably haven’t heard of — movies so bad they were released and quickly disappeared without ever entering the public’s consciousness. Some of them have well-known actors, but none of them have A-list directors like Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese. Sometimes bad movies become cult favorites, but these movies are just plain bad.
“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” a comedy made in 2011, was the worst R-rated movie. Tom Brady directed it, and it starred Nick Swardson, Don Johnson, Christina Ricci and Stephen Dorff. Its box office gross was a meager $2.3 million. Fired from his job at a local grocery store, young Bucky, played by Swardson, leaves Iowa and heads to California to become a porn star. TimeOut described the movie as “dire, soul-crushing stuff.”
To determine the 15 worst R-rated movies of all time as finalists to determine the absolute worst, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Rotten Tomatoes. We created an index based on the average critic rating from Rotten Tomatoes, the average audience rating from Rotten Tomatoes and the average user rating from IMDb. We only considered feature films with at least 5,000 Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews, 10 Rotten Tomatoes critic reviews and 10,000 IMDb user reviews. All data is for the most recent period available. Data was collected in February 2021.