Special Report

The 25 Worst Movies of All Time

“Sa-a-a-d movies always make me cry,” sang Sue Thompson back in 1961. Okay, but what do bad movies do? They make us cringe, nod off, guffaw (when we’re not supposed to), and sometimes just walk out of the theater.

Some bad movies, of course, attain a kind of iconic, ironic “so bad, it’s good” status. People will watch such critical bombs as “Showgirls,” “Anaconda,” “Sharknado,” and the celebrated “Plan 9 from Outer Space” just to laugh at them, or to bask in their deficiencies.

To determine the worst movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo created an index using data from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. The index is based on the average critic and audience rating from Rotten Tomatoes, as well as the average user rating from IMDb. 

Most truly awful examples of the cinematic arts aren’t worth even that kind of attention, though. They’re just stinkers. Even many biopics, which are a Hollywood staple, sometimes don’t find favor with audiences and critics alike. These are the 50 worst movies based on true events.

Click here to see the 30 worst movies of all time

What makes movies bad? Weak story lines, incompetent direction, poor technical quality, and of course, amateurish performances among other factors. But many bad movies boast first-rate actors. 

In the list below, you’ll find revered old-school thespians like Michael Caine, Sean Connery, and Richard Burton, as well as such younger stars as Emma Stone, Renée Zellweger, and Ben Affleck. And big-name directors can be involved, too. For instance, M. Night Shyamalan, John Boorman, and Sidney Furie are all represented here.

What critics seem to single out time and again in lambasting bad movies is their lack of originality — their derivative story lines, clichéd dialogue, and rote performances. 

It’s probably no accident that many of the bad movies listed here are inferior sequels to critically acclaimed and/or commercially successful predecessors — cynical or at least creatively bankrupt attempts to cash in on somebody else’s success. Here are the 50 worst movie sequels ever made

To determine the 30 worst movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the Internet Movie Database 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 February 2021.