After a year of closed theaters and delayed blockbusters, we went into 2021 craving quality entertainment. Long-awaited films had their work cut out for them. Anticipation for everything was at an all-time high. On top of that, we, as people, are more cynical/critical than we’ve ever been. Many of the movies on this list never stood a chance, but were disappointing nonetheless. Others never should’ve made it past the pitch meeting. Without further ado, we give you the most disappointing movies of 2021—from box office bombs to rotten tomatoes.
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Disappointing Movies of 2021
14. 'West Side Story'
If you saw West Side Story , we know what you’re thinking: “That was actually pretty good.” Well, you were alone in that theater aside from the old couple in the back. Despite rave reviews, Steven Spielberg’s remake made just t $36.6 million in global ticket sales in its first few weeks on a production budget of around $100 million. That being said, the film was targeted at older audiences, who are reluctant to go to theaters because of the whole COVID thing. Perhaps the most understandable disappointment but, again, a disappointment nonetheless.
13. 'Black Widow'
It took seven films and over a decade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff to get a solo Black Widow film. It follows Natasha, fellow Widow trainee/sister figure, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Red Guardian (David Harbour), as they take down General Dreykov (Ray Winstone), the leader of the Red Room. What should’ve been a deeply emotional/dark, genre-defying film worthy of Johansson’s Widow, is more or less an overtly comedic and generic marvel movie that never truly takes advantage of its family dynamic or top-tier talent.
12. 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It'
Conjuring is the first film in the franchise not to be directed by James Wan, and it shows. In an age where good horror movies are hard to come by, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was one of the summer’s most hyped movies and it delivers nothing but predictable scares.
11. 'Space Jam: A New Legacy'
No one liked Space Jam 2 . You could argue this is because of Michael Jordan stans and the nostalgia revolving around the original, and you’d be partially correct. But also, the latest Space Jam plays like an ad for HBO Max, showcasing all of Warner Bros’ properties while telling a half-baked story no one cares about. Audiences anticipated a Space Jam sequel since 1996 and not necessarily because they wanted it.
10. 'Chaos Walking'
Lionsgate hoped its adaptation of Patrick Ness’s dystopian Chaos Walking trilogy would become a franchise headlined by Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. Unfortunately, the book is set in a world made up entirely of men who suffer from an affliction called the Noise, which causes everyone to see and hear each other’s thoughts—not exactly a cinematic concept. Predictably, after a handful of reshoots and delays, this big-budget film flopped. Big time.
Lisa Joy’s ( Westworld ) feature debut follows Hugh Jackman as he relives the memories to find out more about his murderous crush (Rebecca Ferguson). Unfortunately for its sexy leads, Reminiscence is less Paprika and more diarrhea.
8. 'The Many Saints of Newark'
The long-awaited follow-up to The Sopranos, considered the best show ever made, well, fuhgeddaboudit.
7. 'Without Remorse'
Tom Clancy’s most popular character is, of course, Jack Ryan. In recent years, Amazon has had success with the John Krasinski-led reboot/series aptly-titled Jack Ryan . Naturally, they would attempt to cash in on Clancy’s second-most popular character, John Clark (Michael B. Jordan), with Without Remorse . Unfortunately, this Navy Seal just isn’t as interesting as the CIA analyst he so desperately wants to be.
Like all M. Night Shyamalan movies, Old drew us in with its intriguing premise. And, like with all M. Night Shyamalan movies, we thought “maybe this is the one—his return to form.” Unfortunately, Old does next to nothing with its premise. At one point in the movie, hormonal teenagers (who are mentally five/six years old) have sex, get pregnant, and have a baby...sort of. Why? Who knows. It doesn’t matter to the plot whatsoever. Old is at its best when everyone is having an extreme existential crisis. It’s at its worst when it’s revealed the beach’s resort is a front for a research team conducting clinical trials of new medical drugs—the beach’s magic allowing them to complete lifetime trails within a single day. Okay.
5. 'Coming 2 America'
The original Coming To America is an Eddie Murphy classic. Thirty years later, Hollywood gave us an unnecessary sequel in Coming 2 America . One would think after all that time, they would’ve come up with a good story to tell. Instead, this sequel nukes Murphy’s comeback momentum, recycling jokes from the first film, and has Leslie Jones date rape King Akeem.
4. 'House of Gucci'
Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is equipped with an unbelievable true story, and one of the year’s most impressive ensembles including Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Salma Hayek. What should have been an Oscar darling is a big-budget, daytime soap.
3. 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'
Let There Be Carnage is 97 minutes long and contains next to no actual carnage. While Eddie Brock/Venom’s (Tom Hardy) whole odd couple thing works, the movie’s plot just happens, the action sequences are sub-par, and it’s hard to care about anything. When all anyone talks about is a film’s post-credits scene, it wasn’t worth the watch.
On paper, Eternals has everything going for it: an Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), a star-studded cast—from Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek to Kit Harrington and Richard Madden—and some pretty epic Marvel lore. Unfortunately, this film about a group of immortals feels overstuffed, overly long, and boring. In a time where every MCU outing is a banger, Eternals has performance anxiety just like they did during the age of Thanos.
1. 'The Matrix Resurrections'
The Matrix Resurrections feels like a film Lana Wachowski didn’t want to make, and she tells you as much in its first half—it’s ridiculously meta seemingly because no one pitched any better ideas. After mocking IP fatigue, the film then proceeds to do that which is just condemned. Worse, it does so without fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, leaving Neo with nothing but a two-handed Force push.