What’s the Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen?


Recently my friend Tracy posted on Facebook that she had just watched one of the worst movies she had ever seen. (The Legend of Tillamook’s Gold, if you’re curious.)

I began to ponder: What’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen?

I decided not to consider movies that everyone agrees are bad. I would only select movies that were either critically acclaimed and/or well-loved.

For me, it’s a 3-way tie.

the-man-in-the-moon-movie-poster-10102707651. First up is 1991’s The Man in the Moon. Every girl I knew raved about it. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars and used the words “poetry,” “purity,” and “perfection” to describe it. It stars Reese Witherspoon and Sam Waterston, both of whom I adore.

And yet I despised it.

You know what’s even worse? About a year after I first watched it, I was traveling overseas and was debating between trying to sleep versus staying up to watch the in-flight movie as I was passing over the Atlantic. I voted for the movie, even though I saw my choice was Man in the Moon. I subjected myself to it AGAIN. I thought, “Maybe I just missed its beauty during my first viewing…I’ll give it another chance.” Wrong. It was just as awful the second time. I so should’ve picked the nap.

the-english-patient-movie-poster-10102654062. Next is 1996’s The English Patient. Winner of 9 Oscar awards.

Once again, I should’ve known better.

My friend Renee—who can totally pick out movies for me because she’s known me since I was 5—warned me not to see it. But I thought it looked just like Out of Africa, which is one of my favorite movies ever.

Renee was right. I thought English Patient was an overwrought, incoherent, pretentious, seemingly-never-ending mess. I’ve never doubted her since.

And of course I loved that Seinfeld’s Elaine thought English Patient was terrible too, and spent a whole episode being scorned for her counter-cultural views. Just like an Old Testament prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

facing-the-giants-movie-poster-10204440993. Speaking of the Bible, my third choice is 2006’s Facing the Giants.

I might lose my White American Evangelical license for saying this, but I really did not like this movie.

Not because of the lower production quality. Actually, I was impressed that Giants was as well-shot and -acted as it was, given its miniscule budget.

My beef with Giants is with its story.

I may be biased because of my own struggles with infertility. And I’ll admit I often dislike movies that tie up the plot in a too-neat bow at the end.

But I actually felt anger as I finished watching Giants, because from my perspective it portrayed a shallow, Americanized view of God and the Christian faith.

I know my opinion is the minority one among Christians. Giants is a huge favorite within my community. So fellow believers, I hope we can agree to disagree on this one?

What about you? What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

9 thoughts on “What’s the Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen?

  1. Agreed! I didn't see #1, but #2 and #3 are awful. “The English Patient” is my most disliked movie of all time–isn't it pretty much the opposite of the heroism of “Casablanca?” Here are some of my other worst movies (ones that at least tried to aim high): “Eyes Wide Shut” (why was I even watching this movie? I wanted to burst out laughing and leave at the most “serious” parts), “Sin City” (the comic book movie–just bloody awful), “The 13th Warrior,” “Wild, Wild West” (succumbed to this one on a plane–I should have napped as well), “From Dust till Dawn” (vampire flick). -Renee


  2. Only saw #3 there, but reacted for some of the same reasons. Anything that portrays all bad to all good makes me want to puke.

    There was some movie with Ashley Judd and maybe Ewan MacGregor that was pretty bad and thought at the time it was worst movie ever, can't remember the title. I have a pretty good sense of what I'll like and what I won't in this place so I don't see many bad movies though I don't take as many risks either.

    Escape from LA and Escape from New York are pretty bad, but I can't help but find some joy in them. Those movies are horrible if you watch them by yourself and are the worst ever. But the movies get better the more people you watch them with. Odd phenomenon.


  3. Renee, I don't think I've seen any of the other movies you listed. You probably warned me away from them! 🙂
    Brian, is the Ashley Judd movie “Eye of the Beholder?” I like your theory about bad movies becoming good, in proportion to the number of people you view them with.


  4. Oh Stephanie, usually I nod along in agreement thinking we are kindred spirits on many topics, but this time I DISAGREE!(Still love this post though–who doesn't like to talk about movies?) And it's not about the White American Evangelical movie, but I'd put The Man in the Moon as one of my favorites. I re-watched it with adoration so many times as a teen, that it has a sentimental spot in my heart. (That and Only You with Marisa Tomei) :). As a budding Jr. High thespian, I thought Reese Witherspoon in The Man in the Moon was the best performance by a kid in any movie ever. As an adult, I'd still put her in the top 5. I rarely watch it anymore, but when I do, I can't help but adore little Danny and all that Reese brings to her. I also love the idea of sisters bonding as they're falling asleep on a screened-in porch–precious.
    Worst movie ever for me: Kill Bill (1 or 2, take your pic). I didn't finish either of them–they seriously disturbed my soul. Followed by 2 movies that my husband and my dad like, but I do not appreciate in any way: The Game, and The Big Lebowski.


  5. To the horror of just about everyone, the only movie I've every walked out of was The Lord of the Rings. I know it's a new classic. I know it has great meaning. I know it is wonderfully made. I know many people who think it is the Greatest Movie Ever.
    AND Sci-Fi has always been completely lost on me, and it just seemed stressful for no good reason. So I chose to walk out and to brave the mall at Christmastime (which seemed less anxiety-producing). . .


  6. I am wondering how it is that I've never heard of The Man in the Moon – I think that was during my living-in-poverty-never-go-to-the-movies phase. Also never heard of Facing the Giants. But I totally agree with Renee about Eyes Wide Shut – definitely at the top of my list, along with Eraserhead, a cult classic I saw in college and still have nightmares about. –Tracy in MN


  7. I do believe you got it – eye of the beholder it is. I thought it was beyond horrible. My wife got me to watch a more recent movie called something 100 days of summer with that dude from 3rd rock from the sun – that was up there too on the worst ever list.

    I also find that if I stick to movies that are based on toys I played with as a child – I'm never disappointed in the movie. While I might be limited to Bruckheimer produced films I always am fully entertained. But it also might be argued the amount of actual “art” I get to see is somewhat limited.


  8. The worst movie I have ever seen was in high school – Howard the Duck.

    But to go more with the theme – the worst movie that everyone else likes is Forrest Gump. Very little about that show that hits me where I live. I like the creativity of inserting him into American history, but there is not much else of redeeming value. Not sure why I dislike it so – but I do.

    And, I may be sleeping on the couch for this, but I would have to say that Monty Python's The Holy Grail would have to be up there. It has moments, but the ending just ruins the whole movie. Sorry sweetheart – I know that is blasphemy around here!


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