Technically, it’s only been summer for a couple weeks. At the movies, though, summer’s been going strong for months. (Remember when Solo: A Star Wars Story came out 10 years ago? Man, time flies.)

In general, it’s been a pretty solid season for blockbusters. Most of the biggest movies delivered, and while there have been a few disappointments (Remember when Solo: A Star Wars Story came out 10 years ago? Man, time flies.) there haven’t been many out-and-out disasters. And having already ranked the best summer blockbusters ever, the staff of ScreenCrush started batting around the opposite question: What are the worst summer blockbusters to ever spread their stink across multiplexes? Eventually, they whittled down their “favorites” to the 25 films below.

Before we get started, we should note that we restricted “summer blockbusters” to movies that came out during the summer as Hollywood defines it, not Pope Gregory XIII. In general, we stuck to the kinds of films average moviegoers refer to as “blockbusters”: Action, sci-fi, superheroes, and large-scale adaptations of famous properties. We avoided cartoons, romances, and comedies except a few rare exceptions, typically when the budgets ballooned to such epic proportions that they morphed into their genre’s equivalent of an overblown summer spectacle.

Without further ado, here are our picks. And yes, we want to hear yours in the comments below.


25. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Directed by Gavin Hood

Giving Hugh Jackman his own Wolverine prequel spinoff seemed like such a good idea at the time. So did casting the quick-witted, fast-talking Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (he’d been trying to get a solo movie made since 2003). And yet, X-Men Origins: Wolverine might go down in history as the absolute worst superhero movie ever. Instead of getting a solo Wolverine movie, we got another ensemble mutant film, and one that just felt like an X-Men knockoff. Over the course of its development, several writers tackled the script, including Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff and future Suicide Squad director David Ayer. All those hands in the pot really showed in the final product, which had no clear tone or personality. And somewhere along the way, someone decided it would be a good idea to have Deadpool’s lips surgically glued shut, literally removing the mouth from the guy known as “The Merc With a Mouth.” But the biggest crime Wolverine commits is the infamous “amnesia bullet” that explains why he can’t remember the events of this movie in the other X-Men. It’s a move so stupid it’s been endlessly mocked in pop culture, most recently — and hilariously — by Reynolds himself in Deadpool 2. — Britt Hayes

20th Century Fox

24. Babylon A.D. (2008)
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a good movie featuring a character named Toorop. Case in point: 2008’s Babylon A.D., an almost impressively inert “thriller” about Vin Diesel shepherding a woman through a dystopian future. It’s like The Fifth Element, except leeched of every last bit of joy, wit, or visual interest. This turd would have surely killed Vin Diesel’s reputation as a dependable summer movie star if anyone had actually seen the thing; lucky for him, no one did. This movie is so all-consumingly dull it should be prescribed by doctors as a homeopathic alternative to Ambien. — Matt Singer

Warner Bros

23. Battlefield Earth (2000)
Directed by Roger Christian

This mystifying boondoggle isn’t bad because it’s based on a novel by L. Ron Hubbard and has some vague connections to Scientology. It is bad because it is appears to have been conceived and shot by someone who was clinically insane. There are point-of-view shots from the point-of-view of a horse’s shins. John Travolta cackles about “pathetic man-animals.” It’s got more canted angles than an entire season of the 1960s Batman TV show, and an unpardonable number of men wearing long, hideous braids. The Psychlo aliens (not a typo) come to Earth looking for gold, but apparently all of their advanced technology can’t find the gigantic supply of it in Fort Knox until one of the man-animals points it out to them. Can you believe the humans eventually beat them?!? I know, crazy. — MS

Warner Bros.

22. The Avengers (1998)
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik

Long before Marvel assembled its mightiest heroes, multiplexes were graced with an Avengers of a much different, much crappier sort based on the British spy series of the 1960s. Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman play secret agents John Steed and Emma Peel, who are assigned to stop Sean Connery’s evil August de Winter from taking control of the world’s weather patterns; all three stars are in full “F— you, pay me” mode. (Also, a dude named “de Winter” has a plan to control the weather? That’s like if Batman’s legal name was Roger P. Batman.) Deservingly nominated for nine Razzie Awards, The Avengers won just one — Worst Remake or Sequel. Technically, The Avengers wasn’t a remake or a sequel, but the important thing to remember is this movie was awful. — MS


21. Cool World (1992)
Directed by Ralph Bakshi

Cool World is a blockbuster that might have been forgotten if not for people like me: Cinephiles who grew up in the ’90s in a home with HBO and parents who didn’t monitor their viewing habits. Released in 1992, Ralph Bakshi’s bonkers live-action/animation hybrid was basically Who Framed Roger Rabbit for people who are into those internet photos of naked Marge Simpson in compromising sexual positions (not to kink-shame, but dude). The film stars Kim Basinger as a Marilyn Monroe-esque cartoon femme fatale named Holli Would who tries to seduce her creator (Gabriel Byrne) so she can cross over to the real world. Meanwhile, a very young Brad Pitt plays a man who dies in a motorcycle accident and awakens as a cartoon detective in the animated world — which is supposed to be the afterlife? It’s all very confusing, especially when live-action people have sex with cartoons. — BH


20. The Last Airbender (2010)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

It’s rare that a movie is so insensitively cast it actually inspires a new term for whitewashing onscreen. The Last Airbender gave the world “racebending,” which describes the way this live-action adaptation of the beloved cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender made all of the show’s heroes white and all of its villains dark-skinned. (Director M. Night Shyamalan called the protests about the film’s casting “misguided” and claimed his Airbender was “meant to be inclusive of all races.”) No matter who was playing the roles, The Last Airbender was a gigantic turkey; listless and tedious in its recreation of the fantastical war between various factions of superpower children and teens. The only good thing about this movie was the fact that despite Shyamalan’s insistence that it would be the first part of a live-action Avatar trilogy, the title wound up being accurate. — MS

Warner Bros.

19. Jonah Hex (2010)
Directed by Jimmy Hayward

Rarely in film history have so many talented people, including Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Lance Reddick, and Michael Shannon, all been put in service of such unmitigated dreck. This project was originally going to be directed by Crank’s Neveldine/Taylor but they left the film before production began. They were the lucky ones. Even when you include the end credits, Jonah Hex runs just 81 minutes, as if the editors had been told that if they couldn’t make the movie good (and they couldn’t!), they should at least make it short. Supposedly Brolin thought Hex’s script was “awful,” but he made the movie anyway. So remember kids: Always trust your instincts. — MS

Warner Bros.

18. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Directed by Ron Underwood

The script for The Adventures of Pluto Nash had reportedly bounced around Hollywood for well over a decade before it landed in the lap of Eddie Murphy and went into production in the early 2000s. After shooting finally wrapped, Warner Bros. sat on the project, a theoretically a sci-fi comedy about a club owner on a Lunar moon colony, for years. They finally, quietly dumped it into theaters in August of 2002. Sadly, the film had not aged like fine wine in the interim; more like a carton of milk that had been left in a hot car for a couple days. Warners sunk something like $100 million into this catastrophe and as a result Pluto Nash doesn’t even have the appeal of being charmingly incompetent and cheap-looking. It’s just sad. All that time, all the energy, all that money ... for this? MS


17. Jurassic World (2015)
Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Watching Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World is like watching a five-year-old smash his dinosaur toys together for two hours. Actually, that might be more intellectually stimulating. The 2015 sequel has some cool-looking dinos, but it’s populated by some of the most brainless characters imaginable. These are people idiotic enough to create hybrid dinosaurs (why is that a good idea?!), train raptors, and run from a T-Rex in heels. Trevorrow’s film strips the Jurassic Park franchise of all the magic, wonder, and razor-sharp suspense Steven Spielberg brought to it. Audiences deserve better, smarter blockbusters than this. — E. Oliver Whitney

16. Wild Wild West (1999)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Any movie where the villain rides atop a giant robotic spider is a bad movie, and that’s not just because I hate spiders. Not even Will Smith’s charisma could save Wild Wild West, a daft Western comedy that’s sorely lacking in the comedy department. Barry Sonnenfeld’s big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series was a massive embarrassment for everyone involved, from Kenneth Branagh’s bad guy inventor to a dull Kevin Kline to Salma Hayek’s half-naked damsel. Wicky wild wild nope. EOW

Warner Bros.

15. Catwoman (2004)
Directed by Pitof

Catwoman is easily one of the coolest characters in any medium, so when it was announced that Halle Berry would be donning the catsuit as the hero of her very own solo movie, it’s safe to say that most people were stoked. It wasn’t the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman movie we all hoped for, but it was exciting nonetheless. Unfortunately, Catwoman was a big ol’ pile of trash — and not like the fun, campy kind, despite Sharon Stone’s casting as the villain. Berry had the physical prowess and acting chops to play Batman’s feline foe, and the plot had so much potential to explore important issues — like the toxicity of the beauty industry, where Berry and Stone’s characters both work — but the end result was a total mess. Perhaps that’s because this movie had anywhere from six to 12 writers, depending on the source you read. Maybe it’s because, as one of those writers suggests, the film had “zero cultural relevance.” Possibly, it’s also because a movie about a black female superhero was written and directed by a bunch of white people. — BH


14. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Directed by Mark Webb

We can all agree that Andrew Garfield is handsome, charming as hell, and has impossibly great hair. We can also agree that he is not Peter Parker. Listen, I have nothing against Garfield and the impressive feat of follicle engineering atop his head, but there is nothing about him that feels like the Spidey we know and love. And no amount of hair or delightful chemistry with Emma Stone could make me believe otherwise. The Amazing Spider-Man was meant to boldly reboot the beloved Spidey franchise after three Sam Raimi films. It was also meant to show that the aptly-named Marc Webb could transition from a smaller (cheaper) hit to making a massively-budgeted blockbuster hit. Amazing Spider-Man failed on both counts, but that didn’t stop Sony from making an equally horrible sequel (with Jamie Foxx as one of the worst superhero villains in cinema history) and plotting an entire Spidey-verse that has still never come to fruition. — BH

Buena Vista

13. Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Super Mario Bros. isn’t just one of the worst summer movie blockbusters. And it’s not merely one of the most terrible video game movies of all time, though it’s certainly that too. It’s a certifiable bad movie classic that belongs up there with The Room and Troll 2. As such, I’ve seen this ill-conceived and poorly-executed 1993 adaptation of the iconic Nintendo video game more times than should be legal for someone in my age group and chosen profession. The casting of Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi is probably the only acceptable thing in a movie that is otherwise wholly unacceptable. The basic plot is almost too stupid to even be a movie: Two Brooklyn plumbers (and brothers) travel to another dimension to save their friend Daisy from an reptilian fascist president with bad hair (sound familiar?) who also happens to be descended from the T-Rex. Oh, and Daisy is actually a princess and her father was overthrown by the bad guy, who covered him in fungal goop, just like we all remember from the classic video game Super Mario Bros.BH


12. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Directed by  Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

It’s no secret that I’ll go to bat for the first two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels – hate them all you want, but those at least have the thrilling and wacky visual style of Gore Verbinski. But the fifth Pirates installment was the worst yet, and proof that it’s time for Disney to quit this franchise for good. The new heroes played by Brenton Thwaits and Kaya Scodelario were forgettable, and Javier Bardem’s ghostly villain couldn’t hold a candle to Geoffrey Rush’s delightfully menacing Barbossa (who did get to return here) and Bill Nighy’s Davey Jones. And while the sword fights and sea battles might be gorgeously shot, they were missing the nail-biting suspense that made the first three movies so much fun. Most of all, Dead Men Tell No Tales was further evidence that Johnny Depp ran out of fuel on his rum guzzling pirate persona. EOW

Warner Bros.

11. Suicide Squad (2016)
Directed by David Ayer

It took me a while to finally see Suicide Squad, and once I sat down to watch it, I needed three sittings to get through the whole thing. I knew it was bad, but boy; I didn’t expect to hate every frame of this inane, bloated disaster. It takes an entire act to set up the story and its ridiculous crew of characters; after 30 minutes of exposition I was exhausted and the movie hadn’t even really started yet. The one-liners are excruciating. The action is an ugly, goofy mess. And it proves that you can indeed dislike Jared Leto more than you previously thought was possible. This David Ayer DC movie is nothing more than two hours of obnoxious, on-the-nose needle drops that you can’t wait to end. Is it called Suicide Squad because it makes you wanna ... never mind. — EOW

Warner Bros.

10. Batman & Robin (1997)
Directed by Joel Schumacher

The nipple Bat-suits. The butt close-ups. Arnold’s endless supply of ice puns. Schwarzenegger dancing in polar bear slippers. An entire fight sequence on ice against an evil hockey team. The way George Clooney says “I’m Batman!” and you’re like “LOL really?” No living human could deny the fact that Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin is the worst Batman movie. It’s the epitome of a capital ‘D’ dumb blockbuster, yet out of everything on this list, it’s also one of the few bad movies I enjoy and wouldn’t be mad about rewatching. — EOW

9. Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Directed by James Bobin

Not that the 2010 live-action Alice in Wonderland is any good, but at the very least it had some clever production design and impressive visuals thanks to its director, Tim Burton. Disney’s sequel unfortunately swapped Burton for James Bobbin, resulting in a cluttered mess of 3D and CGI. Beyond how unattractive this thing is to watch, the plot was about saving Johnny Depp’s depressed Mad Hatter (um, who cares?), and gave the first movie’s best Wonderland characters little to no screen time. What a waste of a return to such a magical world. EOW


8. Fantastic Four (2015)
Directed by Josh Trank

And you thought the other Fantastic Four movies were bad. Josh Trank’s 2015 version, which promised — and failed to deliver — a Cronenbergian take on Marvel’s beloved super-quartet, blows the previous films out of the sewer water. Looking back, at least the two previous movies had a sense of something resembling fun. I’m not sure that’s the right word, but compared to Trank’s epic misfire, it feels correct. There are tiny seeds of good ideas that never grow into anything cool or interesting, like the body horror angle, or the reimagining of Doctor Doom as an anti-social tech programmer, or casting Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch. Setting aside the reports of Trank’s unprofessional behavior on set, you can see the very obvious seams where 20th Century Fox meddled with his movie — including a horrendous third-act climax filled with so much CGI nonsense that I have to assume the studio was hoping it would distract us from noticing how bad the rest of the movie was. — BH


7. R.I.P.D. (2013)
Directed by Robert Schwentke

In this disaster movie, Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges’ old codger character from True Grit play members of a secret organization of ghost cops (the Rest In Peace Department, get it?) on the trail of a conspiracy to bring the dead back to life. (They’re called “deados,” because calling them ghosts would have just sounded silly.) The film is based on a Dark Horse comic book, but it’s also so shamelessly ripped off from Men in Black it’s genuinely surprising Will Smith doesn’t show up to rap the theme song over the closing credits. This monstrosity is so painful it makes Reynolds’ Green Lantern look slick in comparison. — MS

Sony Pictures

6. The Dark Tower (2017)
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel

On the spectrum of bad summer blockbusters, The Dark Tower falls somewhere between wildly depressing and vastly disappointing. The long-long-long-developing and even longer-awaited Stephen King adaptation was always too ambitious for its own good; no studio in its right mind would do King’s magnum opus justice on the big screen. We suspected there was trouble when the famously terrible Akiva Goldsman draft of the screenplay remained intact despite multiple director changes, and yet we remained hopeful when director Nikolaj Arcel described the film as more of a continuation than an adaptation of King’s story. But that clever approach, like Idris Elba’s perfect casting, was wasted. Instead, Sony gave us a movie that was so obviously chopped and screwed that even longtime fans of King’s novel series couldn’t make sense of the narrative. At least it didn’t try to leave the door open for a sequel that no one wants. So there’s that. — BH

5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Directed by Michael Bay

Picking the worst Transformers sequel is a bit like picking the worst case of food poisoning you’ve ever had: They were all terrible to varying degrees. But while none of the Transformers have “good” scripts, Revenge of the Fallen barely had a script at all. Because of a looming writers’ strike the entire movie was prepped from an outline written in just two weeks. After the strike ended, the final screenplay was completed in two months. In between, Michael Bay was left to his own devices to flesh out a bare bones treatment, which might explain the absurd depictions of women (most as literal sexbots) and bizarre racial stereotypes. When Shia LaBeouf watched all of his movies as piece of internet performance art, he walked out on the end of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That pretty much says it all. — MS

New Line

4. Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Directed by Michael Patrick King

The first Sex and the City movie isn’t good, but it’s mostly a breeze of silly, nostalgic fun. The sequel, however, made it clear that Michael Patrick King had completely run out of ideas. Carrie and Big already got married, Charlotte had babies, Miranda made up with Steve, and Samantha was still doing Samantha; what’s left to explore? Oh, why not take four white ladies to the Middle East where they can flaunt their wealth and criticize the religion and culture around them? It’s tone deaf, none of the jokes land – hard pass on all the camel-riding camel toe puns – it doesn’t bring anything new to these characters, and the plot is so thin King has to dust off a classic Carrie ex for added drama. Worst of all, it forcibly and unrealistically marries its only two gay characters in a ridiculously stereotyped gay wedding (there’s literally a Liza Minelli performance). It’s never a good sign when the only memorable part of your movie is a horrible Lawrence of Arabia pun (you know the one). — EOW

20th Century Fox

3. Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Directed by Roland Emmerich

I have two words for you: Moon Milk. It may not seem that important in the grand scheme of how terrible this movie is, but the throwaway moment when Liam Hemsworth indulges in this curiously-named beverage on a lunar space station with no explanation whatsoever is a tidy example of this movie’s problems. Distantly-released sequels tend to be underwhelming, but Independence Day: Resurgence is perhaps even more so given that it has all the components of a good time, and yet, like that box of Moon Milk, it casually ignores them in favor of focusing on less interesting prospects — a plot that is so lifeless that I’ve honestly forgotten most of it. Resurgence should be tried for crimes against cinema: Offensively misappropriating Jeff Goldblum and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who could have been the sexiest movie couple of all time), a senselessly bloated runtime, re-casting Mae Whitman for no discernible reason, and, yes, never once explaining Moon Milk. Is it milk from the moon? Is it milk that is only drinkable on the moon? Does it taste like the moon? Does it keep you weighted in zero-gravity? I NEED TO KNOW. — BH


2. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
Directed by George Lucas

Blame it on me being an millennial, but I’m not a complete hater of the Star Wars prequels. The Phantom Menace was the first time I got genuinely thrilled about lightsabers and space battles. But Attack of the Clones? Allow me to list just of a few things that suck about Episode II: Hayden Christensen pouting as a moody teen for two and a half hours; Anakin’s Padawan rat tail (this look is never acceptable); his creepy stalker obsession with Padme; the battles and duels, which are some of the worst (and ugliest) action set pieces of the franchise. The Battle of Geonosis features a ton of Jedi fighting side-by-side, and yet fails to generate excitement or suspense. And Yoda twirling around Christopher Lee is just silly. No further convincing should be necessary, but just in case, try watching this scene without cringing. “I’m in agony!” Me too, Anakin. Me too. — EOW

1. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Directed by Stephen Norrington

Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a riff on the Justice League starring classic characters of Victorian fiction like Mina Harker, Allan Quartermain, and Captain Nemo, is among the smartest of all superhero comics. So of course the movie version is maybe the dumbest blockbuster ever made, and includes a road chase through Venice, a city with no roads. The film League takes such dopey liberties with its source material you’d swear it was made by people who hated the original comics and wanted to ruin their reputation.

Sadly, LXG was Sean Connery’s final live-action role before retirement. He never directly blamed his experience making this piece of garbage on his decision, but in interviews he also admitted he was “fed up with the idiots” running Hollywood and “the ever-widening gap between people who know how to make movies and the people who green-light the movies.” To watch League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is to understand precisely how Connery felt. — MS

Gallery - The Best Movie Taglines in History: