“All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.”
Cinema, in its purest form, is full of artistry. Yet, Jean Luc-Godard’s timeless words ring true now more than ever. With a comprehensive cinematic canon filled with unwatchable garbage that couldn’t be further from art, films have tipped in favor of mindless entertainment and spectacle as opposed to meaningful representations of the world around us.
And yet, there’s something truly beautiful about the bad movies. If digested in limited quantities, joy can be found in indulging a horribly produced flick that stands in polar opposition to the medium’s proudest works. Explosions, campy dialogue, poor performances, car chases and outlandish plotlines are all ingredients for an entertaining evening.
Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood to watch the latest Terrence Malick film. Sometimes it’s been a long week, and you simply want to kick your feet up and lose yourself in the escapism of a movie that is so bad, you can’t help but love it. And that’s why we have compiled our list of the Top 25 Most Awesomely Bad Movies on Netflix Instant. Enjoy.
25. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Only a film directed by McG could don the title Full Throttle and expect to get away with it. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t, and the 2003 sequel to the reboot of the classic television show fails in nearly every category that normally make up, you know, good movies? Acting, plot, character—all gone. What we have left is an extended music video with lots of explosions and seemingly “written on the spot” dialogue. We expect more from you, Cameron Diaz…wait, do we?
24. A Night at the Roxbury
Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan did us the pleasure of bringing their infamous head-banging brothers from SNL to the silver screen and we need to thank them for it. Gracing us with lessons in the art of sex appeal and fail-safe pickup lines, you can learn a thing or two from the self-aware A Night at the Roxbury, which is not something we can say for a lot of the films on this list.
23. Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Though the sequel is one degree removed from Kevin Bacon, Tremors 2 is equally entertaining if you’re willing to support the fight against subterranean bloodthirsty worms. This addition finds Earl Basset south of the border and has no shortage of classic one-liners and memorable demises.
22. Earth Girls Are Easy
The quintessential ‘80s comedy, Earth Girls Are Easy not only shows the power of a great makeover by transforming three hairy aliens into totally hot guys, but also shows every guy that if an alien can pick up a girl, so too can they.
21. Reefer Madness
It’s time somebody set the record straight on marijuana. If you think for one second it’s a harmless drug used for fun, you’re wrong and are likely on the way to axe-murder your family. Think I’m joking? Check out this informational film for the real story.
20. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
“Things blow up, and it’s awesome”—unconfirmed page from the third act of the official Transformers: Dark of the Moon screenplay. Michael Bay, bless his soul, is the undeniable genius/master of his “craft” and should keep making Transformers movies until the day he dies. Perfectly suiting the director’s taste for the ‘loud’ and ‘bright’ and ‘confusing,’ Transformers: Dark of the Moon features robots, explosions, pretty girls and, just for good measure, outer space. Also, it will supposedly be Shia LaBeouf’s last film for a major studio…so, you know, you don’t want to miss that.
19. Maid in Manhattan
Jennifer Lopez sure is pretty, and she’s also a maid! How can a politician possibly fall in love with a woman working at a hotel? Hollywood has the answer, thanks to a freakishly adorable kid who helps introduce the odd couple. Watch in suspense to find out if love transcends social class. Also, why, Ralph Fiennes, why?
18. Party Monster
When you think ‘party,’ you think Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green. Unable to learn his lesson from the first time he got lost in New York, the perpetually baby-faced Culkin gets in way over his head amongst the world of drug dealing and partying. It’s also based on a true story… so there’s that.
17. Pootie Tang
Is Pootie Tang a ridiculous, surreal, subversive anti-comedy, or a flat-out terrible piece of trash? Uncomfortably walking the line between the two, the film goes far enough in both directions to provide, at the very least, a lazy afternoon worth of enjoyment. Adapted from a blaxploitation-satirizing sketch featured on The Chris Rock Show, Pootie is the coolest mutha-shutyourmouth in town, beating baddies with his belt, and refusing to speak a word of understandable English. Major bonus points for being written and directed by a yet-to-be famous Louis C.K. (yeah, really).—Zachary Philyaw
16. Look Who’s Talking Too
Even 80 minutes seems like an eternity for this John Travolta/Kirstie Alley vehicle, and to make it through the entire film is prize-worthy. What’s that, you say? Babies are always funny? Wrong. The gimmick of listening to babies’ inner monologues is just about as funny as ABC’s television series Wipeout. The first joke gets a laugh, the second gets no reaction and the third justifies taking action to make an abrupt end to your misery.
15. The Expendables
In what may be considered the ultimate “I bet my gun is bigger than yours, bro” movie of all time, nearly every aging action star appears on screen to relive their glory days in a massive collection of explosions and overly violent manly acts. With nearly too many stars to list, and a nearly invisible plot, The Expendables represents the atypical throwback action flick, and, in this writer’s opinion, one of the most subtle bromances of all time between Stallone and Statham.
14. Failure to Launch
In the totally realistic world of romantic comedies, Failure to Launch is the perfect movie to make even the most sinister of hearts believe in love. It’s totally realistic that you would fall in love with the person who lied to you for months and was hired by your parents to get you out of your house. And, obviously, any self-aware 35-year-old living at home is a catch, right? Well, that’s the case in this lovely little “romcom” starring Matthew McCaoughy and Sarah Jessica Parker. Failure to Launch lives up to its name… it seriously never gets off the ground. It has every cliché/over-the-top/everything-works-out-in-the-end situation imaginable, and really, that’s quite an accomplishment.—Laura Flood
13. Season of the Witch
2011’s Season of the Witch came during a period when Nic Cage was releasing atrocious movies at an astonishingly prolific clip…without anyone even noticing. Drive Angry? Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance? Seeking Justice? Trespass? Season of the Witch? These all came out in 2011? Was I the only one who mentally lumped them into a single amorphous blob of Nic Cage garbage that’s still growing at an alarming rate somewhere in the Pacific? Anyway, I’m not going to pretend I saw Season of the Witch or even heard of anyone seeing it, but I’ll never forget watching Cage blankly delivering lines about sorcery in the trailer like he was reading from cue cards.—Ryan Bort
12. Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor
Just when you thought the Kickboxer series was over the filmmakers delivered a roundhouse kick to the face for such blasphemous assumptions and produced a fourth installment. Our hero (David Sloan) finds himself in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. And, to make matters even worse, his wife has become a sexual slave. Talk about a double-bummer! Sloan reaches a deal with authorities to earn his freedom by kicking two birds with one stone and leading them to the evil Tong Po’s hideout where his wife is being held captive.
11. Freedom Writers
The blending of various cultures and nationalities is what makes America great, but it can also be the cause of extreme instances of hatred and violence. Fortunately Freedom Writers reminds us that white people have the answer to every problem, including situations they might not fully understand. Enter Hilary Swank, who uses the power of writing to end violence between races—and she does it all in a semester!