We may have had high hopes for these ten films, but they didn’t live up to the hype.
Bad films and disappointing films rarely are the same thing.
The first ones often reveal the poor skills of their makers – low writing quality, superficial acting, erroneous editing, and so on.
Disappointing films are a different bunch. Filmmakers may exhibit an aptitude for crafting compelling visuals or bringing talented actors who pour their hearts into the project. But for various reasons, some of these films just didn’t deliver on their promise. This article celebrates the misfires of various scales – from affronts directed at the festival moviegoers to the projects destined to be mediocre judging by the marketing efforts and actors refusing to participate in their campaigning (yeah, you know which one I’m talking about).
Note that the movies below are not listed in any particular order.
Death On The Nile
While Benoit Blanc has continued to dominate the field of over-the-top detectives with French names, Hercule Poirot’s latest conundrum to solve was significantly less fun.
The fact that Agatha Christie’s story falls behind Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion (2022) says a lot about Kenneth Branagh’s direction, but the size of the failure in Death On The Nile (2022) should be credited to the least impressionable cast of 2022.
It wasn’t an easy task to manage this bunch, and – as NY Post explained in their article – their combined force was an absolute disaster for the film’s publicist. But their joint effort’s abysmal.
Gal Gadot’s turn as the femme fatale diva is just a hollowed-out husk; a one-note role that needed charisma and flair. Equally dull is Armie Hammer, who might have been more focused on dealing with the scandals sinking his career than the film itself. Then, there is Russel Brand whose variegated character adds surprisingly little to the already bland canvas of the movie. And the only bright point in this soulless mascarade is Branagh himself, who seems to be the only one enjoying this mystery too.
Don’t get me wrong – Charlotte Wells’ drama will shatter many viewers. To me, Aftersun (2022), however, bends under the weight of the raving reviews and its own aspirations to be something more than it is.
The film told from the perspective of a woman who recollects one vacation spent with her deceased father, relies on shredded pieces of a story and lots of Brits being British in a random beach resort. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio share undeniable chemistry, and as intended by director Charlotte Wells, the film immerses in a game of conjectures and wild guesses. We watch a patchwork of memories that most likely distorted the truth a few times.
And while the simplicity of Aftersun (2022) makes the film both intimate and relatable, the methods employed by Wells are there to hide the thin plot holding the movie together.
Reversing the saying that the third time is a charm may be visualized with Robert Eggers’ dossier.
After one of the most striking debuts in the history of horror, and following it with a Lovecraftian tale of two men losing their minds in a secluded lighthouse, Eggers could really flex his muscles in a revenge period piece.
The Northman (2022) looks and sounds the part, albeit the thin script, full of inconsistencies and shortcuts, sinks the Nordic warship. After a while, this exercise in muddy violence becomes a bore, with great actors botched in faking Northern accents (why, oh why?) and too many glitzy sequences that worked best in the film’s trailer.
Read on: the review of The Northman (2022).
Stumbling upon a rarity such as Flux Gourmet (2022) deserves to be celebrated especially because it’s embarrassingly bad. Hence, it would have secured a spot among the worst movies of 2022, too.
The film picks a fight with the world of performative art and aims at debunking the truth about it through a group that creates ASMR-inspired ambiances out of the kitchen melodies – appliances, boiling pots, and sounds of cutting onions. It’s as riveting as watching wedding videos: you may remember having fun while being there, but having to relive this is just a nightmare to sit through. Flux Gourmet (2022) doesn’t offer anything curious aside from arriving at the same conclusion every fifteen minutes.
Crimes of The Future
Crimes of The Future (2022) heralded the comeback of David Cronenberg, supported by a mighty cast including Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux, and Scott Speedman, and a mindblower story about the future where humans can grow tumors as a way of extreme performance art.
But the result offered little to cheer for.
Crimes of The Future (2022) drags mercilessly, multiplying loose threads of an incoherent narrative. While the ending of Cronenberg’s body horror opens room for several interpretations, most of it comes off as either unintentionally cringe-worthy or muddled.
Read more: our take on the perplexing ending ofCrimes of The Future (2022).
Telling the origin story of a true legend isn’t easy, hence many failed while attempting to do so.
However, Lightyear (2022) sells the biggest lie of them all, claiming that this story of Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear inspired the stardom of the toy that, together with Woody raised, thousands of kids around the world. Not in a million lightyears.
Angus MacLane’s animated film covers all the bases of woke culture themes while also grinding the charm, the wit, and the heart of Toy Story’s beloved character into an adventureless pulp.
While we could expect some cinematic disappointments, none hurt as much as Andrew Dominik’s Blonde (2022).
Ana de Armas’ turn as Marilyn Monroe should have been the career-turning point for the Cuban actress. She gives herself entirely, but Dominik’s film fixates on a one-dimensional, pretentious, and often inequitably judgmental take on Monroe’s career.
Blonde (2022) magnifies the flaws of the iconic character, wrapping her whole silhouette in a series of catastrophic decisions, random one-nighters, and an endless stream of bad people exploiting her. Even if the filmmakers intended to tell the less colorful part of Marilyn’s story, the result is a three-hour-long slog that provides no entertainment. Just sexist ramblings disguised as an arthouse film.
Bones and All
Can you make a boring movie about cannibals?
Yes, you can, just take a mediocre piece of literature and turn it into an even more blase script. Also, have a talented director who likes to squander his skills on mundane projects, wrapped in elegant cinematography.
Bones and All (2022) has a faint pulse and stretches a very thin love story over the excruciating 130 minutes. Despite the talent of both Timotheé Chalamet and Taylor Russell, the leading actors share almost invisible chemistry, which causes their jaded looks spread like a disease over the entire film. While there are some very intriguing themes touched on in Bones and All (2022), Guadagnino has little control over the character development, and eventually fails to engage the audience in this Twilight-like romance.
Read on: Bones and All (2022) explained.
Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
Forget A24’s tour bus with Daniel Radcliffe, or the viral video campaign of Devil’s Due (2014) starring a mechanical evil baby that scared New Yorkers s***less. Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling (2022) had, arguably, the most indelible promotional campaign in recent memory.
The actor-director quarreled with most of the cast members and added her three cents to just another Shia LaBeouf drama, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg filled with Harry Styles’ spit, and Florence Pugh’s comments concerning the terrible work on-set atmosphere. Although the outcome was a decent film with a few standout moments – like the dinner scene where Chris Pine clashes with Florence Pugh – it could not match the hype.
Putting The Menu (2022) on this list was one of the hardest choices. Because there’s nothing wrong with Mark Mylod’s satire that mocks the vanity of the rich.
A bit of everything sneaks into the film – Mylod’s experience from the set of Succession (2018-), with the trademark cynicism of the series; inspirations drawn from Quentin Tarantino; several timely punches that target self-acclaimed food critics who treat their life as material for Instagram without actually cherishing the moment. Then, there’s the star-studded cast, led by a genuinely creepy performance from Ralph Fiennes.
Yet despite the right ingredients, The Menu (2022) only teases instead of satisfying hunger and leaving long-lasting satisfaction.
What were your least favorite or the most disappointing films of the last year? Share your picks in the comments.
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