2016 is just around the corner, and with it comes the end of a jam-packed 12 months of films that have either inspired us or made us regret ever getting invested in the industry to begin with.

As ever, with these lists, there are certain rules we like to apply: we only count films that were given an original UK release between January and December 2015, meaning that it has to have been out in the UK between those dates in order to qualify without being released elsewhere in the world. So, any awards holdovers like Birdman or The Theory of Everything are ineligible (as is, in one of the most tragic cases, Song of the Sea which was given an Oscar-qualifying US release late in December 2014), as are any films that came out here this year after being released in the US and other territories (John Wick, for example, came out back in April only eight months after its American debut). As long as it was released in the UK within the same year as its debut elsewhere in the world, it’s eligible to show up here.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s start this countdown by looking at the absolute worst of the worst, the films that have been extremely difficult to sit through or just infuriated us to no end. Luckily, unlike last year, we’ve really gone out of our way to see as many bad films as possible, and in that regard many of them didn’t disappoint.

But before we take a look at the winners of the year, let’s spend some time reminding ourselves of the pure dog turds that plagued our screens across 2015.

First off, a few honourable mentions that just avoided making our Top 15 (lucky them), in no particular order:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Child 44
  • The Transporter Refuelled
  • Seventh Son
  • Project Almanac
  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  • Vacation
  • Monsters: Dark Continent
  • The Wedding Ringer
  • San Andreas
  • Hitman: Agent 47
  • Blackhat

And going in to the ACTUAL top 15 now, we’re off to a “strong” start with…


The Wachowskis’ big return to filmmaking after crashing and burning with the Matrix sequels wasn’t so much an improvement, more a collective bag containing everything that they’re known for done in the most heinous ways possible.

It has everything you can expect from a bad film by the filmmakers: an overly-complicated storyline with thousands of unnecessary scenes of exposition, an unhealthy overdose of CG effects and backgrounds that even George Lucas would wince at; and characters so bland and forgettable that even their talented performers including Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum et al can’t seem to bring them to life. It is a case study of Hollywood excess in the least reliable hands, and the fact that it bombed financially as well as critically at least assures us that they won’t be entrusted with a colossal mess this size for a good long while.

Thank goodness, though, for Eddie Redmayne as the film’s central baddie Name-Not-Worth-Remembering, who seems to be the only one on set who knows exactly what film he’s in, and delivers a performance so hilariously over-the-top bad that it rivals John Travolta’s infamous turn in Battlefield Earth. In fact, the Oscar-winner (you wouldn’t think after watching this, would you?) is the reason why this film is so low on this list, because he’s just so entertainingly bad it makes every little insufferable thing about this movie seem worthwhile.

Take it away, Eddie…

14 – TAKEN 3

The third film in the Taken series, which seems to have only gotten worse from its first only-okay film onwards, is a colossal disaster in action filmmaking, and ends this mediocre series in a way that not even Liam Neeson seems to be entirely happy with.

Essentially the Hangover Part 3 of the series, it tries to steer clear of its established formula but somehow ends up being worse off because of it, with Neeson’s Bryan Mills being – all together now – framed for a murder he did not commit, so he goes on the run to prove his innocence, while avoiding the authorities in several implausible action scenarios where he always comes out on top. The standard stock plot is bad enough, but when it’s handled so sloppily by director Olivier Megaton who substitutes gripping action with incoherent shaky-cam work that blurs everything just for a 12A rating it’s near impossible to forgive.

Thank God this year we also got Mad Max: Fury Road to show films like this how it’s done, because this is the year’s prime example of how NOT to do an action film, let alone one that’s supposed to end a series that wasn’t all that great to begin with.

By this point, if they do actually make that threatened Taken 4, then Neeson put it best…


Having not seen the BBC Three show that this film spin-off was based on – and from what we hear, it was pretty rubbish to begin with – was already a sign that we were absolutely not the target audience for this, but watching it made it clear: The Bad Education Movie is a movie that only seems to be made for teenage idiots, regardless of whether they’ve watched the show or not.

Jack Whitehall is stripped naked for more than one “gag” in this laugh-free comedy that also takes no prisoners when it comes to horrendous stereotyping whether it be the gay community or the entirety of Cornwall and its brethren, right down to what they’re wearing being inaccurate. You have to feel bad for Joanna Scanlan too, one of the many actors far too good for this film (Iain Glen and Jeremy Irvine, what are you both doing here?) but her in particular, especially when one of her first scenes is of a class hamster being thrusted up into her unmentionables.

We’ve not seen the show, and this movie makes us glad we never did; and though it’s not entirely as bad as Keith Lemon: The Film or many other worse TV-to-movie spin-offs, it’s still one that tends to embarrass even its target teenage audience, who deserves much better than this.


This is one of those movies that has genuinely good intentions, but is severely let down by major elements that make it all seem more annoying than it probably is.

A long-in-the-making passion project for star Robert Redford, he and co-star Nick Nolte set out across the Appalachian Trail to find as many cringingly unfunny scenarios as possible, ones that waste actors like Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal, and several jokes directed at their age, weight, sexual prowess etc that are on par with director Ken Kwapis’ own Dunston Checks In and License to Wed. The amount of times we rolled our eyes is indeterminable, and we sat there the whole time waiting for the suffering to end.

Unfunny, boring and irritating as all hell, A Walk in the Woods was just one of the most annoying experiences we had in a cinema all year – and given some of the films we saw over 2015, that’s saying a lot.


Thank goodness Johnny Depp also had Black Mass out this year to remind us how good an actor he can be, because after this… oh, boy.

Depp was central in the doomed marketing campaign that led to the film’s critical and box office failing, not least because it was an extremely unappealing attempt to revive the kind of caper comedy that Peter Sellers perfected without the charm or the humour, but because Depp was saddled with a lead character that was so smug and unlikable not even his luxuriant moustache could save it, and gave a performance that was an amalgamation of every single performance he’s given since Captain Jack Sparrow, and just as over-the-top as you may think.

Everyone from Depp to Gwyneth Paltrow to Ewan McGregor feels embarrassed to even be there under David Koepp’s lacking direction, which includes some of the most baffling inconsistencies all year, and its overall boring and unentertaining discourages any multiple viewings outside of just the one (and maybe not even then).

Depp is currently in serious awards consideration for his fantastic performance in Black Mass, and with a bit of luck so will his performance in Mortdecai, but for a very specific award…

Click here for numbers 10-6 on the list!