From ‘Adipurush’ To ‘Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania’, Here Are The Worst Movies Of 2023 So Far


“Worst movies of the year” lists get a bad rap because big publications usually include movies that aren’t synonymous with misogyny, bigotry, propaganda, or just bad filmmaking. Some of these lists just include titles that the writer didn’t understand or didn’t pay attention to, thereby making the hatred seem disingenuous and undeserved. Well, I am here to correct that because 2023 has given us some stinkers that deserve to be bashed. I do want to point out that I haven’t seen every film that has been released this year. This list is made up of films that received a wide release and crossed my path. And even though it should be common knowledge by now, this list is very subjective in nature.

Note: The list doesn’t mention the titles as per the ranking.

36. Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

This sad excuse for a movie had a massive budget, two actors accused of sexual harassment, and an actress popular for her anti-vaccine opinions. If you can somehow separate the art from the artist, you are treated to some atrocious lighting, editing, and pacing. The fact that it flopped at the box office showed that Disney-Marvel can’t put anything out there and hope for it to be a big hit.

35. Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

Peddling traditionalism under the garb of being modern is becoming a trend, and this film is the campaign’s flagbearer because it managed to convince millions of people that living in a joint family is better than having your own home. Did I mention that there is also someone accused of sexual harassment attached to this film? Well, there you go!

34. Kabzaa

It’s a K.G.F. fan film. It’s loud, incoherent, horribly acted, and has one of the whiniest heroes I’ve ever seen. It’s so overwhelming that you’ll need several intermissions to get to the end. And when you actually get to the end, you’ll find the teaser for a second Kabzaa film. Spoiler alert: that’s never happening.

33. Kuttey

I respect Vishal Bhardwaj a lot. I respect Rekha Bhardwaj a lot. And I understand why they’d use their connections to give their son, Aasmaan Bhardwaj, everything he needs for his debut film. But didn’t anyone find it in themselves to tell Aasmaan that what he’s making is garbage? The film underscores its love for communism with a frame that features a Gatling gun and the communist manifesto. That says everything about the film’s sense of “depth.”

32. Bholaa

Ajay Devgn made the grave mistake of thinking that he could do something with the story of Kaithi that Lokesh Kanagaraj couldn’t. He was sorely wrong because he doesn’t have an ounce of talent when it comes to storytelling. It suffered from fridging, horribly executed action scenes, and some of the worst VFX I had ever seen.

31. Gaslight

I like to think of this movie as a patience test. If you make it to the end without getting up or manually zooming into the screen to see what’s going on, you’ll win something. The prize isn’t literal in nature. It’s a sense of achievement that you can tolerate intense amounts of boredom without breaking.

30. Mummies

I don’t always judge animated movies harshly because it takes a lot of effort to get them made. The reason why this needs to be lambasted is that it has British actors playing Egyptian mummies. Yes, undead mummies don’t exist, and this is a kids’ movie. Then why not do British undead zombies instead? Why be racist? Isn’t it enough that the British have stolen artifacts from all over the globe? They have to steal voice-acting roles, too, now?

29. Gumraah

It’s a Bollywood remake of a bad film. But the one place where it could’ve made an improvement was the misogynistic writing. They didn’t do that. In fact, they turned a scene from the original that insinuated that a character had been sexually assaulted into a full-blown rape sequence without any trigger warnings or anything that’d prepare the audience for such a bad time.

28. Ghosted

They put Ana De Armas in a wig for no reason. They made Chris Evans look like an unseasoned piece of meat. They got Evans’ Marvel colleagues to cameo so that everyone can point at the screen and shout and forget that it has a bag of rocks for a plot. I have no clue why Ghosted even exists.

27. Kisi Ka Bhai… Kisi Ki Jaan

This excuse for a film can only be described as a torture device. You get your worst enemy into a seat. Strap them in. And then just turn this movie on. You don’t have to worry if their eyes are open or not. Even the noises that this film produces are going to bring them very close to brain death.

26. Kiss, Kiss!

You know how Bollywood movies are constantly criticized for normalizing stalking and sexual harassment? If things go the way they are going right now, this is going to be remade by Bollywood anytime soon. That’s how bad this movie is.

25. Chengiz

Given how I am a little preoccupied with Hollywood and Indian releases, I always feel guilty for not giving some of my time to Bengali films. Well, after watching this, I don’t. Especially if it features Jeet.

24. Simulant

Sam Worthington and Robbie Amell didn’t need to follow up Avatar: The Way of Water and Upload with this. They seriously didn’t. I understand how they might have seen some potential in the script. But someone should’ve pointed out during the shoot that it could end up being one of the most boring films of all time. Evidently, nobody did, and hence, here we are.

23. The Mother

I thought that nobody could surpass the horrible editing of Bohemian Rhapsody and the Taken movies. But we’ve got a strong contender here. According to Netflix, it’s the most popular film on the streaming platform. I’ll leave it at that.

22. Ravanasura

Due to its extensive use of human face masks, it’s a matter of shame that this film has come out in the same year that we are getting a new Mission: Impossible film. It’s appropriate that it was released in the year of Adipurush, though. You know, because they are both inspired by the myth of Ravan, and they are both awful.

21. Adipurush

I won’t say that I’m surprised that this movie exists. I know exactly why this exists. I think you know the reason as well. What baffles me is that absolutely nobody paused to look at the dailies, the rough cuts, and then the final product and wonder if they’d made a steaming pile of garbage. A person with no experience in filmmaking could’ve pointed this out, and it made it to the big screen while getting the blessings of actors, producers, directors, politicians, etc. Truly astounding stuff.

20. Pathu Thala

It’s clearly made to cash in on the trend of angry old men with ferocious facial hair doing loads of murder and action. What surprised me (and not in a good way) was that the movie didn’t even focus properly on the guy on all the posters. When it did, it was the most generic thing imaginable. I’ll take a mediocre, amateur movie over this nonsense any day.

19. Virupaksha

Indian movies will never be scary because they’re too afraid to scare anyone. On top of that, the whole concept is a lot like Smile, i.e., the 2022 film where the victim of a curse passes it on to someone else by dying in front of them. It’s much better than this. So, don’t waste your time on it and go watch Smile.

18. Boo!

Much like every other movie on this list, I have no clue why this exists. The casting director did a good job of hiring attractive people and then making them scream their lungs out. If you are expecting more than that, you’ll be disappointed.

17. Bloody Daddy

Everyone was surprised that a Shahid Kapoor film was getting an O.T.T. release because they felt that it should’ve had a theatrical release. Once the movie premiered, the chattering just stopped because they could see the magnitude of the bullet they had dodged. Also, I made the mistake of watching this before watching Sleepless Night, which is far better than this abomination. Don’t make that mistake.

16. The Flash

First of all, groomer alert. Second of all, god-awful CGI and VFX. Third of all, prioritizing pandering to nostalgia over good storytelling And, finally, paying Tom Cruise and Stephen King to sing its praises. I forgive James Gunn for doing the same because, ultimately, he’s heading to D.C. right now. But what got into Tom and Stephen? I guess we’ll never know.

15. Tiku Weds Sheru

You have to suffer from a special kind of internalized misogyny if you’re a woman who is producing a film (I’m talking about Kangana Ranaut) and allowing women to be portrayed in the worst light imaginable. It’s such a hateful film that it shouldn’t be perceived with human eyes. Every copy of it should be incinerated so that there’s a little less venom on this planet.

14. Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat

It pains me to put an Anurag Kashyap film in here, but it needs to be done because of his irresponsible and hollow filmmaking. If you are talking about the political atmosphere of India, it has to reflect in your film. Or else, your “Kranti” is meaningless.

13. Lost

Everything from its portrayal of newsrooms to its take on Dalit, Maoist, and Naxal activism is misguided and plain bad! Every aspect of the film feels under-researched and undercooked. This should’ve been in the drafts for the rest of its foreseeable future, and it’s a matter of shame that it has seen the light of day.

12. Shehzada

Kartik Aaryan has a spot in my “best movies from the first half of 2023” list, and he’s here as well. Now, that’s what I call range. Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo was tolerable because of Allu Arjun’s charm. Without that, the viewing experience is simply infuriating.

11. Veera Simha Reddy

I would’ve tolerated its hugely problematic casting choices, Nandamuri Balakrishna’s horrible performance, and the god-awful action if it weren’t for that one transphobic remark. We are in 2023. If you’re still making transphobic remarks to appear masculine, you should be shot into the Sun.

10. The Outwaters

The V/H/S movies are proof that found-footage films can still be pulled off without being too restrained about their horror elements. Meanwhile, this amateur attempt at recreating the magic of The Blair Witch Project is proof that if you don’t have an ounce of originality, it’s not going to work, and you’ll only end up wasting your audience’s time.

9. August 16, 1947

Many films about racism have been criticized for the graphic depiction of violence inflicted on slaves. This applies to movies portraying atrocities against people who are deemed lower caste. It feels sadistic after a point, and if the characters don’t get to give back what they’ve received to their oppressors in that fictional setting, then the whole process seems pointless.

8. Mrs. Undercover

Wasting Radhika Apte’s talent is a criminal offense, in my opinion. Making her do all kinds of nonsense in a film for more than an hour is unforgivable. And I would’ve been okay with a silly film where Apte gets to do stupid stuff. But trying to make it seem like a serious film at the eleventh hour made my blood boil.

7. Kranti

Last year, we had The Legend. This year, we have this. But The Legend is probably better because at least its star hasn’t been accused of domestic violence.

6. Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2

Mani Ratnam is not a good filmmaker. He has an eye for good imagery. These Ponniyin Selvan movies don’t even have that. His storytelling is straight-up bad. He has a cult following. So, no one dares question the fact that he has been making dreadful films for quite some time. Well, good for him and his scam.

5. The Portable Door

I think you need to be incredibly talented to hire Christoph Waltz, Sam Neill, Miranda Otto, Rachel House, and Damon Herriman and make it seem like they don’t know how to act. Well, Jeffrey Walker has done the impossible. Congratulations on that!

4. Peter Pan And Wendy

I hate Disney remakes. I love David Lowery. I like Jude Law. But I truly hate these horrendous “live-action” Disney remakes.

3. The Little Mermaid

After the racist attacks on Halle Bailey, every criticism against this film has been brushed aside as if all of it stems from a place of prejudice and bigotry. As a person of color myself, I can say that Bailey’s casting isn’t the issue. It’s everything else. Bad lighting. Bad direction. Bad acting. Bad CGI and VFX, especially everything that happens underwater. It’s all bad, actually.

2. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke

We don’t have a single mainstream Indian movie that tackles divorce properly, even though it is the need of the hour. And here’s this atrocity turning divorce into a joke. On top of that, it’s riddled with bigoted dialogue that is never questioned or called out. It’s sad that this film has been celebrated by so many people. Well, I hope it doesn’t come back to bite you.

1. Lust Stories 2

Konkona Sen Sharma’s short should’ve been turned into a feature-length film. The rest should’ve been shot into space with no chance of returning.

Not-So-Honorable Mentions

The movies that didn’t make the cut because they aren’t very bad but are still quite bad are Consecration, Dasara, From Black, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Mafia Mamma, Run Rabbit Run, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Give them a watch. Who knows? Maybe they can end up being one of your most hated movies of all time.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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