18 Rotten Movies We Loved from 2018

Not every Rotten movie this year was without its merits, so here are a few worth a second look.

by | December 11, 2018 | Comments

This year has gifted audiences with hundreds of Certified Fresh gems – brilliant indie fare like Leave No Trace and Sorry To Bother You, mainstream smashes like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, and too many super-Fresh documentaries to count. But, as with every year, these Certified Fresh treats were the exception, not the rule. The bulk of movies that landed in theaters and in homes this year earned the big green splat, designated Rotten by Tomatometer-approved critics who proved indifferent to their charms.

And yet, just because a film fails to make the grade with critics, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth your time. It might have been underappreciated, been so bad it’s good, or featured something – an exquisite performance, an incredible scene – buried somewhere under all the rot. Here, the Rotten Tomatoes staff turns to the Tomatometer and says… “Huh? But we loved that movie.” (Though not unanimously – not everyone on staff could get behind every film on the list).

Behold, the 2018 Rotten movies that we – well, many of us – loved, ranked from almost-Fresh to almost-zero.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) 59%

#1So. Close. To. Freshness. We have no idea why this sequel to the low-budget 2015 hit bombed so badly at the box office, because it’s kinda great (if you, er, unfriend, any sense of disbelief you bring to the moviegoing experience). It’s nasty stuff, with some fun twists and a ludicrous use of Bitcoin, and the young cast – including Get Out maid Betty Gabriel – does a solid job of ratcheting up the tension with their increasingly shocked-face cam shows.

Slice (2018) 59%

#2Chance the Rapper has had his issues with Rotten Tomatoes in the past, but we have zero issues with Chance, who is charming as all hell as a pizza delivery boy in this bizarre horror-comedy from A24. The film is definitely a pizza with way too many toppings – Werewolves! Witches! Mozzarella! – but sometimes (say, late at night, when the munchies kick in), that’s exactly what you crave.

The First Purge (2018) 56%

#3First Purge, best Purge? Not according to the Tomatometer, which places The Purge: Anarchy at the top of this franchise heap, with a score of 56%. But this latest film, which focuses on the first experimental Purge, conducted on Staten Island in New York City, is just as good as its predecessors if you ask us. It’s probably the most political of all the films and, while not as scary as some other Purge films, has some killer action set pieces and a star turn by Insecure’s Y’Lan Noel.

Book Club (2018) 55%

#4We could watch this cast – Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenbergen – read the phone book, and let’s face it, the rather rote script for this rom-com isn’t a far cry from that tome. But the women are absolutely spectacular, especially Bergen as a judge trying online dating for the first time. Drink all the Chardonnay and indulge.

Rampage (2018) 51%

#5What have Dwayne Johnson movies been missing all these years? Giant animals – and lots of them. And, in gorilla George, audiences are given a rather charming one, at that. It’s all as fun as it is dumb, and while Rotten, it is, as of now, the highest-rated video game-based movie, according to the Tomatometer.

Tomb Raider (2018) 51%

#6Who would have thunk it? Alicia Vikander: a better action star than Angelina Jolie. This reboot, from The Wave director Roar Uthaug, split critics right down the middle, with half giving it a thumbs up – mostly for the tenacious Vikander – and half giving it a shrug for its indifferent action, its lack of ambition, and for being another origin story. We were feeling the girl power and have our fingers crossed Vikander gets another swing at Croft, without any of those origin-tale burdens.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) 49%

#7It’s no Spy, but it’s a damn good time thanks largely to the work of Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis, who play two Millennials caught up in an international espionage plot. As she did in Ghostbusters, McKinnon essentially runs away from the film, and makes a strong case to any casting agents looking for a comic lead.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) 47%

#8Fallen Kingdom is essentially two different movies smashed together: an island adventure and a haunted mansion thriller – and it’s the former that we actually liked. The “save the dinosaurs” angle was something we hadn’t seen in the franchise, and director J.A. Boyana delivered genuine spectacle in the volcano-eruption-dino-stampede sequence. If you skip the movie’s second half, pretend the DNA plot twist didn’t happen, and stay for the end-credits sequence, Fallen Kingdom is a blast.

Skyscraper (2018) 48%

#9It’s Die Hard but… with The Rock, and you have not lived until you’ve seen his character’s use of duct tape.

The Meg (2018) 45%

#10The biggest complaint about The Meg was that it wasn’t quite dumb enough, that it should have leaned even harder into its B-movie silliness. Agreed. But there is just enough of that silliness in this long-in-development movie about a 75-foot shark to make it a good enough time – and the gratuitous shots of a shirtless Jason Statham and a fabulous turn by a dog named Kelly push it to near greatness.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) 42%

#11This completely earnest and extremely ambitious adaptation failed to connect with critics and audiences at the box office, but we’re betting on a long afterlife in home entertainment. Why? Director Ava DuVernay conjures visuals that are like nothing you’ve seen – especially impressive when so many family action adventures seem to crib off of the template set by Tim Burton with Alice and Wonderland – and the father-daughter relationship at its heart is incredibly moving. Rewards come with repeat viewings.

The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018) 39%

#12Like its Rotten predecessor, we have a feeling genre fans are going to look back on this short-and-brutal (if not especially necessary) sequel as an underappreciated gem. This time, a family of four is stalked by three motive-free masked killers in a caravan resort, and their style of mayhem is decidedly ’80s slasher. Bailee Madison and Lewis Pullman (son of Bill) give standout performances as the kids.

The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) 39%

#13This stripped-down take on the Lisbeth Salander legend feels like it should have been released 10 or so years ago – and if it had, it might not have bombed so hard with critics and audiences alike. But still, it’s a more than serviceable thriller, a kind of James Bond take on Stieg Larsson’s famed character, with director Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe) delivering the set-piece goods, LaKeith Stanfield supplying some wit, and Claire Foy in excellent form as our tough, bad man-punishing protagonist.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) 36%

#14To go by the Tomatometer, Grindelwald is the Cars 2 of the Potterverse – the first Rotten entry in the bundled Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts franchise, and the first time that people began to question JK Rowling’s Midas touch. And yet, while it’s undoubtedly all a bit stodgy, there are pleasures aplenty here for Potterheads: incredible visuals, inventive beasts, Ezra Miller, and – just as with the similarly groundwork-laying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1the promise of more exciting adventures to come.

I Feel Pretty (2018) 36%

#15Critics and commentators were split on the movie’s message – was it a celebration of women of all shapes, even as it made jokes at their expense, but also as it was in on those jokes, and was mostly empowering? – and there’s a ton of product porn to turn you on, or off, depending on your bent. But Amy Schumer’s commitment, her smart pairing with up-and-comer Rory Scovel, and a hilariously out-of-her-comfort-zone Michelle Williams as a chirpy-voiced cosmetics CEO, make this a solid rom-com to tide you over between your repeat Devil Wears Prada viewings.

Venom (2018) 30%

#16The Tomatometer says 28%, the Audience says 85% – and well, we’re not picking sides. It’s a trash heap, sure, a total mess, and what even is this thing? But damn if we didn’t get a kick out of it. Most credit must go to Eddie Brock himself, Tom Hardy, who keeps a committed straight face throughout, and makes this bigger-budget Upgrade a dark, twisted, and bizarre treat. Bring on Venom 2.

The Nun (2018) 25%

#17The Rottenest movie so far in the Conjuring Universe – currently 3% more Rotten than the first Annabelle – The Nun is essentially a poorly lit amusement park ride, a jumble of jump-scares and other horror clichés and little else. In certain moods, we’re totally there for that.

Life Itself (2018) 13%

#18OK, “love” might be a slightly strong word for how we feel about this bucket of tears splashed all over us late in the year by Dan “This Is Us” Fogelman. But there are moments and performances in this teetering-on-so-bad-its-essential melodrama that are genuinely strong. And if you feel like a good cry – like, a Beacheslevel cry – Life Itself delivers.

Buy or rent the 2018 Rotten Movies We Loved

Tag Cloud

OneApp Walt Disney Pictures documentary comedies cops See It Skip It ABC psychological thriller TIFF series Character Guide Calendar facebook rotten movies we love festival sequels elevated horror Infographic MTV asian-american screenings The Academy Vudu Epix stand-up comedy Comic Book Music biography Endgame American Society of Cinematographers cars Travel Channel Lifetime Lionsgate CNN italian BET Awards renewed TV shows LGBTQ mockumentary Photos slashers DC streaming service video documentaries Red Carpet latino The Purge TCA reboot AMC comic books Amazon Studios SXSW comiccon CBS 2019 crime drama doctor who comics Western HBO Max independent 2015 Pixar ID History cats ratings Grammys political drama GoT spain BBC America 2017 sitcom DC Universe CW Seed concert 99% Black History Month Amazon Prime Video jamie lee curtis golden globes romantic comedy archives scary movies batman die hard President Winners Mindy Kaling remakes TCM Martial Arts Best and Worst book Nominations child's play E3 RT History Masterpiece politics PBS Television Academy Film mutant Warner Bros. rt archives Holiday El Rey Sundance TV 2016 FOX Sundance space MCU Crackle disaster ghosts 24 frames venice Box Office BBC One tv talk VOD thriller DC Comics Pop cinemax HBO emmy awards Ovation First Reviews dragons Funimation Hear Us Out Reality GLAAD IFC Cartoon Network CBS All Access Television Critics Association dark Mystery cancelled television Polls and Games Year in Review Black Mirror finale zero dark thirty anime Freeform YA Tarantino Awards Tour WGN dramedy Drama award winner foreign The Arrangement 007 Acorn TV Disney Channel Trophy Talk french Disney+ Disney Plus Starz Women's History Month a nightmare on elm street halloween Rocketman satire Syfy Spike indiana jones Trivia Amazon Prime X-Men adventure Star Trek anthology twilight Quiz robots Pop TV name the review canceled TV shows spider-man Comedy Central Heroines FXX TCA 2017 cancelled TV shows The CW movie Country Schedule reviews Turner Captain marvel festivals Valentine's Day ESPN BBC Disney streaming service sequel screen actors guild stoner Food Network Christmas universal monsters canceled stop motion zombies New York Comic Con joker Elton John YouTube Premium binge spanish language Pet Sematary Interview Lifetime Christmas movies National Geographic Baby Yoda Action cartoon TruTV SDCC Mary Poppins Returns Cosplay war Emmy Nominations what to watch Fox Searchlight TV hist Superheroes Showtime Paramount San Diego Comic-Con Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romance zombie Tubi crime thriller WarnerMedia Writers Guild of America Teen halloween tv blaxploitation films Stephen King dogs Video Games Discovery Channel all-time kids Comedy Awards Nat Geo travel DirecTV Mary Tyler Moore ITV diversity worst Logo dc Animation Avengers Countdown 21st Century Fox 72 Emmy Awards PaleyFest Chernobyl free movies video on demand serial killer Marvel Studios GIFs Creative Arts Emmys Crunchyroll TLC Reality Competition Nickelodeon Paramount Network E! justice league game show casting Columbia Pictures Apple Rom-Com Emmys australia Rock true crime Disney Plus boxoffice YouTube Extras franchise Holidays Mary poppins Ellie Kemper sag awards crossover VICE ABC Family game of thrones SundanceTV richard e. Grant Fall TV hollywood FX Sundance Now Shondaland spinoff Watching Series werewolf obituary vampires docudrama singing competition Family best IFC Films Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Kids & Family TCA Awards 45 medical drama Lucasfilm PlayStation A&E Fox News laika blockbuster witnail animated Biopics Fantasy Film Festival versus nfl science fiction Tumblr Tomatazos NBC christmas movies Marvel Binge Guide Trailer cooking HBO Go Certified Fresh period drama james bond based on movie Sony Pictures BET transformers crime Sneak Peek VH1 classics sports nbcuniversal Horror 2020 unscripted TBS toronto Spring TV composers indie Hulu technology scorecard NYCC hispanic television Super Bowl Disney mission: impossible 4/20 Cannes Toys streaming cancelled superhero CMT Musicals Election Pride Month YouTube Red parents Netflix movies Dark Horse Comics Rocky LGBT USA Network Sci-Fi natural history Adult Swim Turner Classic Movies psycho Marathons black Esquire miniseries strong female leads TV renewals FX on Hulu discovery football Ghostbusters comic historical drama 2018 news deadpool directors Academy Awards criterion Hallmark theme song Set visit 20th Century Fox adaptation nature USA Amazon spanish children's TV toy story Thanksgiving quibi breaking bad revenge Winter TV Star Wars DGA Brie Larson Marvel Television Podcast MSNBC social media critics TNT Anna Paquin Spectrum Originals Britbox Apple TV+ Arrowverse green book chucky Apple TV Plus Bravo teaser Shudder south america Comics on TV Oscars rotten Hallmark Christmas movies Premiere Dates Superheroe The Witch The Walking Dead aliens supernatural Opinion japanese Peacock cults talk show TV Land spy thriller 71st Emmy Awards A24 RT21 cancelled TV series Classic Film dceu Summer APB Netflix Christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire Musical Universal First Look harry potter police drama worst movies BAFTA Pirates fast and furious TCA Winter 2020 Mudbound OWN