The 69 worst science fiction movies of all time, according to critics

Stoney CreekNicholas Cage in ‘Left Behind.’

At its worst, the science fiction genre can produce enjoyably bad or terribly unwatchable cinema.

The Metacritic data we compiled here to track the most critically panned sci-fi movies of all time finds contemporary eyesores like Netflix’s Will Smith-led “Bright” alongside older films like 1978’s “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!”

The apocalyptic allegory “Left Behind” makes two appearances on this list, once for its 2001 original and, lower down the list, for a 2014 remake starring Nicholas Cage.

The list consists of the lowest-rated movies on Metacritic’s site that feature a “sci-fi” tag.

Here are the 69 worst science fiction movies of all time, according to critics:


69. “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” (2015)

Paramount

Critic score: 29/100

User score: 3.5/10

What critics said: “A comedy that’s so witless and unfunny and shoddily made it makes ‘The Hangover 2’ look like ‘The Godfather 2.'” – Entertainment Weekly


68. “Aliens vs Predator – Requiem” (2007)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 29/100

User score: 4.4/10

What critics said: “A tasteless, witless, mindlessly perfunctory bloodbath that has the discourtesy to take itself seriously. Pitting aliens against predators may be the height of frivolity, but God forbid anyone have fun with it.” –The AV Club


67. “Alien vs. Predator” (2004)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 29/100

User score: 5.5/10

What critics said: “Take a wretched premise. Imagine the worst picture that could be made from it. Then imagine something even worse. That’s ‘Alien vs. Predator.'” –San Francisco Chronicle


66. “Bright” (2017)

Netflix

Critic score: 29/100

User score: 7.2/10

What critics said: “A gaudy, overstuffed piece of blockbuster trash.” – RogerEbert.com


65. “The Postman” (1997)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 29/100

User score: 6.7/10

What critics said: “What willful streak of perversity inspired Kevin Costner to take on this wacky tale of a letter carrier-turned-postapocalyptic hero?” – Entertainment Weekly


64. “Howard the Duck” (1986)

Universal

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 5.8/10

What critics said: “The story has no center; the duck is not likable, and the costly, overwrought, laser-filled special effects that conclude the movie are less impressive than a sparkler on a birthday cake.” – Chicago Tribune


63. “The Colony” (2013)

Image Entertainment

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 5.3/10

What critics said: “Greedily tries to cram every dystopian curse into one misbegotten plot, resulting in something wildly disjointed, even if its pieces arguably connect.” –Slant Magazine


62. “Timeline” (2003)

Paramount

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 4.3/10

What critics said: “‘Timeline’ gives ‘Gigli’ serious competition for worst film of the year honours.” –Miami Herald


61. “Batman & Robin” (1997)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 5.7/10

What critics said: “Like a wounded yeti, ‘Batman & Robin’ drags itself through icicle-heavy sets, dry-ice fog and choking jungle vines, before dying in a frozen heap.” –The Washington Post


60. “Highlander: The Final Dimension” (1995)

IAC Films

Critic score: 28/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “‘Highlander 3’ has an edge over its prequels in that it’s so shoddily directed that it’s probably a great deal of fun to watch after a couple of six-packs.” – Austin Chronicle


59. “The Divide” (2012)

Anchor Bay

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 6.5/10

What critics said: “We wait, from one cringe-inducing, hide-your-face-from-the-screen act after another, to see how much worse the behaviour will become.” –The New York Times


58. “Pandorum” (2009)

Overture Films

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 6.5/10

What critics said: “This is hackwork of the highest order, lacking in all poetry and barely comprehensible aurally or visually.” – Time Out


57. “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” (2011)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 28/100

User score: 5.7/10

What critics said: “Who’s the idiot responsible for this fiasco? You can’t blame the Tea Party, an organisation of 9 million that the film’s producers are exploiting to get butts into seats. There’s an object lesson in objectivism for you.” – Rolling Stone


56. “Hangar 10” (2014)

Newscope Films

Critic score: 28/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Misses nary a single cliché in its visually disorienting and narratively confusing proceedings. ” – The Hollywood Reporter


55. “Pixels” (2015)

Sony Pictures

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 5.1/10

What critics said: “For a movie that’s supposedly about delivering weightless, uncomplicated fun, ‘Pixels’ is an overwhelmingly sad experience.” – Salon


54. “Stranded” (2013)

RLJ Entertainment

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 2.5/10

What critics said: “A terminally stupid, monotonously unimaginative rehash of umpteen space-horror classics. ” – The Dissolve


53. “Transformers: The Last Knight” (2017)

Paramount Pictures

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 4.0/10

What critics said: “It is not so much lazy filmmaking as it is a very expensive middle finger to common sense and the basic concept of entertainment.” – The Globe and Mail


52. “Flatliners” (2017)

Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “I wish I could tell you they made a mistake and it’s not so bad, but, as Andy Kaufman’s Foreign Man would put it, ‘Ees so bad, ees terrible.'” – Vulture


51. “Gamer” (2009)

Lionsgate

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “A futuristic vomitorium of bosoms and bullets.” – The New York Times


50. “Pulse” (2006)

Dimension Films

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 8.4/10

What critics said: “Hideously ugly to look at and not even worth following.” – New York Daily News


49. “The Anomaly” (2015)

Anchor Bay

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 5.8/10

What critics said: “From its elaborate but incoherent premise to its clunkily staged time-freeze fight sequences, not one detail of ‘The Anomaly’ hasn’t been borrowed from a better movie.” – Variety


48. “Fantastic Four” (2015)

Fox

Critic score: 27/100

User score: 2.6/10

What critics said: “A lousy script, unfocused direction, incoherent editing, shockingly terrible special effects – and, probably, panicked studio executives – have left its four talented stars muddling through a dull superhero origin story with zero payoff.” – New York Post


47. “Babylon A.D.” (2008)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 4.6/10

What critics said: “A towering heap of nihilistic nonsense that plays like a cornball ‘Children of God.'” – The Hollywood Reporter


46. “Time Changer” (2002)

8X Entertainment

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 4.0/10

What critics said: “Not one of these new-fangled Christian movies that camouflages its proselytizing with decent storytelling and filmmaking technique. ‘Time Changer’ is clunky, repetitive, and ham-handed.” – Austin Chronicle


45. “Zoom” (2006)

Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 4.0/10

What critics said: “In a feat of dullness quite powerful in its own way, this lifeless family comedy sucks the joy from every joke it touches.” – Entertainment Weekly


44. “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human” (1999)

TriStar

Critic score: 26/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Belongs in the histrionic comedy genre, packed as it is with just plain silly situations that fail to elicit grins, much less guffaws.” – Austin Chronicle


43. “The Objective” (2009)

IFC Films

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 6.8/10

What critics said: “It plays like a disastrous Sci-Fi Channel castoff.” – LA Weekly


42. “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike” (2012)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 6.1/10

What critics said: “Budgetary constraints aside, director John Putch struggles to find balance or generate a single spark from the clunky mix of romance, political diatribe and thriller.” – Los Angeles Times


41. “Alien Outpost” (2015)

IFC Films

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 5.1/10

What critics said: “A sci-fi actioner with the production values of your average porno, ‘Alien Outpost’ spews clichés like a machine gun set on maximum triteness.” – New York Post


41. “Officer Downe” (2016)

Magnolia Pictures

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 5.0/10

What critics said: “Imagine Paul Verhoeven’s ‘RoboCop’ stripped of its politics, its wit, its humanity, and its craft, and that only gets halfway down the bottom of the barrel scraped by ‘Officer Downe,’ a hyper-aggressive and thoroughly repugnant piece of comic-book juvenalia.” – Variety


40. “Skyline” (2010)

Universal Pictures

Critic score: 26/100

User score: 3.3/10

What critics said: “A spasmodic and incoherent shambles hampered by an astoundingly stupid screenplay.” – The Hollywood Reporter


38. “The Diabolical” (2015)

Preferred Content

Critic score: 25/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “The sheer unadulterated inanity of these proceedings suggests that it will soon be teleported to the far corners of the B-movie streaming-video abyss. ” – Village Voice


37. “The One” (2001)

Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 25/100

User score: 7.2/10

What critics said: “The combo of cheesy effects and martial arts choreographer Cory Yuen’s unimaginative staging results in something that’s martial artless.” – Variety


36. “Jason X” (2002)

New Line Cinema

Critic score: 25/100

User score: 6.4/10

What critics said: “Despite the futuristic setting, which relies so heavily on GGI effects that it looks like a feature-length production concept painting, this film is painfully predictable.” – TV Guide Magazine


35. “Apollo 18” (2011)

Dimension Films

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 4.7/10

What critics said: “Has no thrills, no chills, no scares and contains a villain, or several of them, actually, that will turn you to stone — from boredom.” –New York Daily News


34. “A Sound of Thunder” (2005)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 3.3/10

What critics said: “This picture achieves a level of badness that is its own form of sublimity. You almost – please note that I said almost – have to see it to believe it.” – The New York Times


33. “Maximum Overdrive” (1986)

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 5.1/10

What critics said: “A loud, obnoxious, single-idea schlocker … There’s carnage galore, but minimal interest. King himself described it as a ‘wonderful moron picture’, and he was half-right.” – Time Out London


32. “Universal Soldier: The Return” (1999)

Sony Pictures

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 4.6/10

What critics said: “Devoid of personality and has an annoying gratuitous sentimental streak.” –Boston Globe


31. “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 2.5/10

What critics said: “More sluggish than a funeral barge, cheaper than a sale at K mart, it’s a nerd, it’s a shame, it’s ‘Superman IV.'” – The Washington Post


30. “Hollow Man” (2000)

Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 24/100

User score: 2.2/10

What critics said: “How can we make the entire movie disappear?” – Baltimore Sun


29. “Spark: A Space Tail” (2017)

Open Road Films

Critic score: 22/100

User score: 2.3/10

What critics said: “It’s hard to imagine that even the least demanding of tykes will ask for a second sampling of this thoroughly second-rate animated feature, which has all the charm, and twice the volume, of a barking dog.” – Variety


28. “Max Steel” (2016)

Open Road Films

Critic score: 22/100

User score: 2.7/10

What critics said: “As the stuntmen duke it out and we see close-ups of the two actors making silly faces, it’s hard not imagine a ‘Mystery Science Theatre 3000’ feature in the making.” – The Hollywood Reporter


27. “Congo” (1995)

Paramount

Critic score: 22/100

User score: 5.9/10

What critics said: “Jawdroppingly bad, this adaptation of Michael Crichton’s 1980 novel about a talking ape named Amy and a fabled lost city deep in the jungles of central Africa is as sophisticated in execution as a Jungle Jim movie.” – Austin Chronicle


26. “Left Behind” (2001)

TriStar

Critic score: 22/100

User score: 4.5/10

What critics said: “A slow-moving, dirt-dull narrative crammed with clunky expository dialogue and obscure Biblical references.” – New York Post


25. “Geostorm” (2017)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 21/100

User score: 4.0/10

What critics said: “A disastrous disaster movie that is actually quite low on the disasters to its own detriment.” – Entertainment Weekly


24. “Highlander: Endgame” (2000)

Dimension Films

Critic score: 21/100

User score: 5.6/10

What critics said: “Numbing.” –San Francisco Chronicle


23. “Wing Commander: Space Will Never Be the Same” (1999)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 21/100

User score: 4.1/10

What critics said: “The effects are laughably primitive, the dialogue hilariously atrocious — and those are the good parts.” – Entertainment Weekly


22. “Branded” (2012)

Roadside Attractions

Critic score: 20/100

User score: 7.8/10

What critics said: “‘Branded’ has ideas, but unfortunately, the ideas are reeking batsh-t nuts, especially once the cheaply animated ‘brand’ monsters, which might not actually exist, start flying around like Ghostbusters mistakes biting one another. You’ve been warned.” – Village Voice


21. “Virus” (1999)

Universal

Critic score: 19/100

User score: 2.3/10

What critics said: “95 minutes of unrelieved tedium.” – ReelViews


20. “The Lovers” (2015)

IFC

Critic score: 19/100

User score: 4.3/10

What critics said: “A shamelessly derivative and preposterous would-be blockbuster that goofily fashions itself as a sweeping romance, time-travel sci-fi tale, and gallant period piece all at once.” – Slant Magazine


19. “Species II” (1998)

MGM

Critic score: 19/100

User score: 1.3/10

What critics said: “Shoddily plotted and unimaginative, ‘Species II’ is a slapdash effort at best, creepily unaffecting and minus the T&A this sort of film so desperately hinges on.” – Austin Chronicle


18. “Supernova” (2000)

MGM

Critic score: 19/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “Apparently fallen victim to the transparent damage-control tactics of studios in possession of perceived stinkers.” – Village Voice


17. “Ultraviolet” (2006)

Screen Gems

Critic score: 18/100

User score: 2.8/10

What critics said: “Jovovich, who’s shown sensitivity in her dramatic work, looks spectacularly bored as she power-kicks her way through one bloody pile-up after another. That boredom, like the mystery virus at the center of the film, is contagious.” –Austin Chronicle


16. “The Darkest Hour” (2011)

Summit Entertainment

Critic score: 18/100

User score: 5.2/10

What critics said: “Really, how slovenly is it to use invisible aliens? If you’re going to tease us with nothing but pinwheels of light for three-quarters of the film, you’d better have one heck of a reveal up your sleeve.” –The New York Times


15. “Vice” (2015)

Lionsgate

Critic score: 17/100

User score: 1.6/10

What critics said: “Perversely low-budget and oddly devoid of imagination, ‘Vice’ seems less like a proper film than a bargain-basement SyFy pilot.” –The Dissolve


14. “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” (2009)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 17/100

User score: 3.3/10

What critics said: “Don’t be fooled by the low grade: This sequel-in-spirit to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1994 dud doesn’t even succeed in being memorably bad.” –Entertainment Weekly


13. “Andron” (2016)

Momentum Pictures

Critic score: 16/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Directed and scripted in boring, incoherent fashion by Francesco Cinquemani, Andron brings new meaning to the word ‘derivative.'” –The Hollywood Reporter


12. “Piranha Part Two: The Spawning” (1982)

Columbia Films

Critic score: 15/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “The special effects are awful (the piranhas are obviously hand puppets) and the script worse.” –TV Guide Magazine


11. “Left Behind” (2014)

Stoney Creek

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.6/10

What critics said: “This failed epic – really, an epic failure – would barely be noticed, were it not for former Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage taking on a ‘Sharknado’-quality remake of a Kirk Cameron movie.” –New York Daily News


10. “The Emoji Movie” (2017)

Sony

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.0/10

What critics said: “A work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.” – RogerEbert.com


9. “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “Cosmic slop.” – Boston Globe


8. “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997)

New Line Cinema

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 7.9/10

What critics said: “It’s cynical and it’s depressing, and I would lock a child in a room before I’d show him Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” –LA Weekly


7. “Zapped!” (1982)

Embassy Pictures

Critic score: 10/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “A C-grade movie all the way.” – The Washington Post


6. “Future World” (2018)

Lionsgate

Critic score: 10/100

User score: 2.7/10

What critics said: “A miserable, idiotic sci-fi trifle, threadbare in both the imaginative and production value categories. ” –The New York Times


5. “Saturn 3” (1980)

ITC

Critic score: 9/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “The best and perhaps only way to enjoy Saturn 3 is to pretend that you’re watching a ‘Saturday Night Live’ parody of Saturn 3.” – Newsweek


4. “Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000” (2000)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 2.0/10

What critics said: “A picture that will be hailed without controversy as the worst of its kind ever made.” – Slate


3. “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?” (2014)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “We get it, we get it: Capitalism is good, government is bad. But Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? is worse.” – Arizona Republic


2. “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!” (1978)

NAI Entertainment

Critic score: 9/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Self-conscious camp, the lowest artistic category known to man.” –Chicago Reader


1. “Baby Geniuses” (1999)

TriStar Pictures

Critic score: 6/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “Bad films are easy to make, but a film as unpleasant as ‘Baby Geniuses’ achieves a kind of grandeur.” – Chicago Sun-Times

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