These Are the Worst Movies Based on TV Shows (and the Best), According to Critics

Sex and the City 2’ (2010)


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Sex and the City 2’ (2010)

Bigger Screen, Less Love

Ahead of Netflix’s remake of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” one ardent Austenite said that the film’s writers deserved “jail time” for their editorial transgressions. No surprise there, as readers find books tend to be better than their adaptations and rabid fans are quick to judge. But what about TV shows adapted for the big screen? The story is much the same, as many adaptations crash and burn — or fade into oblivion — and fans of the original come away furious, bored, or both. We’ve put together a list of the worst TV spinoffs, according to reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. And in case you get too worked up over the worst picks, we’ve included some of critics’ favorite TV-to-film adaptations, too.

Related: The Worst Movies Ever Made, According to Critics

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’

Worst: ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’ (2003)

Rating: 41%

Quote: “The movie is constructed not so much of scenes, but of the poses that Charlie's Voguers throw as they preen and pout their way through a series of pop videos.” —London Evening Standard

The lowest-rated of the three “Charlie’s Angels” movies, this “full throttle” sequel is a plotless, over-edited, and forgetful comedy that abuses, as one critic writes, the “sex-laughs-action” formula that propels this adaptation. While not everyone hated it, fans of the Angels are better off sticking to the show's first film adaptation.

Related: 17 Beloved Classic TV Shows You Can Still Watch

The Beverly Hillbillies’

Worst: ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ (1993)

Rating: 24%

Critic Quote: “Here is a film with all of the wit of the road kill that supplies not one but two of the lesser jokes.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Based on the 1960s and ‘70s sitcom in which a poor family from the Ozarks moves to Beverly Hills, director Penelope Spheeris’ big-screen spinoff disappointed critics, especially given Spheeris’ success with “Wayne’s World” a year prior. “Imagine the dumbest half-hour sitcom you've ever seen, spin it out to 93 minutes by making it even more thin and shallow, and you have this movie,” Roger Ebert wrote in his half-star review.

Related: Most Popular TV Show the Year You Were Born

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’ (2004)

Worst: ‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’ (2004)

Rating: 22%

Critic Quote: “I think the future of the Republic may depend on young audiences seeing more movies like ‘Whale Rider’ and fewer movies like ‘Scooby-Doo 2,’ but then that's just me.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Even after the first live-action “Scooby-Doo’s” miserable reviews, Warner Bros. decided to drop $84 million on an even worse sequel. Although Matthew Lillard received some praise for his convincing portrayal of a goateed Shaggy, there’s not much here for anyone over the age of 10.

Related: 15 Movie Remakes That Are Better Than the Originals

‘Baywatch’ (2017)

Worst: ‘Baywatch’ (2017)

Rating: 17%

Critic Quote: “Here is a film so poor, so half-arsed, and so contemptuous of its audience, that it screws up one of the great, (previously) infallible tropes of contemporary cinema: the David Hasselhoff cameo.” —The Irish Times

Critics didn’t exactly love the source material, so the bar was already low for this 2017 remake. And how can you screw up a movie about big biceps, skimpy swimsuits, sunny beaches, and epic rescues? Despite its abundance of all the above, director Seth Gordon managed to make a mess of a movie. This R-rated raunch-fest is so bad and unfunny that even action superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t able to rescue the film’s terrible script.

Sex and the City 2’ (2010)

Worst: ‘Sex and the City 2’ (2010)

Rating: 16%

Critic Quote: “...You may be shocked at just how much older you feel when the whole thing is over.” —The New York Times

If sequels are bad, sequels of tired, unnecessary TV spin offs are insufferable. At least that seems to be the consensus when it comes to “Sex and the City 2,” a 147-minute slog full of inane jokes, like when Samantha calls her love interest “Lawrence of my labia.”

‘Dragonball Evolution’ (2009)

Worst: ‘Dragonball Evolution’ (2009)

Rating: 15%

Critic Quote: “... I am actually struggling to think of the last movie I thought was quite as bad as this one was.” —ScreenRant

Even after M. Night Shyamalan’s “Avatar” debacle, directors still haven’t learned their lesson: don’t make live-action versions of cherished animated series (unless you know what you’re doing). It rarely goes well, and “Dragonball Evolution” is a case in point. Fans who know the original will be disappointed, and less familiar viewers, like ScreeRant’s Ross Miller, will cringe at the corny dialogue and roll their eyes at the acting.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Worst: ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ (2005)

Rating: 14%

Critic Quote: “Jay Chandrasekhar's film seems to take pride in being as loud, obnoxious and moronic as humanly possible.” —BBC

With its racist jokes, Confederate flags, and blackface scene, it’s hard to imagine that studios would greenlight this movie today. That’s not to say that the original was much better, but Chandrasekhar's early 2000s update doesn’t even manage to be funny or exciting, save for a few car chase scenes.

‘The Avengers’ (1998)

Worst: ‘The Avengers’ (1998)

Rating: 5%

Critic Quote: “This ‘Avengers’ film is so horrendously, painfully and thoroughly awful, it gives other cinematic clunkers like ‘Ishtar’ and ‘Howard the Duck’ a good name.” —New York Daily News

Not to be confused with Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster, this spinoff is based on the 1960s British spy series. And with a bang-up cast featuring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, and Fiona Shaw, director Jeremiah S. Chechik must have done a lot wrong to make a mess of this movie — and make a mess he did. Critics panned the adaptation for its sloppy editing, a boring plot, and Fiennes' dreary, charmless performance.

The Last Airbender’

Worst: ‘The Last Airbender’ (2010)

Rating: 5%

Critic Quote:  “... A quite breathtakingly inept hodge-podge of vapid spirituality, playground chopsocky and visual effects that take 3D to an entirely new level: Zero-D.” —The Daily Telegraph

Acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan took a beloved animated series and utterly destroyed it with this dumpster fire of an adaptation. If it weren’t for the backward dialogue, abysmal 3D effects, and not-so-subtle racism, you might even feel bad for the director. Then again, he had $150 million, and yet he still managed to create this flaming pile of crud.

‘SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie” (2004)’

Best: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie” (2004)’

Rating: 68%

Critic Quote: “... It is a marvel of unleashed childishness, like a birthday party on the edge of spinning out of control.” —The New York Times 

Like “The Simpsons,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” has loyal, decades-long fans who continue to watch the absurd, wild, and sometimes controversial Nickelodeon series. And as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg went ahead and made a movie anyway, which, to many critics’ surprise, is surprisingly watchable thanks to its bright underwater animations and the titular sponge’s buoyant insouciance.

‘Jackass Forever’ (2022)

Best: ‘Jackass Forever’ (2022)

Rating: 86%

Critic Quote: “No matter how many degrees we've earned or how finely tuned our comedy sense is, there is something basely funny about a blindfolded guy getting kicked in the nuts by a donkey.” —Vox

If you’ve always wanted to see the hardest puncher in the world strike a defenseless man’s genitals, then you might like “Jackass Forever.” Since its MTV days in the early 2000s, the Jackass crew have endured many of these punishingly painful and revolting stunts — and (some) people love it. Critics have praised the franchise’s most recent installment for its camaraderie, nostalgia, and updated humor.

‘The Simpsons Movie’ (2007)

Best: ‘The Simpsons Movie’ (2007)

Rating: 87%

Critic Quote: “I watched the screen with my eyes darting all over the place, not wanting to miss a single sight-gag.” —The Guardian

We’re not sure how he pulled it off, but David Silverman managed to take one of the longest-running TV shows in history and make it into a fun, engrossing 90-minute comedy. It may be little more than an extended episode, but critics say it’s a joy to watch Homer and his pet pig save the world in this feature-length adaptation.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ (2022)

Best: ‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ (2022)

Rating: 87%

Critic Quote: “The ‘Bob’s Burgers Movie’ proves that more of the same is sometimes the very best thing.” —The Independent

Fans will be relieved to hear that critics say the new “Bob’s Burgers Movie” lives up to the show. The movie — Disney’s first hand-drawn animated release since 2011 — follows Bob and his family as they try to save their burger business after a giant sinkhole appears in front of their shop. While the film does have its share of callbacks, critics have praised the feature-length installment for its accessibility to newcomers.

Star Trek’ (2009)

Best: ‘Star Trek’ (2009)

Rating: 94%

Critic Quote: “... You needn’t know the secret handshakes or utter the Vulcan blessing ‘live long and prosper’ to gain admission to, and enjoy, summer’s first thrill ride.” —Denver Post

The press loved J.J. Abrams’ take on the Star Trek franchise, in large part because he made its sometimes opaque and arcane world accessible to a wider audience. The film also won Best Makeup at the Academy Awards, the only Star Trek movie (out of 13) to ever receive an Oscar.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail’

Best: ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975)

Rating: 97%

Critic Quote: “So unnecessarily gorgeous, there are moments where it feels like Tarkovsky with drag and farting.” —Time Out

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” may be director Terry Gilliam’s magnum opus. Of course, we love the Knights Who Say Ni and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, but it's the epic cinematography and soundtrack that elevate this 90-minute comedy to a genre-defining art piece.

‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’

Best: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (2018)

Rating: 97%

Critic Quote: “Much like its ageless star, the Mission: Impossible series shows no signs of running out of either breath or gas (laughing or high-octane) six movies in.” —Entertainment Weekly

Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” has fully eclipsed the original 1960s and ‘70s show of the same name. The franchise’s most recent iteration, “Fallout,” made the list of many critics’ top 10 lists in 2018, making it the most acclaimed “Mission: Impossible” film yet. And more is to come: Paramount has a two-part film planned for 2023 and 2024.