The 10 Worst Movies of 2008, Ranked

A whole 15 years ago, some of the best movies of the 21st century were released. The year was 2008, and it was an overall impressive one for cinema, thanks to blockbusters like the MCU-starting Iron Man and the iconic The Dark Knight. There were also animated classics like WALL-E and Kung Fu Panda, and some genuinely great awards contenders, too, most notably The Wrestler and Slumdog Millionaire.



But every year, you have to take the good with the bad, and now it’s time for the bad to get Taken (another 2008 release). Just as there were great movies that first saw the light of day 15-ish years ago now, so too are there some stinkers; certain ones are particularly stinky and infamous, while others have been generally forgotten. What follows are some of the worst movies of 2008, ranked below starting with the deficient and ending with the deplorable.

10 ‘Space Chimps’

Space Chimps - 2008
Image via 20th Century Fox

Space Chimps is one of those animated movies that kind of just came and went, being a forgotten movie that probably deserves to stay forgotten. It follows three chimps who are – you guessed it – sent into space, with their mission more specifically involving the trio exploring a seemingly empty planet for signs of alien life.

RELATED: The Worst Movies of 2004, Ranked

It has the kind of dumb humor, simplistic plot, and underwhelming everything else that one might expect from a kid’s movie that was made without much passion, and as such, maybe there’s an argument to be made that it’s too barebones to hate. Yet it deserves ridicule for the horrific character design it features, and the fact that it all feels so uninspired, as the best animated kid’s movies out there actually try to feature things that older viewers might also enjoy alongside the younger ones.

9 ‘10,000 BC’

Steven Strait as D'Leh in 10,000 BC

Roland Emmerich is a somewhat divisive filmmaker, and the quality of his work’s inconsistent. Sure, it’s easy to see why Independence Day has many fans, but within a couple of years of that movie, he also made 1998’s Godzilla, which is a film far from representative of the series at its best.

2008 saw Emmerich branch out from sci-fi and disaster movies, with him directing 10,000 BC, which centered on a young man in prehistoric times going from a mammoth hunter to the one person who stood a chance at saving his tribe from various threats. Regrettably, it also wasn’t very good at all, failing to deliver the spectacle such a premise could present if realized effectively, or even just competently.

8 ‘Jumper’

Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson as David and Millie looking at each other in 'Jumper'

If there’s anything nice to be said about Jumper, it’s that it at least had an intriguing premise, following a man who can teleport anywhere in the world instantly, and soon learns that others have the same gift. Also, “jumper” is a British word meaning “sweater,” so certain viewers who read the title of this 2008 sci-fi/adventure film might find themselves thinking nice, cozy thoughts.

Regrettably, an interesting premise (and some Samuel L. Jackson) is about where the good things end when it comes to Jumper, as it’s a pretty dull and lackluster movie. It wasn’t exactly well-received critically when it came out, and is one of those 2000s movies that most people seemed to forget about by the time the 2010s were well underway.

7 ‘Meet the Spartans’

A scene from Meet the Spartans
Image via 20th Century Fox

Even those who genuinely like the bombastic action epic that is 300 would have to agree it’s a movie that’s pretty easy to parody. It’s aggressively macho, intentionally over-the-top, and all executed with Zack Snyder’s signature stylistic touches, here including plenty of slow motion and a distinct look that oftentimes feels like a comic book come to life.

RELATED: The Worst Movies of 2000, Ranked

As such, meet Meet the Spartans, which aims to be a parody of 300 while also taking potshots at various other things that were popular in the mid to late 2000s. It might be interesting when watched today as a time capsule of sorts… for maybe five minutes, after which the general lack of filmmaking effort and repetitive, predictable jokes will surely start to become particularly tiring.

6 ‘Righteous Kill’

Righteous Kill - 2008
Image via Overture Films

You’d expect a movie starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to be good. In fact, the pair have a good track record, given they both appeared in The Godfather: Part II (one of the best sequels of all time), went head-to-head in the 1990s classic that was Heat, and then both starred in 2019’s The Irishman, which is one of Martin Scorsese’s most powerful films in a career filled with greatness.

But the other collaboration of theirs – 2008’s Righteous Kill – is anything but a classic. It’s a boring slog of a crime film that might call itself a thriller, even though it contains next to nothing that’s actually thrilling. It doesn’t even have the decency to be bad in a funny way, and as such, in the years since its release, it’s been righteously killed from the general public’s consciousness.

5 ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’

You Don't Mess With The Zohan

Everyone loves a good Adam Sandler movie (Punch-Drunk Love and Uncut Gems are particularly great), and many will tolerate a bad one or two. Unfortunately, his somewhat forgotten action/comedy from 2008, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, falls into the latter camp, as it’s pretty bad overall.

Sandler plays a counterterrorism agent from Israel who wants more than anything else to be a hairstylist in Manhattan, and so sets about trying to make his dream a reality. It’s a movie with just a couple of jokes at best, and given it runs for almost two hours, it burns through its amusing material pretty fast, eventually becoming something of a chore to finish.

4 ‘Bangkok Dangerous’

Bangkok Dangerous - 2008
Image via Lionsgate

Nicolas Cage can do over-the-top acting better than just about anyone else, but he’s unfortunately not unleashed to his full degree in Bangkok Dangerous. It’s a surprisingly dull action/crime film, and revolves around Cage’s character – an assassin named Joe – taking on a protégé who he trains in the art of murder.

RELATED: The Worst Movies of 1984, Ranked

It’s a movie that’s just sort of there, and fails to be exciting or even entertaining, which a thriller/action/crime movie kind of needs to do to at least some extent. The novelty of seeing Cage in a new setting might make this watchable to his most die-hard fans, but even they may begin to struggle with the film at a point, and it overall ranks as one of his worst movies to get a theatrical release (the really bad stuff tended to go straight to DVD or digital).

3 ‘The Happening’

A woman and a man stands next to each other in a field
Image via 20th Century Fox

Anyone wanting to see a somewhat decent movie about killer plants that pose a threat to the entire population should check out 1962’s flawed but endearing The Day of the Triffids. Anyone wanting to see something that’s not at all good while having a similar premise should check out The Happening, which is one of the funniest bad movies in recent memory.

M. Night Shyamalan movies tend to be genuinely good, or the interesting/fun kind of not very good, with The Happening falling into the latter camp. It’s filled with ridiculous dialogue, horror scenes that are far funnier than they are scary, and some very strange performances from much of its cast. It’s not good by any means, but watching it does make for a good time.

2 ‘The Hottie & The Nottie’

The Hottie and the Nottie

A movie with a terrible reputation that certainly precedes it, The Hottie & The Nottie is as bad as you’d expect a movie with that kind of title to be. It starred the divisive Paris Hilton (a big name in the 2000s), and was a mean-spirited romantic comedy about a young man being torn between one woman who’s hot, and one woman who, initially, is not.

That’s probably all one needs to know about The Hottie & The Nottie. It’s very much nottie worth checking out, even for those who are feeling deeply nostalgic for this kind of distinctly mid to late 2000s comedy. There are far better options out there, too.

1 ‘Disaster Movie’

Disaster Movie - 2008

While Disaster Movie wasn’t alone when it came to lazily written parody movies of the 2000s (the aforementioned Meet the Spartans came out the same year, after all), it’s often regarded as being the worst of the worst. It’s not even particularly concerned with being a parody of disaster movies, instead taking apart – with very little wit – the movies that dominated the box office in 2007/2008.

Jokes mostly consist of a recognizable character showing up, saying something stupid, and then getting hurt and/or killed in some over-the-top fashion. It goes on like this interminably, stringing together various skits that don’t tickle one’s funny bone so much as they violently break it in several places, causing one to never seek out a parody film again. At least it made the job of picking the worst movie of 2008 a lot simpler.

NEXT: The Worst Movies of 1999, Ranked

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *