The most disappointing movies of 2019 so far

Dragged Across Concrete dir. S Craig Zahler 2018

It's shaping up to be a great year, but here are the most disappointing movies of 2019 so far.

We're almost halfway through the cinematic year and it's time to discuss the most disappointing movies of 2019 so far. Now, this is is by no means a way to deter anyone from seeing these films, not at all. These have all struck a chord with certain viewers, but they've also been rather divisive. Personally, some of the titles here have failed to hit the mark considerably, whereas others have actually been quite good, it's just they perhaps had the potential to be far greater. 

To begin with, it's worth saying that we've had a phenomenal year so far, with such incredible films as Avengers: Endgame, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, Mid90s, An Elephant Sitting Still, Under the Silver Lake, Burning and many more. As you'll be aware, some of these were actually released in 2018, so here we'll account for films released in UK cinemas this year. So, without further delay, let's discuss the most disappointing movies of 2019 so far, beginning with Pet Sematary

Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer's (Starry Eyes) adaptation of Stephen King's 1983 novel didn't seem like such a big deal at first, but once the trailer arrived, the horror community predicted this could be the treatment the source material deserved.

It had previously been adapted by Mary Lambert in 1989, of which has gradually cemented a relative cult following over the years. It's become rather dated, so it seemed ripe for a modern makeover, but sadly, the script was a little too shoddy, there was no sense of dread and the last act failed to deliver any satisfying resolution, or perhaps worse, any scares. 

Next, we have Neil Marshall's Hellboy, which has widely been considered a failure in every respect. The Academy Award-winning Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) had previously helmed two adaptations starring Ron Perlman, but instead of the desired third instalment, fans received a reboot.

Although Marshall has helmed such effective horror efforts as The Descent and Dog Soldiers, his latest failed to please critics or audiences, and both been very vocal in exploring the film's many questionable decisions, of which extend from narrative to visual effects. 

Both of these have been largely debated, so to mix things up, these next two have received far more praise. Personally, they're actually worth checking out (if you haven't already), but perhaps expectations weren't met thanks to the strength of their work prior.

First up, we have Jordan Peele's Us. It was never going to be an easy task following up the overwhelming success of 2017's Get Out, and in this respect, his sophomore effort can be considered a roaring success. So, what's the issue?

Again, we have another winning blend of social commentary, genre elements and satire, except this time Peele didn't quite stick the landing. Up until the final act, this was terrific, but when it comes to offering audiences resolution and explanation, its observations aren't concise or specific enough to resonate as much as Get Out's twisted reveal. Nevertheless, Us is a satisfying horror-comedy; it just could have been much more. 

Continuing on, If we're talking Netflix originals, the year's most disappointing so far would have to be Velvet Buzzsaw. Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler provided biting and effective insight into an industry back in 2014, but his exploration of the art world simply fails to expand beyond irritable caricature. The oddball, B-movie premise definitely had potential, but the execution comes across as far too confused to be enjoyable. 

To conclude our list of the most disappointing movies of 2019 so far, it's worth noting S. Craig Zahler's Dragged Across Concrete. Much like Peele's Us, Zahler's third directorial feature is by no means a bad film; in fact, it's a pretty interesting piece of work that many have adored.

It's certainly worthy of discussion, but upon first viewing, this is a film which pales in comparison to his prior efforts. Both Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 are incredibly effective genre films, tackling the western and the prison movie respectively. 

With Concrete, the filmmaker confronts a very different kind of beast - the heist picture. There's clear inspiration from such modern classics as Michael Mann's Heat, but this still feels distinctive of Zahler at this point. Perhaps the issue is that this has come far too soon in his career. Upon evaluation, it doesn't really feel like he made the most of the project's ambitious runtime, and perhaps he was getting a little ahead of himself too early into the game.

It's a very accomplished film on paper, but there's something underwhelming about this one which has stopped some of his adoring fans from truly appreciating it. Hopefully, this is a film which - unlike Bone and Brawl - requires multiple viewings and much more thought. Let's hope so!

In other news, is Alexandre Aja's Crawl worth the price of admission?

Have something to tell us about this article?