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From Sooryavanshi, Annaatthe to Space Jam 2: Worst films from 2021 across all languages

There have been some great works of cinema in 2021, but there have also been far too many movies that objectively proved themselves as disappointments.

Devki Nehra, Sanjith Sidhardhan, Thinkal Menon, Pratibha Joy and Srivathsan Nadadhur
Dec 28, 2021

The year 2021 has been tough for the movie industry throughout the world with pandemic-mandated restrictions stalling productions, the loss of innumerable notable names to the virus, and the mass shuttering of theatres everywhere. Regardless of these very perilous times, filmmakers, actors, and technicians have managed to get work done and bring a much-needed dose of entertainment to big (and small) screens. There have been some great works of cinema, boasting stellar casts, crews and stories, but there have been far too many movies that objectively proved themselves as disappointments. Take a look at our list from across the board (we can assure you that it was a difficult task to do): 

6OTTplay Rating
Rohit Shetty returned to his cop universe with another action-comedy, this time featuring Akshay Kumar. Critics all over agreed that the film had nothing new to offer except the same old formulaic flavour oozing with machismo and absurdity.
Antim: The Final Truth
6.9OTTplay Rating
After Aayush Sharma failed to make an impressionable enough debut in LoveYatri, he was given the golden opportunity to flex his non-existing acting chops once again, thanks to brother-in-law Salman Khan. Neither actor was impressive enough in this testosterone-laden action drama.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai
1.6OTTplay Rating
No offence to Salman Khan, but it's time he tried backing off from his action hero/vigilante/saviour avatar and trying something new. And Bollywood also needs to move on from glorifying police brutality, especially during a time when there is an instance of violence at the hand of law enforcement every other day. Radhe, like many others, only tries to recycle the magic of Dabangg — unoriginal and lazy is what we'd call it.
Sardar Ka Grandson
4.3OTTplay Rating
When the trailer was first released, Sardar Ka Grandson seemed like it had a new story to tell. But all hopes of that soon dissipated. Neena Gupta is the only saving grace of this otherwise forgettable Netflix film.
The Girl On The Train
4.1OTTplay Rating
Remakes, as a rule, should be banned – there are so many things that get lost in translation. That's all we have to say about this film right here.
The Big Bull
6OTTplay Rating
It's unfair to pit Scam 1992 against The Big Bull solely because they focus on the same man ie Harshad Mehta. However, The Big Bull has the classic Bollywood problem of foregoing the essence of the story and giving more importance to the sensational, dramatic elements. Abhishek Bachchan is not all that bad, but honestly, would you voluntarily watch him in this or just rewatch Guru for the 20th time instead?
Bhuj: The Pride of India
5.1OTTplay Rating
Hindi cinema will pull no stops in deifying any story that involves a cop or a military person. These people deserve the importance, but there is a fine line between celebrating valour and showcasing blind nationalism onscreen. You don't even have to guess which category Bhuj falls in.
Hungama 2
2.8OTTplay Rating
After remakes, another thing we should leave behind in 2021 is sequels. Hungama 2 does not stand a chance against the 2003 Priyadarshan directorial Hungama. It relies on stale, innuendo-laden humour that has no place in our psyches anymore. Moreover, the film also ruined a great song 'Chura Ke Dil Mera'. Simply preposterous.
7.7OTTplay Rating
Shiddat tried to replicate the idea of a grand romance where the woman's consent is usually a secondary concern. Poor Sunny Kaushal really tries to be that dreamy heads-over-heels hero we have all loved to love, but the story just fails him.
4.7OTTplay Rating
After Stree charmed and scared the audience, expectations were high from Roohi, which is another Dinesh Vijan offering. The film tried to put forth a feminist stance, which didn't work especially with its faltering storytelling and dull performances.
Madam Chief Minister
4.6OTTplay Rating
It's always a pleasure to watch Richa Chadha in a film, just not in this one. Madam Chief Minister promised to show a Dalit woman's rise to power in politics in Uttar Pradesh, a story not dissimilar to Mayawati's. It was expected to see how her caste identity affected her journey, but that just took a backseat and the plot was no different from any hero-to-zero story.
Bell Bottom
6.4OTTplay Rating
Bell Bottom could have been a slick, gritty thriller; there was scope galore for the makers to creat something absolutely riveting, yet they succumbed to the safe, Hindi cinema masala formula.
Satyameva Jayate 2
4.5OTTplay Rating
Not one, not two, but three John Abrahams! We are still reeling from the after-effects of this unintelligible mess of a film.
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
6.5OTTplay Rating
Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas are the only reason to ever tune into this film, a lacklustre sequel to an average action comedy.
The Tomorrow War
6.4OTTplay Rating
Nothing special to see unless you want something to fill the silence in your room while you doomscroll on your phone.
Space Jam 2
4.5OTTplay Rating
Space Jam 2 will never be able to replace the cultural legacy of the original film - it's nothing but a feature length marketing gimmick. The only question that arises after watching this sequel is, 'Why does this exist?'
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
7.6OTTplay Rating
Another sequel we never asked for.
Munduvareda Adhyaya
5.7OTTplay Rating
This Kannada murder mystery, starring Adityaa in the lead, was panned by critics when it was released in theatres, following which the actor claimed that there was a personal vendetta at play against him and filed a complaint with the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, stating they were being unnecessarily harsh. Despite Adityaa’s claims of it being a well-made film, Munduvareda Adhyaya is a whodunnit that falls short on many counts.
8.6OTTplay Rating
When director Nagshekar announced his recent film, with the season’s hottest flavour, Darling Krishna in the lead, it was expected to be a wholesome romantic entertainer. The film, which followed a single mother’s attempt to bring a semblance of normalcy in her young child’s life, though was shoddily made and eventually did not have a coherent narrative, despite the promising premise.
6.8OTTplay Rating
The Samyuktha Menon-starrer, directed by VK Prakash, was supposed to be a thriller with a lot of twists, but the movie never quite takes off. And when it does, the twists lack logic. This tepid venture also doesn't make use of its talented cast featuring Samyuktha, Kishore and Nasser, and is among Prakash's worst directorial.
4.6OTTplay Rating
Even with a runtime of just over one and half hours, this Jayaraj romance between two terminally-ill cancer patients seem dragged out. Despite its potential for heart-tugging moments, the filmmaker doesn't quite conjure up the magic he has in his previous films and thus making for a rather flat, melodramatic attempt.
4.6OTTplay Rating
Though Mamta Mohandas' thriller is superbly shot, the movie's script is shallow, the characters and their intentions rather predictable. At a time when Mollywood thrillers are keeping the audience at the edge of their seats, Lalbagh - despite its fancy narrative structure - is a snooze fest with an ending that is neither clever nor novel.
6.4OTTplay Rating
This direct-to-OTT release, starring Karthik Ramakrishnan, is set in a vehicle as the character travels to deliver a packet but gets numerous calls along the way. The premise had so much potential, but amateurish directing and ordinary performances squander all of that, resulting in an unexciting, predictable drama that masquerades as a thriller.
4.7OTTplay Rating
One of the most-expected Tamil releases of the year, this Rajinikanth-starrer failed to meet the expectations, thanks to outdated story, lacklustre narration and predictable moments which are as old as hills. The film, which has been directed by Siva, is considered to be one of the biggest disappointments in Kollywood this year.
Aranmanai 3
4.1OTTplay Rating
The third installment of the successful Aranmanai franchise ended up as a humdrum fare because of lack of novelty in screenplay and making. The performances of actors in this star-studded movie were unconvincing, to say the least. Aranmanai 3 is directed by Sundar C.
Pon Manickavel
4.1OTTplay Rating
The whodunit, which has Prabhu Deva playing a cop for the first time, opened to negative reviews after its direct-to-OTT release a month ago. Directed by AC Mugil Chellappan, the film was panned by critics and the audience because of unengaging screenplay and weak character detailing.
Jagame Thandhiram
5.6OTTplay Rating
The Dhanush-starrer which had Karthik Subbaraj at the helm was one of the biggest Tamil movies of the year. The gangster flick had a direct-to-OTT release when theatres remained closed. The film opened to negative reviews because of the lack of a cohesive screenplay and unconvincing sequences.
4.6OTTplay Rating
Vasantha Balan's Jail was expected to be his comeback vehicle, but the film, which dealt with a serious topic like disaster resettlement, couldn't do justice to the subject. The generic approach towards the topic and lazily written screenplay made the movie an exhausting fare.
WWW - Who..Where..Why (Evaru Ekkada Enduku)
1.8OTTplay Rating
Despite a formidable director like KV Guhan at the helm and reliable performers like Adith Arun, Priyadarshi and Satyam Rajesh, the cyber thriller is barely tolerable. You can't decide what's worse - the poor script, the mediocre performances or the inept execution? Being the first computer screen thriller in Telugu cinema, WWW is a major disappointment and a lost opportunity.
Pelli SandaD
6OTTplay Rating
The staple family entertainer has hardly anything going for it apart from MM Keeravaani's terrific music score. The film, marketed as the sequel to actor Srikanth's 1996 hit Pelli Sandadi, stars his son Roshann and is stuck in a time warp, filled with inane humour, over the top performances and has a wafer thin plot. If there's a big mystery to 2021, it's about how this catastrophic film turned out to be a money spinner at the box office. Yet, that should by no means tempt you to watch it.
Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku
6.1OTTplay Rating
The ridiculous comic caper about a man who runs a saree business and ends up marrying three women makes you wonder why on earth had someone even backed it in the first place. The film sinks to newer lows by the minute. Sitting through it feels like an ordeal that you wouldn't want your worst enemy to deal with.

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