For a couple decades, Chris Columbus has been one of Hollywood’s most reliable family filmmakers. But you know what? Most family films are bad. And Columbus has made a lot of them.
15. Pixels (2015). Adam Sandler has been responsible for many awful films. This might possibly be the very worst. The movie, about an invasion of Earth by videogame characters, was based on a really fun short. Here’s the short — it’s less than three minutes long. You could watch it 33 times in a row, and it would still be shorter than Columbus’s film — and immeasurably more entertaining.
14. Bicentennial Man (1999). You know, I never saw this. Should I feel bad about that? Hmm, let’s see…
I’m going to say no.
13. I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009). I didn’t watch you either, Beth Cooper.
12. Home Alone (1990). I’ve spent my entire life convinced that this beloved Christmas staple is terrible. Macaulay Culkin is insufferable as Kevin. I, in fact, rooted for the robbers. Those stupid, stupid robbers.
11. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010). What if Harry Potter threw lightning bolts?
10. Heartbreak Hotel (1988). I didn’t see this. Roger Ebert did, though, andhe hated it: “We all know it’s bad manners to talk during a movie, but every once in a while a film comes along that positively requires the audience to shout helpful suggestions and lewd one-liners at the screen. Heartbreak Hotelis such a movie.”
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001). It was so cute watching fans of the books try to convince themselves that this movie wasn’t horrible. Still, give Columbus credit: He was right early on that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson could carry a franchise.
8. Rent (2005). A searing, era-defining drama gets turned into just another awards-bait film. This is better:
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). Better than Sorcerer’s Stone. Thank god Alfonso Cuarón made the third film and saved the franchise.
6. Only the Lonely (1991). The John Candy movie you don’t remember.
5. Stepmom (1998). What if Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon and cancer all starred in a movie together?
4. Nine Months (1995). In the mid-1990s, up-and-coming actress Julianne Moore was on a tear, starring in incredible movies like Short Cuts and Safe. You didn’t see those movies. You saw this one. What’s wrong with you?
3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
2. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). Don’t Tell Mom I’m Pretending to Be a British Nanny
1. Adventures in Babysitting (1987). His first film is still his best. It helps that he had the impossibly charming Elisabeth Shue as the put-upon babysitter, ably navigating through one crazy night with a group of annoying kids. Plus, it features the second-best cinematic use of “Then He Kissed Me” (behind Goodfellas, obviously).