Below, you’ll find 12 titles that earned a spot on our year-end round-up of streaming bombs either because they got terrible reviews or because they failed to connect with audiences.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the worst of 2022. And you don’t have to take our word or the word of critics. You can stream them all yourself, with links to each one.
Streaming flops of 2022
Let’s start with one of the biggest streaming flops from early in the year. The Bubble may even qualify as one of the worst movies on Netflix from any year. With a cool 21% on Rotten Tomatoes as I write this, it was a pretty unmitigated disaster for the streamer, despite an all-star cast and direction from Judd Apatow. The film is set during the early days of COVID-19, when the cast of a blockbuster franchise shoot a sequel while quarantining in a hotel, largely using greenscreen and motion-capture technology. While that premise sounds promising enough, the jokes fall flat and the pandemic gags just feel out of touch.
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.
Netflix takes up a lot of room on this list, which makes sense, as it puts out tons of titles each year. They can’t all be winners. A stay-at-home dad takes advantage of a weekend without the wife and kids to have a little me time and reconnect with an old buddy. Together, the two get up to some wild shenanigans that threaten to upend his life. It currently sits at 6% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ouch!
Deep Water may not have totally worked, but there’s a lot to appreciate in it. It’s one of those bombs that’s actually a lot of fun to watch and maybe the best streaming flop of 2022, if such a title can be bestowed on any movie. This erotic thriller (from erotic thriller master Adrian Lyne) sees a man suspected of foul play when his wife’s lovers start to go missing. Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas star. It’s dark and trashy in all the ways you want an erotic thriller to be, despite its poor showing among critics.
Hulu offers not only thousands of movies and TV shows to stream, it also has original shows and films like The Handmaid’s Tale. You can upgrade to Hulu Plus Live TV to get live channels, including your local stations.
The Marilyn Monroe semi-biopic was courting controversy long before it premiered on Netflix. Based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, the film takes major liberties with the pop icon’s life. Many found the film exploitative, despite praise for the starring performance by Ana de Armas. Whether the film taking creative liberties was warranted or exploitative, it generally fell flat, aiming high while mostly missing its target. While critics were divided and some love dit, most were unimpressed.
Technically not a streaming original, Firestarter did have a hybrid release, hitting Peacock the same day it came out in theaters. Sadly, the remake of the 80s classic, based on the novel by Stephen King, didn’t connect with critics or audiences. The story of a young girl who develops the ability to start fires with her mind was one of the biggest streaming flops of 2022. Despite its initial streaming release on Peacock, Firestarter is now on Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows to stream. That includes great original shows and movies like The Boys and The Tomorrow War. You can also sign up for other premium services within Amazon Prime Video.
With 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, Netflix’s Marmaduke may be the very biggest streaming flop of 2022. Based on the comic strip of the same name, the film about a mischievous dog was oddly lacking in humor, and many critics were quick to note that the animation looked just awful.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
2022 was a big year for legacyquels like Top Gun: Maverick. One that really didn’t land was Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Overwriting existing sequels, the film sees a new group of young folks encroaching on Leatherface’s territory, with the chainsaw-wielding killer going into attack mode. With a boring central story wrapped in a convoluted moral message, the film failed to tap into the brilliance of the original.
Not to be confused with the marvellous Pinocchio film on Netflix from Guillermo del Toro, one of the best films of 2022, Disney Plus’ “live-action” Pinocchio was pretty much dead on arrival. Eschewing a theatrical release despite the legendary Tom Hanks as Geppetto, the streaming original was a bland, reheated take on the Disney original. While the film was visually beautiful, it was largely rejected by critics as an unnecessary remake of a beloved classic.
Disney Plus offers thousands of TV episodes and movies from across the Disney library, including its Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel shows and films, along with exclusive TV series and movies.
Another theatrical release that got a same-day streaming release on Peacock, the final chapter in the new Halloween trilogy certainly had its defenders. Mostly, it was a disappointment, failing to live up to the promise of 2018’s Halloween. With a half-baked narrative and bizarre character beats, Halloween Ends was a weak end to an uneven franchise reboot.
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service offers a lot of great movies and TV shows to stream on demand, along with live news and sports. Best of all, you can watch lots of its content for free, or watch all of it with a paid subscription starting at just $4.99 a month.
The Gray Man
The Russo Brothers seemed like they had a hit on their hands with this spy thriller. With a terrific A-list cast and a fun premise, it should have been a sure thing. When a black ops CIA asset is burned by the agency, he wages a one-man war with his old employers. Instead of the high-octane popcorn movie that synopsis promises, we get a bland action flick with choppy set-pieces and every cliché recycled and stripped of all its fun. Reviews were mixed to negative. Even the good ones were a little underwhelming. Bad reviews don’t always mean failure, though. Whatever metrics it’s using, Netflix has seemingly declared The Gray Man a success, greenlighting a whole Gray Man streaming universe, with upcoming sequels and spin-offs already in the works.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever
After winning the Oscar for best picture last year with CODA, Apple TV Plus may have been riding a high of self-confidence going into 2022. The Greatest Beer Run Ever, directed by 2019’s best picture winner, Peter Farrelly, failed to deliver on that promise. In 1967, a man from New York seizes his chance to help with the Vietnam war effort the only way he knows how. By buying his buddies overseas a beer. Flying into a warzone with some cans of PBR, he gets to work tracking down the fellas from the neighborhood. This light premise fails to hit any of the right notes in its treatment of the war, and instead comes off as a tone-deaf sentimental snoozefest.
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has quickly become a major player in the streaming game since its launch in 2019. Its slate of original programming includes shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Foundation, and For All Mankind as well as movies like The Banker, Greyhound, and Palmer.
The Man From Toronto
Another Netflix miss, The Man from Toronto came and went pretty quietly. What could have been a Hitchcockian mistaken-identity comedy-thriller was instead lacking in both laughs and thrills despite a pretty stacked cast and fun premise about a man accidentally teaming up with an assassin following an Airbnb mixup.
Those are some of the biggest streaming flops of 2022. Were you excited for any big titles that didn’t meet your expectations this year? Let us know in the comments!