The Worst R-Rated Movies of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Movies rated R under the system devised by the Motion Picture Association of America have a lot of leeway to show explicit sexual activity, and are almost unfettered in their depiction of violence. Many times, filmmakers abuse that latitude and the results are cringeworthy clunkers. (These, on the other hand, are the best R-rated movies of all time.)

To determine the worst R-rated movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of April 2023, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies with at least 10,000 user votes on IMDb and 10 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were considered. Cast and director credits are from IMDb.

Among the movies on our R-rated misfire list are sequels, some of which followed box-office successes. “Basic Instinct,” starring Sharon Stone, grossed more than $352 million worldwide; Stone might have regretted making the sequel, “Basic Instinct 2,” which managed less than $39 million. The original “Escape Plan” brought together action-movie stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and earned a 50% score from Rotten Tomatoes critics and a 55% score from audiences. The sequels, with Stallone but not Schwarzenegger, disappointed both groups: “Escape Plan 2: Hades” got an 8% rating from critics, 14% from the public, while “Escape Plan: The Extractors” had an 11% audience score and was no ignored by critics that its score is non-existent. (These are the worst movies from every major franchise.)

Horror movies, which often walk a fine line between horror and hilarity, chalked up a number of losers on our list, among them “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” “The Gallows,” and “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.”   

German director Uwe Boll, whose movies routinely end up on dreadful-film tallies, has three of the four worst R-rated flicks listed here, including the single worst one of all – 2003’s “House of the Dead.”. 

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