Given its middling reviews, Sonic fits in a long trend of poorly received video game movies. From the early days of Super Mario Bros. and Double Dragon to recent busts such as Warcraft and Assassin's Creed, we've ranked the worst video game movies ever released based on their scores from CNET sister site Metacritic. (When a Metascore isn't available or two movies are tied, we rank via their Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb scores.)
New Line Cinema
41. Mortal Kombat (1995)
When it comes to video game movies, Paul W. S. Anderson's Mortal Kombat is the best of the worst.
Says Kim Newman of Empire in the review: "The filmmakers try to solve the problem of turning an experience which merely consists of a series of fights into a story by... ignoring it, presenting a film which merely consists of a series of fights."
"The two leads are not inspired," said Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Jake Gyllenhaal could make the cover of a muscle mag, but he plays Dastan as if harboring Spider-Man's doubts and insecurities. I recall Gemma Arterton (who plays Tamina) as a gorgeous still photo in a cosmetics ad."
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the final installment in the six-part Resident Evil saga, was the best one received by critics -- perhaps in part because the series was finally over?
Says Michael Nordine of The Wrap: "For the first time, the story supports and adds to the action rather than distract from it; it's almost as though Anderson was holding back in the earlier films because he wanted to save the best for last."
This Alicia Vikander-led reboot failed to wow the critics. CNET's Richard Trenholm says Vikander "deserves better" and likened the first half of Tomb Raider to an in-game cutscene you'd prefer to skip.
Says Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal: "Ms. Vikander has leapt into the void of a franchise reboot, based on a video-game reboot, that generates no joy, makes negligible sense, and seals its own tomb with a climax of perfect absurdity."
Originally due in theaters in 2019, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was delayed to 2020 due to significant backlash over the popular Sega character's creepy, toothy design. But while the movie looks great visually, critics panned the hokey script.
"It's a shame Sonic the Hedgehog's forgettable jokes don't live up to its visuals, but it's a decent cinematic start for the blue blur," writes CNET's Sean Keane in his Sonic the Hedgehog review.
According to CNET's Richard Trenholm, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Rampage hardly lives up to its name... or its source material.
"The fun of the opening act gives way to a turgid, noisy and repetitive battle through city streets," he says. "For a movie based on a video game about giant animals chomping on fighter planes, it's surprisingly un-epic."
What happens when you try to stretch a wildly popular mobile game into a family-friendly big screen experience? Nothing good, according to GameSpot's Justin Haywald.
"The Angry Birds movie is not funny," says Haywald. "Angry Birds is instead, an unintentional copy of the mobile game it's based on: a short, forgettable time-waster."
Metacritic Metascore: 43 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
33. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
This sequel to the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider sees our heroine, played by Angelina Jolie, uncover the mystery of a real-life Pandora's box.
Like the mythical box, this film is best left untouched.
"It wouldn't be fair to gripe about the hundreds of plot holes," states Michael Atkinson of the Village Voice. "The whole thing is hole."
Metacritic Metascore: 43 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
32. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
This third installment in the Resident Evil film series, starring Milla Jovovich as Alice and Ali Larter as Claire Redfield, is an improvement over the "silly second installment," according to Empire's Helen O'Hara. Still, that's not enough to make it a good movie.
"Unfortunately, the new pic never really reaches maximum velocity as a full-throttle action-adventure opus, despite game efforts by returning star Milla Jovovich," adds Variety's Joe Leydon.
Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth movie in the zombie saga, sees Milla Jovovich's Alice escaping from an underwater Umbrella facility in Northern Russia.
"Funny about retribution, though," says Tom Russo of the Boston Globe, "it's a tricky thing to make time for when you've still got mutant zombie hordes after you. The real premise turns out to be a busy rehash of the first movie's story line."
Metacritic Metascore: 39 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
30. Need for Speed (2014)
Need for Speed proved that you can definitely make a movie out of a racing game. Sadly, it does little to prove that you should.
"The cars are hot, the action is decent," starts Total Film's James Mottram, "but the characters and plot need a serious tune-up."
Metacritic Metascore: 39 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
29. DOA: Dead or Alive (2007)
There's no shortage of skin in this movie, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's played the fighting game series. That didn't help with critics or at the box office, though.
"Free of blood, bruises and visible trauma, DOA revels in its fakery," writes Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times. "And though the film presents more exuberant female flesh than hiring day at Hooters, it's strictly for titillation."
Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth film in the Resident Evil sextet (and the first to be filmed in 3D), sees Alice travel the Pacific from Alaska to Los Angeles to Tokyo, albeit in more clothes than its reviewers were expecting.
"This witless installment features the usual ultra-slow-motion mayhem and helpful freeze-frames to allow us to admire the extra dimension," says Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times. "Fans will not be happy, however, to learn that Ms. Jovovich is more decently clothed this time around."
While the Assassin's Creed games are set mainly in the past, this movie is set largely in the present. And it turns out that the switch doesn't make for a great watch.
"It's hard to recommend this film unless you're willing to put up with a lot of sloppy plot development for a few genuinely good action scenes," writes GameSpot's Tony Wilson in his Assassin's Creed movie review.
26. Pokemon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back! (1999)
Is it any surprise that the first Pokemon movie released in theaters is the best of the bunch? It's a "long-form episode of a show better digested in 22-minute segments," says the SF Examiner's Wesley Morris.
Metacritic Metascore: 35 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
20th Century Studios
25. Hitman (2007)
This flick about an elite assassin doesn't skimp on the gore, but it otherwise fails to capture any of the excitement of the well-reviewed game it's based on.
Says Jack Mathews of the Daily News: "[Timothy] Olyphant, affecting Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry voice, is about as menacing as Mr. Clean, and the action scenes -- whether the weapons are fists, feet, swords or guns -- fly past without any tension or suspense. Hitman is a miss."
Metacritic Metascore: 35 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Sony Pictures Releasing
24. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
This second film in the Resident Evil series, set in post-outbreak Raccoon City, was absolutely demolished by critics.
"An utterly meaningless waste of time," laments Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times about Resident Evil: Apocalypse. "It is a dead zone, a film without interest, wit, imagination or even entertaining violence and special effects."
Doom is a cautionary tale of what "not to do" when making a video game movie (or so says its star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson).
"We don't need a discussion of plot in a review of a movie made from a video game, do we?" asked Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer. "Nor do we care whether the characters are complicated (no), the acting is sophisticated (no), the direction is competent (no) or the camerawork is clever (no)."
Well, it's now official: There are six Resident Evil movies, and every single one of them made this list. And according to critics, the first of them all is also the worst of them all.
Still, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times found something to like. "The movie is 'Dawn of the Dead' crossed with John Carpenter's 'Ghosts of Mars,' with zombies not as ghoulish as the first and trains not as big as the second. The movie does however have Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez."
Making nearly $275 million at the box office, it's hard to argue that Lara Croft: Tomb Raider isn't a hit. Reviewers weren't as happy with it, though.
"The opportunity to give (Angelina) Jolie the room to swagger like the 'Charlie's Angels' or 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' ladies is utterly squandered, and a video game franchise that might've resulted in a hoot of a film -- has been blown to dust," writes Shawn Levy of The Oregonian.
Warcraft, based on the epic Blizzard Entertainment franchise that's still going strong, was a hit with audiences in China. It's actually one of the highest-grossing video game adaptations of all time. It wasn't well received in the United States, however.
"No, Warcraft isn't a ridiculous mess; it holds together on its own musclebound terms," says Kyle Smith of the New York Post. "It's a real movie, just not a good one."
Based on the psychological horror game of the same name, Silent Hill is a tale about an abandoned town with a connection to a hellish dimension. The 1999 PlayStation game is great, but the movie is not.
"Silent Hill has plenty of bad acting, bad dialogue and a confusing plot," complains Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle, "all of which become exponentially more painful when the movie goes on forever."
Metacritic Metascore: 31 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 31%
20th Century Studios
19. Max Payne (2008)
Not even the star power of Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis could save this anti-hero cop flick from being savaged by critics.
"What kills Max Payne is that the characters think and feel in slow motion," explains Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun. "Half the time, mentally, they're just running in place."
Metacritic Metascore: 31 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
17. Ratchet and Clank (2016)
This film's star-studded voice-acting cast (including Sylvester Stallone, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson and Paul Giamatti) drew plenty of hate from critics, who panned the movie's lazy writing and obsession with guns.
GameSpot's Mike Mahardy says that despite all the travel in Ratchet and Clank, the movie "never seems to take us anywhere."
The second Pokemon film released in the US was adored by Pokemon-obsessed kids, but adult movie critics just didn't get it.
Says Desson Thomson of The Washington Post: "Avoid this movie unless a) your child has refused to eat until you take him or her, or b) your house is being fumigated to kill an infestation of mosquitoes with the West Nile virus."
Metacritic Metascore: 28 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
15. Super Mario Bros. (1993)
The connections between this movie and the Super Mario Bros. series feel all wrong -- its world is more gray than colorful, it's a bit too "adult" and President Koopa is a human (Dennis Hopper).
This Uwe Boll-directed film (uh oh) starts with a "funny" take on the September 11 attacks (no, please), meanders through an amusement park where women are wearing bikinis and Hitler mustaches (what in the actual hell), and ends with George W. Bush launching nukes against China and Pakistan (really).
"Poorly framed, tone-deaf, and nonsensical (yet still Boll's best!)," says Aaron Hillis of the Village Voice.
Boll's attempt to make a sequel to Postal via a Kickstarter campaign fell flat in 2013, raising less than $30,000.
Though this sequel to Silent Hill starred Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harington and made money at the box office, reviewers were disappointed in the acting, plot, scares and the implementation of 3D effects.
"Silent Hill: Revelation fundamentally misunderstands the appeal of its source material," says Claum Marsh of Slant.
4. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)
Another Uwe Boll-directed bomb (his work on it earned him the Razzie for worst director), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale features disappointing performances from Jason Statham, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds as they try to make sense of a terrible script.
The Globe and Mail's Rick Groen slammed the film: "Is this movie so god-awful bad that it's hilariously good? Can't be bothered deciding. Figure that's an answer in itself."
Metacritic Metascore: 15 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 4% IMDB: 3.8/10
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
3. House of the Dead (2003)
If you're a fan of "poorly choreographed gunplay, many lovingly rendered head explosions, and some half-assed exposition about centuries-old, immortality-seeking pirates," says Keith Phipps of AV Club, then this Uwe Boll film is totally for you.
Says David Grove of Film Threat: "Here's a would-be horror film that contains not one ounce of professional pride in its making, not one shred of technical competence. This is one of the worst films of recent times."
Metacritic Metascore: 15 of out 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 4% IMDB: 2.0/10
It should probably come as no surprise that this truly terrible Christian Slater-led film adaptation -- the worst video game movie of all time -- is directed by the king of bad movie adaptations, Uwe Boll.
Blair Erickson, the writer of the original Alone in the Dark script, said this to Somethingawful.com: "Thankfully Dr. Boll was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, "Matrix" slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening back story scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews."
Metacritic Metascore: 9 out of 100 Rotten Tomatoes: 1%