A lot of movies get made over the years, and because of the rise in technology and of film lovers, we have no shortage of both reviews and reviewers. Many times, it can save us an agonizing trip to the theater so we don’t see cinematic tragedies like Norm of the North. These online bloggers and critics often have a devout following and are generally respected among the Internet community.
In most instances, these critics are correct about the movies they watch. While the appropriate scores that are given could definitely be argued, it gives the reader a good idea of what to expect. If it’s a bad movie, I expect it to get a low score and so on.
But have you ever gone into a theater, watched a movie, enjoyed it, then found out that audiences and reviewers trashed the crap out of it? I sure have. Because reviewers are human, they will not get a movie review right every time. As a matter of fact, there were many situations where a film simply came out at the wrong time, was misunderstood, or even hated because of who was in it. This has resulted in some great franchises actually being scrapped because their movies weren’t received well enough. It’s tragic.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen this happen more times than I can count on my fingers and toes, so here are 20 movies that deserve a second chance, were unfairly burned by fans and critics alike, or just didn’t do as well as they should have.
20. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man was a controversial film with more reviews edging toward the positive. The writers seemed to be taking Spidey to his more humorous roots as opposed to the cryfest that was Tobey Maguire. After seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I was floored. Spider-Man was true to form, the action was off the charts, and the final scene with Gwen made my heart stop. Then I came to figure out that everybody hated the movie. Did we even watch the same thing? It got way less credit than it deserved. Max Dillon was understandably insane, Dane Dehaan was a creepy Green Goblin, and having Rhino only appear briefly was a great choice. Some superheroes don’t deserve an entire movie of antagonist delinquencies.
19. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Every Star Wars and movie fan loves bashing the Star Wars prequels. Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely see why. However, I think as movies on their own, they’re not that bad. Revenge of the Sith was easily the best out of the three, opening with a beautiful action sequence. Obi Wan’s battle with General Grievous was fun to watch, and the ending scene between Anakin and his mentor was incredibly heartbreaking. Then, we finally got to see Darth Vader put on the helmet for the first time.
18. The Hobbit Trilogy
While I will admit that The Hobbit Trilogy doesn’t live up to The Lord of the Rings, they are far from awful movies. People love to hate on them, but again, I don’t really see what they’re seeing. Yes, there was overuse of CGI, but there were also a lot of things that worked. The scenes with Gollum and Smaug were delightful, and the movies also did a great job at giving much more context to Middle-Earth – something LOTR lacked. Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen both did phenomenal jobs in their roles as well. These movies are not perfect, by any means, but they have plenty of great things to keep them good.
17. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Please don’t misunderstand me. I despise the Transformers movies, and nearly anything that Michael Bay is attached to. That being said, the third entry in the Transformers franchise actually corrected a lot of the mistakes that were brought on by the previous two. It had no Megan Fox, a lot of the racial slurs were gone, and the plot that pitted the two Primes against one another was actually quite interesting. It’s still a bad movie in my mind, but it’s not nearly as bad as everybody claims it is. And it was nice to see a full out war instead of a few battles here and there.
16. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Whereas the recent Fantastic Four movie was irredeemable, the two made in the early 2000’s aren’t. Sure Rise of the Silver Surfer was slightly campy, but there was some impressive work done on screen to make that film happen. The title character was true to form, and looked like he was ripped straight out of a comic book. Sure, it had that weird space cloud that was supposed to be Galactus, but they were trying to appeal to modern audiences. I mean, have you seen what Galactus looks like? Do you really believe that people wouldn’t have seen that as cheesy at all?
15. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
This movie came out years ago, back when everyone was still raving about the success of The Lord of the Rings. With Walden Media wanting to make a great trilogy, it was decided that C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series would make its way to the big screen. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was met with generally positive reviews, but that’s not why it’s on this list. Because of its terrible follow ups, Prince Caspian, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it became long forgotten as the good first entry in a line of bad movies.
14. Edge of Tomorrow
In 2014, producers and directors were beginning to run out of ideas for new movies to be made. All we really see nowadays are remakes, reboots, sequels, and adaptations of popular or well-known stories. The makers of Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live, Die, Repeat), realizing this, made a film based on a Japanese graphic novel that not many people had ever even heard of. Of course, they changed the source material a lot to resonate more with modern audiences, and the result was a fun, innovative kind of film. Applying the “respawn” that is a staple of video games gave the movie an interesting twist. Sadly, it wasn’t received too well and sits dormant in the dusty box of failed franchises.
13. Super Mario Bros.
Again, another example of a supposedly terrible film. However, I do not believe it is as bad as everybody says it is. It was just improperly named. Had the film not been based on Super Mario Bros., it would’ve been received much better. On top of that, it was an interesting take on the video game franchise. Not to mention that Bob Hoskins explaining that his first and last names were both Mario is one of the funniest scenes in the entire picture. If you can’t laugh at that, then you really don’t have a soul.
12. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Does it live up to the hype and adventure of the previous trilogy? No. Is it as terrible as everybody says it is? No. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in a lot of ways, did what it set out to do. It showed Indy decades after retirement, introduced his son, and finally gave him a love interest he could stay with for the rest of his life. Sure the effects weren’t very good, and the whole spaceship thing was dumb, but it brought Indiana Jones to a new generation.
11. The Visit
M. Night Shymalan is no stranger to creating bad films. And after abysmal productions like The Last Airbender and After Earth, audiences were glad to know that his next project would be a return to form. The resulting horror-ish film, The Visit, was a hilarious, thoughtful, and tense adventure that put audiences at the edge of their seats near the very end. It has that typical twist you would expect from a Shyamalan film, and luckily, it more than delivered. Unfortunately, viewers were split down the middle, either loving it, or hating its guts.
When I first saw Megamind, I was enamored with it immediately. Taking a mocking tone at the tale of Superman while incorporating some intelligent humor seemed like a formula for success. For some reason, however, it dropped off of the face of the earth. Nobody really talks about this movie anymore, which is incredibly disappointing. It used old songs effectively in its soundtrack before Guardians of the Galaxy did. No sequels were planned, and this one will forever remain solely in the minds of avid movie lovers.
9. Dredd (2012)
The first films centered around Judge Dredd were pretty terrible. However, the 2012 reboot of the character and franchise was not. They didn’t spend anytime familiarizing us with the man under the mask, instead opting to show only Dredd. It had an impressive combination of visual and practical effects, and performances from the cast were all spot- on. However, it only made around $35 million worldwide, and critics burned it for not having any of the humor that is so present in the original comics. Looks like Dredd was wrongfully convicted.
8. The Mummy (1999)
Brendan Fraser is not a very good actor these days, but he was fantastic back in the day. My favorite film of his was definitely the 1999 remake of the classic The Mummy. It has great effects and a powerful blend of action and horror. It’s incredibly poignant in my mind. For some reason, however, it’s sitting pretty on some bad reviews. I personally fail to see why. The actors’ performances were all just fine. It didn’t deserve all the hate that it got.
7. The Incredible Hulk
It seems interesting how Marvel has treated The Incredible Hulk. It seemed as if after it was made, they kind of forgot that it ever existed, mostly due to the change in actors from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo, and that the movie wasn’t received very well. While it may not be as good as say Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Incredible Hulk still had some impressive CGI work, and a much more fun Hulk than what we’re stuck with now in the Avengers films.
6. The Village
Yet another M. Night Shyamalan film on the list. Shyamalan had an impressive track record up until this point (with the exception of Signs). The Village is essentially what started his fall from grace. People mostly burned it for the plot twist not being what they wanted, but isn’t that the point of plot twists? Because of the twist, The Village was horribly misunderstood and Shyamalan paid the price. He was forced to work on other projects like The Last Airbender, and we all know how that one turned out.
5. The Lone Ranger
When this movie got all those bad reviews, I lost a lot of excitement for it. Then I saw the film and didn’t really understand why all those bad reviews were there in the first place. The Lone Ranger was full of superb Western action filled with bandits, horses, and Johnny Depp. Depp steals the show with every scene he’s in, and the train sequence was one of the best in any film I’ve ever seen. It’s not a Pirates of the Caribbean by any means, but it still deserves more attention.
Shyamalan, Shyamalan, Shyamalan. I feel kind of bad for the guy. The movies that he makes are very unique, but the rest of the public can’t really see his thought process. Signs is a prime example. Granted, it’s probably a film you have to watch twice to really see what’s going on with the screenplay, but nearly everything has a double meaning. The visual and mental pictures that are being given from start to finish are beautifully thoughtful. The only point of criticism I can give it is how the aliens, who are weakened by water, came to Earth, a planet made up almost entirely of water.
3. Treasure Planet
The early 2000s was essentially a step back for Disney. Their movies weren’t as good as the likes of Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t any diamonds in the rough. Treasure Planet was a new idea for them. None of the characters broke out in song and they blended 3D animation with 2D. The result is a gorgeous movie, with a formulaic but well-done tale about a boy trying to become a man. And Johnny Rzeznik’s “I’m Still Here” is one of the best montage songs ever.
2. Terminator Salvation
Christian Bale. Need I say anything else? I agree that Terminator Salvation isn’t the action-packed movie that it could have been, and it did kind of set the franchise in a downward spiral, but I’ll give full credit for that fail to Terminator Genisys. Salvation was much better, pitting Bale in the role of John Connor. He does a great job. The film looks at younger versions of the characters we know and love from the franchise, and wraps up time travel with it in a neat little package.
1. Jurassic Park III
Considered the worst movie of the franchise, it was wondered how Universal Studios would redeem itself after Jurassic Park III. But it didn’t deserve all the hate it got. A new director was heading it up instead of Spielberg, so you have to at least give the guy credit for trying to live up to the standard. Instead of spending time with the people, Jurassic Park III spent more time with the vicious dinosaurs, and somebody please explain to me why that’s a bad thing? Not to mention the movie had one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history when the raptor talked to Alan in a dream.