Have you ever gone to a movie and absolutely loved it, but when you got home, you saw it was universally panned by critics? Depending on how you feel about critical judgment, you might just ignore what the critics think and go see a movie anyway, even if it has a very low score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sometimes, it is better to make our own opinion, rather than listen to someone else’s. Critics don’t always get it right! Often times, they are looking at so many factors, they forget that the purpose of a movie is to entertain an audience. The most recent DC movies have packed theaters with fans and plenty have left very pleased with how actors like Margot Robbie and Will Smith portrayed their characters (in Suicide Squad, for example) but critics HATED the film. Critics don’t always accurately represent the audience – in the case of these 18 movies, they hated the movie that the viewers actually really liked!
*All of the percentages are pulled directly from RottenTomatoes.com*
18. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Critics Score: 27%
Audience Score: 63%
It almost seems like critics are gunning for DC films, especially the last several ones released. Fans of DC loved how Ben Affleck was introduced into the DCEU, but that Martha scene (where Superman and Batman realize their moms have the same name) was dogged by critics and fans alike. One critic for The New Republic called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, “A movie that beats you into submission and makes you wonder if the sun will ever come out again.” Many felt the film had too much going on between Batman and Superman fighting and Lex Luthor plotting in the background to bringing in Doomsday. But fans also loved Jesse Eisenberg‘s portrayal of Lex Luthor, and for superhero films, it is about what the fans want!
17. Bad Boys II (2003)
Critics Score: 23%
Audience Score: 78%
If you like buddy cop films, then Bad Boys II is for you. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have good chemistry together as detectives in the franchise but that didn’t mean the reviewers were all that thrilled about the film’s outcome. One critic said, “Like our two loose cannons with badges, the movie misses its target at least as often as it hits it. Along the way, as well, it will likely batter a few brain cells into a premature grave.” Ouch. But any fan of Will Smith or Martin Lawrence didn’t care about critics reviews like this, they went to see this movie if they liked the original, Bad Boys. It is a movie that obviously didn’t win any awards, but it made audiences laugh.
16. Warcraft (2016)
Critics Score: 28%
Audience Score: 77%
Movies based on video games and computer generated games can be tough, as the audience is much more niche than usual. This movie, based on World of Warcraft, is something that would entertain any fan of the game. But if you don’t know the game, then you might be lost. At least, that is how critics felt. Many critics called the movie too crowded and over the top. One critic from Chicago Reader described the movie as, “A lot of sentimental hogwash about fathers and sons heading off to war.” Fans of the film can acknowledge it has some flaws, but overall, fans were excited to see a favorite of theirs getting the big screen treatment.
15. The Boondock Saints (1999)
Critics Score: 20%
Audience Score: 91%
Are you a huge fan of Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead? Fans of Norman Reedus have loved him for many years, long before he was on our TV screens. Ever since he played Murphy MacManus in The Boondock Saints, he’s had a cult-like following, just like the film. One critic from Cinema Crazer said, “An embarrassing waste of time, and nothing even resembling the guiltiest of guilty pleasures…” But fans of the film are obsessed with the MacManus brothers and their vigilante killing style to clean the streets of their hometown. If you can believe it, the sequel (which fans hated) has a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics.
14. A Night at the Roxbury (1999)
Critics Score: 11%
Audience Score: 69%
An 11%… ouch. Fans of Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell, and Chris Kattan loved this movie. It was one of many “SNL” movies where cast members worked together off the show. Hell, Adam Sandler and David Spade are still working together! This movie based off an SNL sketch is a classic for fans and will make anyone sing “What Is Long,” but it failed to wow any critics. Roger Ebert said from The Chicago-Sun Times, “A Night at the Roxbury probably never had a shot at being funny anyway, but I don’t think it planned to be pathetic. It’s the first comedy I’ve attended where you feel that to laugh would be cruel to the characters.”
13. Step Up (2006)
Critics Score: 19%
Audience Score: 83%
Honestly, are there any Channing Tatum movies with a critics rating higher than 50%? Nothing against him, because boy do we love him, but the man just doesn’t seem to impress critics. Step Up generated an entire franchise of films, but there is none more loved by fans than the original. It is the movie that Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum fell in love with each other while working on! But, it didn’t seem to sit well with critics in terms of dance films. A critic at the San Francisco Chronicle said, “A lot of movies are derivative. What makes Step Up particularly dispiriting is that it has almost nothing fresh to add.”
12. Justice League (2017)
Critics Score: 40%
Audience Score: 79%
Justice League is DC’s latest victim from critics. After Wonder Woman, Justice League is the most-loved film in the DC universe from fans. Where it might fail in terms of subplot, the dynamic between the cast and the introduction of new characters was well received. Many praised Ezra Miller for his work as Barry Allen/The Flash. But despite the media’s attitude that Gal Gadot can do no wrong (and she really can’t), critics were not won over by this CGI-filled flick. In fact, that is what one critic from the New York Post hated most, “A pointless flail of expensive (yet, somehow, cheap-looking) CGI that no amount of tacked-on quips, or even Gadot’s luminescent star power, can rescue.” Also, when it comes to CGI, no one was able to get over the fact that they had to CGI edit Henry Cavill’s mustache off of his face.
11. Super Troopers (2001)
Critics Score: 35%
Audience Score: 90%
Clearly, Super Troopers has a huge fan following, given the fact it is getting a sequel in 2018, which is 16 years after the first film. It is one of those movies though that is dumb and you know it is dumb going into it and if you don’t like that humor, you’re not going to enjoy it. A critic from L.A. Weekly said, “ The movie’s mostly a succession of predictable skits, leavened only by the occasional amusing one-liner and played by actors who aren’t actors so much as just a bunch of guys goofing off.” Let’s see how the sequel does with critics and audiences in April 2018!
10. Stomp the Yard (2007)
Critics Score: 26%
Audience Score: 81%
We should just let it soak in that Stomp The Yard has a higher audience rating than Justice League. Sure, it is only two points, but still. In the mid-2000s, dance battles were all the rage and none did it quite like Stomp The Yard. This movie was Chris Brown’s film debut, and pretty much all of his fans rushed into theaters to see it. One critic from the AV Club wasn’t exactly a fan of the plot, saying, “Hollywood has a few well-rutted stories it likes to tell over and over, and Stomp The Yard includes at least five of them.” If you saw Stomp The Yard, you knew what you were getting, and if that is what you wanted, then you were happy when you left the theater!
9. Madea’s Family Reunion (2006)
Critics Score: 25%
Audience Score: 84%
Sequels typically don’t tend to do better than the original, but at least for critics, they liked this a smidge better than its predecessor, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. They still hated it though. Of the original Madea films, fans loved this one quite a lot. They aren’t really enjoying the newer films, but there is something about this flick that made the viewers laugh. Maybe because Madea was still new to us and her crazy antics weren’t too crazy just yet? According to the Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus, “Tyler Perry‘s Madea’s Family Reunion is sincere in its positive intentions, but leaves something to be desired as a film.” Yikes!
8. Because I Said So (2007)
Critics Score: 4%
Audience Score: 65%
So, critics straight up hated this Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore film. Is it either of these actress best work? Obviously not. Does it deserve a 4%? No way! This is a movie for any woman to watch when they are feeling like they just don’t understand their mom. Or for a mom to watch when she feels like she can’t stop arguing with her daughter. A critic from CNN.com said, “Recycling every cliche in the rom-com handbook, it’s clear from the very first that Lehmann has sacrificed his characters on the altar of sappy endings. What a waste — for everybody.” But if you love a good movie that will make you feel a bit sappy, this is the one to watch.
7. Empire Records (1995)
Critics Score: 26%
Audience Score: 84%
Empire Records is one of those movies that can make anyone who works with a small group of people smile. Even though most of us don’t work at a record store, fans can relate to the crew at Empire Records and their friendships, struggles, and dreams. The Empire Records crew is just trying to scrounge up the money for their boss to buy the store so a big chain doesn’t take it from them. But critics didn’t seem to be in on that feeling. A critic for Flavorwire said, “It’s high on charm and low on quality; the writing is pedestrian at best, the characters are paper-thin, and director Allan Moyle lets the music do the heavy lifting.”
6. Grandma’s Boy (2006)
Critics Score: 16%
Audience Score: 85%
Grandma’s Boy is another one of those movies that is intentionally dumb. But movies like that can make fans laugh over and over again if done right. If this is your brew, then you’re going to laugh at every fart and masturbation joke in the movie. It also helps that the movie has a sweet grandma and her two little old lady roommates to make everyone smile. But critics just couldn’t get past the crude humor here. A critic with the Associated Press said, “If you’re a video game geek and/or a stoner, Grandma’s Boy isn’t a comedy — it’s a documentary. For everyone else, it’s an interminably flat, one-joke movie with admittedly a couple of decent laughs.”
5. Sparkle (2012)
Critics Score: 57%
Audience Score: 65%
Now, Sparkle has the smallest gap between critics and fans on this entire list. But a 57% is obviously still not a passing for critics, that is a big, fat rotten tomato, in terms of RT standards. Sparkle is the last movie that Whitney Houston worked on in her lifetime. Sadly she had passed away before the film was released. Fans enjoyed this movie for the music and the melodrama, though they did feel like it was a bit too much like Dreamgirls. It seems that critics also agreed, one critic from ReelViews said, “Sparkle is an assembly of parts and pieces from other, better movies – an overly familiar jumble of clichés mashed together.”
4. Raise Your Voice (2004)
Critics Score: 15%
Audience Score: 71%
When it comes to her movies, Hilary Duff is no critic’s angel. She’s certainly gotten praise for her work on the TV show Younger, but when it comes to movies, she has mostly done a mix of romantic comedies and coming-of-age movies geared toward her fans. This particular HilDuff movie is about a girl who’s trying to reach her dreams, but suddenly is faced with the reality of giving them up when her brother dies. While fans of Hilary Duff certainly can enjoy this movie, critics pretty much assume that only the Lizzie McGuire star’s fans would ever actually enjoy this movie. One harsh critic from the Seattle Times even went on to say, “A teen movie so inspirational and heartwarming that it comes with its very own lip gloss.” What does that even mean?
3. Suicide Squad (2016)
Critics Score: 26%
Audience Score: 61%
It is surprising to see that Suicide Squad got a 26%, given the horrific reviews it got from critics. It was panned by everyone for the acting, plot, and script. While universally everyone loved Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, a movie needs more than one good character to make critics happy. A critic from The New Yorker said, “To say that the movie loses the plot would not be strictly accurate, for that would imply that there was a plot to lose.” One critic, however, said that based on the screening they went to, the entire audience seemed very into Suicide Squad. They said that the fans seemed genuinely happy with how the film was put together — thus the huge discrepancy between critics’ scores and audience.
2. Last Ounce of Courage (2012)
Critics Score: 0%
Audience Score: 69%
Never heard of this movie? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. You probably never heard of it because critics absolutely despised it. And yet, there were enough fans that enjoyed this movie that it has nearly 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is about a grieving father who is inspired by his grandson to take a stand for what he believes in. A critic for the Hollywood Reporter said, “This religious-themed drama about a small-town mayor’s personal crusade against ‘the war on Christmas’ is about as subtle as the character’s name — Bob Revere.” This movie might have such a high audience ranking because many people were happy that the movie stands up against “the war on Christmas.”
1. Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985)
Critics Score: 0%
Audience Score: 80%
How a movie with a 0% score from critics has such a high audience rating is quite baffling. Did they see different movies? It is probably hard to forget Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer if you’ve seen it, as it is about a little girl who brings color to the universe while riding a horse. A critic from the Boston Globe said, “So incompetently crafted that it makes the Saturday-morning cartoons seem like Disney classics.” But fans enjoy this 1985 classic — despite any cheesiness it may have — and consider it a classic cartoon. Sometimes, our cartoons don’t need to do much to entertain us.