As much as we all dislike the high-class snobbery of most movie critics, I don’t think this piece should serve as a full throttle assault on their profession – they’re doing a job, albeit a very easy one, just like the rest of us.
With that said, there’s at least three or four times every year where I open an entertainment magazine or read a review online that utterly tears apart a movie that I just saw and loved or am looking forward to seeing, and it ruins my day a bit. Why didn’t you like Beerfest, A.O Scott? What was so terrible about A Night at the Roxbury, Richard Roeper?
Regardless of when you read said review, the effect is the same – a trashy critique makes you second-guess yourself. Did I really think that was a good movie? Why was I excited to see that when it’s so blatantly awful?
All of this self-doubt chips away at the basic truth that some movies exist just for our sheer enjoyment. For example, look at chick flicks for girls: do you really think the critics love every film adaption there is of Nicholas Spark’s 9,000 novels? Hell no. They get panned just as harshly as anything Michael Bay produces (more on him later), even though types of movies are just trying to please their respective intended demographics and usually do a fantastic job at it.
Seriously, why else would there be eight Transformers movies and a new Rom-dram every four months?
At the end of the day, everyone should believe in this basic philosophy: you like what you like and nobody with a pen and paper should have the power to influence or, worse, change that.
What I’m saying at, in essence, is that the opinions of movie critics shouldn’t matter all that much.
To celebrate that point here are 10 movies we all love that the critics slammed for one reason or another:
1. Point Break
First off, let me just say how utterly disappointed I am in Hollywood for trying to remake this masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you lock yourself in your apartment this weekend – preferably with some good weed and a full supply of munchies – and enjoy.
This movie has everything in it that critics hate from Keanu Reeves to Patrick Swayze to endless surfing scenes to cheap bank heists gone awry – all wrapped up in one quasi-predictable, yet classic ending.
Note: Every movie on this list serves a dual purpose, because I could do about 10 movies each for actors like Reeves and Swayze that the critics hate but we love. Point Break takes care of both of those sub genres. So no, Road House didn’t make the cut. Sorry boys.
2. Grandma’s Boy
Perhaps the greatest example of a movie guys absolutely loved and critics couldn’t have hated more. This Happy Madison production somehow overtakes other frat-house classics such as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore as the placeholder for stoner comedies about ambition-less twenty-or-thirty something males.
3. Con Air
Ah, the Nicholas Cage category! This one didn’t come easy for me seeing there are literally 25 Nic Cage movies that could fill this spot – and that’s just of the Nic Cage movies I’ve seen. Seriously, IMDb the man – he’s busier than any actor in the business, I’m convinced.
Anyways, what makes Con Air worthy of this spot is that it’s just such a bizarre spectacle. Between the star-studded cast (Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, and, yes, even Dave Chappelle) and the outrageous final sequence where they land the plane on the Las Vegas strip, it’s more than just a classic – it’s every bro’s dream come true. Conversely, it’s a critic’s worse nightmare.
4. Kung Pow
You don’t even need to research Kung Pow to know that the critics slammed it into oblivion. Regardless, this is a movie all bros love to watch – even if only out of pure nostalgia to remember what it was like to be a 13 or 14 year old kid.
I’m not going to lie: the pubescent teenage boy in me still finds this movie balls-to-the-wall funny.
5. Bad Boys II
It would have been a colossal disservice if Michael Bay didn’t have a movie on this list. Nothing is too big for this director – more explosions, more effect; more, more, more. And let’s be honest, we love this shit. It made our adolescence enjoyable and still makes our young adulthood worthwhile. And that’s why we’re all salivating while we wait for Bad Boys 3.
Spoiler alert: The critics will give it zero stars and bros everywhere will celebrate it as the movie of the year. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody’s entitled to an opinion.
Note: Pain and Gain was No. 5 on this list as the Michael Bay category, but Bad Boys II is still the top of the class. Sorry, the Rock and Mark Wahlberg, it was a close one.
6. Deep Blue Sea
And we’re just in time for the overplayed-on-TV-every-weekend category! Was there even a competition here? Deep Blue Sea took this in a landslide. Between Samuel L Jackson getting ripped apart by a shark and LL Cool J fighting one off in a kitchen oven, this movie has everything bros go to the movies for – unnecessary explosions, sudden character deaths and plot twists that make absolutely zero sense.
7. Rocky IV
There are so many sports movies that have been made and have been rejected by movie critics that it’s hard to keep count.
The difference between those movies and Rocky IV is simple: we all love Rocky IV and the other ones have been long forgotten. In fact, we love Rocky IV so much that we would actually get into the ring with any movie critic that thinks it sucks, which, surprise, is every movie critic on the planet.
Ding, ding, ding – let the fight begin!
8. Mars Attacks
We had to get a movie on here that is so over-the-top that it would make all of our grandparents’ heads explode. The president of the United States is Jack Nicholson? And he gets annihilated by some alien creature that looks like this? It’s that easy to take over our planet, really?
Yep, it’s an instant classic.
True fact: Mars Attacks has a cast that includes three Academy Award winners. Take that, critics.
9. Small Soldiers
Real characters acting across animated toy soldiers? What’s there not to love about this genre-bending classic? You’re right; it’s absolutely perfect and Hollywood needs to make more movies like this.
In case Mars Attacks failed to achieve this, Small Soldiers definitely helps us check off the animated and war genres all in one fell swoop. Not bad, not bad at all.
Similar to Mars Attacks, there are multiple Oscar winners in this movie. I absolutely love it – take that again, critics!
10. Hot Rod
I’ll never forget reading that Hot Rod got zero stars out of four when it came out. And to that, all I have to say is this: fuck the movie critic who wrote that review. Seriously, like that guy doesn’t know his ass from his fist.
Hot Rod is one of the most underrated comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor this weekend and watch it. You won’t be disappointed.