I saw this thing going around on r/movies today on Reddit called “The Unpopular Positive Opinions Challenge.” Apparently, it started off as a comic done by xkcd. This one to be more specific.
The idea is simple. Name a movie that you like, that came out while you were an adult (post 2010 for me), and has a rating below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, that last part is what makes it tricky. It can’t even be a mixed review movie. It has to be considered bad. Like, at least 10% under what RT usually considers bad. A lot of movies that I consider “guilty pleasures” fell right above this line and therefore didn’t count. No matter how badly I wanted to defend Unfriended which I absolutely love. (Maybe some other day.)
Well, I decided to take up this challenge. Here’s five movies from this decade that are generally considered bad but I actually enjoy, in order by Rotten Tomatoes score.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) 49% on Rotten Tomatoes
There were two Snow White movies that came out in 2012. Both got a mediocre at best response. While I agree with the consensus on Mirror Mirror, I will stand up for Snow White and the Huntsman, which just barely qualifies. I thought it told a really good, dark story that felt much closer to the original Grimm’s fairy tale than a lot of interpretations. It also featured some really good performances. We had Chris Hemsworth in full action mode. Charlize Theron chewing every bit of scenery as the evil queen. And, this is where I learned to appreciate Kristen Stewart outside of the Twilight movies. I’m actually always defending her too, because I think she’s one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. Too much of her personal life got in the way of this movie as well. I can’t tell you anything about the sequel, because Stewart wasn’t invited back so I skipped it as well. But, if you’re looking for a darker take on a fairy tale, you can do a lot worse than Snow White and the Huntsman.
Gangster Squad (2013) 32% on Rotten Tomatoes
After seeing the trailer, I was super excited for Gangster Squad. It looked like a fun, over stylized gangster romp featuring some of my favorite actors. Then, when the reviews came out, I almost didn’t see it. So, I went in with super lowered expectations. I will never understand why this movie was shit on so much. It’s fun. It’s stylish. The actors are all good. Is it a little generic? Sure. But, I still had a really good time watching. I was pretty sure it would catch on as some sort of cult classic, but it’s mostly disappeared. That’s a shame because it really is a fun, good ole’ fashioned gangster movie which they don’t really make anymore.
Hop (2011) 25% on Rotten Tomatoes
You know what? Maybe I shouldn’t have written this article so soon after launching this new blog. I can just feel my street cred bleeding out of me. Oh well. Hop was fun guys. It featured a neat take on the Easter Bunny and his world. I thought it had a really cute, genuine, funny performance by Russell Brand. And, we just don’t have enough Easter movies. This felt to me like the Christmas version of the Santa Clause movies, which I also love even if they are regarded as “high cinema.” Am I wrong? Probably. Apparently. But I liked it and that’s the point of this exercise I guess. Moving on…
Zoolander 2 (2016) 22% on Rotten Tomatoes
Three quick explanations. 1.) The original Zoolander is one of my favorite movies of all time. I watch it over and over and can quote almost every single line. 2.) A celebrity cameo, as long as it’s done even halfway decent, is going to make me happy. 3.) I’m not nearly as harsh on comedy sequels as other people are. If you give me more of the same characters and situations I loved the first time around, I’m probably going to be in. So, it’s really no surprise that Zoolander 2 made the list. Also, I guess it represents quite a few comedy sequels who didn’t quite make it (Horrible Bosses, Hot Tub Time Machine, Super Troopers).
The Boy Next Door (2015) 11% on Rotten Tomatoes
Yes. That Boy Next Door. Yes. The one with J-Lo. Yes. The one that was released in January, where movies go to die. Yes. The one that almost no one saw. That movie. Listen, I just know it’s trashy. For this movie though, I bought in. I really cared about every single twist and turn. I was legitimately invested in whether Jennifer Lopez’s character would have to pay for the rest of her life for one bad mistake. Actually, I remember getting pissed off at a dude for talking during this movie. It has a freaking 11% on Rotten Tomatoes but I was still upset that someone was taking me out of the “magic.” It has the plot of a Lifetime movie with all the suspense and fun of a real Hollywood blockbuster. And, Jennifer Lopez really acts her world famous butt off in this movie. Like, I was impressed with how well she did. This sold her as an actress for me. Or… maybe I’m wrong. I’m probably wrong. It’s time to wrap this up…
Please don’t judge me. I have good taste in movies. I promise. These just happened to slip through the cracks, I guess. Oh, you’re already gone? That’s fair. I’m gonna go watch Hop…