Since I did the first list of good movies that were given bad reviews from critics a few years ago, I’ve seen several other movies that I think could also qualify.
10. In Time
In the future, time is everything. It’s your income, your life, and the rich can live forever. How much more fast paced and intense can you get when you know exactly how long you have to live and knowing it changes every second? Yeah, there are alot of cheesy time-related lines, but for everyone of those there are an equal amount of profound lines on time that get kind of thought provoking. Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake make as good a couple as they do bank robbing partners. And I gotta give Justin Timberlake credit. He has come a long way since being part of NSYNC.
9. Fireproof/To Save A Life
Both dramatic movies that I can’t help feel were slammed solely on the grounds of being religiously based. While there are a few elements of cheesiness that come with Christian story lines, what makes both movies great is how both realistically address real-life problems; Fireproof: Shaky Marriages. To Save a Life: Teen suicide, teen pregnancy, peer pressure, among others. The characters in these movie both appear to be taken from modern day life, and both took their shoestring budgets and did a lot with them.
8. An American Carol
There’s not a whole lot I can say about this one. Truthfully, I do understand why it wasn’t well-received. The reason it didn’t do well, is the same reason I and several other people love it; It’s political satire aimed at a republican audience. If you’re on the right, then this is a must-see. If not, well…. on to the next one.
7. Planet 51
This was a hilarious animated reversal of E.T.; An alien planet is visited by an american astronaut and the inhabitants see him as the alien. The animation is bright, fun and colorful and gives us a range of characters that I think are very enjoyable. And it’s interesting to see the characters go through a parodies form of unknown paranoia as well as how they come to grips on the ideas of outer space and what lies beyond their planet. While the ideas never become truly thought-provoking, they’re not really supposed to be. Granted I could live with out a hand-full of the toilet jokes, but this is still a decent family film.
6. Fun with Dick and Jane
Jim Carey is undoubtedly a comedy genius but I hadn’t expected Téa Leoni to make me laugh as much as I did. They make a great duo and the almost psychotic distances they go to stay afloat had me rolling on the floor laughing. Alec Baldwin is expectedly brilliant as the power-hungry villain. The writing is clever and delivered perfectly and kept me entertained the whole way through. The movie’s heightened heist climax was an unexpected surprise and kept me engaged until the very end.
5. Rush Hour 3
As far as the critic’s censure “comedy sequels that are just repeats of the original,” Rush Hour 3 doesn’t even scratch the surface of this criticism as much as others (*cough cough*Hangover 2). The relation that Lee has with this films antagonist is quite unlike the first two. Lee and Carter also seem to go through a more difficult struggle with each other that really highlights the friendship they have. I think it is impossible to not crack a smile at Chris Tucker’s antics in this movie. Well choreographed and intense fight scenes is one of the movie’s greatest rights for bragging and I feel they consistently go unnoticed. Even if this movie had been a repeat of the first two, with movies like the Rush Hour series, I don’t feel it’s necessary to have a story thats completely fresh every time. If it’s funny and entertaining, then it’s funny and entertaining.
Technically this was a mixed reviewed movie, but very low in the mixed ratings so I still count it. I could not believe this movie was written and directed by a guy that was new to both fields. Beautiful cinematography should have had them in the Oscar nominations. Astounding songs that further show off the already flawless voices of Cher and Christina, the latter of which surprised me quite a bit with their acting in her debut role. Cher, herself drew quite a few laughs from me with her abrasive but well-meaning character. I love the characters, the dialogue, and the setting. Granted, it is a pretty basic story line; small town girl moves to a big city looking to make a new life, but when she finds the thing that could change her life forever she gains much attention, a rival out to get her and the guy of her dreams. And while basic story lines may sometimes prove a problem, they also have the potential to last longer as they can speak to a number of generations (i.e. The Karate Kid). Sleekly styled with laughs thrown in, Burlesque is a winner in my book.
3. Red Riding Hood
A lot of Twilight haters disliked this movie right off since it was directed by Catharine Hardwicke and involves a 17 year old girl and her connection to a werewolf, but the similarities stop there. The dark styling and coloration really bring out what is so interesting about this movie and its gothic take on a simple children story we all heard growing up. It’s darkly beautiful throughout as Amanda Seyfried’s character struggles with the loss of a family member, being torn by the guy she loves and the guy she’s set to marry, and the mysterious wolf that only she can understand. The mystery of who the werewolf is will keep you guessing and looking at the wrong person even when you think you know who the wrong person is. Granted, there are mistakes that keep it from being historically accurate. There are a lot of liberties taken with the modernization of social norms and other behaviors, but as it’s a fairy tale, I don’t think it really matters. It’s its own world, and a fantastic one at that.
2. The Last Song & A Walk to Remember
I decided to put these two films together since they are both based of Nicolas Spark’s novels.
I feel I must also briefly mention Dear John since it’s also a Nicolas Sparks book-turned movie that was given bad reviews despite winning over audiences, but also because it starred Amanda Seyfried who, in case you didn’t notice has already showed up in two of the movies on this list. But compared to the other two, it’s not as strong.
In The Last Song, Ronnie, played by Miley Cyrus, is forced to spend the summer with her distant but loving father where she meets a charming volley ball player named Will. With much of the criticism in Miley’s direction and I honestly don’t get why. I mean, I’m not gonna give her an Oscar or anything, but, she did a good job at stepping away from her Hannah Montana days to something more down to earth and I applaud her for it. I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Bobby Coleman’s acting but the rest of the cast held up great, notably Liam Hemsworth and Carly Chaikin.
Most people are very surprised when they hear that A Walk to Remember was met with terrible reviews when it came out, and I am too. The movie centers around Landon Carter, a high school bad boy who’s life begins to gain new meaning when he falls for a faith-filled girl named Jamie. Mandy Moore’s quietly strong portrayal was spot on and very genuine. This movie has since become standard date night movie, for good reason. It’s charming, and surprisingly powerful.
Most critics claimed this plot line was just an excuse to have a movie with hot girls in short skirts performing badass fight scenes. And believe me, those ARE huge plusses, but there are a lot of things to be appreciated about this movie. It was nice to see Vanessa Hudgens performing for a different crowd and Emily Browning as the quietly strong Babydoll (And guess who that role almost went to. Amanda Seyfried). The idea of the fantasy sequences is just ingenious to me. Who among us hasn’t wanted to escape life’s problems and defeat them in an epic video game style? The fact that every fantasy has a parallel to the reality is what really intrigues me. Simply getting a zerox copy of a map becomes an entire battle against zombie soldiers to retrieve a map. Every time I hear some one say that this movie “thinks it’s so deep,” I know instantly that they didn’t look deep at all. At first glance this movie does appear to be the outcome of a geek’s imagination, but the more I analyze this movie, the more I love it. The special effects and visual flare were unbelievable, even the most scathing critic admitted that. The movie stays dream-like while life-like and subtle yet in-your-face. When you really stop and look at the storyline, foreshadowing, and structure of this film you really notice how much thought Zachary Snyder put into this truly smart film. This movie made a lot “Worst of the year” list, and I think it easily should have been one the year’s best.