10 Movies You Loved (But Critics Hated)


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It used to be a critic’s job to tell us which movies were worth our time and which ones to avoid. But sometimes, the view from the ivory tower is a bit too refined. While critics apply their sophisticated tastes, ordinary viewers often want pure entertainment without taking things too seriously. This can lead to an agree-to-disagree moment between critics and audiences, creating a clear divide. To see the biggest gaps, we checked Rotten Tomatoes for movies where critics scored them low, but audiences rated them high. Here are some films where critics said “no thanks,” but audiences couldn’t get enough.

Image Credit: Warner Bros / IMDb.

1. ‘Harlem Nights’ (1998)

Critics Score: 26%

Audience Score: 80%

Eddie Murphy’s directorial debut, “Harlem Nights,” features a star-studded cast including Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. Set in 1930s Harlem, the film follows a nightclub owner and his crew as they battle mobsters and corrupt cops to keep their business alive. Critics panned it for its thin plot and clunky dialogue, but audiences loved the film’s humor, charm, and the electric chemistry among its legendary cast.

Image Credit: Eddie Murphy Productions /IMDb.

2. ‘Hocus Pocus’ (1993)

Critics Score: 29%

Audience Score: 76%

When “Hocus Pocus” was released in 1993, critics dismissed it as too campy and over-the-top. However, this Halloween favorite, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the mischievous Sanderson sisters, has cast a lasting spell on viewers with quirky humor, memorable quotes, and festive fun that have made it a must-watch every October. 

Image Credit: IMDb.

3. ‘I Am Sam’ (2002)

Critics Score: 36%

Audience Score: 86%

Sean Penn’s portrayal of a father with developmental disabilities in the 2002 drama “I Am Sam” tugs at the heartstrings, but critics remained cold to it, finding it manipulative and accusing it of oversimplifying a complex issue. Viewers, on the other hand, were touched by this emotional powerhouse, praising it as a heartfelt and moving story.

Image Credit: IMDb.

4. ‘Tommy Boy’ (1995)

Critics Score: 40%

Audience Score: 90%

Chris Farley and David Spade star in the 1995 comedy “Tommy Boy,” a film about a bumbling heir to an auto parts factory and his sarcastic sidekick on a cross-country sales trip to save the family business. Critics found it to be a stretched-out comedy sketch, but audiences couldn’t get enough of Farley’s physical comedy and the duo’s hilarious chemistry. 

Image Credit: Paramount / IMDb.

5. ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ (1998)

Critics Score: 50%

Audience Score: 89%

Directed by Terry Gilliam, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” feels like what we suspect it looked like to live inside Hunter S. Thompson’s brain—trippy and chaotic. Starring Johnny Depp as the eccentric journalist Raoul Duke and Benicio Del Toro as his unhinged attorney Dr. Gonzo, the film follows their drug-fueled journey through Las Vegas. Critics were split, calling it visually creative but also aimless and repetitive. However, fans loved its chaotic energy and psychedelic style.

Image Credit: IMDb.

6. ‘Troy’ (2004)

Critics Score: 53%

Audience Score: 73%

Critics can rarely be pleased when it comes to bringing epic tales to the screen, so it’s no surprise they were not impressed by the 2004 big-screen adaptation of Homer’s “Iliad.” Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, “Troy” brings the legendary Trojan War to life with a stellar cast, including a ripped Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, and the legendary Peter O’Toole as King Priam. Critics found the narrative weak and shaky, but viewers loved every bit of it: the grand battles, dramatic love stories, and intense performances.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Ent. /IMDb.

7. ‘Hook’ (1991)

Critics Score: 29%

Audience Score: 76%

Critics accused Steven Spielberg of directing the 1991 fantasy family drama “Hook” on autopilot, claiming he gave in too quickly to his sentimental, syrupy qualities.

But audiences saw it differently. They loved Robin Williams’s whimsical adventure as a grown-up Peter Pan who has to find his childhood magic to save his kids from the vengeful Captain Hook, played by Dustin Hoffman.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures / IMDb.

8. ‘The Boondock Saints’ (1999)

Critics Score: 26%

Audience Score: 91%

Critics weren’t impressed by “The Boondock Saints” when it hit theaters in 1999, dismissing it as overly violent and lacking depth. However, audiences saw it differently. Starring Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery as Irish twins turned vigilantes, the film’s gritty style and intense storyline struck a chord with viewers.

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox / IMDb.

9. ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ (1994)

Critics Score: 47%

Audience Score: 57%

Jim Carrey was at the peak of his career in the ’90s, starring in comedies like “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber.” However, his over-the-top antics and gross-out humor in the 1994 comedy “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” were not well-digested by critics, who were overly disgusted by Carrey’s role as the eccentric pet detective with a knack for ridiculousness. Yet, audiences loved watching Carrey talking with his butt, and the movie gained a kind of cult following among fans of this brand of comedy. Well, alrighty then!

Image Credit: Warner Bros / IMDb.

10. ‘Patch Adams’ (1998)

Critics Score: 21%

Audience Score: 73%

Robin Williams’s portrayal of a doctor who believes in the healing power of laughter in the 1998 dramedy Patch Adams might have left you sobbing, but critics remained rather indifferent, panning the movie as syrupy, overly sentimental, and way too obvious.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: IMDB.

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