The Flix List: A dozen “rotten” movies we secretly adore

Let’s face it, not every movie we love is going to be embraced by everybody else on the planet. And how many times you go to a collective movie reviews site and go ‘xx%???’ Are you kidding me?? That movie is awesome! Or the other way around of course, that movies that gain critical acclaim might actually leave you scratching your head. But today we’re going to take a look at movies that we love that others don’t, or specifically those that are trashed by critics (we’ll use RottenTomatoes Tomatometer and we’ll link the RT page for each movie). Today’s post is a collaboration with FC’s regular contributor Ted S.

So below is a list we each come up with, most of them barely make half of the Tomatometer 😦

Ted’s List:

1. Another 48 Hours

I actually enjoyed this sequel much more than the first film. Why you ask? Well first off, I thought Eddie Murphy wasn’t as annoying as he was in the first movie and Nick Nolte wasn’t too serious as he was first time around. These guys seemed to be more comfortable playing their roles so it was fun seeing them on screen and having a good time. Also, I thought it was a great idea by Walter Hill and the writers to add more action into this one, the first film didn’t really have a lot of action in it.

I know that the first film launched the interracial/buddy cop action genre throughout the 80s and some part of the 90s but I just really like the second one better. This film actually was a box office hit when it came out but it was widely panned by the critics, as you can see on the RT site.

2. Meet Joe Black

Ah yes, the film about death taking a holiday and fell in love, it was actually a remake of Death Takes Holiday. I didn’t see the original version but I thought Meet Joe Black was quite good, I’m not into romantic movies so this was a surprise when I enjoyed it more than my ex-girlfriend who made me take her to see it in theater back in 1998. Brad Pitt recently made some comments saying that his performance in the movie was pretty bad but I thought he was good in it. The film cost around $90mil to make and it tanked and of course the critics weren’t kind to it either. The film has some flaws, mostly it was way too long and I just feel the filmmakers didn’t know how to end the movie. But I thought all of the performances were great, especially Anthony Hopkins and the music by Thomas Newman were quite moving.

3. Mission: Impossible

It’s safe to say that a lot of people hated this movie when it first opened in theaters back in 1996, I remember fans of the TV show were furious that they made Mr. Phelps the main villain. I’m also a fan of the TV show and I didn’t have any problems with that at all, in fact I thought the film was one of the best of that year, I’m not kidding. The film was a lot of fun and I love that helicopter and bullet train chase sequence near the end of the movie. I actually went to see it three times in theater.

Now of course the film has plot holes and some scenes just didn’t make a lot of sense but it’s a summer flick so I was able to look past those flaws. RT has it at 59% rating. I remember Rex Reed hated this film so much that when he was on TV reviewing it, he looked like he was about to explode. It’s so funny to see a grown man get so upset about a film, it’s priceless.

4. Mortal Kombat

I grew up in the 90s so I was huge fan of the video game and of course when they announced that the movie was on the way, my friends and I were quite ecstatic. To our surprise, the film didn’t stink when we saw it in theater the summer of 1995. In fact I thought it was a lot of fun and went back to see it again with my brother that same weekend. Of course that was a long time ago, so I decided to watch the film again about a year or two ago and to my surprise, I still enjoy it. I love the fight scene between Johnny Cage and Scorpion, was hoping Scorpion was going to kick Cage’s ass since Scorpion is my favorite character from the video game. The film has a 35% rating on RT.

Last year, a short film version of the new Mortal Kombat went online and it created some big buzz. I saw it and thought it was quite good, they’re basically rebooting it by the ways of Batman Begins, make it more realistic and gritty. This time the hero will be Scorpion, so of course I was excited that my favorite character will be the main guy. Warner Bros. is now turning it into a web series hoping that if gets a lot views on-line, they can remake the movie. I’m keeping my fingers cross, I hope to see a truly great movie version of this video game.

5. National Treasure

I went to see this movie with little expectations after reading the dismal critical reviews. But boy I was surprised how much I enjoyed the movie. It was great action fun ride and as long as you don’t think too much about it, you’ll have a good time. One thing that bugged about the film was Nic Cage’s fake hair, I was hoping to see his toupee fall off during one of the action scenes but it never happened.

6. Superman 3

Yes I like this Superman flick and I can’t defend it either. It was nice to see Superman fighting Superman and I didn’t even mind seeing Richard Pryor as the annoying funny guy side-kick either. Although I was not happy that they reduce the role of Lois Lane in this one. (Margot Kidder voiced her displeasure when Richard Donner was fired from Superman 2 so the producers decided to cut down her part in this movie). The movie has a dismal 24% rating on RT

Ruth’s List

1. A Walk in the Clouds

Keanu Reeves is not exactly the critics’ darling, especially when the movie in question isn’t a sci-fi or action thriller of some kind that he’s mostly known for. But y’know what, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this romantic drama. I like it so much I included this in one of my favorite unconventionally romantic movies list.

Reeves is quite convincing as a young GI returning from war who falls for the daughter of a vineyard owner and the movie is beautifully filmed on location in Napa Valley, CA. He has a wonderful chemistry with Spanish-Italian actress Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and the story is quite lovely as Reeves’ character is trying to do the honorable thing despite their undeniable attraction. The grape stomping scene is delightful to watch, followed by a very passionate scene that makes me think Keanu is a capable romantic leading man. I also like the contrast relationship he had with the woman’s father and grandfather, played by Giancarlo Giannini and Anthony Quinn, respectively. It only got 43% score on RT, but at least Roger Ebert agrees with me and gave this one four stars.

2. Equilibrium

The consensus on RT reviews says ‘Equilibrium is a reheated mishmash of other sci-fi movies.’ Yeah ok, but other sci-fis don’t have Christian Bale in top Bateman/Batman form going all bad ass, but with a heart. Oh, not to mention the criminally-underrated Sean Bean, though I wish he had a bigger role.

Bale is perfectly cast a top government agent who’s sole job is to maintain order in a fascist futuristic world. His transformation from a cold, robotic being to one slowly finding his humanity is reason enough to see this film. Any action flick fan would undoubtedly appreciate all the exhilarating and dynamic fight scenes with a fictional type of martial arts called Gun-Kata. But for me, my favorite parts of the movie are between Bale and Emily Watson (such as this one), with all those repressed sexual tension, wow. I could watch their scenes several times over! Bale’s emotional breakdown in this scene is powerful stuff. Someone on Youtube made this music video with all the scenes I love about this film.

I lost my Equilibrium dvd for some reason, but that means it’s time to get the Blu-ray! 🙂

3. Multiplicity

Now, by no means am I condoning the science of cloning people. People should know better NOT to play God. But the concept certainly makes for a good comedy and shows just how many things could go wrong should one goes through such procedure.

I love Michael Keaton, he’s such an under-appreciated actor who’s a much better actor than people give him credit for. He’s pretty compelling as Batman and in dramatic roles, but I think his strong suit is in comedy (remember Beetlejuice?) and he’s in top comedic form here playing four totally different personalities of one character, Doug Kinney, the overworked contractor who just wants to have more time for work and family.


The fourth clone is the funniest, he’s obviously much less sharp than the original being a copy of a copy of a copy… at one point the first Doug finally responded “Ok, we’re done with the Doug-making business!!” Ha! This movie is such a hoot from start to finish. Andie McDowell was pretty good as Doug’s wife who’s constantly perplexed by her husband’s antics and it’s darn hilarious to watch how she never found out there had been four different Dougs she’s had sex with! Anyway, apparently less than half of the critics think highly of this one.

4. Octopussy

As a fan of Bond films, I’ve got to include at least one of them in here. It’s no secret Roger Moore isn’t the most believable 007, especially compared to my two favorites. But having grown up watching Moore’s Bond flicks, I have to admit I have a couple that I have a soft spot for: For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy. Perhaps the fact that both have strong female Bond girls have something to do with it. FYEO wasn’t more well-received than this one but I actually enjoyed it and still watch it occasionally.

Bond with his nemesis Kamal Khan

The setting in India is exotic and there are quite a few fun chase scenes with the three-wheeled motorized auto rickshaw (we call them Bajaj in Indo) and though I’m not a big fan of circus stuff in general, it was quite fun to watch the festivities here. Louis Jordan as the Bond baddie Kamal Khan is the kind of cultured and elegant villains I like in Bond flicks. The critics didn’t think very highly of this one though, it only scored 47% on RT.

5. P.S. I love you

This is another film in this list that I can’t disagree more with the critics. A dismal 23% RT score?? Seriously, are people so cynical they can’t even be moved by a story of love and loss? As I mentioned on a previous post, seems like everyone I’ve talked to, even my guy friends, enjoyed this movie. It’s got rom-com sensibilities but the story is pretty deep and profound with a really satisfying and realistic conclusion, nary of a fairy tale happy ending in sight.


Initially I thought Hilary Swank was miscast, but upon several viewings I changed my mind. I think she gives the role of Holly, a woman grieving over her dead husband more weight and complexity than a lesser actor would’ve done. Yes, I’m not ashamed to say I love this movie mostly largely because of Gerry Butler, who’s perfectly cast as a charming and gregarious Irish singer who brought his wife out of his shell, even from the after life. This movie is warm, touching and funny, with gorgeous scenery of New York and Ireland, accompanied by a terrific soundtrack. What’s not to love? All the supporting cast are all great too, I especially like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, and Kathy Bates as Swank’s no-nonsense mother.

6. Phantom of the Opera

Yet another Gerry Butler’s movie the critics didn’t embrace, but given it’s directed by Joel Schumacher, can’t say I’m surprised. When I saw this movie, I had no idea who Butler was, I only went because I adore the Andrew Llyod Webber’s music and it still is my favorite stage musical. I was spellbound the first time around but it took a second viewing before I became a fan (or ‘phan’ as the die-hards would say).


From the moment the chandelier was revealed in the opening scene, it was a thrilling ride. You watch this movie for the beautifully haunting music, the gorgeous sets and costumes, and the scorching chemistry between Phantom and Christine, played wonderfully by Emmy Rossum. Their forbidden romance still titillates people the world over as POTO still reigns as the most successful musical ever produced ever since it opened in 1986. I think the story translates quite well as a feature film and the movie looks ever so lush and seductive, especially that underground lair, that it’s impossible not to fall for the Phantom. Butler certainly cuts a mesmerizing figure on screen as the ultimate tortured-soul hero and I also enjoy his singing voice, which was heavily criticized as well, whatever! In fact, ever since this movie, I’ve now prefer to hear him sing those beautiful POTO songs, especially Music of the Night, rather than listening to the original singer Michael Crawford.

Honorable mention:

The Saint

The critics’ consensus on seems to be directed at the script, but I like Val Kilmer so much as Simon Templar that I even featured this on my guilty pleasure post!

Well, what have been some of your own favorite ‘bad’ movies? Surely we all have ’em. Please share in the comments!