Film critics can get a bad rap, but most of the time they tend to give an accurate idea of whether it's worth shelling out that twelve bucks or so to see something in the cineplex. Sometimes though, they can be DEAD WRONG. So wrong. So, so, so so so so Fox NOT airing the pilot of Firefly first and then canceling it mid-season wrong. To show you proof, below are seven recent movies that we think the critics grossly misjudged and are actually, in a word, awesome.
Lockout was everything it needed to be. A) It had action. B) It had a completely popcorn plot. C) There was an awesome opening chase scene with a motorcycle stolen from the Bat Cave. D) It had not one, but TWO crazy pants bad guys and E) Guy Pearce nailed it as the brash, charming, rough-around-the-edges, yet reluctant action hero. We haven't seen him rock out that much testosterone since Memento. But in Lockout, it looks like he's having fun.
Yes, we put this on a recent list of The Best Awful Movies Movies to Watch When Trapped Indoors. But really, if you switch the two words around and add an "ly" to the end of "awful" what do you get? "The Awfully Best Movies." Ergo, why The Expendables 2 is on THIS list. Sure, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone may said the movie is filled with"rampant stupidity," but we counter with this: aren't movies supposed to be escapism? And as you watch Stallone and his cadre shoot and/or blow things up, you'll likely find yourself screaming "YES! GO TEAM!" Even if you have no idea why they're shooting and/or blowing things up.
We don't understand why critics disagreed with the tone of this film. Isn't vampire hunting serious? Isn't Abraham Lincoln a serious person? Isn't it a serious mission for The President of The United States to save his nation from being overrun by blood-sucking demons? Seriously?
Yes, the script lacked wit, yes the jokes were vulgar, and yes the entire movie was probably just an excuse for Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill to hang out and go blue with their improv. Its saving grace: it also starsRichard Ayoade. And Moss is our GOD. WHAT? And if you don't know who Moss is, you MUST Netflix the British TV Show The IT Crowd . In fact, go and watch The IT Crowd right now. Don't worry. We'll wait...
KStew's scandal aside, this movie was better than most of the fairytale re-takes that have been a recent cinematic trend. Charlize Theron vamps it up as the ultimate evil queen, and Chris Hemsworth is turning out to be a great charismatic action star. Uneven plot aside, we think the critics should have been kinder towards this film, compared to its release companion Mirror, Mirror (and the critics were right about that flop).
We don't really understand how Liam Neeson's career went from Oskar Schindler, to the sensitive stepfather in Love, Actually, to the gun toting, butt-kicking Bryan Mills in the Taken films, but we approve. Neeson is a surprisingly great action star. He has the laser stare, the take no prisoners fighting skills, and the gravitas we need to take all action heroes seriously. Sure, the script may have no surprises, but who goes to action movies expecting a big twist? Bad guys go down, good guy wins, and there's lots of butt-kicking in between. Yay!
We may be stretching the "recent" here with this one (it was a 2010 release), but we feel strongly this film was wronged by critics. It's a post-apocalyptic, mythic, epic travelogue action film. Denzel plays the ultimate zen warrior who can unleash the tiger within at a moment's notice. True, it did have a miscast Mila Kunis, but what makes up for that is the twist at the end. It is a twist we didn't see coming, and it's hard to surprise us.
Are there any recent movies that you thought the critics got wrong?