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Top 10 Bad Movies That Were Successful

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler. A wise man once said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” What does that mean? It means that sometimes, movies suck but crowds still flock to see them in droves. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 bad moves that were successful. For this list, we’ve chosen movies that had wild success, whether at the awards shows or at the box-office, but have been criticized as bad by a bunch of people. Special thanks to our users J.TOhMyGod!!! and Roni Pintchuk for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Bad Movies That Were Successful

A wise man once said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Welcome to, and today we’re counting down the top 10 worst movies that were successful.

For this list, we’ve chosen movies that had wild success, whether at the awards shows or at the box-office, but have been criticized as bad by a bunch of people.

#10: “The Da Vinci Code” (2006)
[Box office: $758,239,851]

Famed film critic Rex Reed said it best: “What’s wrong with ‘The Da Vinci Code’ can be summed up in one word: everything!” Critics agreed that Dan Brown’s phenomenally successful page-turner made for a phenomenally boring movie with forced plot twists and wasted talent. The cast tries hard, but only Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany rise above the material. But even so, this was one of 2006’s highest-grossing movies.

#9: “Pearl Harbor” (2001)
[Box office: $449,220,945]

Michael Bay’s movies may never be long on character development, but his better efforts have enough excitement to make them worthwhile. “Pearl Harbor” has its centerpiece bombing sequence, but the rest of the film is one long sudsy trek through soap opera, with iffy acting and an even iffier screenplay. Overproduced and under-involving, this epic is every bit as dull as your high school history class.

#8: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)
[Box office: $786,636,033]

People said a series had “jumped the shark” when it strayed into irretrievable stupidity; now thanks to “Crystal Skull,” they say it’s “nuked the fridge.” Indiana’s survival of an atom blast in a lead-lined refrigerator is emblematic of what’s wrong with this movie: it assumes there’s no such thing as over-the-top. Without the blend of comedy and action that made Indy popular, this sequel was not worth the wait.

#7: “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999)
[Box office: $1,027,044,677]

It’s tempting to sum up what’s wrong with “The Phantom Menace” in three words: Jar Jar Binks. Fact is, there’s even more to dislike: the waste of a talented cast, wince-inducing dialogue and George Lucas’ inept attempt to put more science in his science fiction. The Guardian critic was right when he called the film “a pop culture calamity,” but audiences still couldn’t stay away.

#6: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009)
[Box office: $836,303,693]

A film about giant robots is gonna silly, but it doesn’t have to be stupid. “Revenge of the Fallen” would have us believe you can cover up the existence of mega-sized robots that destroyed half of California. Also, if these robots are so technologically-advanced, why are they such lousy shots? Then there’s Skids and Mudflap. Need we say more? Thank you, Michael Bay, for sucking the fun out of this series.

#5: “Cars 2” (2011)
[Box office: $559,852,396]

The first “Cars” was a little stumble on Pixar’s part, not quite living up to the studio’s high standards. The sequel, though, was a disaster according to critics, with story points that develop then disappear, a ridiculous spy plot and a predictable “fish out of water” set-up that quickly wears out its welcome. Ultimately it doesn’t matter who wins the race in this film; the losers are the viewers.

#4: “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011)
[Box office: $1,043,871,802]

There’s only one thing that a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie simply cannot be, and that is precisely what “On Stranger Tides” is: tired. Critics complained the film just drags along; revisiting characters and situations we’ve seen before without adding anything new. Even Johnny Depp’s outrageous Captain Jack is no longer fresh. The first films were effortless fun; this one is all effort.

#3: “Spider-Man 3” (2007)
[Box office: $890,871,626]

Word of advice to Spider-Man: Leave the twerking to Miley Cyrus. The embarrassing pelvic dance down the streets sank “Spider-Man 3,” but it wasn’t helped by some sappy Peter-Mary Jane moments and a story that was way overstuffed. A few good action sequences couldn’t help the film break through the web of its unfocused plotting, and critics panned its lack of humor.

#2: “The English Patient” (1996)
[Box office: $231,976,425]

How can a film like this win the Best Picture Oscar? Though we can’t give credit to the critics in this case: they loved this overlong and overly-ambitious movie – but not everyone did. Take away “The English Patient”’s flashback structure and what d’you have? An overlong, pretentious tearjerker about two people who we’re expected to care about because they have upper class accents? Sorry – not our cup of tea.

#1: “Twilight” franchise (2008-12)
[Box office: $3,345,177,904]

Can you build an entire franchise around a boring girl whose entire character is defined by her need to have a boyfriend? “Twilight”’s massive success says you can. But critics will be quick to tell you it doesn’t make for good films; neither does laughable dialogue, wooden acting, a total lack of logic, and soulless direction. Someone should’ve driven a stake through the heart of this series after the first film.

Do you agree with our list? Which successful movie had you most baffled with its popularity? For more top 10s about your favorite – and least favorite – flicks, be sure to subscribe to

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