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Another Top 10 Great Movies with Bad Rotten Tomato Scores

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Review aggregates aren't everything. From Legend, to Flashdance, to Troy, these movies prove that you shouldn't always judge a film by its Tomatometer. WatchMojo ranks another top great movies with bad Rotten Tomato scores.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+great+films+with+low+scores Special thanks to our users jkellis, Joey Henderson, Jedimperial96, and Swordmaster164 for suggesting this idea!


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These movies are Fresh – no matter what the critics say. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Great Movies with Bad Rotten Tomato Scores.

For this list, we’re focusing on films that critics rated as rotten, but which, over time, have to come to be appreciated by home viewers as nostalgic classics or cult hits. If you don’t see a movie you think should be here, be sure to check our first video on the topic!

#10: “Legend” (1985)

With Ridley Scott in the director’s chair and Tom Cruise, fresh off his role in “Risky Business,” as the lead, this dark fantasy film had success written all over it. Unfortunately, it would seem that the movie was short a fairy godmother, as it ultimately failed to connect with critics. As such, it sits at just 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. No one is going to claim that it’s Scott’s best work, but it’s easily one of the most overlooked films in the fantasy genre. Unafraid of taking fairytale cinema to its dark roots, “Legend” is a worthy adventure, script issues aside. And with a 73% audience rating, it would seem that cinemagoers agree.

#9: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990)

Isn’t it odd to look up your favorite live-action films from childhood on Rotten Tomatoes as an adult and realize that they were considered critical duds? For 90s kids, that “TMNT” VHS likely got played on repeat until it started to deteriorate. What was not to like? Wisecracking turtles, cool action, a killer soundtrack, and a whole lotta pizza. Well, according to the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes… it was “irritating for everyone else.” But we’ve got a counterpart for RT and the critics whose opinions drive its scoring system… there’s about a quarter million users who strongly disagree, putting this fun-loving film at 80% in terms of audience score.

#8: “Man of Steel” (2013)

RT calls it “rotten” - we call it divisive. While the DCEU films (“Wonder Woman” aside) have widely been criticized as misfires, “Man of Steel” is a very different beast. A lot of people couldn’t get past Zack Snyder’s darker vision of Superman, or accept the fact that this was intended as step on his path to becoming the hero people know and love. Dropping the fun and romance that defined the Christopher Reeve movies doesn’t make this a bad film – just different. With 55% on the tomatometer, this film might be considered another point against DC’s cinematic universe, but with a 75% audience score, it’s also worth revisiting with a more open mind.

#7: “The Mighty Ducks” (1992)

Another 90s childhood live-action classic, another supposedly “bad” film. Wanna try explaining your critical justification to the Bash Bros.? An Academy Award candidate this movie most certainly was not, but it deserves better than the 18% that Rotten Tomatoes has given it. Need proof? How about the fact that it got not one, but two sequels? For hockey-obsessed kids and their parents, this was the perfect Sunday afternoon flick. No, the script doesn’t take any inspired left turns, but the characters are memorable, the morals obvious, and the film entertaining. Judged within its own league - sports movies for kids - it’s great!

#6: “Last Action Hero” (1993)

This Arnold Schwarzenegger film should be given a passing grade based on premise alone. In a plot tailor-made to hook viewers, young action film lover Danny Madigan finds himself transported into the big screen adventures of his favorite action hero, before the tables are turned and the adventure enters the real world. Like we said… you’ve got a winner in the description alone. Sure, the film is cheesy, and the story is little more than an excuse for one elaborate action set piece after another, but if you wanted character development, you wouldn’t be watching an Arnie flick that pairs him up with a teen. “Last Action Hero” is a blast, plain and simple!

#5: “Flashdance” (1983)

Sure, it’s no “Dirty Dancing,” but in the genre of dance movies, which offers up rather slim pickings, “Flashdance” is a classic. Rotten Tomatoes, which gives the film a 33% rotten score, describes the film as “all style and very little substance.” And you know what? We couldn’t agree more! But that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad film. The movie’s central character, Alex Owens, as played by Jennifer Beals, is relatable and likable enough to get us involved in her story. We didn’t come to see this movie for award-worthy drama or a nuanced plot. We came here to see characters we care about blow us away with their dancing, and that’s just what “Flashdance” does.

#4: “Troy” (2004)

Sword and shield epics don’t come along every day. When one does hit theaters, you should really just try to sit back and enjoy the historic ride. At 54%, this film isn’t rotten by a very wide margin, and given the massive scale of its action set pieces, interpersonal drama, and sheer star power, this film easily should have earned the missing 6%. Audiences score it at 73%, which feels far more suitable. It’s thrilling, it’s tragic, and though performances may not be the best any of these actors has ever turned in, they’re convincing enough to keep us invested while we enjoy the central attraction - ancient warfare on a massive scale.

#3: “Hocus Pocus” (1993)

This film is a true Halloween classic. But, believe it or not, the film got critically panned when it was released in 1993, and (even harder to believe) it struggled at the box office. Flash forward more than two decades worth of Halloweens, however, and you’ve got a generation of adults who can’t imagine celebrating this spooky holiday without the film. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker are all in top form, embracing the theatrically of their roles and clearly having a blast doing it. Our young protagonists more than pull their own weight, while Thackery Binx the talking cat and Billy Butcherson (played by Doug Jones) knock it out of the park!

#2: “Spaceballs” (1987)

Critics be damned, over time, this Mel Brooks sci-fi comedy has come to be considered one of the great film parodies, and, though self-serious fans might disagree, a humorous and welcome addition to the larger pop culture impact of the “Star Wars” franchise. Upon its release, critics dismissed it as silly and released too late after “Star Wars” to be relevant. As for the silly thing, that’s totally accurate. But this is a Mel Brooks movie. If you don’t like over-the-top slapstick humor and absurdity, don’t go. As for the argument of it being too late, time has proven that criticism to be woefully short-sighted – “Star Wars” is ALWAYS relevant in pop culture.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” (2006)

“Friday the 13th” (1980)

#1: “Jumanji” (1995)

This one hurts, shocks, and offends. How is “Jumanji,” that classic family adventure film, possibly considered rotten? With its drama, high stakes, relatable characters and VFX that hold up over 20 years later, it’s really, really hard to understand where critics were coming from. The fact that it currently sits with a score of just 53% on Rotten Tomatoes… is unfathomable. Thankfully, “Jumanji”’s cultural impact and legacy speak far louder than any critical voice or review aggregator score ever could. A film doesn’t get a blockbuster sequel 22 years later when it’s totally rotten. “Jumanji” is an enduring childhood favorite, a Robin Williams classic, and still makes for a great cinematic adventure today.


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