ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, Suicide Squad may have just been on the receiving end of something of a critical kicking - so much so, in fact, that its director David Ayer had to come out and defend it on social media - but as it turns out, that might not matter quite as much as you'd think. Now, that doesn't mean that the fans who have started a petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes are on to something (the show's aggregation methods may be overly simplistic, but that's not sufficient cause for censorship), or even that the film doesn't need good reviews in order to do well at the box office. Instead, it simply means that history has taught us an important lesson on that score: Sometimes, we collectively end up loving movies that critics absolutely hated.

Here, then, are...

10 Beloved Movies That Got Worse Reviews Than Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad/Warner Bros.
Suicide Squad/Warner Bros.

A list that features, cult classics, comedy favorites, and - of course - at least one Adam Sandler movie.

First up?

10. Super Troopers (2001)

Super Troopers/Fox
Super Troopers/Fox

Now, Super Troopers may technically have a 2% edge on Suicide Squad at this point (its Rotten Tomatoes score is 35% to the Squad's 33%), but its reviews were arguably far less generous. Dismissed by many critics as crude, dumb and endlessly silly, it was loved by millions of fans for the exact same reason. Heck, it's even great fun when not under any sort of influence. Meow.

9. Scrooged (1988)

For a generation raised to see Bill Murray as some sort of comedic god, incapable of making anything remotely approaching a misstep (nobody mention Rock The Kasbah), it can be tough to imagine that an iconic Christmas stalwart like Scrooged was skewered by critics. Skewered it was, however, with one critic at the time labeling it "an appallingly unfunny comedy". Time, however, has been far kinder than 1988's reviewers were.

8. National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002)

National Lampoon's Van Wilder/Artisan
National Lampoon's Van Wilder/Artisan

Now, Van Wilder may be one of the most pointedly ridiculous, self-consciously offensive and intensely '2002' movies that's ever been made - something that critics didn't fail to notice - but that hasn't stopped it from becoming a fan favorite. It probably helps that star Ryan Reynolds has a knack for elevating terrible gross-out gags to the level of actual comedy - especially if you pretend that it's actually just Deadpool: The College Years.

7. Madea's Family Reunion (2006)

Madea's Family Reunion/Lionsgate
Madea's Family Reunion/Lionsgate

Now, critics have never been kind to Tyler Perry's Madea movies - with the films' tight adherence to their own generic conventions rubbing most reviewers the wrong way - but rarely have they disagreed with fan opinion more than with Madea's Family Reunion. One of the more accessible Madea movies to those unfamiliar with the - since much parodied - conventions it plays with, it was nonetheless critically skewered, and widely mocked. Posterity has proved otherwise...

6. Happy Gilmore (1996)

Happy Gilmore/Universal
Happy Gilmore/Universal

There are few better ways to divide a room between those who grew up in the 1990s, and those who didn't, than to put on an old-school Adam Sandler comedy. Goofy, divisive, and self-consciously stupid, Happy Gilmore is quintessential 90's Sandler... right down to being hated by critics upon its release. For those who love it, though, it's a true 90's classic.

5. Step Up (2006)

Not only did Step Up give the world the endlessly endearing couple that is Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, but it helped spark an entire generation's love of both goofy 'finding your true self'-themed dramas... and modern dance. Critics, on the other hand, didn't seem especially fond of either - and tore the movie apart. The movie, it seems, just didn't Channing their Tatum.

4. Flashdance (1983)

Speaking of sparking an entire generation's love of goofy 'finding your true self'-themed dramas and modern dance, Flashdance had much the same effect as Step Up, only two decades earlier. Now perhaps best remembered for that water-dropping dance sequence, Flashdance was as hated by critics as it has been loved by generations of fans since its 1983 release. Yup, that's right, 1983.

3. Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)

Ace Ventura, Pet Detective/Warner Bros.
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective/Warner Bros.

Much like Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey's 90's adventures tended to divide audiences into two groups: Those who 'got it', and their parents. Sadly for Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, most film critics are over the age of sixteen, and thus didn't have much time for Ace's zany, often-offensive, always-rubber-faced antics. Kids who grew up in the 90's, on the other hand, had all the time in the world for Ace, and his ever-expanding collection of 'rescued' pets.

2. Predator (1987)

Yup, that's right. Critics didn't like Predator. Which, when you think about it, actually makes a whole lot of sense. It's a gleefully violent horror/sci-fi hybrid featuring some of the pulpiest stars of the 80's. It would almost be more unusual if critics had liked it. Either way, though, it quickly became a fan-favorite, and was kindly re-evaluated by the generation of journalists who grew up loving it.

Finally, then?

1. Empire Records (1995)

Empire Records/Warner Bros.
Empire Records/Warner Bros.

Now, it's probably entirely possible to dislike Empire Records - or even to hate it - but it would surely require you to have been beaten up by the movie's cast in some sort of bar fight, or to be under the mistaken impression that its an ill-advised sports-themed Star Wars spin-off. For everyone else, though, Empire Records is one of the great teen comedies of the 1990s, with Ethan Embry, Rory Cochrane and a young Renée Zellweger all competing to out-scene-steal one another. Critics may not have wanted to 'Save the Empire', but pretty much everyone else who saw Empire Records sure did...

The big question now, though?

What do you reckon?


What's your favorite critically-skewered movie?


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