13 film critics hated but audiences loved, from Venom to Twilight

Every critic knows that the public will not always agree with you.

Often, this takes the form of a critical darling who proves too difficult or subversive for the mass market – films like the 2019 science fiction drama. Ad Astrastarring Brad Pitt.

However, at other times, it works the other way around: the critical community rejects the merits of a film, only for the general public to accept it as a classic.

As with all forms of art, there is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” answer with any film. People are free to enjoy what they enjoy, and that means critics and audiences alike.

But the internet age has allowed non-critics more of a voice than ever when it comes to announcing their verdicts on film.

Review aggregator websites included Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic has allowed us to really see the differences when audiences and critics disagree.

Here are 13 of the most disharmonious movies in cinema – the ones that the audience loved but didn’t care about critics …

Batman vs. Superman: Twilight of Justice (2016)

Zack Snyder’s 2016 sequel Man of Steel it seemed as if it had a condition that could not fail. Everyone loves Superman. Everyone loves Batman. Why not release them? Reviews for the film were absolutely damning, however, with everything from the acting to the script to Snyder’s direction taking a beating from critics. Audiences were considerably warmer, however, with DC fans later accepting the hit as one of the better entries in the so-called “Snyderverse”.

Henry Cavill in “Batman v Superman: Twilight of Justice”

(Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

There were many valid reasons to criticize the 2018 Freddie Mercury biofilm Bohemian Rhapsody: the dubious way it dealt with the sexuality of the late Queen singer, the widely mocked editing, even the bizarre false teeth of Rami Malek. It received more than its share of pans from the critical community, earning only 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences nonetheless bought its charms.

The Boondock Saints (1999)

A vigilante crime drama The Boondock Saints had an annoying publishing history – appearing in a handful of cinemas just passing by. With a home video release, it became a huge success, however, eventually leading to a sequel in 2009. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film boasts one of the biggest ever differences between critical acclaim (28 percent positive) and viewer reviews (91 percent). ).

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Harlem Nights

This 1989 ban-era comedy, starring Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, was massacred by critics when it first appeared. Audiences saw the fun side. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film boasts an 80 percent positive audience, compared to a miserable 23 percent for critics.

Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in “Harlem Nights”


joker (2019)

It would be unfair to suggest that Todd Phillips joker – an origin story for the clown Batman villain – was unanimously poo-pooed by critics. But there were a lot of damn estimates there: this was a polarizing film that some reviewers directly despised. Although it definitely had a few haters among the general public as well, they were more positive when it came to the film’s merits, and joker earn a considerably higher 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from audiences. Joaquin Phoenix later won an Oscar for the role, the second person to win an Academy Award for starring in the character, after The Dark Knightis Heath Ledger.

Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

One of the best movies on this list, Josie and the Cats was completely misunderstood by critics when it first appeared. A sharply entertaining musical satire with an original tracklist of infectiously attractive pop-punk hits, the film enjoyed some re-evaluation in the years after – but many viewers called it right from day one.

Kingsman: The Intelligence Service (2014)

Matthew Vaughn’s bombastic spin on the spy genre didn’t exactly blow away critics when it debuted in 2014. Maybe the jokes were too broad, the action too caricatured. Moviegoers were more impressed, with special praise lavished on one daring fight scene set to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” It was so popular with audiences that there was already a Kingsman sequel and prequel, with more sequels and spin-offs in development.

Taron Egerton in “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

(Twentieth Century Fox)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)

Frank Capra’s Christmas classic is now often cited as the best Christmas movie ever made – and one of the best. This, however, was not always the case. When the film was first released, the reception was clearly unenthusiastic. It was only later, as the film was aired and rebroadcast on television during the festive period, that it began to swell in popularity and claim the recognition it so richly deserved.

The Lion King (2019)

Critics have generally hated Disney’s fundamentally unnecessary CGI revamp of animated children’s classics. The Lion King. The vocal performances were not so good; the animation was realistic-looking but sadly inexpressible; the whole thing smelled of corporate cynicism. And yet, audiences showed up en masse, and left happy – the film garnered 88 percent of viewership on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to just 52 percent of critics).

Hakuna Matata: Mufasa and Simba in “The Lion King”


My mother! (2008)

Much like Bohemian Rhapsody, My mother! was removed from the critical community for being too campy, too tough – there was a little too much mustard on the sandwich. Audiences, however, got exactly what they expected from an Abba musical, and My mother became a quick favorite of co-sung screenings and tumultuous (mostly female) group viewings.

Saw (2004)

Horror movies have always entertained a somewhat unique relationship between critic and audience; often, a rather snobbish distinction is drawn between “high” fare and grosser or exploitative horror, when the latter has in fact been at the heart of many of the genre’s greatest hits and inventions over the years. Saw was despised by critics when it first appeared, but audiences saw things differently. James Wan’s modest gorefest has finally blossomed into one of the biggest horror franchises of the 21st century.

Twilight (2008)

The first film adaptation of the hit vampire novel series will never fail – the fans between a specific age demographic were a legion. Critics hailed the high school-set fantasy, however, denouncing its flaws almost unanimously. Audiences took it much more positively, though, and they may have just been right. In Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Twilight managed to capture two of the outstanding acting talents of a generation.

Poison (2018)

Critics were unsure what to do Poison, the Marvel anti-hero thriller in which Tom Hardy plays Spider-Man villain Eddie Brock, who becomes entangled with an alien symbiote. It was like something from the mid-Noughties, critics decided – cheeky, disgusting and arrogant. But the audience was much more wicked with it; on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score is 80 percent positive, compared to just 30 percent for critics. It’s no surprise Poison has already generated one successful sequel, with another in the pipeline.

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