Movies Critics Hate but Audiences Love

Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

40. Super Troopers (2001)
> Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
> Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, André Vippolis
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 5.0/10

“Super Troopers” is a lowbrow comedy about dope-smoking Vermont state troopers trying to save their jobs by making a drug bust. It was written by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, who also play the five state troopers. The film enjoys a 90% approval rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics did not share their enthusiasm, giving a Freshness rating of 35%. Chuck Wilson of L.A. Weekly said the movie featured “actors who aren’t actors so much as just a bunch of guys goofing off.”

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

39. The Little Rascals (1994)
> Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
> Starring: Travis Tedford, Bug Hall, Brittany Ashton Holmes
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 3.7/10

In contrast to the series of original shorts from the 1930s, “Our Gang” and “Little Rascals” films, the 1994 offering was a full-length movie that was helmed by “Wayne’s World” director Penelope Spheeris. Based on what critics said, moviegoers are unlikely to forget the original. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a Freshness rating of 23%. “A dismal kids’ comedy in which all creativity stopped after casting lookalikes for the old rascals’ was completed,” wrote Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune. The film managed a 70% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of IFC Films

38. Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) (2007)
> Directed by: José Padilha
> Starring: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 5.1/10

This searing film is about an elite police squad formed to take on the gang-fueled violence overwhelming Rio de Janeiro. Film director José Padilha examines the cycle of violence and corruption of those entrusted to enforce the law. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a Freshness rating of 53%. Some thought the director was merely exploiting violence, with Manohla Dargis of The New York Times calling it a “relentlessly ugly, unpleasant often incoherent assault on the senses.” Audiences begged to differ, giving the film a score of 87%.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

37. Black Sheep (1996)
> Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
> Starring: Chris Farley, David Spade, Tim Matheson
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 3.6/10

Aside from the lauded “Wayne’s World” (1992) and its sequel, critics were generally not kind to the cinematic works of the late Chris Farley. Among the poorly received is “Black Sheep,” in which Steve Dodds (David Spade) is tasked with babysitting the clumsy Mike Donnelly (Chris Farley), the younger brother of a candidate for governor. Critic Susan Wloszczyna writing for USA Today described Chris Farley and David Spade as “the poor idiot’s Abbott and Costello” and called “Black Sheep” “bleatingly awful.” A solid 70% of audiences did enjoy the film, however.

Source: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Affirm Films

36. Fireproof (2008)
> Directed by: Alex Kendrick
> Starring: Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea, Ken Bevel
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 4.4/10

Kirk Cameron stars in “Fireproof,” a faith-based film about a firefighter whose marriage is dissolving. His father tries to keep their marriage together through an experiment called “Love Dare” that ties into his father’s’ newly discovered faith. Critics didn’t pan the film, and gave it a 40% Freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes, but they did dismiss it as bland storytelling. The film is directed by Alex Kendrick, an ordained minister, who also directed the faith-based movie “Courageous.” Audiences were more uplifted by the film than critics, giving it a score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.