Movies Critics Hate but Audiences Love

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

20. I Am Sam (2001)
> Directed by: Jessie Nelson
> Starring: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 4.6/10

Sean Penn received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a mentally challenged man fighting for legal custody of his 7-year-old daughter, who in the process also teaches different people, including his lawyer, the importance of love and family. Critics and some viewers thought the film was contrived and sentimental, and gave it 35% Freshness rating, though audiences on Rotten Tomatoes liked the film better than critics, giving it a score of 87%.

Source: Courtesy of Cannon Film Distributors

19. Death Wish 3 (1985)
> Directed by: Michael Winner
> Starring: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 2.4/10

Although 65% of critics gave the original “Death Wish” (1974) a positive review, affinity for the vengeful Paul Kersey appears to have dried up by the series’ third installment. Only 6% of professionals gave it a positive review. By contrast, 55% of audience members liked it, according to Rotten Tomatoes, down from 69% for the first movie.

Source: Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

18. Van Wilder (2002)
> Directed by: Walt Becker
> Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 3.5/10

Audiences who remembered “National Lampoon’s Animal House” about college fraternity hijinks responded positively to the similarly themed “Van Wilder” from National Lampoon, giving the movie a score of 73%. The movie’s brew of gross-out humor, drug references, and strong sexual content might have resonated with some viewers, but critics like the Denver Rocky Mountain News’ Robert Denerstein found it “an uneven mix of National Lampoon-style high jinks (yes, it feels slightly dated).” Just 19% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a positive rating.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

17. Half Baked (1998)
> Directed by: Tamra Davis
> Starring: Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Dí­az, Jim Breuer
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 4.2/10

Before rocketing to comedy superstardom, Dave Chappelle co-wrote and starred in this stoner comedy about a group of friends tasked with getting their friend out of jail. Critics found it under-produced and unfunny, with only 29% of those rating it on Rotten Tomatoes giving it a positive review. Audiences, on the other hand, delivered an 81% positive rating.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

16. Blood In, Blood Out (1993)
> Directed by: Taylor Hackford
> Starring: Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt
> Rotten Tomatoes critics rating: 5.5/10

Based on the life of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, this biographical film is loved by audiences online, who gifted it a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an exceptional 8 out of 10 on IMDb. The critics were less enthusiastic, with only 55% reporting positive reviews. Roger Ebert, who praised some of the performances in the film, suggested that it was missing “a clear idea of why the movie was made.”