Guest post by Cassie from Culture Coverage
While critics’ ratings are usually a little lower than audience ratings, they’re normally quite close. Occasionally, however, there are films that leave critics and audiences divided. Critics loathed Suicide Squad, but audiences were much more kind to it. This doesn’t mean that the critics have it wrong, though. Audience opinions can be quite fickle. That being said, there are some films that stand the test of time when it comes to audience perception. The following five films are definitely worth watching despite the opinions of the critics.
Man of Steel (2013)
Man of Steel is the first instalment in the DC Cinematic Universe and focuses on Superman’s origin story. It begins on the planet Krypton which is facing complete annihilation due to decades of heavy mining. A Kryptonian, Jor-El, puts his son Kal-El on a preprogrammed spaceship to save his life. The spaceship crashes on Earth where Jonathan and Martha Kent find Kal-El and name him Clark. Jonathan encourages Clark to hide his superpowers, but Clark is forced to reveal them when some Krypton survivors decide to attack the Earth.
After its release, Man of Steel received mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 55 average on Metacritic. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 55, saying that it was a generic blockbuster. This statement is somewhat unexpected, because many critics said that the film did not have enough fun, humour and romance. All of those elements are standard in today’s blockbusters.
Audiences disagree with critics, giving the film a rating of 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.5 on Metacritic. While criticizing the lack of joy, humour and romance in Man of Steel, critics missed its greatest feature: the exploration of Superman as a person. Previous Superman films focused on his superpowers, not his humanity. This new take on Superman as an imperfect hero is what makes this film excellent.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
The thriller The Butterfly Effect tells the story of Evan Treborn. Since he was very young, Evan has had memory lapses during significant events in his life. At seven, he starts keeping a journal to help cope with the memory lapses. As he gets older, he has fewer lapses. At college, Evan finds his old journal and starts reading an entry. He is suddenly transported back in time to the moment of the lapse. He soon discovers that he can use his journal to travel back in time and change the future.
Critical reception of The Butterfly Effect was generally poor. Much of the criticism seemed to be directed at Ashton Kutcher’s acting ability. Critics said the role was beyond his capability and called his style clichéd. Others claimed the film was repetitive and that the science was inconsistent.
Audiences disagreed with critics, giving the film a rating of 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.9 on Metacritic. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian suggested that critics were too harsh and patronized the film because of their disdain for Kutcher. Audiences said that Kutcher’s portrayal of Evan was likeable and convincing. And apart from some of the scientific issues, the film is intelligent and thought provoking. All in all, The Butterfly Effect is a bittersweet reminder that every action we take has lasting consequences.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
The Boondock Saints is a crime thriller about Irish American twins who set out to rid their neighbourhood of crime. Connor and Murphy MacManus are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a pub when Russian gangsters arrive. They declare that they are going to close the pub because they want the land it’s on. This causes a bar brawl. When the thugs attempt to exact their revenge on Connor and Murphy the next morning, the brothers accidentally kill them. After having an epiphany, the brothers become vigilante crime fighters.
The film received negative reviews from critics to say the least. Critics’ castigated The Boondock Saints for its violence, calling it a gratuitously violent Tarantino clone that’s simply a gleeful endorsement of vigilantism. Critics’ loathing of the violence in the film probably stemmed in part from its release less than a year after the horrific Columbine High School massacre.
In spite of its appalling ratings from critics, The Boondock Saints has developed a cult following. The film got a staggering 91 percent from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9 on Metacritic. Audiences called it stylish and entertaining with decent action scenes. While the film portrays somewhat questionable morals, it is very entertaining. As it is a little older, it might be a bit difficult to get hold of. It isn’t available on Netflix U.K. or U.S.A. but you can access it on Canadian Netflix using a Virtual Private Network like those recommended by Secure Thoughts.
Session 9 (2001)
This independent psychological horror film follows an asbestos removal crew working in an abandoned insane asylum. The crew’s manager, Gordon Fleming, wins the bid for the job by promising that they will finish in a week. Considering the extreme time pressure and each crew member dealing with his own personal problems, conflict ensues. While the rest of the crew argue, Mike finds old therapy session recordings of a patient with multiple personality disorder. As the arguments intensify and Mike becomes more obsessed with the recordings, the situation gets out of control.
Despite being on this list Session 9 only received mixed reviews. That being said, it was severely criticised for its narrative. There was a general consensus among critics that the plot was underwritten, and the ending was contrived.
Session 9 also received mixed reviews from the public, but they seem to have grasped the point that critics missed: an unsettling atmosphere and psychological tension often result in outstanding horror films. The creepy setting, heavy atmosphere and tension between the characters keeps viewers on edge. That’s exactly what psychological horror films are supposed to do.
Green Lantern (2011)
Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Green Lantern is another superhero film. The Green Lantern Corps was created from the green essence of willpower billions of years ago by the Guardians of the Universe. One Green Lantern, Abin Sur, battles an evil being called Parallax, and imprisons him. Yet Parallax escapes in the present day. As Abin Sur lies dying after crashing to Earth, his ring chooses a test pilot called Hal Jordan to take his place. Hal accepts, becomes a Green Lantern and works to save the world from Parallax.
Green Lantern received many negative reviews from critics. The film was lambasted by critics for having a thin, poorly written plot and terrible special effects. Green Lantern was even named one of the ten worst films of 2011 by the British newspaper The Telegraph.
Despite its terrible ratings, audiences liked Green Lantern more than the critics. While the ratings weren’t particularly high, at least some people enjoyed the film. Audiences generally said critics were taking it too seriously and that it was an enjoyable superhero film. When approached as such, Green Lantern is a fun popcorn film with some exciting special effects.
These five films are by no means the only underrated films you can find. Which are your favorites? Have you seen any of the ones listed above? Please let us know in the comments below.
About the author: Cassie is an entertainment and technology blogger who loves movies. She especially enjoys discovering all the underrated hidden gems and sharing them with her friends and readers. Cassie has her own blog, securethoughts.com which you should also check out.