25 Films That Are Masterpieces Despite Critics Saying Otherwise

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Not everyone has the same opinions about movies since it’s such highly subjective content. Someone in a popular online forum asked which films people thought were masterpieces, even though critics and audiences mostly said otherwise. Here are the top 25 responses.

1. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China Peter Kwong, James Pax, Carter Wong
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

A long-distance trucker is in for a surprise when he has to help free his best friend's kidnapped finance, Miao Yin. This leads them to the mystery of an ancient curse with supernatural horrors and Kung Fu masters. They have to try and not only rescue Miao but also live to tell the tale.

2. Out of Sight (1998)

Out of Sight (1998)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

A career criminal breaks out of prison with one of his friends and kidnaps a U.S. Marshal in the process. While the two convicts go for one more big score, a Marshal is put on their trail. She develops feelings for one of them and becomes conflicted about what she should do.

3. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

A Scanner Darkly Woody Harrelson
Image Credit: Warner Independent Pictures.

Set in the near future, a detective is working with some drug users to get to the distributors of a brain-damaging drug. While doing this, the detective begins to lose himself and displays schizophrenic behavior, making it necessary to check his mental condition.

4. School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock Jack Black, Joey Gaydos Jr.
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

After being fired from a band, Dewey Finn impersonates his roommate and accepts a gig as a substitute teacher. He notices his students have musical skills, so he helps them further develop their talents and enters them into a Battle of the Bands competition.

5. Rushmore (1998)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Max is a popular kid at his private school, participating in many after-school activities. He isn't doing well in his classes though and finds himself on probation. He also falls in love with a teacher at an elementary school, the same teacher one of his friends is also interested in.

6. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

Two teens with rock band dreams are failing school so Ted's father threatens to send him to military school if the boys fail their history report. A man from the future shows up to help with their report… and the rest is history.

7. Mary and Max (2009)

Mary and
Image Credit: IFC Films.

In the 1970s, an 8-year-old Australian child randomly selects a name from a phone book and writes to him, including a candy bar in the envelope. She receives a letter back from him, also with chocolate. This is the beginning of a 20-year relationship that gets interrupted by life events. They both go on with their lives, wondering if they will ever meet face to face.

8. The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Mosquito Coast
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Harrison Ford delivers a remarkable performance as Allie, a man who is driven to madness when he is unable to control his ego and his intellect. Allie drags his family to Central America in an attempt to build a perfect society in the middle of the jungle. Unfortunately, conflicts arise and create obstacles to his obsession.

9. Dark City (1998)

Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Rufus Sewell
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

A guy wakes up in a strange hotel with amnesia, having no recollection of recent events. He finds out that he is wanted for some violent crimes and tries to put the pieces of the puzzle in the right order. While doing that he runs into an underground group that can put people to sleep and change the environment. It becomes his job to try and stop them before he loses everything.

10. Jennifer's Body (2009)

Jennifer's Body
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Two teen girls are friends despite having little in common. A huge fire breaks out at a bar and Jennifer suddenly has an appetite for human blood. As male classmates meet violent ends, Needy needs to find out what happened to her friend Jennifer and then find a way to prevent her boyfriend Chip from meeting the same fate as their classmates.

11. American Honey (2016)

American Honey
Image Credit: A24.

A teenage girl is at a crossroads and decides to join a traveling magazine sales crew. Throughout the movie she gets caught up in a whirlwind of trouble from partying hard, potentially falling in love, and bending the law as she crosses the Midwest.

12. Fish Tank (2009)

Fish Tank
Image Credit: IFC Films.

This is a story about Mia, a fifteen-year-old girl who lives with her sister and mom. She has gotten into trouble at school and doesn't seem to have a purpose in life. Her mom gets a new boyfriend, and Mia begins a new strange friendship with him.

13. Gattaca (1997)

Jude Law Gattaca
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

A man dreams of traveling to the stars, but society has deemed he isn't fit to do so. To try and accomplish his goal he assumes the identity of someone else and learns how to cheat the system. When he is about to achieve his dream, disaster strikes, jeopardizing everything.

14. Spring Breakers (2012)

Spring Breakers
Image Credit: A24.

A group of best friends live in a college dorm and want to find an adventure. They decide to save up money so they can go on spring break. A chance encounter with a rapper gives the girls the opportunity for an experience they won't soon forget.

15. Treasure Planet (2002)

Treasure Planet
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

In a film based on the novel Treasure Island, a rebellious teen is considered lazy by society in general. A map comes into his possession, sending him on a journey across the universe to find the legendary planet.

16. High Fidelity (2000)

High Fidelity
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

This story is based on a lifetime of regret and past relationships. Rob Gordon owns a used record store in Chicago. His girlfriend just ended things which causes him to reflect on past relationships. Rob tries to figure out where things went wrong and why, to this point, his life hasn't worked out the way he thought it would.

17. Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas
Image Credit: Reiner Bajo – Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

This unique film alternates between six different stories at any one time. There is some sci-fi, some comedy, some romance, and more. It also covers different time periods but it all comes together to create a thought-provoking film.

18. The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man Elisabeth Moss
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This tale is about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her abusive ex-boyfriend is suddenly deceased. Things aren't always what they seem, though, as her sanity and sense of reality are questioned because he might not be dead after all.

19. The Florida Project (2017)

Florida Project Brooklynn Prince
Image Credit: A24.

The Florida Project revolves around single mother Halley living with her daughter Moonee in a budget motel outside of Orlando. The motel's policy is for no long-term rentals, but the owner has a soft spot for them, so he makes an exception. The kids are generally allowed to run wild, but there are some things the motel manager won't allow. As the summer goes by, Halley keeps alienating people and has to take drastic measures to try and maintain their lifestyle.

20. Collateral (2004)

Collateral Tom Cruise
Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

This thriller follows Max Durocher and Vincent, a hitman who needs a ride around the city to complete his job. Vincent forces Max to take him to where his targets are located. Max tries to regain control of the situation numerous times, especially after he learns of one of the names on Vincent's list. The LAPD and FBI eventually get involved and try to track down Max and Vincent throughout their adventure.

21. The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys Ryan Gosling
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Set in 1977, a licensed private investigator named Holland March is hired to investigate a brutal crime against an adult actress. The investigation leads him to a woman named Amelia. However, she eventually vanishes, and it becomes obvious that there are other interested people besides March. He needs to team up with a less qualified PI to tackle a criminal world and potentially a government conspiracy.

22. The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys 3
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

A mom and her two sons move to a town in California that has a problem with bikers and some mysterious deaths. The youngest makes friends with two older kids who claim to be vampire hunters. The oldest son is drawn into a biker gang by a beautiful girl. They go down different paths as the oldest becomes a night owl and the youngest gets into trouble due to his friend's obsession.

23. The Happening (2008)

the happening movie
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This movie by M. Night Shyamalan is about a change in nature that can't be explained. It begins with the mysterious disappearance of bees. As scientists develop theories, a bigger problem hits the planet that is causing everyone's behavior to change in Central Park. It is only a short time until that behavior expands beyond the park's boundaries, which causes panic as everyone is trying to figure out what is happening.

24. Shattered Glass (2003)

Shattered Glass
Image Credit: Lions Gate Films.

This is a true story about a fraudulent journalist based out of the Washington D.C. area. Most of the stories he wrote for The New Republic were made up in an attempt to become famous. As things started crumbling around him, he eventually got caught.

25. Unbreakable (2000)

Unbreakable Bruce Willis Samuel L. Jackson Robin Wright
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

David Dunn is heading home on the train after a job interview that didn't go well. Suddenly, a car jumps the tracks and collides with an engine. David is the only survivor. As he tries to piece together what happened, he meets someone who says he might be “unbreakable.” David then has to deal with what that might mean in the grand scheme of things.

Source: Reddit.

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Brandon Hofer is a California-based writer who covers the entertainment industry. More specifically, Brandon has covered the gaming industry since 2006, attending and covering the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) every year. Brandon has also attended the Games Developer Conference, Penny Arcade Expo, and various events put on by publishers and developers. Brandon has worked with numerous studios, including Xbox Game Studios, PlayStation, Nintendo, Ubisoft, THQ, Activision, Electronic Arts, and more. Over the years, working with those studios has also allowed Brandon to work with iconic franchises such as the NFL, WWE, and the UFC. Thanks to that experience, Brandon also covers what goes on in the world of sports entertainment, primarily WWE. Brandon's work has appeared on MSN, Muck Rack, Flipboard, GameCrate, Wealth of Geeks, and more.