Movie fans reveal the films they were dreading – but ended up loving

Movie fans reveal the films they thought would be a snooze-fest – only to become their all-time favorites

  • Movie lovers have revealed their favorite flicks they almost missed out on
  • From Tropic Thunder to Pirates of the Caribbean, many classics made the list
  • Film critic Ryan Coleman told some hits enjoy a ‘slow renaissance’

Movie buffs can be quick to judge – but how often do you go into a film with low expectations only to stumble upon a new favorite? 

After one film lover posed this very question on popular thread ‘Ask Reddit’, thousands chimed in to offer suggestions of flicks they thought would be a snooze-fest only to end up loving them.

From the controversial comedy Tropic Thunder to Hot Tub Time Machine and Edge of Tomorrow, many classics were far from beloved when they first hit the big screen.

And following in the footsteps of iconic children’s films like Shrek and Toy Story, parents added that several new animations they’d dreaded being dragged to turned out to be poignant, even funny hidden gems.

So which often overlooked flicks made the list of Reddit movie fans’ favorites?  

Controversial comedy Tropic Thunder divided some audiences, but many now insist the flick is a hilarious classic

Despite some feeling Hot Tub Time Machine had a ‘ridiculous premise’, fans claim it is now often overlooked as a comedy hit

Los Angeles-based film reviewer Ryan Coleman told that when it comes to unexpected fan-favorites, ‘it can be difficult to nail down what it is that people are drawn to’.

‘It might just be the emotional attachment. But theater is a totalizing medium, it can even be a mystical, immersive experience,’ he added.

The critic said that for films that fall flat after their releases, they tend to follow two paths: ‘They either stay in the bargain bin, or they can enjoy a slow renaissance’. 

One Reddit commenter recalls that they had to be ‘dragged’ to controversial comedy Tropic Thunder before it became one of their favorites. 

‘Tom Cruise nails his character,’ added another, noting the actor’s hilarious Golden Globe nominated performance that shocked audiences. 

‘I was expecting nothing and was legit crying laughing after that opening scene.’ 

‘Tropic thunder is in my top 10 movies all time,’ said a third. ‘There’s just something about it, so quotable. Every person in that movie has at least a couple great quotes.’

As every comedy film fan knows, quotability is key. And who did it better than Captain Jack Sparrow in 2003 smash hit Pirates of the Caribbean? 

When the film was first rolled out, many had low expectations after realizing the flick was based upon a Disneyland family rollercoaster that dated back to 1967. 

One reviewer admitted that going into the film they thought it would be little more than a ‘lame Disney kids cash grab’, before quickly changing their mind and opining that it is ‘outstanding’. 

‘The soundtrack alone is legendary,’ added another fan. 

Tom Cruise, left, won a Golden Globe for his striking performance in 2008 feature Tropic Thunder

Johnny Depp’s turn as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean won over audiences who had low expectations for the roller-coaster inspired blockbuster 

It is no secret that blockbusters can rely on big name actors to attract a crowd, and even Coleman admitted that even as a critic who ‘actively seeks out new films’, he can still be drawn in by a fan favorite. 

‘It can be like going to a restaurant – sometimes you don’t want to branch out and you feel like having something you know you’ll like,’ he added. 

Although Tom Cruise has been one of the biggest names in Hollywood for decades, many claim he’s a divisive character who can split audiences down the middle. 

The actor’s 2014 sci-fi hit Edge of Tomorrow eventually became a fan favorite, currently boasting an impressive 91% approval rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes. 

‘I dislike (Cruise)’, conceded one fan. ‘But I gave that movie a chance and had a great time watching it.’ 

‘Love the Edge of Tomorrow. It’s an excellent movie. Modern groundhog day film,’ agreed another. 

Others pointed to Hot Tub Time Machine, a zany, appropriately named sci-fi comedy about a hot tub that transports a group of friends back to 1986, as one to give a chance. 

Despite depicting ‘the most ridiculous premise’ that undoubtedly put some potential audiences off, reviewers insist it was ‘hilariously done’ and boasted a ‘great cast’. 

‘It’s not trying to pretend it’s a serious movie, it’s ridiculous from the start to the end, completely self-aware… probably one of the best time travel movies out there,’ added a fan. 

Other notable additions to the list included 2001 medieval adventure A Knight’s Tale, starring the late Heath Ledger, and time travel flick About Time, which won over fans despite expectations to be merely a standard rom com. 

Sci-fi comedy flick Hot Tub Time Machine’s wacky premise may have dissuaded some movie goers, but fans insisted it is one to watch

Starring the late Heath Ledger, 2001 medieval action comedy A Knight’s Tale won over audiences in the years after its release

Children’s animation Zootopia was given several shout-outs by those who recommend it to parents looking for a fun film they can enjoy alongside their youngsters

The animated sequel to the Puss in Boots franchise was described as an unpredictably ‘awesome film’ 

When it comes to new releases, 2022 Netflix action-comedy Bullet Train surprised many who predicted a standard, cookie-cutter feature. 

‘Didn’t expect much, just another action movie,’ said a Reddit critic. ‘But it was way better.’ 

‘I was incredibly surprised,’ continued others. ‘I was pleasantly shocked at how much I enjoyed the movie.’ 

The same could be said of animations aimed at children, with many parents admitting their youngsters hauled them into a cinema only for them to love the film too.

Classics kids’ movies such as Elf and Toy Story won over fans after their releases in decades past, followed by more recent hits like Wall-E and Inside Out – which were praised for bringing a deeper meaning or fun plot enjoyed by all ages. 

Zootopia was cited by several parents as one to watch, with one saying: ‘I thought it was a cheesy movie for kids, but it had some deep morals about discrimination and some decent adult humor.’

‘Zootopia is a movie that I like to think has no wasted moments in it. Like it is cut to perfection, and it’s a compelling story and fun to watch,’ added another. 

‘It’s a movie that stays on for me even if my kids leave the room.’

Another surprising entry to the list was ‘Puss in Boots 2: The Last Wish’, with some fans admitting the animated sequel was a feature they would easily have passed on had they not stumbled onto it. 

‘The Last Wish had absolutely no right to be as good as it was,’ said one, with another describing it as an unexpectedly ‘awesome film’. 

‘I’m not a big movie goer, let alone an animated film I presumed was targeted towards kids, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t absolutely love the movie,’ said another reviewer, who admitted they even ‘ended up buying it so we could watch it again!’ 

Robert Downey Jr, right, caused controversy in his satirical role as an actor using blackface, but many have since come to enjoy the raunchy comedy 

Sci-fi film The Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt was cited by several reviewers as a film audiences should return to almost a decade after its release

When it comes to giving a forgotten dud a second chance, film critic Ryan Coleman said an often overlooked factor can be the writer of the film. 

‘In terms of young people especially, they come back from work and pick a movie based on certain criteria they already know,’ he said. 

‘But a lot of people don’t question who wrote the movie – streaming services can leave out the writer credit, and with a bit of digging people would discover all kinds of new films they may end up enjoying’. 

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