Top 10 Movies That Looked Bad But Turned Out Great

Sometimes, trailers do a pisspoor job of marketing a film. The movie may seem generic or wholly different than the finished product. Sometimes, a story just seems so bad that you have no desire to even watch it. Then, word of mouth kicks in and people begin to realize the movie may actually be decent. Such is the case with these ten films. In recent years, these movies represent films that should not have worked in any way but actually ended up being excellent viewing experiences. If you disagree with this ranking or think we missed a movie that deserved a top spot, let us know in the talk backs below.


This was absolutely a butchered release by Disney that ranks as one of the worst marketing debacles of all time. Andrew Stanton’s epic space opera looked like any generic STAR WARS rip-off in the trailers and bland posters but the film itself was a fun throwback to the old days of scifi serials and pulp action flicks. I still enjoy popping this movie on and marveling at the great set and character design. A truly underrated movie that deserved better.

#2 - SPY

Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy have gotten the short end of the stick since their collaboration on BRIDESMAIDS. While GHOSTBUSTERS is another story entirely, SPY was a movie that looked like a formulaic comedy that would have ended up being completely forgettable. Instead, it gave us a hilariously deadpan Jason Statham and a Bond-esque Jude Law. This movie is much better than it has any right to be.


Remakes of old TV shows are pretty hit or miss and 21 JUMP STREET could have easily become another one and done. Instead, the dynamic between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum turns this into a spoof of the FOX cop drama and makes it into the funniest twist of a classic show since THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE. Plus cameos from series stars like Johnny Depp help this one raise the bar on comedic remakes.


A teen cheerleader comedy could have been just another dumb movie but Peyton Reed’s BRING IT ON is one of the best comedies/sports films of the last twenty years. From Spark Polastri to the intensity that no other cheerleading film could bring, Kirsten Dunst’s energy takes this from being just another movie to an infinitely quotable classic.


After Tim Burton’s reboot failed to win over audiences or critics, a darker, more realistic film was crafted with James Franco in the lead with Andy Serkis doing his motion capture magic. The first trailer looked anything but exciting but the finished film was tense, engaging and had some of the best work Serkis has ever done and he played Gollum!


Richard Linklater is not known for his mainstream studio films, but he bridged his indie roots with the best Hollywood can offer with this Jack Black comedy. Relying on Black’s musical prowess and comedic timing, SCHOOL OF ROCK is a family friendly comedy that has one of the best original film songs I have seen in a long time. This movie has aged very well over the years and still tugs at the heartstrings without becoming sappy or saccharine.


Another teen film that is way better than it should have been, this movie looked like it was going to be another HERBIE FULLY LOADED or FREAKY FRIDAY but ended up becoming a pop culture benchmark. The definitive teen film of the 2000s, MEAN GIRLS benefits from Tina Fey’s great script and Lindsay Lohan before she went off the rails. I still think Rachel McAdams was the hottest one in the movie but that is just me.


In the early 2000s, who would have thought that indie darling John C. Reilly and SNL alum Will Ferrell would be the funniest comedic duo on the big screen? After TALLADEGA NIGHTS, the pair reteamed for the incredibly stupid looking STEP BROTHERS. Like any film produced or directed by Adam McKay, this movie is a blend of idiocy and emotion that gets better on repeated viewings.


Yeah, this movie was nominated for a bunch of awards and grossed a shit ton of money, but did anyone have any confidence in a movie based on plastic bricks? After the release of BATTLESHIP and TRANSFORMERS, it didn’t seem like this would work. But, thanks to the brilliance of Phil Lord and Chris Miller who have another movie that made this list. I cannot fathom how anyone could hate this movie. It is great for kids and adults alike and is one of the most inventive animated films of all time.


Matthew Vaughn brought us X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, KICK-ASS, and KINGSMAN but it is his most unique film that is also his best. You would never think the man who helmed those three aforementioned movies would also be able to bring to life the best fantasy romance since THE PRINCESS BRIDE to life. The trailers made STARDUST look like a direct to Redbox type film despite the stellar cast of talent. People still don’t know this movie by name but I urge you to check it out and see one of the funniest romances in a long time.

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