When it comes down to it, critics have a subjective opinion, just like every member of the audience. Critics also tend to be more cynical and biased towards films that are breaking new ground, because they have seen so many movies in their lives. A lot of these great movies that were initially hated on by critics withstood the test of time, or were adopted by audiences as their favorites.
A lot of the films on this list were missed by critics because they were expecting something and got something else entirely. This is the case with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Predator. Critics claimed that there was no plot in either movie, and that they lacked real story-telling structure. The reasons why audience members like these movies, however, had nothing to do with a well-put together plot line. Many people enjoyed them because of their unique exploration of a subculture, or graphic action sequences.
Not all movies are instant classics. Some require the kindness of time to look more appealing, or the interest of a select group of fans to turn the movie into a cult classic. Who knows? Baz Luhrmann's 2013 version of The Great Gatsby may just have a chance after all.
Kubrick is good at making movies that everyone dislikes, realizes that they were chumps for disliking it, and then pretends to have liked all along. For example, Roger Ebert gave the movie a bad review, only to go back on it later.
Variety regarded the film as a destruction of everything that made the Stephen King book terrifying, and said that Shelley Duvall “transforms the warm sympathetic wife of the book into a simpering, semi-retarded hysteric.” In fact – Shelley was nominated for a Razzie for worst actress for the role, along with – for reals – Kubrick for worst director! Wow.
In fairness – the movie was probably the worst adaptation when you think about, and by ‘worst’ I mean least loyal. Hell – Jack doesn’t even have an ax in the book, but rather a mallet. But hey – can you imagine if Kubrick kept that in?
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%, 8.5/10
#71 on The Most Rewatchable Moviessee more on The Shining
“I sat cringing before MGM’s Technicolor production of The Wizard of Oz, which displays no trace of imagination, good taste, or ingenuity… I don’t like the Singer Midgets under any circumstances, but I found them especially bothersome in Technicolor… I say it’s a stinkeroo.” – Russell Maloney, The New Yorker
Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%, 9.4/10
Also Rankedsee more on The Wizard of Oz
Upon its release, the reviews for this movie weren’t all terrible but rather just so-so. It's rise to Classic Film status just goes to show that if a film strikes a chord with the public, its greatness can't be denied.
At the time though – the film was “plainly a gimmick movie”, and even a “blot on an honorable career.” In a particularly pretentiously written review, the New York Times said it had “not an abundance of subtlety” and was an “obviously low-budget job.” No one hated it – but no one thought it to be anything all that special either.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%, 9.2/10
#39 on The Greatest Movie Themessee more on Psycho
New York Daily News called it “hardly groundbreaking,” the Miami Herald referred to it as “a bit of a dud,” and the Boston Globe said that its “chic indictment of empty materialist values fizzles.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%, 7.3/10
#27 on The Most Rewatchable Moviessee more on Fight Club