The Best Movies Below 20% On Rotten Tomatoes
Everyone has their guilty pleasure movie. Whether it’s a raunchy comedy from the '90s or a poorly produced video game adaptation, sometimes we just need to watch something that isn’t trying to be anything more than exactly what it is - and often these movies have a dismal overall rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes - less than 20%. This critical judgment doesn’t have anything to do with enjoyment of the film, but might keep movie fans from seeking out these less than well-received movies.
The following, which aren't likely on many best of film lists, have an overall rating of less than 20% from critics. In some cases, it feels like reviewers are just being obtuse, and even if a few movies on this list definitely deserve their low ratings, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.
- 1932 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
Thirteen Ghosts got a bad rap when it was released in 2001 under the Dark Castle production logo. It was one of the early successful attempts to revamp the William Castle brand of horror B-movies from the 1950s. It's not supposed to be an Oscar-caliber film; it's just supposed to be a fun ride.
In spite of its low critical rating, Thirteen Ghosts succeeds at being really fun to watch. It's not super scary, but it does have some really cool ghost effects, and Matthew Lillard is cranked to 10.
This film isn't going to wow you with exquisite dialogue or make you rethink the career of Shannon Elizabeth, but the movie is a thrill ride in the best sense of the word.
- 2873 VOTESPhoto: Buena Vista Pictures
It's a shame that Encino Man has such a low score on the Tomatometer because it's such a good time. From Pauly Shore's brain-dead stoner antics to Brendan Fraser's truly wonderful turn as a caveman hunk, the film is populated by characters who don't necessarily feel real, but they do have something about them that makes you want to hang out with them.
The film was a hit when it was initially released but took a critical beating. Replays on personal VHS and cable TV turned Encino Man into a cult classic for '90s kids and introduced a generation to the concept of "wheezin' the juice."
- 3958 VOTESPhoto: Sony Pictures Releasing
Joe Dirt isn't a perfect film by any means. It's a little dated and has a pacing problem, but the picaresque tale of a mullet-wearing janitor is extremely likable. Plenty of comedies from 2001 have a similar far-flung narrative, but none is as weird as this David Spade flick.
This is a movie that zigs when you think it's going to zag, and odd character choices abound. Joe Dirt deals with the issue of class and how people treat low-income workers in a way that no other comedy from this era gets close to touching. This is a deeply flawed movie, but it takes huge swings, and that's worth more than a measly 9%.
- 4560 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros.
In what has to be the biggest fall from grace in film franchise history, Major League II is a real strikeout when it comes to actual filmmaking. The original film is a genre-defining sports movie in the same refined air as Bull Durham, but the sequel is a contrived film with a boilerplate storyline.
One aspect of the film does shine, however: Jack Parkman, the villain played by David Keith. He's so nasty and mean that it's clear he came to this movie to win. He chews every piece of scenery, and that's well worth the price of admission.
- 5670 VOTESPhoto: Buena Vista Pictures
Long before comic book adaptations were a mainstay on the big screen, Judge Dredd brought one of the coolest UK comic books to life in spectacularly '90s fashion. Sylvester Stallone starred in the semi-buddy cop action comedy, and although the film has little to do with the actual comic, it's a fun watch for an audience that wants to take a trip back to the 20th century.
Judge Dredd isn't good. It has some spectacularly horrendous dialogue, and Rob Schneider will make you want to use a cheese grater on your head, but the movie looks amazing. Mega-City One has an expansive feel that features nods to Blade Runner, and the movie feels very lived in, which is exactly what you want from dystopian sci-fi flicks.
Approach this film with the mindset that it's going to be a bumpy ride, and you'll be just fine.
- 6749 VOTESPhoto: Paramount Pictures
Aside from Wayne's World, movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches tend to be poorly received. It's hard to reverse-engineer a story from a three-minute sketch about two guys who like to head-bob to Eurotrash music, but Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan managed to make it happen.
In A Night at the Roxbury, two club-loving brothers have a falling out then come back together. No big deal there, but the absurd gags are what make this movie worth watching.
Time has been kind to this film, and even though it feels extremely '90s, the left-of-the-dial sense of humor hits even harder in a post-Step Brothers era.