Watchworthy

Movies You Loved As a Child That Just Don't Hold Up 

Robert DeSalvo
Updated November 6, 2017 27.8k votes 3.4k voters 273.3k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up the movies you used to love.. but yeah, now that you think about it, are really just awful.

Movies are an integral part of childhood. We can all remember the first movie we saw in the theater, the first one we tried to watch when our parents weren't looking, and the ones that moved us or even shaped who we are today. For millennials, most of their movie memories from their impressionable years were made during the '90s - but those films don't always hold up well today.

A funny thing happens: we grow up, and suddenly not all the movies we adored when we were kids hold up decades later to our adult minds, imaginations, and high standards. You might have thought Independence Day rocked back in the day, but would you go for it now? When is the last time one of your friends suggested a Blair Witch Project evening? You see what we're getting at.

A lot of the movies on the following pages still have their defenders, so don't be a hater... vote it down instead of up. The ones hovering near the top are the movies you feel just don't hold up for whatever reason. Is one of your childhood favorites on the list? 
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Inspector Gadget is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Movies You Loved As a Child That Just Don't Hold Up
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

You loved the cartoon Inspector Gadget, so Disney smelled dollar signs and crafted this live-action version starring Matthew Broderick as the bumbling titular security guard. You might have given this a pass back in the day because you were still high on the fumes from the popular cartoon, but let's be honest: this live-action update is charmless and most of the gags fall flat. They don't get any better over a decade later.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Actors: Michelle Trachtenberg, Matthew Broderick, Andy Dick, Mr. T, Rupert Everett, + more

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Kellogg

Produced by: Jon Avnet, Roger Birnbaum, Andy Heyward, Jordan Kerner, Jonathan Glickman

Screenplay by: Zak Penn, Kerry Ehrin

Genres (Film): Science Fiction, Family, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Superhero movie

Rated: PG (USA)

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Star Wars Episode I: The... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Movies You Loved As a Child That Just Don't Hold Up
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Remember how excited you were when you heard that George Lucas was finally doing the Star Wars prequels? Everyone got in touch with their inner geek and a new generation was ready to go to a galaxy far, far away. Then they realized it was about... trade agreements? Treaties? Something? Bueller?

Sure, Darth Maul was supercool, but you had that kid playing Anakin Skywalker and an obnoxious alien named Jar Jar Binks who spoke in some sort of Rastafarian baby talk.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Actors: Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, + more

Released: 1999

Directed by: George Lucas

Produced by: Rick McCallum

Screenplay by: George Lucas

Genres (Film): Fantasy, Science Fiction, Family, Adventure Film, Action Film

Rated: PG (USA)

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Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Movies You Loved As a Child That Just Don't Hold Up
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Remember how excited you were when you found out that America was finally making its own Godzilla film? The ads teased the creature for months with only a glimpse of his foot. Then you saw the movie and, as much as you wanted to like it, you realized that the giant lizard looked all wrong and he/she/it laid eggs and hatched little baby Godzillas.

Today, you would either go old school with one of the Japanese movies or enjoy the King of Monster's eight minutes of screen time in the more recent remake, but few would let this one roar to life in the ol' Blu-ray player.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Actors: Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, Jean Reno, Harry Shearer, Lance Reddick, + more

Released: 1998

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Produced by: Dean Devlin

Screenplay by: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich

Genres (Film): Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction, Action Film

Rated: 12+ (RU), PG-13 (USA), UK: PG

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The Blair Witch Project ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Movies You Loved As a Child That Just Don't Hold Up
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

The marketing for 1999's The Blair Witch Project was genius. Since the movie used actors who were unknown, it was presented to the public as a documentary culled together from found footage after the disappearance of its participants. The public ate it up, the found-footage craze began, and people talked about how terrifying the theater experience was.

When you watch The Blair Witch Project now, you see it for what it is: a gimmicky, not-much-going-on scarefest about young people lost in the woods with shaky cameras that builds and builds to an abrupt, unsatisfying ending... and no Blair Witch to be found.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Actors: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams, Patricia DeCou, Mark Mason, + more

Released: 1999

Directed by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Produced by: Gregg Hale, Robin Cowie

Screenplay by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Genres (Film): Horror, Found footage, Mystery

Rated: R (USA)

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