Movies Audiences Love but Critics Hate

August 17, 2018 by Steven M. Peters

Source: Antonio_Diaz / Getty Images
Hundreds of movies are released in the United States each year. To help navigate the deluge of films, filmgoers often turn to movie critics. We trust these connoisseurs to evaluate the many films available to us and identify those that will be most enjoyable.

While this arrangement generally works well for both parties, critics’ tastes do not always perfectly align with those of moviegoers. Audiences love goofy comedies, violent vigilante tales, sentimental movies about pets, and films with Transformers. Critics are often less enthusiastic about such flicks.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed movie ratings of critics and general audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences on Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to determine the films that have the greatest disparities between the opinions of critics and and those of audiences. These are the movies that audiences love but critics hate.

Click here to see the movies audiences love but critics hate.
Click here to see the movies critics love but audiences hate.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Courtesy of TLA Releasing

50. Latter Days (2003)
> Directed by: C. Jay Cox
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.4/10

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Source: Courtesy of Miramax

49. Malèna (2000)
> Directed by: Giuseppe Tornatore
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.6/10

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

48. SLC Punk! (1998)
> Directed by: James Merendino
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.6/10

Source: Courtesy of Troma Entertainment

47. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)
> Directed by: Trey Parker
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.3/10

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

46. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
> Directed by: Terry Gilliam
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.7/10

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

45. Brother (2000)
> Directed by: Takeshi Kitano
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.2/10

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Source: Courtesy of Tribeca Film

44. Detachment (2011)
> Directed by: Tony Kaye
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

43. The Greatest Showman (2017)
> Directed by: Michael Gracey
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 6/10

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

42. Soul Surfer (2011)
> Directed by: Sean McNamara
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.3/10

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures and Freestyle Releasing

41. Green Street Hooligans (2005)
> Directed by: Lexi Alexander
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

40. Bella (2006)
> Directed by: Alejandro Monteverde
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.4/10

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

39. 13 Hours (2016)
> Directed by: Michael Bay
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

38. Transformers (2007)
> Directed by: Michael Bay
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.8/10

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

37. Life as a House (2001)
> Directed by: Irwin Winkler
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.3/10

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

36. The Best Man Holiday (2013)
> Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.9/10

Source: Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

35. The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008)
> Directed by: Cyrus Nowrasteh
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 6/10

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Source: Courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

34. The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
> Directed by: Nelson Shin
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.3/10

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

33. Newsies (1992)
> Directed by: Kenny Ortega
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5/10

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

32. Taken (2008)
> Directed by: Pierre Morel
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.8/10

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

31. The Bucket List (2007)
> Directed by: Rob Reiner
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.1/10

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

30. Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
> Directed by: Jon M. Chu
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.9/10

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Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

29. Man on Fire (2004)
> Directed by: Tony Scott
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.2/10

Source: Courtesy of Screen Gems

28. Think Like a Man (2012)
> Directed by: Tim Story
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

27. Chasing Mavericks (2012)
> Directed by: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.9/10

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

26. McLintock! (1963)
> Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.1/10

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions

25. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
> Directed by: Lasse Hallström
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 8.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.9/10

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

24. A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
> Directed by: Lasse Hallström
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Dimension Films

23. Equilibrium (2002)
> Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.8/10

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

22. The Last Dragon (1985)
> Directed by: Michael Schultz
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.8/10

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Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

21. Jigsaw (2017)
> Directed by: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 9.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 5.8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.7/10

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

20. I Am Sam (2001)
> Directed by: Jessie Nelson
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.6/10

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Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Porchlight Entertainment

19. The Ultimate Gift (2006)
> Directed by: Michael O. Sajbel
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.1/10

Source: Courtesy of Hollywood Pictures Home Video

18. Blood In, Blood Out (1993)
> Directed by: Taylor Hackford
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

17. Miracles from Heaven (2016)
> Directed by: Patricia Riggen
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 5/10

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

16. August Rush (2007)
> Directed by: Kirsten Sheridan
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

15. The Longest Ride (2015)
> Directed by: George Tillman Jr.
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.4/10

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

14. Step Up (2006)
> Directed by: Anne Fletcher
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

13. P.S. I Love You (2007)
> Directed by: Richard LaGravenese
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.4/10

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

12. Warcraft (2016)
> Directed by: Duncan Jones
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.2/10

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

11. The Life of David Gale (2003)
> Directed by: Alan Parker
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.2/10

Source: Courtesy of Open Road Films

10. Little Boy (2015)
> Directed by: Alejandro Monteverde
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.5/10

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Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

9. Courageous (2011)
> Directed by: Alex Kendrick
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Affirm Films

8. Fireproof (2008)
> Directed by: Alex Kendrick
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.3/10

Source: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films

7. Facing the Giants (2006)
> Directed by: Alex Kendrick
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.1/10

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Source: Courtesy of Showtime

6. An American Crime (2007)
> Directed by: Tommy O’Haver
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4/10

Source: Courtesy of Legacy Releasing Corporation

5. Thursday (1998)
> Directed by: Skip Woods
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 3.9/10

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Source: Courtesy of Overture Films

4. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
> Directed by: F. Gary Gray
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.3/10

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

3. War Room (2015)
> Directed by: Alex Kendrick
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 6.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.4/10

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

2. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
> Directed by: Darren Grant
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8/10
> IMDb audience rating: 5.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 3.9/10

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Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

1. The Boondock Saints (1999)
> Directed by: Troy Duffy
> Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 8.4/10
> IMDb audience rating: 7.8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes critic rating: 4.2/10

Detailed findings:

Nearly half of the films on our list were released in the last decade. The 2009 film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” starring Richard Gere, is particularly popular with audiences, who have rated the film 8.1/10 on IMDb and 8.2/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. Though some critics enjoyed the movie, most didn’t, and the combined critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes is only 5.9. Critic Nigel Andrews in the Financial Times labeled it “mutt mush, pure and simple-minded, for those in the mood.”

Critics and audience disagreements do not exclusively apply to newer films. Audiences generally like the 1963 comedy western “McLintock!,” starring John Wayne. Critics are more sour on the title, despite it being perhaps Wayne’s most successful film of the 1960s.

Four directors have multiple films on the list, including Michael Bay, who pleased audiences with his “Transformers” and “13 Hours.” The director with the most films on the list, however, is Alex Kendrick, known for his Christian dramas. The critics have not been kind to Kendrick, yet his movies have earned great support amongst viewers.

Methodology:

To determine the films audiences love but critics hate, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the difference between each film’s average user rating and average critic rating. The average user rating was calculated as an average of a given film’s Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience rating and IMDb’s average user rating weighted by the number of votes placed for each. Critic ratings were the average critic score from Rotten Tomatoes. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb, 5,000 audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and 10 approved tomatometer critic reviews.