12 Movies That Surprised Us: They Were Way Better Than We Expected

We’ve all had those moments where we watched a movie that we weren’t expecting to like and totally loved. The first time it happens, it leaves you wondering: What other great movies have I overlooked?

Well, we rounded up some popular suggestions: here are 12 movies we thought would be meh but turned out to be really good when folks actually sat down to watch them.

How many of these have you seen (or avoided)?

1. The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods.
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

I really thought this movie was going to be a generic slasher horror movie. It’s absolutely not that. The Cabin in the Woods is best if you don’t know what’s happening going in (maybe that’s why it was marketed that way?), so I won’t say anything else other than watch it.

2. Stardust

Stardust.
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Based on a Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess novel of the same name, Stardust isn’t the kind of movie that takes itself seriously. If you overlooked this one, thinking it was going to be a cheesy sci-fi film, you might want to reconsider, especially if you like movies like The Princess Bride.

3. Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest.
Image Credit: Dreamworks.

Just look at the cast for Galaxy Quest and tell me you don’t want to see it. While the timing of Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver starring in a space comedy might be less poignant now (they played Buzz Lightyear and Ripley), this movie still holds up.

So why did people expect it to be meh? It looked to be a terrible Star Trek parody – but it was so much more.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean.
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

It’s hard to look at these movies in retrospect from the lens of the first film’s release. I mean, really – a movie based on a Disneyland ride? More than that, it wasn’t even the first; three other attractions had become movies with mixed (even poor) reviews. So yeah, we weren’t expecting much.

Now you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen, at the very least, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

5. My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny.
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

This is one that comes recommended a lot in various circles but easily could have been overlooked when it came out. At a glance, it looks like any other early 90s comedy movie, and it’s been surprising to anyone who watches it how great it’s been ever since.

6. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
Image Credit: Dreamworks.

If you watched the first Puss in Boots movie and liked it, you should really check out this 2022 sequel. A lot of adults skipped this one thinking it wouldn’t do the character justice or capture the humor of the first movie after all this time; they were wrong.

7. The LEGO Movie

Tambov, Russian Federation - June 04, 2020 Three Lego astronaut minifigures going one after another on gray baseplate background. The LEGO Movie 2.
Image Credit: Rosinka79
via DepositPhotos.com.

Going into The LEGO Movie with my kids, I was thinking: okay, it will be a pretty ok kids’ movie. Yeah, the kids loved it, but we adults are the ones still quoting it to this day. The LEGO Movie had absolutely no business being as entertaining or emotional as it was.

8. Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
Image Credit: Paramount Network.

Most folks were expecting this movie to be meh and nothing special. This was especially true for fans of D&D, who felt it couldn’t deliver on something so near and dear. Funny, nerdy in a way that felt authentic for fans (and accessible for all), and genuinely entertaining, it’s a must-see if you’re a fantasy fan who skipped it thinking it was lame.

9. District 9

Neill Blomkamp and David James in District 9 (2009).
Image Credit: Tristar Pictures.

 

There was a good amount of hype around District 9 when it came out, but it certainly wasn’t on everyone’s radar. Even folks who did hear about it weren’t sure what to expect; it certainly gives off strange, almost cheesy vibes if you aren’t looking closely.

While most sci-fi fans who watch it love the movie, the biggest surprise comes to folks who don’t enjoy science fiction: the movie is much more than a story about aliens.

10. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

Spider-Man/Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.
Image Credit:
Sony Pictures Animation.

Both movies are a masterpiece in animation and tell amazing stories that you just can’t recreate with their live-action counterparts. Of course, it’s easy to look at the Spiderverse films and see “kid’s Spiderman cartoons.” Certainly, these movies are great for kids, but adults and even non-superhero fans will find something special here too.

11. Game Night

Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury in Game Night (2018).
Image Credit: Warner Bros Entertainment.

This one came off as a mediocre date-night comedy/mystery-type movie, so it’s no wonder folks were shocked after watching it. It’s actually really good!

12. Palm Springs

Palm Springs.
Image Credit: Christopher Willard/Hulu.

Don’t read anything about this movie; just watch it. OK, fine, I’ll tell you a little: two wedding guests (Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti) are stuck in a time loop, living the same day again and again – kind of like Groundhog Day. Anyway, it’s very funny.

12 Sitcoms That It’s Hard To Understand Why They’re So Popular Despite Being Unfunny

Fuller House Season 2.
Image Credit: Michael Yarish/Netflix.

We wanted to know what successful, famous sitcoms people didn’t find funny at all, and the internet didn’t let us down. It turns out there are plenty of successful sitcoms that it’s hard to understand why they’re so popular despite being unfunny.

Here are some of the most popular answers.

12 Sitcoms That It’s Hard To Understand Why They’re So Popular Despite Being Unfunny

The Abrupt Endings of These 8 Netflix Shows Left Viewers Unsatisfied

Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet Season 2.
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

 

The worst part of having your favorite show canceled is that you never get to see the ending and never find out what happened to all the characters. If there was a good ending, the fans might not be upset!

The Abrupt Endings of These 8 Netflix Shows Left Viewers Unsatisfied

13 Netflix Movies That Flew Under the Radar But Are Totally Worth Your Time

THE LOST DAUGHTER. OLIVIA COLMAN as LEDA.
Image Credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX.

 

Are you looking for a movie to watch on Netflix that hasn’t been recommended a million times? Here are some of the most awesome and niche movie recommendations. These movies totally flew under the radar and, for some reason, aren’t recommended so often, but they should be!

13 Netflix Movies That Flew Under the Radar But Are Totally Worth Your Time

12 Movies You Can’t Die Without Watching

Hotel Rwanda.
Image Credit: United Artists.

 

I love lists like this! As a big-time movie fan, I’m always looking for new flicks to add to my “must-watch” list. We wanted to know what people thought were movies everyone should see at least once in their lifetime, and there were so many great responses. We narrowed it down to 12 of the best.

How many of these fan and critically acclaimed movies have you seen?

12 Movies You Can’t Die Without Watching

16 Fantastic Netflix Shows That Are Seriously Underrated

American Vandal.
Image Credit: Courtesy Netflix.

 

Looking for some shows that are absolutely fantastic but don’t consistently make the top ten every week? We have all heard of Netflix’s biggest hits, but there are some shows that are absolutely great that don’t get the same buzz.

16 Fantastic Netflix Shows That Are Seriously Underrated

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