Everyone has their own idea of what counts as a guilty pleasure movie. Is it a film universally considered terrible that you secretly love? Is it a movie full of cheesy one-liners and a bad cast? Or it something that you just consider nostalgic from your childhood? Below is a list of ten guilty pleasures that hopefully encompass all of the above.
1. Twins (1988)
One of Arnold Schwarzengger and Danny DeVito’s great team ups, Twins is the definition of a guilty pleasure. They play twins separated at birth, except there’s a twist. They are the result of an experiment that was intended to create the perfect child. Arnie is that perfect child, whereas Danny is all the culmination of all his bad parts. Upon finding each other, the twins deal with having girlfriends, being chased by gangsters and attempt to find their long lost mother. It’s ludicrous but it’s a lot of fun. Look out for the greatest line in cinema history: ‘the pavement was his enemy’.
2. Mars Attacks! (1996)
Tim Burton’s comic sci-fi stars basically everyone who’s ever been in a movie. Michael J Fox, Pam Grier, Jack Black, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman. Even Jack Nicholson is in it as the President of the United States. And all of them get to face off against a bunch of cackling Martians who supposedly have come to Earth in peace.
3. The Princess Diaries (2001-2004)
Anne Hathaway is absolutely shocked to discover she is next in line for the crown of Genovia. Over the course of two movies, she must learn how to be a princess with Julie Andrews as her guide. They’re surprisingly good fun and great for a rainy day. In fact, they’re great for any day.
4. Clue (1985)
An old school guilty pleasure, Clue is based off the classic board game, Cluedo. And director Jonathan Lynn elevates it from schlocky trash to the right kind of trash. Starring Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Michael McKean, Clue tells the story of a group of people who meet at a creepy mansion. And then, subsequently, one of them dies and the finger pointing commences. Stuffed full of comedy and, in keeping with the spirit of the game, featuring three different endings, Clue is the most fun anyone can have playing a board game.
5. Top Gun (1986)
Starring movie’s greatest star, Tom Cruise, Top Gun is something you’ve probably heard of before. Directed by Tony Scott, we follow the misadventures of Maverick as he trains at a prestigious naval academy. With good action, quotable lines and delightfully cheesy soundtrack, Top Gun is an adrenaline fuelled pleasure we’re all allowed to enjoy now and then.
6. Mamma Mia (2008-2018)
A film series based off the songs of ABBA doesn’t sound like much, yet Mamma Mia has proven you don’t need a good story to make a movie. Just good songs. Both films are stuffed full of some pretty decent ABBA renditions and, as a rule, are super fun. If you’re not singing along with Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan by the end credits, what is wrong with you?
7. Jurassic Park 3 (2001)
Although this is often considered the worst of the Jurassic Park movies, I have to disagree. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is second only to the original. You don’t believe me? Well, check this out. Jurassic Park 3 has Sam Neill, a talking raptor, terrifying pteranodons and a giant Spinosaurus. Mr T Rex is old news. Spiny is in town and he is glorious. This is a fun outing, even though it might not have the best rewatch value.
8. Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Here, we have another entry from Twins team, Arnie and director Ivan Reitman. Arnie has done some great movies in his time but for each classic, he’s done something like this: a pure guilty pleasure. Arnie stars as a tough cop who has to go undercover in a kindergarten. Do I really need to say anymore?
9. The Mummy (1999-2008)
Brendan Fraser is the action hero we need back. This dude just straight up disappeared off the face of the earth and it’s really not fair. The Mummy trilogy is pretty nostalgic for me. Every house I ever visited had a copy of the first one somewhere by the TV. And that’s because these movies appeal to everyone. Indiana Jones with a horror twist, Fraser dominates these films and bring us a helluva lot of entertainment.
10. High School Musical (2006-2008)
The guilty pleasure movies of the Disney Channel generation. Never mind your Hannah Montana and your Suite Life, High School Musical is where it’s at. Over the course of three years and three movies, High School Musical had everyone singing in their schools and in their bedrooms. And who didn’t go and see the third one on the big screen?