Who’s Laughing Now: 14 Famous Movies Critics Hated But Still Ended Up As Cult Classics


It doesn’t matter how much you like a movie if it is only critically acclaimed. These examples prove the critics don’t always get things right. Watch a movie and judge it for yourself.

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Roger Ebert was particularly vocal about the film’s demerits, calling it full of “grotesque images, generating fear and despair.” The movie was lambasted for its CGI and weak origin story. Critics even called the movie way too traumatizing for young viewers. Jumanji went on to become one of the most celebrated children’s movies of all time.




Scarface received so many negative reviews upon its release even the fans started doubting themselves when they saw it in the theaters. The Chicago Reader called the movie “hysterically overplayed sequence” and a “comic nightmare”. Many other critics called the movie was a three hour rant of an actor too self-absorbed to even acre about the plot. The following year, Al Pacino received an Oscar nomination for his role in Scarface.

Fight Club



“A witless mishmash of whiny, infantile philosophizing and bone-crunching violence” – those were the words of The Los Angeles Times. Many termed the movie overly obnoxious and the characterizations way too superficial to be even called a motion picture. Boy how wrong were these folks!!

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas



The movie has steadily grown on to become one of the greatest cult classics ever made. But it was the target of much harsh criticism back in the day. Starting from its hyperactive camerawork to its unconvincing visual effects, the critics shredded the movie to pieces. Where are they now?

The Shining



Kubrick’s directing was called “too banal to sustain interest, while the incredibly slack narrative line forestalls suspense”. Jack Nicholson‘s psychopathic acting was termed “idiotic”. The negative reviews were practically never-ending and extremely raucous.




Imagine critics calling an Alfred Hitchcock movie lacked “subtlety”. That was the critical point of view when critics watched Psycho back in 1960. If you haven’t watched it yet, we suggest you give it a shot and judge for yourselves. Prominent film critic C.A. Lejeune walked out of the theater before the movie ended. She forever tarnished her reputation when she called Psycho “one of the most disgusting murders in all screen history. […] It might be described with fairness as plug ugly.”

The Exorcist



Rolling Stone described the movie as “religious p***”. New York Times claimed The Exorcist was  “practically impossible […] to sit through”, “a new low for grotesque special effects.” Knock knock. Anybody home??

The Mighty Ducks

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One of the harshest criticisms of the cult classic 1992 movie were – “Steven Brill, who has a small role in the film, constructed the screenplay much as one would put together some of those particleboard bookcases from Ikea.”

Home Alone



Some critics said the movie was just a childish way of making fun of the elderly. Entertainment Weekly told the movie was a “sadistic festival of adult-bashing.” People still ridicule Roger Ebert’s comment on the Christmas classic – “they’re the kinds of traps that any 8-year-old could devise, if he had a budget of tens of thousands of dollars and the assistance of a crew of movie special effects people.”

Pulp Fiction



A critic said the director of Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino, “doesn’t seem to know anything at all about real life, and maybe he has no interest in it either.” Others were even harsher, saying Tarantino lived “exclusively in a boy’s fantasy world, where women and any semblance of reality are only intruders.”




New York Times wrote fans shouldn’t expect “the wit of Star Wars or the metaphysical pretensions of 2001[: A Space Odyssey]. It’s an old-fashioned scare movie about something that is not only implacably evil but prone to jumping out at you when (the movie hopes) you least expect it.” The Guardian said Ridley Scott’s Alien had nothing “original” to offer.

Back to The Future



Première called the movie was a naïve and childish exploration of America and and the Rock ‘n’ Roll culture. Another magazine said the movie was one of the most appalling things ever made by the Spielberg gang. Back To The Future is probably the most well-enjoyed popcorn classic all over the glove. We have to be honest with you. We still watch it on the weekends.

Citizen Kane



The movie is arguably the best movie of all time. Prominent critic Jean-Paul Sartre thought the movie had no technical innovations to offer and everything seemingly felt dead. Writer and essayist Jorge Louis Borges called Citizen Kane “a labyrinth with no center.” The techniques used in Citizen Kane influenced the world of cinema for generations to come.




A bad Steven Spielberg movie is a rare creature to find in the Hollywood Wilderness. But the critics thought Spielberg jumped the shark with Hook in 1991. The New York Times said the movie tried to “be all things to as many people as possible”. Rolling Stones had a similar opinion – “it will take more than pixie dust to fly this overstuffed package into our dreams.”


Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.