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Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: 14 Movies That Are Better Than They Seem

We’ve all been there: we see a movie trailer or read a synopsis and think, “That looks terrible.” But then we give it a chance anyway, and we’re pleasantly surprised.

Some films defy expectations and become fan favorites, even though they were initially met with doubt. A user asked, what movie did you expect to be bad but was good? Here are the top picks:

Hot Tub Time Machine

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“Hot Tub Time Machine – the most ridiculous premise, but hilariously done. Great cast!”

The Fifth Element

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“My husband (boyfriend then) wanted me to watch it with him because it’s one of his favorite movies. I thought it looked dumb and boring, but he kept saying I’d like it. It turns out I did, and now it is one of my favorites. We also named our son after Bruce Willis’s character. If you haven’t seen it, watch it!”

Lego Movie

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A user shares how he thought Lego movie was going to be a commercial but it ended up one of his favorite movies ever with a surprisingly deep message. 

Someone else said “Even if it had been a cash grab, the animation choice to make everything look like legos was terrific. On top of that, how the plot jumps from one area to another in chain-mixing things is exactly how kids play with legos. The heroes go from cities to the wild west to the medieval world, and all get mashed together.”

“While the core story is relatively predictable, the twist (which cost them an Oscar grrrr) elevates it. It’s a fantastic example of doing something well being more important than doing something new. Even if you tell an archetypical story, you can still tell it better than anyone else.” another said.

Megamind

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“Dreamworks’ reputation was all over the place at its release, and the trailers made it look generic and dumb. Very happy I was wrong.” said one.

“I didn’t watch Megamind until recently, and it’s great. It’s just great.” another said.

Star Gate

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“As a kid, I didn’t want to go see it. Egyptian aliens? Boring. Loved it.” said one. 

Another said, “I can watch this movie anytime. I miss cable because it would occasionally be on the Syfy channel.”  “I am so not into space or sci Fi, but I loved this so much.” another added.

The Mummy (1999)

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“The trailers of the time didn’t do it many favors. It looked like a brainless summer movie, aka fast food- perhaps filling but forgettable. It was a summer movie, but it was so much fun, well-crafted, and fresh. It’s still one of my favorite movies to this day. It’s a classic!” a user shared.

“I just watched it the other day; it’s such a fun movie.” said another.

Tropic Thunder

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“My friends dragged me to see it; such a great movie.” shared one. “My absolute favorite part is when they’re trying to get the map from Ben Stiller because of the absurdity of RDJ being the rational, clearheaded one. While wearing blackface.” said one.

“Tropic Thunder is in my top 10 movies of all time. There’s just something about it; so quotable. Every person in that movie has at least a couple of great quotes.” another said.

Pirate Of The Caribbean

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“A movie based on a Disney ride?? About pirates?? This will be so bad and a lame Disney kid’s cash grab. The first movie turned out to be outstanding.” said one.

“It came out when I was 14, and I was dragged to the movies with my ex-boyfriend to see it opening night. The trailers didn’t show much, so I also expected it to be lame. Ended up being one of my favorite movies.” another added.

Tremors

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“Hands down, my favorite movie of all time. No excuses, no justifications, just because it’s fantastic. It’s a perfect film for film students- the pacing, the editing, the way they establish the physics of the universe, then stick with them (which never happens)—well acted, well cast, well designed and executed monsters, practical effects done right.

S.S. Wilson’s YouTube channel is Real Deal Productions, and he’s been uploading tons of behinds the scenes footage his dad shot while on set- it’s pretty dang interesting. Tremors: Lost Tapes is the series.” said one.

Edge Of Tomorrow

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“I have a hard time separating Cruise from all of his Scientology nonsense, and I dislike him, but I gave that movie a chance and had a great time watching it.” a user said.

“Tom Cruise the person: idiot. Tom Cruise, the actor: brilliant. I love the Edge of Tomorrow. It’s an excellent movie. Modern groundhogs day film.” said one.

Puss in Boots (2): The Last Wish

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“The Last wish had no right to be as good as it was. Just watched it the other day; it’s so damn good.” said one.

“My wife and I had time to kill in a local mall one day while waiting for an appointment and running errands. We figured we would hit the cinema to fill the time. Puss in Boots 2 was the only thing we were even remotely interested in that was showing, and it was a last-resort option. We left the cinema both extremely happy we ended up watching it.” another said.

How To Train Your Dragon

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“Looked like the insipid generic kids’ movie that was just churned out by movie studios all the time back then.

Oh, it so wasn’t.” a user said.

“Such a delightful movie— I’m 31 and rewatched for the 5th time a month or two ago and was like…” yep, still fantastic.”

The second one is excellent, too. I haven’t seen the 3rd, but I hear it’s also worth a watch.” another added.

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

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“I had low expectations and thought that Pedro would not be able to save the train wreck, and he did save it and more!” said one.

“I went in with pretty much zero expectations other than thinking it would likely be pretty weird and adored it.” another said.

The Princess Bride

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“I remember thinking it would be bad because of the name, and it was an 80s adventure film, but damn, is that a good movie and stands the test of time. To think I once thought it might be bad? Inconceivable!” said one.

“This has been my favorite movie my whole life. I’m 41. My boyfriend secretly bought me tickets to see it shown live with Cary Elwes doing commentary after, and it was amazing!” another said.

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This article originally appeared on Mrs. Daaku Studio.