Pleasant surprises.by ashturner-79373 | created - 6 months ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
Movies that I didn't expect much from or had no interest in - but they turned out to be good.
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1. Xtro (1982)
R | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A man who was abducted by aliens returns to his family three years later, but his presence affects them negatively.
A cheap b-movie that's actually really interesting and creative.
2. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
R | 109 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 25-year old drifter and his future wife from a most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
Votes: 360,086 | Gross: $150.37M
An entertaining and fairly clever sequel to two movies that didn't need sequels.
3. Vacancy (2007)
R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller
A married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.
Votes: 90,850 | Gross: $19.36M
4. 2012 (I) (2009)
PG-13 | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind.
Votes: 335,074 | Gross: $166.11M
5. Adventureland (2009)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.
Votes: 148,270 | Gross: $16.03M
6. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Teenager Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a vampire. After a series of events, Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque du Freak and become a vampire.
Votes: 41,555 | Gross: $14.05M
Had never heard of this and had no interest, but I gave it a chance and loved it.
7. Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys and natives are all that stand in their way.
Votes: 199,106 | Gross: $100.24M
Much better than the title would suggest.
8. Red Riding Hood (2011)
PG-13 | 100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure.
Votes: 103,854 | Gross: $37.66M
Good, albeit cheesy.
9. The Hunger Games (2012)
PG-13 | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
Votes: 807,481 | Gross: $408.01M
Had no interest in this series, but really enjoyed all of the films - good writing, great action, excellent world-building.
10. Lockout (2012)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president's daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Votes: 90,535 | Gross: $14.33M
11. Pitch Perfect (2012)
PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
Votes: 262,398 | Gross: $65.00M
12. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
R | 95 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Alice fights alongside a resistance movement to regain her freedom from an Umbrella Corporation testing facility.
Votes: 127,269 | Gross: $42.35M
Surprisingly good, and better on second watch than I remember - the action is much better than usual for these films, the score is great, and Alice actually gets a kid to look after.
13. Evil Dead (2013)
R | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.
Votes: 149,409 | Gross: $54.24M
An actually good remake of a film I don't like.
14. The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
PG-13 | 88 min | Horror, Thriller
As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.
Votes: 15,329 | Gross: $15.18M
Expected something really trashy but it was actually fairly subtle and well-paced.
15. We're the Millers (2013)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime
A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico.
Votes: 380,179 | Gross: $150.39M
16. Devil's Due (2014)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy.
Votes: 15,680 | Gross: $15.82M
17. The Lego Movie (2014)
PG | 100 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
An ordinary LEGO construction worker, thought to be the prophesied as "special", is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the LEGO universe into eternal stasis.
Votes: 310,446 | Gross: $257.76M
Not the cynical name-recognition cash-grab I expected it to be, but an actually endearing, heartfelt ode to childhood.
18. Gerald's Game (2017)
TV-MA | 103 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A couple tries to spice up their marriage in a remote lake house; after the husband dies unexpectedly, the wife is left handcuffed to their bed frame and must fight to survive and break free.
I was very worried based on how boring Mike Flanagan's films usually are ("Oculus" , "Before I Wake" , "Hush" ), but this one was very strong.
19. Girls Trip (2017)
R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
Votes: 31,129 | Gross: $115.17M
20. Jeepers Creepers III (2017)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Horror, Mystery
Sheriff Dan Tashtego and a team of creeper hunters enlist the help of officer Davis Tubbs to help stop the monster's eating spree.
Votes: 15,695 | Gross: $2.24M
The second one was kind of a let-down and this one had some bad word-of-mouth, but it was actually fairly decent. A good balance of the first film's horror and the second film's action.
21. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.
Votes: 262,799 | Gross: $404.52M
22. The Snowman (2017)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Votes: 51,839 | Gross: $6.67M
Definitely not perfect, but there is good to be found among the bad.
23. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
Votes: 462,574 | Gross: $334.20M
I hadn't particularly liked any of the handful of MCU movies I'd seen so far, so I didn't expect much of this one either. Turns out it's got a solid plot, there's a genuinely likeable and sympathetic villain, and Spider-Man's funny in it (not obnoxious, i.e. the Guardians of the Galaxy).
25. A Simple Favor (2018)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
Votes: 101,705 | Gross: $53.55M
I wasn't a big fan of "Spy"  and I hated "Ghostbusters" , but this was very very good.
26. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
PG-13 | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.
Votes: 245,294 | Gross: $213.77M
Basically had no interest in seeing this given the premise, the incredibly lukewarm reception, and the wasted potential of "The Last Jedi" . Turned out to be the best one since "The Force Awakens" .
27. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
R | 85 min | Horror
A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.
Votes: 23,719 | Gross: $24.43M
Wasn't really a fan of "The Strangers"  and just expected this to be a trashy sequel, but it's actually really well-made and full of nice camerawork, bright colours and pop ballads.
28. Tomb Raider (2018)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she discovers the island where her father disappeared.
Votes: 173,048 | Gross: $58.25M
I love old-school Lara Croft, including the movies with Angelina Jolie, but I really dislike new-school Lara Croft. But I think this movie was a much better realisation of the fish-out-of-water Lara that the 2013 reboot games were aiming for, seeing as she doesn't just feel like a scared little girl who keeps tripping over everything.
29. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)
R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.
Votes: 16,851 | Gross: $8.78M
Didn't like "Unfriended"  and expected something really stupid from this sequel. It turned out to be pretty damn good.
30. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A deactivated cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.
Votes: 174,853 | Gross: $85.71M
Had basically no interest in this before watching it.