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.

Director: Harry Bromley Davenport | Stars: Philip Sayer, Bernice Stegers, Danny Brainin, Maryam d'Abo

Votes: 5,420

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

66 Metascore

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.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes

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

54 Metascore

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.

Director: Nimród Antal | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Votes: 90,850 | Gross: $19.36M

4. 2012 (I) (2009)

PG-13 | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet

Votes: 335,074 | Gross: $166.11M

5. Adventureland (2009)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ledgin

Votes: 148,270 | Gross: $16.03M

6. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

43 Metascore

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.

Director: Paul Weitz | Stars: Chris Massoglia, John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek, Josh Hutcherson

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

50 Metascore

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.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Abigail Spencer

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

29 Metascore

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.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke

Votes: 103,854 | Gross: $37.66M

Good, albeit cheesy.

9. The Hunger Games (2012)

PG-13 | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

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

48 Metascore

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.

Directors: James Mather, Steve Saint Leger | Stars: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan

Votes: 90,535 | Gross: $14.33M

11. Pitch Perfect (2012)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

66 Metascore

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.

Director: Jason Moore | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp

Votes: 262,398 | Gross: $65.00M

12. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

R | 95 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

39 Metascore

Alice fights alongside a resistance movement to regain her freedom from an Umbrella Corporation testing facility.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer

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

57 Metascore

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.

Director: Fede Alvarez | Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci

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

35 Metascore

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.

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly | Stars: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen

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

44 Metascore

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.

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber | Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Ed Helms

Votes: 380,179 | Gross: $150.39M

16. Devil's Due (2014)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

34 Metascore

After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett | Stars: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano

Votes: 15,680 | Gross: $15.82M

17. The Lego Movie (2014)

PG | 100 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

83 Metascore

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.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Stars: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett

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

77 Metascore

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.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken

Votes: 73,294

I was very worried based on how boring Mike Flanagan's films usually are ("Oculus" [2013], "Before I Wake" [2016], "Hush" [2016]), but this one was very strong.

19. Girls Trip (2017)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

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.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee | Stars: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish

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.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Stan Shaw, Gabrielle Haugh, Brandon Smith, Meg Foster

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

58 Metascore

Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

Director: Jake Kasdan | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black

Votes: 262,799 | Gross: $404.52M

22. The Snowman (2017)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

23 Metascore

Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jonas Karlsson

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

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Jon Watts | Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei

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).

24. Astral (III) (2018)

TV-MA | 83 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A detached university student faces the consequences of astral projection when he uses it to reconnect with his dead mother.

Director: Chris Mul | Stars: Frank Dillane, Catherine Steadman, Damson Idris, Vanessa Grasse

Votes: 3,880

25. A Simple Favor (2018)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

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.

Director: Paul Feig | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells

Votes: 101,705 | Gross: $53.55M

I wasn't a big fan of "Spy" [2015] and I hated "Ghostbusters" [2016], but this was very very good.

26. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

PG-13 | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover

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" [2017]. Turned out to be the best one since "The Force Awakens" [2015].

27. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

R | 85 min | Horror

48 Metascore

A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.

Director: Johannes Roberts | Stars: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman

Votes: 23,719 | Gross: $24.43M

Wasn't really a fan of "The Strangers" [2008] 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

48 Metascore

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.

Director: Roar Uthaug | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu

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

53 Metascore

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.

Director: Stephen Susco | Stars: Colin Woodell, Stephanie Nogueras, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse

Votes: 16,851 | Gross: $8.78M

Didn't like "Unfriended" [2014] 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

53 Metascore

A deactivated cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali

Votes: 174,853 | Gross: $85.71M

Had basically no interest in this before watching it.



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