Movies critics loved, audiences hated

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Five Things Movie Critics Won't Tell You

Usually, we rely on film critics to sort garbage movies from cinematic gems. That's what they're trained to do, after all. Audience members trust critics to highlight the best movies out there, but sometimes critics and crowds disagree, and there are times when critics enjoy films considerably more than the audience. Perhaps there are things a critic's eye catches that the rest of the population missed.

Using data from Rotten Tomatoes, PrettyFamous calculated which movies have the largest disparity in critic versus audience ratings. To be considered, a movie had to receive a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 60 or lower and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer Score (based on critic ratings) of at least 80.

From comedies to horrors, the critics rated each of these very diverse films significantly higher than audience members did.

#28. Cocoon

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 80
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 20

"Cocoon" is Ron Howard's 1985 sci-fi classic about a group that stumbles upon mysterious Alien pods that bestow eternal life. The film went over better with critics than the general public, possibly because the critics took into account Ron Howard's impressive career when scrutinizing the film.

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#28. Bowfinger

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 80
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 20

"Bowfinger" was written by Steve Martin and directed by Frank Oz (best known as the voice of Yoda from the Star Wars franchise). It also features a star studded cast: Heather Graham, Eddie Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Steve Martin. Critics appreciate Martin's witty script, but audiences expected much more from Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.

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#28. Magic Mike

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 80
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 20

"Magic Mike" loosely follows the real-life story of Channing Tatum's rise to fame. According to IMDb, Channing Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh (known for the Oceans Eleven series) financed the film themselves with $6.5 million. The film went on to gross $167 worldwide, and spawned a sequel, "Magic Mike XXL."

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#27. Don Jon

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 80
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 59
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 21

Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and starred in this raunchy comedy about a hot-headed young man with an addiction to porn. The film was too salacious for some audience members, but most critics agreed that Gordon-Levitt's first foray into directing was "thoughtful, original and provocative."

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#26. A Prairie Home Companion

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 81
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 59
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 22

"A Prairie Home Companion" was written by classic storyteller Garrison Keillor and directed by Robert Altman (known for Academy Award-nominated-film Gosford Park). The film also features one of the most star-studded ensembles: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin and Tommy Lee Jones, to name a few. Perhaps because this movie was Robert Altman's last film, critics were more apt to give it a higher ranking than audience members.

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#24. Two Lovers

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 82
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 24

Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw star in this 2008 drama about a depressed, yet lovable Leonard Kraditor (played by Phoenix) navigating the streets of Brooklyn while deeply involved with two separate women. The film is loosely based on the 1948 short story "White Nights" by acclaimed Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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#24. The Tree of Life

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 84
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 24

Although critics called "The Tree of Life" a "brilliant achievement" and even "a cinematic masterpiece," audiences were not wowed by the 1950s tale of a dysfunctional family starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including best director (Terrence Malick) and best picture.

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#22. Darkman

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 83
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 25

Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand star in this creative thriller that critics hailed as "wild, woolly and occasionally wondrous." Liam Neeson plays a scientist hell-bent on exacting revenge on so-called friends who left him for dead. It is one of director Sam Raimi's first feature-length films. Raimi went on to create well-known movies including the Spiderman series.

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#22. Scream 2

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 81
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 56
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 25

The original "Scream" that premiered in 1996 did equally well with audiences and critics, receiving a 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with both groups. Critics, however, were much more impressed with the sequel than audience members. One critic called the film, "Bloody good fun."

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#20. The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 86
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 26

This kids movie was directed by Peter Lord, of "Wallace and Gromit" fame. Critics enjoyed listening to actors Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman and Hugh Grant do their best British pirate accents, but audiences weren't as enchanted by the "plunderful life" of the misfits.

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#20. Ghost Town

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 86
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 26

In "Ghost Town," Ricky Gervais stars as Bertram Pincus, an ordinary man who dies an ordinary death. Fortunately, he is resuscitated – but comes back to life with the somewhat irritating ability to see ghosts. One critic applauded "Ghost Town" as "the big screen's best use of the talents of the sarcastic, ever put-upon Mr. Gervais."

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#19. Paranormal Activity

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 83
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 56
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 27

The original "Paranormal Activity" is a creative horror movie that does not use blood and guts or CGI to incite a scare. The film only took an estimated $15,000 to film, and grossed over $193 million.

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#17. The Truth About Cats & Dogs

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 84
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 56
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 28

"The Truth about Cats and Dogs" is the 1996 version of the 1897 play "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Edmond Rostand. The genders are reversed in this version, and Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo star as two unlikely friends. This was Janeane Garofalo's first major role in a film, and she went on to star in cult classics like "Wet Hot American Summer" and "Dogma."

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#17. Adventureland

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 88
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 28

Even with a star-studded cast including Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart and Jessie Eisenberg, audiences were simply not impressed with this indie summer romance flick. Critics, however, found "Adventureland" to be "a sweet-natured character comedy — and a subtle exercise in generic-boundary-pushing — this is a real charmer."

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#16. In Good Company

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 83
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 54
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 29

Dennis Quaid plays Dan, a successful businessman who is unexpectedly demoted from his high-profile job. The kicker: his new 26-year-old boss (played by Topher Grace) is also sleeping with his daughter (Scarlett Johansson). One critic went so far to say that "In Good Company" was "not only the best American picture of 2004, but also the most grown-up movie to come from Hollywood in recent years."

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#15. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 87
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 57
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 30

Nicolas Cage has quite a few films that ranked below a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, including "Season of the Witch," "The Wicker Man" and "Deadfall" – to name a few. "Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans" managed to impress critics, despite Cage's apparent talent for starring in less-than-great films.

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#12. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 81
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 50
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 31

"Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" is the third installment of the gritty series created by director George Miller. Mel Gibson plays the original Mad Max and this story follows him to a band of abandoned children in the post-Apocalyptic desert. While audiences were not wild about this installment, Director George Miller got it right when he came back with "Mad Max: Fury Road" in 2015. This sequel has a 97 percent rating by critics and 86 percent by audience members on Rotten Tomatoes.

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#11. Crocodile Dundee

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 89
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 31

A lousy 58 percent rating from audience members might leave you wondering what exactly critics saw in the 1986 film "Crocodile Dundee," a film starring actor Paul Hogan as an Australian outdoorsman bumbling his way through New York City. Despite the simple "fish out of water" plot, critics saw it as a "charming outback fairytale."

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#10. Freaky Friday

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 88
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 57
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 31

"Freaky Friday" is a remake from the 1976 film with the same title. Critics enjoyed Jamie Lee Curtis' emotional portrayal of a mother trying to maintain a relationship with her hot-headed teenage daughter (played by Lindsay Lohan). Neither film did well with the audience; the original version has a 58 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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#9. Little Fish

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 89
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 57
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 32

Cate Blanchett plays Tracey, a recovering heroin addict trying to put her life back together, but faced with obstacles at every turn. "Little Fish" dazzled critics, but fell flat with the crowds, perhaps because the plot was simply too intense and depressing for some.

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#9. The Blair Witch Project

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 87
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 55
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 32

Like "Paranormal Activity," this simply shot horror film does not rely on CGI to terrify audiences. In fact, no gruesome creatures or spooky ghosts appear on screen at point throughout the film (spoiler alert). With an 87 percent critic score from Rotten Tomatoes, "The Blair Witch Project" has the highest rating of any film that has been nominated for a Razzie award for worst picture, according to IMDb.

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#9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 83
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 51
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 32

Another remake of a classic film, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is Tim Burton's exploration into Roald Dahl's fantasy land of sweets. Johnny Depp made some interesting character choices playing Willie Wonka, claiming that he wanted to be like "a stoned George Bush," which turned some people off of his performance.

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#7. Splash

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 34

What could be better than a beautiful mermaid (played by Daryl Hannah) showing up in New York City and falling in love with a young, adorable Tom Hanks? Apparently a lot, because audiences only gave it a 58 percent rating. "Splash" was directed by Ron Howard and also features hilarious performances from John Candy and Eugene Levy.

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#7. King Kong

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 84
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 50
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 34

This 2005 remake of the 1933 classic was legendary director Peter Jackson's first film after his giant success with The Lord of the Rings series. It was certainly no "Return of the King," but critics agreed Jackson did an excellent job staying faithful to the spirit of the original film.

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#6. The Little Shop of Horrors

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 55
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 37

The oldest film on this list, the original "The Little Shop of Horrors" was released in 1960, and possibly has such a high rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes because they view it as a classic. According to IMDb, the film was shot in only two and a half days, on a budget of $22,500.

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#5. Arachnophobia

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 91
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 53
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 38

"Arachnophobia" was director Frank Marshall's first feature-length film. Critics thought the film was more than just a horror flick with creepy, crawly spiders, and found Jeff Daniels' portrayal as scaredy-cat Dr. Ross Jennings engaging.

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#4. About a Boy

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 93
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 54
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 39

"About a Boy" features a young Nicholas Hoult doing his best to help his mother (Sharon Small) who is coping with serious depression. Hugh Grant appears as the love interest, but there is much more to this film than a simple love story. As one critic wrote, "mainstream comedies should all be this funny and tender."

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#3. Stuart Little 2

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 81
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 41
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 40

The original "Stuart Little" only received a 66 percent rating from critics, but critics enjoyed the squeaky, intelligent mouse's second adventure much more than the audience. One audience member stated, "Man, I can't believe I actually watched this. Disney is totally cashing in on idiots like me."

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#2. Antz

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 95
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 51
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 44

"Antz" is the second ever computer animated film after "Toy Story." But, unlike "Toy Story," this film was never in contention to be one of the best films of all time. Critics thoroughly enjoyed Woody Allen's performance as Z, the self-reliant worker ant, but audiences were unenthused.

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#1. Spy Kids

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 93
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 45
Critic vs. Crowd Disparity: 48

The original "Spy Kids" was widely approved of by critics and trashed by audiences. Why did critics like the film so much? The film "fulfills kids' empowerment fantasies and features enough techno-wizardry and cool f/x to satisfy those weaned on videogames" one critic wrote. Although audiences did not rate it highly, the film was successful enough to spawn 3 sequels.

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