2184: Unpopular Opinions

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Unpopular Opinions
I wasn't a big fan of 3 or Salvation, so I'm trying to resist getting my hopes up too much for Dark Fate, but it's hard. I'm just a sucker for humans and robots traveling through time to try to drive trucks into each other, apparently.
Title text: I wasn't a big fan of 3 or Salvation, so I'm trying to resist getting my hopes up too much for Dark Fate, but it's hard. I'm just a sucker for humans and robots traveling through time to try to drive trucks into each other, apparently.


Everybody has their own preferences as to what movies they like and dislike, and when your like or dislike of a movie seems to be different than the majority of people, you could call your preference the "unpopular opinion" because your opinion is the less prevalent one. This often takes the form of "I hate this movie and I don't understand why everybody else seems to like it", but this comic is talking about the opposite form, which it categorizes as less common, namely "I like this movie and don't understand why everybody else seems to hate it." The comic points out that it's relatively common to hate movies others appear to like, but the converse, in which you like a movie others seem to hate, is much harder to find. One explanation for this may be that if a movie is already established to be bad, you won't end up watching it anyway.

To illustrate how hard it is to like a movie everyone else seems to dislike, the comic presents a challenge whereby you 1) identify a movie you definitely like, which 2) came out during your adult life (so it isn't tainted by childhood nostalgia), and which 3) the majority of other people don't like, as measured informally by having a popularity rating below 50% on the Rotten Tomatoes website (a website that aggregates reviews of films). Supposedly you will find it hard to find a movie that meets all three criteria. The rules prohibit a movie that the viewer finds "So Bad, It's Good" - the enjoyment of the movie must be genuine, for its positive qualities, rather than ironic enjoyment of its negative qualities.

The image in this comic gives an example of this effect, namely the movie Terminator Genisys, the fifth in the Terminator series, released in 2015. This series, about time-traveling killer robots, included the highly rated Terminator 2 (93% on Rotten Tomatoes), while Terminator Genisys is only 26%.

The title text refers to three movies in the Terminator franchise, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), and Terminator: Dark Fate (due out later in 2019). The Terminator movie series has featured both time travel and trucks driving or attempting to drive into people, and Randall apparently finds himself drawn to such movies. He hopes that Dark Fate will be a good movie, but has low expectations, considering the less than stellar ratings of the last 3 movies (69%, 33%, and 26%).

A Tomatoes search ordered by release date limited to qualifying movies (except that it goes up to 60%) can help individuals verify the difficulty of finding such movies for themselves.


[Ponytail, Cueball, and Megan are all looking at their cell phones. Cueball is in the middle, facing out, holding his phone in both hands, while the two women face towards him with only one hand on their phones. Ponytail is tapping on the phone as shown by small lines over her fingers. they talk to each other, but before that, there is the following text above them:]
Unpopular positive opinion challenge:
Name a movie that...
(1) you genuinely like (not "so bad it's good")
(2) came out in your adult life post-2000, and
(3) is rated below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ponytail: Wow, this is harder than I thought.
Cueball: ...Terminator Genisys?
Megan: Seriously?!
Cueball: I like time travel, OK??

[Caption below the panel:]

When people talk about their "unpopular opinions" about movies, they usually mean hating something everyone likes, but liking something everyone hates is much harder.


  • On xkcd, this Friday comic was replaced already on Sunday by a "disappearing comic", which temporarily was assigned the sequence number 2185. But that was just to prevent the trouble a not numbered comic was having on the xkcd site. It was designed to disappear completely and leave no trace in xkcd's history or archives when the Monday comic, 2185: Cumulonimbus, was released. The original comic does also no longer appear in explain xkcd's comic navigation either, and is hence linked here: Disappearing Sunday Update.

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I wonder if it has to be below 50% with critic score, audience score, or both? Andyd273 (talk) 17:36, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Genisys has an Audience Score of 53%, so I think it has to be critic score (Tomatometer). 21:42, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Critics and audiences are really two distinct groups. So to be "apples to apples", I'd think it would have to be a movie with an Audience score below 50. Disagreeing with something critics hated isn't that rare among the general audience. 04:46, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
The whole idea of the challenge doesn't make sense if the movie is "only" hated by a handful of random critics. As Randall points out, it is easier to hate a movie that everyone loves, so that is also true for critics. 18:41, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I have to agree that basing it on the critic reviews only doesn't make much sense. I can find dozens of movies I like that are rated rotten by the critics, but nearly all of them got good audience reviews (Bright, Constentine, Super Troopers, K-Pax, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, etc). I can only find one that I like that that scores under 50% with both groups, Southland Tales, and even I'll admit it has many flaws. I suspect Randal Monroe was looking at movies that were rated "Rotten" by both groups (green icon and <60%), vs "fresh" (red icon > 60%). But the rules were already a bit too lengthy to spell it out explicitly. userWhereisspike (talk) 21:42, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Movies on DVD or streaming, tomatometer 49% down to 0%.

Plenty of Twilight fans will raise their hands - it is rated 49% --Thomcat (talk) 18:09, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Well, I'm around the typical age of (original) Twilight fans, and none of the movies in the saga came in my adult life. (But they're all below 50%) 18:27, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

I mean, Shaft got a 30% on the Tomatometer and a 94 on the audience score, and I loved it. 18:57, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Do Waterworld, in spite of the fact that it only ticks two of the boxes, count? I really liked that one.

I also liked Waterworld (44%, 1997) and The Postman (9%, 1995) (both with Kevin Kostner, and sort of the same story). Assuming the definition of adult is 18, they both qualify for the adult part, but not the after 2000 part. I also loved Star Wars Episode I, but sure enough, it's above 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. WhiteDragon (talk) 17:28, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
If it didn't come out while you were an adult, then it doesn't count. -boB (talk) 20:16, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
My immediate search was also for Water World. Would it also not count when you didn't watch it until after 2000? 18:35, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't watch enough movies (or know Rotten Tomatoes well enough) to participate in this particular challenge, but it seems like every time I enjoy a video game, it turns out to have a sizeable and vocal hatedom. I seriously can't relate to the caption here. 20:25, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Batman v. Superman is probably a good answer for a fair number of people-it has a reasonable number of fans (including myself) who liked it, despite its very poor rating (28%) SirEpp (talk) 21:05, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

I went to that movie for finding the plausible reason why Batman who only fights criminal and Superman being too unreal for ever being angry for no reason might have a fight which each other. Got less than I expected, in this aspect. But Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Thor: Ragnarok and Iron Sky are objectively superb films the critics hated. Perhaps with the exception of the relationship between Valerian and Laureline, perhaps, though.Gunterkoenigsmann (talk) 17:37, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Not a movie, per se, but I thought season 8 of Game of Thrones was fantastic. 22:23, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Critically panned films that I like include: Crimes of Grindelwald, Passengers, and Warcraft. Critically acclaimed films that I do not like: Avatar and Life of Pi. 22:47, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Oooh, Passengers is a good one, I'm stealing that. Hawthorn (talk) 01:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I second Crimes of Grindelwald (37 RT), and add Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (48 RT), which I also enjoyed and actually recommend to people. Now these movies aren't "classics" or "great movies", they aren't perfect, but they are effective entertainment, and not because they "are so bad their good". Grindelwald has many effective scenes and acting, and Valerian is a very effective effort at making a movie out of a comic book that feels like a comic book-- a fact I appreciated. Of course 48 RT is also just under the 50 RT threshold.Careysub (talk)
It's almost like you totally misunderstood the point of the comic. A74xhx (talk) 09:00, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
How so? 21:00, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Not under 50%, but I'm shocked that "The Secret Life of Walter Smitty" has only 51%... National Treasure has only 46%... I like this game, it is a test in optimism.

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" deserves a low rating, particularly when compared to the original with Danny Kaye. 05:31, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Frankly it would be easier to list the movies I like that aren't below 50% on rotten tomatoes. CJB42 (talk) 00:23, 3 August 2019 (UTC)s

My experience with rotten tomatoes ratings in particular is that they have no clue and I find their ratings useless. The challenge from Randall in this comic is a case in point: the first movie I though to check, “Another Gay Movie” gets a 40% on the tomatometer yet is one of my favorites. Same thing with all the “Eating Out” movies: good comedies that I enjoy, yet Tomatometer scores of 16%, 44%, and 17% for the first three. (And why is “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds” so much higher ranked than 1 or 3? It’s not that different...) I think the criteria that Randal assumes (but doesn’t mention) is that the movie has to be a box office hit that appeals to mainstream audiences. 03:55, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't see why Suicide Squad got trashed. It was light, colourful, had an engaging story, and well made. 04:04, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Sucker Punch. There, I said it. 07:36, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

I definitely came to this discussion thinking of this movie. It's properly interesting, but it's also easy to see why critics and half the audience hate it. 10:03, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

There's a certain type of movie that 'h8ers' will auto-trash before they even come out (especially "Gender-switched version of a classic", like that Ghostbusters, and "Strong female type", like Wonder Woman - as easy examples of those that some people love to hate, regardless of actual merit). So I recon there'd be good mileage in keeping an eye on (for example) the double-whammy that is the upcoming Female Thor movie. If it doesn't actually turn out to be so bad that you personally don't like it, I predict that it'll be pre-release troll-sniped down below 50% in "popular" opinion and even if they're not at all right about their guess there'll be a window of opportunity before any counter-viewpoint from actual viewers ups the score again. 10:21, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

No one hated Wonder Woman. It has 93%, and is arguably the best live action superhero movie that DC has released so far. Ghostbusters was a money grabbing remake that brought nothing new. It COULD have been great with almost no effort, by getting someone to write an original script that built on the things that came before that everyone loves, instead of trying to replace it with an inferior version. The only one to blame is the Hollywood studios that would rather throw money at something that already exists instead of taking a risk on an unknown. Then they add insult to injury and tell everyone that the reason they failed isn't because they made bad decisions, but because people don't like seeing women in leading roles, which is not true in any form. No real people care if the lead is male or female. They care about a good story, good acting, and having a good time watching a movie they paid their money for. Andyd273 (talk) 17:09, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

What the heck are all these Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller movies doing at sub-50%? I didn't know people supposedly hated Night at the Museum that much. 17:13, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks to the link I found two: Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I don't consider them like super-good, but I like them. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:09, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks to the link I found four: Hancock, Knowing, The Lovely Bones, The Book of Eli. 11:06, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Immediately: Venom (29%) I like to pretend I like it for the "so bad it's good", but here in anonymous interwebzland, I can admit I just enjoyed it (despite expecting to hate it for the retcon). Does it matter that the RT audience score is 81%? I often find that my enjoyment of a movie is inversely proportional to how much critics didn't, and it seems I'm not alone.Daemonik (talk) 09:43, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

I think the point here is that people feel more comfortable disliking something than liking it. It isn't that we don't all have movies that we like that other people hated, it's that many of us are afraid to say it. Also, t's not a movie, but I honestly enjoyed that one episode of Stranger Things. Probably not Douglas Hofstadter (talk) 04:20, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I admit a weakness for the Roland Emmerich movies ("The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012"). OK the science behind the events is pretty rubbish, but they are decent action movies nonetheless with a few enjoyable twists (like the USA having to beg Mexico to let them emigrate south in TDAT).

I'm shocked no one else has mentioned Jupiter Ascending yet; there was a decent amount of silliness in that movie, but I genuinely found it super compelling, and it deserves better than a 27%. -- 16:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

300 got very mediocre reviews (52% on Metacritic), but I'ts absolutely one of my all-time favourite action movies. -- 16:04, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Geostorm. Didn't even need the link for that. Conster (talk) 21:57, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Like another user said, Roland Emmerich movies like TDAT and 2012 are ones I'll always be a sucker for. Also, The Book of Eli (2010) is actually a great movie IMO despite having a 48% on RT. I always put that as a classic. Meet the Fockers (2004) is funny, too.

Side note: Armageddon is a pre-2000 movie (1998), but I think most would agree that it's a classic apocalyptic movie. 14:48, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Also, a reminder that the original Purge movie has a 39% on RT. 15:00, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

How, by all that is holy, does The Human Centipede get a 49% Tomatometer rating? Give me a win for Mr Popper's Penguins, though. Observer of the Absurd (talk) 18:48, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Dragonball Evolution. If the Dragonball anime and Manga didn't exist, this would be a pretty okay and fun movie. Some parts of it were surprizing and the characters are fun. They just aren't the people from the manga, but rather just losely based on them, just like Frozen is losely based on the snow queen. 17:50, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

"We Built this City" (Starship) is an excellent song (yes I know it's supposed to be a movie and I'm breaking the rules, but I do that a lot, in case you haven't noticed). Anyone who disagrees is WOTI and leaves me no choice but to vehemently argue. Danish (talk) 17:49, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

Mission Impossible 2. The only bad thing is the romance. so... yeah, i'd give it a solid 70-80%. Defined the rest of the series in terms of action. Icil34 (talk) 05:37, 10 February 2021 (UTC)Icil34

I was absolutely enamored with Vivarium when I saw it (If you plan to watch it, it's one of those "the less you know beforehand, the better"), but movie discussion fora I visited pour hate on it, and while it has 73% tomatometer, it only has 39% audience score, so I think it still counts. It was clearly hit by the double-whammy of being way too sedately paced for the TikTok era and apparently many people having lived such charmed lives that they couldn't recognize a very clear metaphor for toxic families and emotional neglect. Which is a bummer because it's a pretty cool "uncanny valley sci-fi" movie, and not many movies succeed at being good on both the metaphorical AND literal level. Endigo 13:20, 27 February 2024 (UTC)


Anyone have an idea why "post-2000" is a criteria? Stevage (talk) 23:58, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Maybe because Rotten Tomatoes was launched close to the end of the 1990s, so post-2000 movies are the only ones that have been reviewed as they came out? Or perhaps it's to limit the scope of "movies that came out in your adult life", since adult life could go back a long way for some people. Hawthorn (talk) 01:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't know for certain, but I feel incredibly confident that it's the timing of Rotten Tomatoes, that older movies that came out before the site existed won't be thoroughly / properly covered. Like if you look closely you'll see the 40% rating on this movie comes from only 1 vote. I suspect Randall feels that as of 2000, there was enough activity on the site to provide sufficient coverage. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:40, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Pre-2000 films, being prior to RT, have the 'benefit' of studied hindsight. Anybody who bothers to review the original Casino Royale, which would be my choice for this if I were allowed, just has far too much baggage to be thinking the same as with something just being appreciated in the context as a new-release. Including me, probably, across the many years since I first saw that film and fell in love with it, despite the obvious and total car-crash of its Development Hell! 10:21, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
And there's a lot of selection bias in who reviews movies from pre-2000 as anyone who reviews a movie probably only went to that movies page and wrote a review, because they either really like the movie, or really really really hate it.Whereisspike (talk) 21:56, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
It's stated in the explanation: it is so that most respondents would choose a movie that they have seen in their adult life and avoid the "childhood nostalgia" bias where you have fond memories of a movie watched as a kid but that you wouldn't enjoy watching as an adult.

I KNOW that there are many, many movies I can apply to this challenge - I often find myself enjoying unpopular movies. Plus, critics suck, they seem to always forget that this is ENTERTAINMENT. A clever movie that is dull as dirt and makes you fall asleep should NOT receive high praise, it fails at the primary function - but I can't think of them in the moment. About a week ago on Facebook I had a memory, a list of facts about Eurotrip, where the article called it a flop, while I loved it, so probably that one. This comic triggered my first ever visit to Rotten Tomatoes, who lists Eurotrip as I think 46%, but much higher for Audience score, so I THINK it counts? What bumps me is that it seems like "Audience Score" would be popular opinion, making Eurotrip actually a Popular movie, which seems like then it wouldn't apply here. ???? NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:40, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Got one! I love The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Rotten Tomatoes scores it a 17% Tomatometer, 44% Audience score. Dunno why, I found it so cool, so enjoyable! I often wish there was a sequel or even a series. :)NiceGuy1 (talk) 07:24, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Hypothesis: People generally give more positive then negative reviews, and positive reviews also cause more people to watch. The number of watching for something bad is therefor lower, while a good movie is watched so often there is always a critic. 10:19, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

What the hell is wrong with people who don't like Ghost Rider or Daredevil? — Kazvorpal (talk) 19:03, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

My favorite bad movies Wild Wild West, The One, Returner, Equilibrium, The Warrior's Way Houligan (talk) 15:59, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

I liked 50 First Dates. But for my really controversial opinion, I'm gonna say not only was Armageddon a terrific movie, but it got enough of the science right to earn our suspension of disbelief :D -- 21:59, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Is 653: So Bad It's Worse related enough to be mentioned in the explaination or trivia? --Lupo (talk) 12:16, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I just came here to say, "Pandorum".

How to talk to girls at parties (2018) - 20:49, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Guilty Pleasure: The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Acrisius (talk) 06:54, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Think of a video-game based movie you actually like. It probably fits this. 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2005's Doom have 47% and 34% audience rating, respectively, and I loved both of those (despite the fact that they had basically nothing to do with the games). A few game-based movies have over 50% audience rating, but even then, only 2-3 ever got above 50% with the critics. Heck, even the Pokemon movies got horrible critic ratings (the second movie came out in 2000, so you'd have to start with the third to adhere to that 'post-2000' rule)...

My big, late comment[edit]

So my three are

50 First Dates (I'm a sucker for hopeless romantic-type stuff and the gross out comedy didn't go too far to cancel it out),
Bruce Almighty, because Morgan Freeman killed it as God, and
Book of Eli, because that twist is awesome on the successive watch, and even on the first if you figure it out early

However, I take issue with a STRICT limitation of "post-2000", and I would just say if you're going to choose one pre-2000, it has to be a personal favorite, like personal top-50 or so movie, and for me, those would be

Hook, because Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman did their duty to the script and deserve at least 50% on the tomato meter, no matter what balls the other characters or plot dropped,
Robin Hood: Men in Tights, because the cast, characters, gags, and anachronisms are essentially timeless; from Broomhilda breaking the concrete when the horse dodged her; to Blinkin... idunno, everything Blinkin; to Achoo's added attitude and flavor; and all the character's breaking of the fourth wall... goodness... the critics missed this one
Boondock Saints - not for everyone, but dang, it's just a really interesting and slightly morbid romp of a story about vigilantes rising up against organized crime, mixing humor in with seriousness in just the right amounts and just about perfect pacing

Ok, so I also think there are a few that really don't deserve the low rating they got, even if they weren't the best or my "favorites" - my rubric for adding them here was if I thought they deserved at least 30% more on the tomato meter. If they're just a teeny bit low (like 10%) then that's too close to personal taste for me to add as an argument, so...

I Think Crimes of Grindelwald should have gotten more like a 70%, mostly for the world building they continued from the first movie
I really liked Jumper (just not QUITE enough to stick my neck out for the real list above) - really great concept that wasn't ruined by sub-par acting, even if it wasn't exactly enhanced - should have been more like 50%
The Day The Earth Stood Still - again, not the best movie in existence, but got a bad rap - just above 50% seems more appropriate to me
After Earth - far from either of the Smith's best works, but more deserving than 11% for the world and effects
Planes - maybe the sequel was too much, and of course it's largely a cash grab and targeted at kids, but it was a decent story and the characters were executed well above a 25% rating - I'd say it should even be just barely fresh, so 60%
Chappie - I think it was just really interesting, despite the stretches technologically speaking, giving a window (sort of) into a culture not well represented in the U.S. - basically I think it should be just barely fresh as well

And finally what I'm really glad nobody spoke up about are a few of my pet peeves - movies that deserved a low score and got it, but every once in a while I hear people saying they enjoyed it. I'm just glad nobody prior to this seems to have mentioned: Semi Pro and any of the Transformers travesties. I just wanted to take a moment and thank you all for that. -- Brettpeirce (talk) 20:28, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

So personally, I'm trying to figure out if I can even make a list of all qualifying movies. Would make the game easier if we could have that, but I can't even figure out how to search Rotten Tomatoes for movies beyond what's currently out in theatres. Any advice or relevant links, anyone? 02:43, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

I loved the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes. Both the First In, Last Out and the "ape D.C." ending were atypical and unexpected. I think the reason that people hated this movie was for the same reason that they hated "The murder of Roger Ackroyd" by Agatha Christie. But both this movie and that novel were amazing because they "broke the rules." 20:35, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

From looking at the link in the explanation, I can name Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and the entire Divergent trilogy as examples. Eagerly awaiting sequels to all of them. (And yes, a little bitter that Ascendant got canceled, though I've long since accepted that. Allegiant could have had a worse ending.) NealCruco (talk) 04:10, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

I like something that everyone else hates. Pokemon Sword & Shield.

IMDb Search with all categories, 'cause Rotten Tomatoes is dumb[edit]

Little late to the game, but My go to, and sorted better, IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?title_type=feature,tv_movie,tv_special,documentary,short,video&release_date=2000-01-01,&user_rating=1.0,5.0&view=simple&sort=user_rating,desc&count=250

Mine would be Vanilla Sky. 14:42, 3 May 2022 (UTC)Nafedalbi

Although it came out when I was 11, I recently became an adult and watched it again. I love After Earth! It got 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and came out in 2011. Jaden and Will Smith did not deserve the Razzie Awards "Worst Actor" (Jaden), "Worst Supporting Actor" (Will), and "Worst Acting Pair". -Dawson-

Very surprised nobody mentioned The Last Witch Hunter. It's got ratings of 18/44, and it's a totally fun urban fantasy, with Vin Diesel playing a character he imported from D&D. It's kinda confusing but also likeable and actually not bad IMO. 07:57, 24 October 2023 (UTC)

I liked Mortal Engines (talk) 23:49, 4 December 2023 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Mine would be Varene iz sakury] - 4,5 points, called out as "illogical", de-facto it's easily understandeable if you can grasp some references to the culture of Japan (and know what a "crisis manager" does). 05:54, 18 July 2024 (UTC)