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Critics and reviewers are an essential connection between the movies and audiences. Receiving some of the first looks at new films, it is the critic’s job to distinguish a movie’s value and merit and communicate their findings to potential viewers. Like any other art form, cinema is a spectrum of quality whose audience can be diverse. Critical reviews can help people decipher the type of content that they give their time and money.

Unfortunately, film criticism is ripe with subjectivity and biases. There is no instruction booklet for what makes a great movie, nor is there any way to calculate how a film will connect with a mass audience. As such, movie critics can make the wrong judgment of a project as easily as the weatherman mispredicts the rain. There are many examples of movies that have become beloved classics, that reviewers expected to flop. Even the world’s most respected film critic, Roger Ebert, has been known to miss the mark as he underrated celebrated films like "Fight Club" and "The Usual Suspects," while giving the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy "Junior" a near-perfect score.

The 2000s were a decade overloaded with polarization between movie critics and audiences. Below are a dozen of the best films that the reviewers disregarded and fans grew to love. Keep reading but try not to lose faith in your favorite film critic along the way.

National Treasure

Nicolas Cage holding torch

A live-action Disney classic, "National Treasure" is a fan favorite action film for an entire generation. Spawning a sequel and a new Disney+ TV series, the franchise has grown bigger than the freemason treasure that Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) was originally hunting. The inaugural "National Treasure" brought in a significant booty of its own, collecting over $347 million at the box office and boasting a decent 76 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, the critics did not agree that the movie should have been the treasure trove that it became.

To be fair, deciphering the quality of any Nicolas Cage movie is a challenge as most cinema fanatics are still debating if he is a good actor or not. It is hard to deny that Cage has delivered some of the biggest films in the industry. Still, it was a bold maneuver when he landed the leading role in a $100 million budget Walt Disney Studios blockbuster. The leading man only added to the critic’s challenge of reviewing the film about a modern-day American treasure hunter finding clues in the Declaration of Independence. Roger Ebert was one of the film’s harshest detractors calling the movie "so silly that the ‘Monty Python’ version could use the same screenplay, line for line." Regardless, the same critics are still putting up with the franchise that may have a third instalment on the way according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer (per Deadline).

Super Troopers

Super Troopers laughing

Comedy movies seem to be the hardest for critics to predict. Generally, when it comes to the genre a good laugh can easily make up for a lackluster story. And one of the best examples is 2001’s "Super Troopers." Developed by the Broken Lizard comedy group, the movie centers around a rural Vermont state highway patrol department where boredom leads to outlandish shenanigans. The plot follows the "Troopers" as they get competitive with a local police department as they attempt to land the state’s biggest drug bust.

Unfortunately, the predictable story and often-derogatory humor caused "Super Troopers" a solid panning by professional reviewers. The New York Times was quick to call the movie "tasteless." Meanwhile, the average critic score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at a less-than-desirable 35 percent. Regardless, the movie found its audience in young adults across the nation, earning an astounding audience score of 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. With a limited budget of $1.2 million, "Super Troopers" was an undeniable hit collecting over $23 million in worldwide gross. Subsequently, Esquire described the original film as the "shaggy-dog classic for generation Y," as Broken Lizard was able to crowdsource the finances to make a sequel in 2018.

Josh Hartnett in elevator
Allen Covert, a monkey, and Peter Dante playing video games
Tom Cruise staring