Isn't it great when a movie surprises you, coming out of nowhere to deliver unexpected thrills, laughs or tears when everything you'd seen or read suggested it was going to be a monumental stinker? These 15 movies confounded expectations to prove that, as cinema lovers, we should try and be as open-minded as possible when approaching any film. Yes, the year isn't over yet, but there's really no need to wait for the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Joy or The Hateful Eight, because everyone assumes those movies are all going to be at least good if not great (and if they're not, they'll end up on a whole other list altogether), and is there really any chance of Alvin and the Chimpmunks: Road Chip being anything above two-star (though we admittedly said just that about some of these films)? This is all about the films that produced low expectations from the second they were announced, but turned the joke around on audiences by not at all sucking.
14. The Walk
Why It Should Have Sucked: A 3D "event" film about Philippe Petit's iconic 1974 wire-walk between New York's Twin Towers seems somewhat tacky and not exactly high-up on most people's wish lists, all the more so because James Marsh's 2008 documentary Man on Wire covered all this ground once already. Plus, Joseph Gordon-Levitt appears to be hilariously miscast as Petit, affecting a bizarrely over-the-top French accent in attempting to imitate the man. Why It Was Awesome: Though it's certainly too long and Levitt is still a questionable casting choice, Robert Zemeckis reminds us why he's regarded as a world-class filmmaker with this riveting, tremendously entertaining heist film which functions exceptionally well as a companion piece to Marsh's doc. The 3D is fairly gimmicky on occasion, but comes into its own in the latter third of the film as the tight-rope walk begins. It's a staggering feat of digital engineering, a sweaty-palmed cinematic experience like no other, and Zemeckis even ends the movie with a poignant visual tribute to the Towers which avoids emotional manipulation or name-dropping 9/11 once.
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes).
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