10 Classic Films Critics Originally Hated

9. Scarface (1983)

The Thing
Universal Pictures

Hard to believe these days, but director Brian De Palma was gifted a Razzie nomination for his work on this greatest remake of all time contender. Featuring Al Pacino in his most endlessly quoted role, Scarface tells a pitch black rags-to-riches story of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana and his hostile takeover of the Florida cocaine scene. Coming in at 3 hours, Scarface is a ferocious epic now rightly regarded as an essential member of the gangster genre.

At the time of release, Scarface was relentlessly lambasted by critics for its brutal violence, excess drug use and profane dialogue. Additional controversy surrounded its depiction of Cuban immigrants at a time when many were attempting to enter the United States in reality. Screenwriter Oliver Stone has countered this, explaining the film was meant as a dark inversion of the traditional American Dream and a study of the cocaine boom in the '80s.

Despite some critical setbacks, Scarface wound up an audience favourite, with comic books, video games and countless references in music (namely hip hop). Modern viewers and critics alike have commended the film for its intensity, Al Pacino's maddened performance, and the grand scale rise and fall storytelling.


John Cunningham hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.