10 Movies That Are Popular For All The Wrong Reasons

Joker isn't meant to be the hero.

Fight Club

Making and releasing a movie that connects with audiences at large is basically a miracle in its own right, requiring the combined might of hundreds of artists and business-folk to deliver a great film to the masses.

But it's also fair to say that sometimes movies end up getting huge for all the wrong reasons.

Now, it's certainly not for anyone to tell you how to enjoy a film, but to the same token, there are certainly times where a large swath of viewers have taken the entirely wrong message away.

And so, inspired by this recent Reddit thread on the very subject, these 10 movies all ended up becoming popular for the wrong damn reasons.

Now, the overwhelming majority of these films are very, very good any way you slice it, but where the consensus breaks down is why they're good.

And for many, they've fundamentally misinterpreted the very message the movie was putting into the world, or just flat-out ignored what it was truly about.

Again, enjoy movies however you want, but it's nevertheless both fascinating and concerning just how these movies all came to prominence...

10. Whiplash

Fight Club
Sony Pictures Classics

Whiplash is a film often considered inspirational, what with the likes of basketball players Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving loudly lauding its depiction of a person striving for greatness, and even the movie's critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes calling it "inspiring."

The film follows an ambitious jazz drummer, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), who is pushed to perfect his skills by an objectively abusive instructor, Terence Fletcher (an Oscar-winning J.K. Simmons).

But like so many other movies on this list, the drum-tight technical execution by director Damien Chazelle and pitch-perfect performances make it easy to see Whiplash as a celebration of such abuse rather than a condemnation of it.

For many, Whiplash has been held up as a frank indication of just what it takes to reach the pinnacle of any profession or art form, that sacrificing almost everything you have is a necessity to join the 1%.

But let's be real - Whiplash is really a tragedy in plain sight, that Neiman's pursuit of perfection led him down a path of self-destruction. Hell, Chazelle himself even believes that Neiman ends up dying of a drug overdose a few years later, which seems to settle the argument.

Whiplash is a fantastically entertaining film any way you slice it, but to uncritically hold it up as something to be genuinely inspired - rather than concerned - by? That ain't it.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.