10 Movies Way Better Than They Have Any Right To Be

Jackass, 007 and Tom Cruise... When the unwatchable becomes the infinitely rewatchable.

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise
Paramount Pictures

Some films are destined for greatness and some are destined for disaster. We need only look so far as the next Tarantino or Michael Bay release to see the truth in this.

But, every once in a while, there is a film that catches us napping, turning everything we thought we knew about judging a movie on its cast, crew, trailers and marketing upside down. While many films may technically fall into the "better than we expected" category, it is a select few that defy expectations so greatly as to deserve recognition, and many, many rewatches.

These are the films that break the mould, silence the critics and leave fans catching flies. Sure, some of these flicks didn't even do well critically or commercially, but boy have they come around in other ways. Because sometimes Keanu Reeves is the hero we deserve, sometimes theme park rides make a good movie, sometimes Paul W S Anderson doesn't adapt a video game, and sometimes Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise is enough.

Let's face it: Nobody nobody expected these films to be nearly as good as they are, but we are all glad that they're here.

10. Jackass Forever

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise

With humour that ought to belong in the early noughties, a limited range of ideas to work from and no Bam Margera, no Ryan Dunn and no CKY guys, Jackass 4 ought to have been dead on arrival.

And yet somehow it manages to be more than the sum of its parts. For long-time fans it gives a dose of classic gross stunts and a barrel full of dick jokes – both verbal and physical – and for new fans, many of whom were not even born when the original series aired, it offers a meaningful step away from either the toxic slug-heap of online 'pranksters' and the castrated, super-polished content the big studios slavishly churn out for their money men.

Though the new blood (Zach Holmes, Poopies, Rachel Wolfson) certainly help, it is the pure camaraderie and sense of fraternity that makes the film coherent and worthwhile. Despite the extreme violence and acts of utter degeneracy committed against themselves and each other, the film is never mean-spirited or judgemental.

The only let-down is that this entry in the franchise may well be the original gang's last. And their teeth, stomachs, genitals and spouses will thank them if it is.


Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee. Currently seeking representation for his transgressive, class-conscious coming-of-age novel Everbloom.