10 Movies Way Better Than They Have Any Right To Be

9. Mad Max: Fury Road

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise
Warner Bros.

When Mad Max: Fury Road was announced, director George Miller had spent the preceding two decades making Babe, Babe: Pig In The City, Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two. Far be it from us to disparage the greatest onscreen hog ever to have shepherded a sheep and a, umm, animated dancing penguin, but rip-roaring post-apocalyptic action thrillers these are not.

While fans of the series were divided on whether or not to be happy about Miller returning to the property after so long in the wilderness, what united them in fury was the accompanying announcement that Mel Gibson would not star in the new feature. After all, few figures are more defining of '80s cinema than Mad Mel's road warrior. Granted, it had two of the film industry's heavy hitters on board, in the form of Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, but what with them being wrapped up in a fairly by-the-numbers plot, this was anything but a sure success.

Yet Miller's dedication to practical effects and simple storytelling translate into the best film of the series and one of the best car-based action movies ever made. What begins as a guilty pleasure shifts into a truly jaw-dropping affair, squeezing every last drop out of what could – and should – have been a total misfire.

Contributor
Contributor

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.