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Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Derick McDuff

Sometimes guilty pleasures are the best kind. Sure, these gory horror films, sappy chick flicks, cheesy adaptations, and mindless action movies aren’t high art . . . but we love them anyway! Our top guilty pleasure movies include “Space Jam” (1996), the “Saw” franchise (2004-), “The Notebook” (2004), “Transformers” (2007), the “Resident Evil” franchise (2002-16), and more! What YOUR favorite guilty pleasure movie? Let us know in the comments!

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Guilty%20Pleasure%20Movies Special thanks to our users HonkyTonkBuffalo, Austin Devine, Shane Hutchinson, perryhigh, and Al Bebak for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by Derick McDuff

Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies

#10: “Resident Evil” franchise (2002-16)

Movies based on video games typically range from completely terrible to pretty okay action adventures, and the “Resident Evil” films are no exception. While a couple of flicks in the series are fairly forgettable, most are exciting zombie adventure films featuring a strong female protagonist. Paul W. S. Anderson is no Paul Thomas Anderson, but the director has a knack for impressive action and interesting characters, and of course makes an impressive looking motion picture. While the movies weren’t high art, they are technical and well-made marvels.

#9: “Scary Movie” (2000)

This parody of horror movies led to a slew of imitators and sequels, and while “Scary Movie 2” is a worthwhile follow-up, this very stupid, but very funny sendup of ‘90s scary movie tropes was never topped. The very definition of “smart dumb comedy,” the film primarily parodied the “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” flicks. Full of crass and crude humor, the film drew mixed responses from critics, but those critics and fans that didn’t mind a bit of rude humor found it to be a great time.

#8: “The Notebook” (2004)

Sappy romantic movies, or “chick flicks,” are rarely considered high art, and are usually avoided by male audiences. However, there are plenty of people, both male and female, that love this romantic drama about star crossed lovers. A solid script is elevated to an amazing film with the performances of leads Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, whose careers both took off as a result of this movie. “The Notebook” has only grown in popularity over the years, becoming a cult classic and one of the most beloved romantic movies of recent times.

#7: “Space Jam” (1996)

While some “Looney Tunes” purists have turned their noses up at this live-action/animated mashup, the film is beloved by many of those that saw it as children and have since grown up. Casting an athlete who had only appeared in commercials may have been a big risk, but Michael Jordan is great alongside the likes of Bugs and Daffy. His charisma, along with other surprisingly talented athletes turned actors, including Larry Bird and Charles Barkley, rounded out with Wayne Knight and Bill Murray, and of course all the Looney Tunes themselves, made this one of the most popular family movies in the 90s.

#6: “Transformers” (2007)

It may be hard to remember after the four movies that followed it, but the first live-action “Transformers” film was actually pretty damn fun. The robotic characters were painstakingly created with some of the most impressive looking CGI ever put to film, but many of the other effects in the film were practical. Its impressive cinematography and sleek action helped make it the phenomenon it was. While the plot was largely McGuffin fueled and forgettable, what really shined was the relationship between a boy and his first car. Well, that and an intergalactic robot war.

#5: “Saw” franchise (2004-)

Many critics and moviegoers dubbed the “Saw” franchise as “torture porn,” and one that only drew in fans who wanted to see the clever ways that people could be killed. While this aspect certainly has drawn a number of fans into the theaters, some dispute that term, with the series creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell describing them as something closer to mystery thrillers that became increasingly violent as the series progressed. The films stand out from other overly violent horror franchises with the use of intriguing mysteries sometimes stretched over multiple films, complete with clever foreshadowing.

#4: “The Expendables” franchise (2010-)

“The Expendables” films are a bit like the “Super Smash Bros.” of action movies, with an all-star cast of the greatest action stars ever, cramming more and more heroes into each successive film. These movies star the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Antonio Banderas, and Harrison Ford, and that is just barely scratching the surface of this assembly of action stars. They’re appropriate throwbacks to ‘80s action flicks with the inconsequential plot, cheesy dialogue, constant explosions, and over-the-top bad guys. What’s not to love?

#3: “Batman Forever” (1995)

There are good Batman movies, and there are terrible Batman movies, and then there is “Batman Forever.” After the success of Tim Burton’s two dark and gritty Batman films, Joel Schumacher took the films in a different route, giving it a more campy and bright aesthetic. It took inspiration from Golden Age Batman comics and the ‘60s TV show, albeit with a more modern feel. We also have to mention that awesomely ‘90s soundtrack, which popularized Seal’s masterpiece, “Kiss from a Rose.” However you look at it, the film still has more going for it than “Batman & Robin.”

#2: “National Treasure” (2004)

If a film where the Nicolas Cage steals the Declaration of Independence isn’t a guilty pleasure, what is? We still can’t tell if this is the dumbest smart movie ever or the smartest dumb movie ever, but either way it’s a fun action adventure that makes its ridiculous premise enthralling. That premise of course being that a treasure was built up over centuries by various empires, lost for centuries, and rediscovered by the Knights Templar. Afterwards, it was smuggled into America by the founding fathers that hid clues in many of the nation’s historic monuments. Add in Sean Bean as the villain and you’ve got gold.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions;

“Armageddon” (1998)

“Good Burger” (1997)

“Road House” (1989)

#1: “The Fast and the Furious” franchise (2001-)

This ever-expanding franchise started out with four middling action films with street racing, heists, beautiful women, tough bald guys, and awesome stunts. The film series did something unexpected when, beginning primarily with its fifth installment, it embraced the crazy action tropes it was built upon and pushed them to an over-the-top level, letting go of any notion of restraint. The results are some of the best and most self-aware action movies containing some of the best action put to film. More importantly, however, the motion pictures have an emotional heart, with the emotional arcs of the characters and their makeshift family just as pivotal as the high octane action.


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