Movies that pleasantly surprised you

Are there any movies you thought you weren’t going to like, watched anyway, and then found that you liked them? This happens occasionally to me. Here’s just a sample:

  1. The Spitfire Grill–I’d heard nothing about this movie and really enjoyed it. It’s a great redemption story.
  2. Lilo and Stitch–It didn’t look anything beyond run-of-the-mill Disney. Then I saw and fell in love with Lilo. She was so huggably adorable! And her voice actress was perfect! (Oh and Stitch was cute too)

I really enjoyed ‘The Way’ starring Martin Sheen, at least for the first hour - as soon as James Nesbitt pops up it falls flat on its face (he’s a fantastic actor, I just blame the writing). I was expecting a frothy, sentimental, lovey dovey film and that’s exactly what it is. But it does it rather well.

I liked ‘Seabiscuit’ and ‘Cinderella Man’ for roughly the same reasons.

I enjoyed Cinderella Man as well. Also try “The Rookie” with Dennis Quaid. It’s about one of the oldest rookies in baseball.

Jacob’s Ladder. I had no idea what to expect, but it was great. as the name may point to it also draws from the Bible, which is nice

Juno… I thought it was a great movie.

If you liked Seabiscuit, like I also did, you’ll like a little Australian film called, and about, “Phar Lap”. But I tell you, it has no happy ending(or should I say begginning? or both), unlike seabiscuit did.

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” w/ Jim Carrey. I went in expecting a horrible movie and two hours I’d never get back. I was actually pleasantly surprised - it was essentially “Mrs. Doubtfire” with penguins instead of drag and more suitable for families - same basic, pro-marriage/anti-divorce storyline. And I didn’t know (non-spoiler) was in it, too - that was a very pleasant surprise.

Yeah, I think it is Russell Crowe’s best performance and Ron Howard’s direction of the fighting scenes are some of the best I’ve scene. Plus, Renee Zellweger achieves the miracle of not being the most irritating thing in the world! It’s a shame the film has largely been ignored. I don’t know if you’ve seen ‘The Fighter’, but the advertising said it was the ‘best boxing film since Rocky’, ignoring Raging Bull, Million Dollar Baby, The Boxer and Cinderella Man. Grrr :mad:

I’ll give The Rookie a go; my American friend is trying in vain to teach me about baseball. I’m a cricket fan so I thought it would be easy to follow…not so :stuck_out_tongue:

THE RITE…would not have watched it if my son hadn’t brought it home. Thought it was a horror film but was pleasantly surprised…well, I don’t know if “pleasant” is the right word considering it is about priest who do exocisims and is based on a true story.

DOUBT…another I’ve ignored and then liked.

COMPANY MEN…also very good.

I’ll agree about Doubt. I avoided it for a while for the obvious reasons, and when I finally watched it (after learning more about it), I thought it was very well done.

A Good Year is another one. I thought it was going to be pretty bad, but it ended up being a pleasantly quiet, funny movie.

Also, Repo Man? (NOT Repo Men). Kinda unexpectedly awesome.

Dude! You caught my interest. I’m a HUGE boxing fan, and Raging Bull was one of the best movies of the last 30 years, bar none. Even if you don’t like boxing, it’s a brilliant film about a man with :: ahem ::: issues. (LaMotta was an overrated fighter as well) Rocky is one of my favorite movies of all time, period. The sequels are Godawful, but the first is truly amazing.

And your right about Zellweger as well. I’ve seen her in one movie I enjoyed-Cinderella Man.

Except for “Rocky Balboa”(Rocky 6), which gave the original a run for it’s money…

I liked that one, but the orignal was way better.

I loved A Good Year too! There are seemingly very few of us in this camp - we have a special handshake and everything. I thought it was charming and witty, plus I’m a bit of a wino myself so I was perhaps predisposed to like it. And Marion Cotillard has never been more beautiful.

I’d love to learn more about boxing - it’s always amoung my list of to dos. Raging Bull is a terrific piece of cinema. I remember a story Brian de Palma once told about it. He had been lauded around the world for ‘Scarface’, winning praise and awards everywhere he went. Then, feeling fueled by self-satisfaction, he went to the cinema to see his friend Martin Scorsese’s new film ‘Raging Bull’. Once the opening credits finished, with Jake LaMotta sparring to Mascagni’s music, de Palma said, ‘No matter how good I get, there will always be a Scorsese.’

I like Rocky too and I have a guilty pleasure for a few of sequels. And the newest one wasn’t too bad - I mean, utterly ridiculous, but entertaining nonetheless.

Oh, and on Zellwegger (and this isn’t my joke), she has an acting style akin to a hamster staring at the sun.

Do you know what movie was great until the very end? One Hour Photo with an actor I usually can’t stand (Robin Williams exhausts me and just isn’t funny to me) but was still good.

That is a guilty pleasure! You should go to confession for that! :wink:

And I love the first one to death.

There are a lot of films that do not mention God or religion but imply that people now are so busy with their lives that they do not look to search deeper for the meaning of their lives and I think they give you a lot to think about without being about a particular religion so as not to ‘offend’ those who watch them.

  1. Kung Fu Panda- I thought it would be one of those so-stupid-it’s-funny comedies, but I ended up really liking it.

  2. Sherlock Holmes- I had no idea it would be as good as it was. Having read nearly all of the Holmes stories, I had really low expectations for how Holmes would be portrayed, but I was amazed; Holmes in the movie is pitch perfect with the book Holmes.

Saw “Marley and me” the other night with the kids…I liked it.

The first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

I don’t know what compelled me to see it in the first place because I wasn’t expecting anything good. Actually…what I was expecting was something along the lines of the Eddie Murphy “Haunted Mansion” movie turned out to be, which I did not like at all.

But I really enjoyed it. I could predict some of it, there were other moments I did not see coming. It moved at just the right pace for me (a problem I’ve had with the sequels). It wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen. But I was *dreading *this movie and it far exceeded my expectations.

(“Did we hear anyone say anything worse than ‘damn’ in that film? Did we hear anyone even say “damn”? No sex? No excessive blood? That was a PG-13 movie right? [joking of course…it was pretty spooky and there were drinking jokes]”) After discussing it with my then-boyfriend we actually went to my mom and told her to take rest of the kids to see it…even the 9 year old (she had seen some of the Harry Potter films and had proven she could handle spooky stuff)…and then I went to see it again with them. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Book of Eli. It was surprisingly faithful to message of God and, in particular, the Old Testament. Sadly, the themes in the film are not understood by many today that equate God and Christ with Barney the Dinosaur.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit