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10 Movies That Exceeded Viewers' Expectations, According To Reddit

Every now and then, a movie takes viewers by surprise, impressing them when they had low expectations to begin with. Whether it's because they were marketed badly or because they star actors who don't generally make the best decisions, Redditors didn't think much about these movies. But after watching them, they defied all expectations.

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The users could have been proven wrong when they reluctantly went to see the films at the movie theatre, or when they watched them years later after being stubborn for so long. But either way, tons have Redditors have admitted to having their expectations blown away at one point or another.

10 The Matrix (1999)

When it was first released, not everyone knew how great The Matrix was going to be. Reddit user Geeschwag represents general audiences at the time, as they explain that they were "expecting another Johnny Mnemonic s*** show and instead witnessed a generational, game-changing movie."

Johnny Mnemonic is one of the worse 1990s action movies starring Keanu Reeves, and it's easy to imagine the 1999 movie following suit simply based on the poster. But The Matrix is one of the most groundbreaking action movies ever made, and it pushed CGI to its very limits while it was still in its infancy. But fans are still waiting for a Morpheus origin story.

9 Mean Girls (2004)

As it was written by Tina Fey, Mean Girls was never going to be one of the typical teen romps that were being thrown out by studios at the time. But not everybody knew who was behind the cutthroat dialogue.

Slobhero explains why they weren't the first in line at the multiplexes, because at the time, "they were still churning out mediocre high school movies left and right, and Lindsey Lohan wasn't exactly a quality sales pitch." And while all that's true, the Redditor wasn't prepared for how much they'd fall in love with the movie, as Mean Girls completely flipped all the typical genre tropes on its head.

8 The Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2002)

Audiences had every right to be hesitant about The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when it was first released. After all, the whole movie is based on a theme park ride. WeNeedToTalkAboutMe was one who didn't exactly jump at the chance to watch the movie, claiming that they had no interest but their friend paid for their ticket.

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But when the credits rolled, the Redditor thought, "s***, that was awesome!" Thanks to the charismatic Jack Sparrow, the marvelous production design, and the swelling musical score, the first movie in the Pirates franchise is a perfect cinematic experience.

7 Sicario (2015)

Before director Denis Villeneuve became the savior of sci-fi thanks to the trifecta of Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, and Dune, he delivered some fantastic crime dramas. The best example of that is Sicario, an intense and riveting movie about the US government's relationship with the Mexican cartel.

Before sitting down to watch the movie, Telepaul25 thought it was just going to be a "gimmicky cartel action flick, but it was actually extremely suspenseful, well written, beautifully directed." It's a cartel movie to end all cartel movies, as none have been as realistic in its depiction of violence and tensions with the US as Sicario.

6 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Kingsman was so great that it not only got a sequel, but it began a whole cinematic universe, as an origin movie about the secret service, The King's Man, is set for release later this year. However, MrZombiKilla wasn't convinced that the movie wasn't going to be any good back in 2014, as they believed it was about "a stupid teenage secret agent, Cody Banks crap."

As hilarious as comparing it to the early 2000s Frankie Muniz movie is, the film ended up being one of the best James Bond parodies with amazingly choreographed action sequences. But as much as the user fell in love with The Secret Service, they still pretend The Golden Circle doesn't exist.

5 What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

It's hard to nail a mockumentary, but What We Do In The Shadows puts a twist on it by incorporating supernatural themes. The movie follows a group of vampires who live together while their daily lives are chronicled, which includes doing chores around the house, clubbing, and luring humans to the house to get their fix of blood.

Lyingcats refused to watch it for a whole year simply based on the movie's title, but when they finally did sit down and view it, they said that it's "safe to say it's one of the funniest films I've ever seen." And when it comes to movie names, the user will be happy to find out that the in-development Shadows sequel has the hilarious title We're Wolves.

4 The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige is one of the most exciting mystery movies of the 2000s, as it brilliantly intertwines the invention of electricity and magic, but Mightypistachio didn't know what to expect. When they were shown the movie by their father, they thought the film "was gonna be a boring period piece, but it ended up being one of my favorite films ever."

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It's easy to see how the Redditor would have made that mistake. There's very little that gives anything away about the narrative, especially as director Christopher Nolan likes to keep his movies as secretive as possible. And with an alluring name like The Prestige, it very much sounds like it could fit in with The Crown and Downton Abbey.

3 In Time (2011)

In Time is set in a dystopian future where people are genetically engineered to stop aging at the age of 25. They then have a one-year countdown on their arm until their death, but that time is also used as currency. LauraMaeflower didn't expect much before seeing the sci-fi flick, but after leaving the movie theatre they thought, "the concept is so fascinating to me, I’d love to see more done with it."

When it was first released In Time wasn't the most well-received sci-fi movie. But while the pacing was uneven and the acting was questionable, the concept was fascinating, and it could certainly be taken further in some kind of sequel or reboot. But at the same time, it's fairly derivative of Logan's Run, a cheesy '70s movie that deserves a remake too.

2 The Social Network (2010)

With Facebook being so influential now, back in the late 2000s, it was just the beginning. The Social Network did such a great job of depicting those times, especially with the behind-closed-doors war between the creators that was going on at the time. But before seeing it, Reddit user Jrunicl thought, "how can a movie about Facebook be remotely interesting?"

However, it has now become one of the Redditor's favorite movies. And if a movie about the platform was interesting back then, with everything that has gone on over the past few years, including the new Meta and its social virtual reality world, a Social Network 2 would be even better.

1 Cats (2019)

At first glance, this seems like an extremely hot take, as Cats received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, and general audiences hated it too, as it stands at a shocking 2.9 on IMDb. But the 2019 movie exceeded Whompa's expectations in a hilariously surprising way. The Redditor notes that they "thought it was going to be terrible. It was even worse."

The movie managed to defy the Redditor's miserable expectations with jarring CGI, as the cats for some reason have human noses. And the weird casting choices didn't help either, as the producers and directors went for entertainers over actual actors, with the likes of James Corden and Taylor Swift in main roles. Cats is one of the strangest movies ever.

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