Critical consensus is generally a pretty good indication of a film’s overall quality. Sure, there are many films that have a devoted cult following that were slammed by critics (think The Boondock Saints or Speed Racer), but for the most part, you can generally assume that a film is good if the majority of critics respond positively to it. However, some films are more like a fine wine and seem to go down much better with age. For whatever reason, these 10 films were not well-received in their time, but are generally considered to be classics in their respective genres today, proving that critics aren’t so infallible after all.
10. Sahara (2005)
To be fair, it would be difficult to make the argument that 2005’s Sahara is a great film in the same vein as some of the other films mentioned on this list. It is however pretty good in its own right, a solid action-adventure film that plays better than its negative critical reception would suggest. Based off of Clive Cussler’s popular Dirk Pitt adventure novels, Sahara stars Matthew McConaughey as the roguish Pitt as he tries to find a fabled Civil War-era battleship in the West African desert. The story is pure pulp absurdity, but Sahara is elevated by its charismatic cast — McConaughey and Steve Zahn’s chemistry is underrated and Penelope Cruz is always a welcome addition to any film — and a general focus on fun action setpieces. Sure, Sahara is not a true “classic”, but it definitely doesn’t deserve to be remembered as a “vapid, lengthy, and mostly lifeless” film, as one critic summarized it.