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Movies can be a great source of entertainment, and there are some that are so amazing that we cannot help but be captivated. However, sometimes watching a movie that’s so bad it’s good can be just as enjoyable. You know the ones: the films that are filled with such poor acting, cheesy dialogue, and outrageous premises that they become riotously funny. In the age of streaming services, there’s no shortage of these gems, and Max offers some of the best. So, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 “so-bad-they’re-good” movies on Max that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Let’s dive in!
Recently, there was an unexpected renaming within the ever-growing streaming landscape, as HBO Max officially changed its name to simply Max. Perhaps those behind the decision took the advice of Justin Timberlake’s character in The Social Network, when he says that The Facebook should “drop the The.” Maybe if it’s successful, Max’s competitors will follow suit, and soon, viewers will find themselves subscribed to services like Flix and Ney+.
All that being said, Max still largely functions like HBO Max, and contains a comparable library, despite the new name and slightly new look. With that comes an inevitable selection of movies both good and bad. Among the bad movies are some very bad movies, and some of those very bad movies are so bad, they loop around and become inexplicably good again. The following titles are the best (or worst) of these, and are worth watching for any Max subscribers who enjoy a bad movie every now and then.
10 ‘Jupiter Ascending’ (2015)
The Wachowskis have made some fantastic science-fiction and action movies, with even their less-than-great efforts still being interesting. Jupiter Ascending arguably qualifies as one such movie, because while it’s heavily flawed and misfires at various points, there is something fascinating and strangely watchable about it.
Its ambition can be admired, at the very least. It follows a young woman from Earth who gets wrapped up in a complex plot in space after she finds out she’s somehow linked to a powerful and influential dynasty. It’s a space opera that shoots for the stars (almost literally), and does inevitably miss, though misses of such a kind are rarely so spectacular and surprisingly engaging.
9 ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)
When Batman movies are at their best, they often represent peak comic book and/or action movies as a whole. The iconic superhero has had more good movies than bad over the years, but to this day, the most infamous movie starring the character has been 1997’s Batman & Robin, which was largely responsible for turning the general public off continued campy takes on Batman. It killed off that kind of Batman movie, just like how the Ice Age killed the dinosaurs!
From the bad puns to the questionable costume choices to a checked-out George Clooney in the lead role, Batman & Robin is a complete mess, and does essentially earn its notoriety. Yet for those who like their camp turned up to the Max, Batman & Robin has you covered.
8 ‘Armageddon’ (1998)
Armageddon is one of the most ridiculous disaster movies of all time, and takes what could charitably be called a novel approach to a familiar “asteroid is about to hit the Earth” premise. It follows a group of drillers who get hired by NASA and trained as astronauts before being given the job of flying to the asteroid, drilling into it, and planting a nuclear bomb inside.
It’s heightened and silly, but also feels like it’s trying to be genuinely emotional and serious at some points, which is what creates a good deal of unintentional hilarity. Few people could say Armageddon – with its impressive cast and massive budget – is boring, though, and so for those who can get on board with the ridiculous premise, it should prove to be the dumb kind of fun.
7 ‘Justice League’ (2017)
If 2017’s Justice League is to be counted as a Zack Snyder movie (he’s still its credited director), then it’s quite easily his worst. Thankfully, it’s been largely forgotten about since 2021, given that year saw the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which served as a definitive director’s cut, and used its four-hour length to tell a more compelling and impressive story.
Of course, this also has the effect of making the original version of this DC team-up seem even worse in comparison. Truthfully, the only way to sit through 2017’s Justice League is to laugh and/or be bewildered by just how incoherent and messy it is. Any attempts to engage with it like one would for a serious movie will likely prove futile.
6 ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (2021)
For anyone wondering how not to pull off a modern-day musical film, Dear Evan Hansen is a textbook example. A good deal of what can go wrong with a film adaptation of a stage musical does go wrong, with this high school movie about the unforeseen consequences of a troubled student taking his life being an utter mess.
With questionable casting, some bizarre performances (everyone feels like they’re in a different movie), and some awkward musical numbers, Dear Evan Hansen is only watchable for those who are morbidly curious to see how it all goes wrong. It’s long, repetitive, challenging, and sometimes quite funny (in an unintentional way), and is odd enough that it might well build up an ironic cult audience eventually.
5 ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’ (1987)
It’s quite sad to see the downward spiral of the four Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. The 1978 original is an undeniable classic, and its first sequel was quite good in its original theatrical form, though has a director’s cut that’s even more highly regarded.
It’s 1983’s Superman III where things start to get noticeably shakier, and then 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace ended up being an unmitigated disaster on celluloid. The cast members all look disinterested, the film feels unfinished, and the special effects are laughably bad (and significantly worse than the effects from the first three movies). It’s fun to laugh at, but its mere existence is also a little sad, so your mileage may vary on how so-bad-it’s-good this so-bad-it’s-good movie really is.
4 ‘All Monsters Attack’ (1969)
For the most part, you can’t go wrong with a Godzilla movie. Even when the series is at its worst, it’s still often endearing and at least good for some dumb fun, given that the title character is inherently awesome (and sometimes quite scary or funny, depending on the tone of the movie he appears in), and giant monsters in general are also entertaining and cool by default.
That being said, 1969’s All Monsters Attack is pretty bad, and arguably a series low point. Its cheapness and overly kid-friendly nature can make it kind of funny, but the fact its monster scenes are almost completely made up of stock footage from prior movies is frustrating. At least it’s only 70 minutes long, and has enough silly parts to make ironic enjoyment somewhat possible.
3 ‘Dragonball Evolution’ (2009)
Few film adaptations have proven to be as controversial as 2009’s Dragonball Evolution, with perhaps the only somewhat recent movie to hold a candle to it in that regard being 2010’s The Last Airbender. That movie annoyed most fans of the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, while Dragonball Evolution got on the wrong side of just about every Dragon Ball fan.
It awkwardly crams a great deal into just 85 minutes, and fans of the original manga and/or anime series will have little choice but to not take it seriously if they’re to make it out of the movie alive. It’s very silly, quite sloppy, and makes for a sometimes entertaining train wreck for those who are up to the challenge of watching it.
2 ‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’ (2016)
Even as far as Nicolas Cage movies go, USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage is very strange. It’s extremely loosely based on a true story, following the crew of the titular ship getting stranded at sea during the final days of World War II, and finding themselves constantly attacked by sharks.
While there are plenty of great, memorable movies about the Second World War, this 2016 release isn’t one of them. It becomes a very over-the-top movie about fighting sharks, even though most would expect it to feel a little more grounded, and for its overall bizarreness, it might hold some merit for certain viewers.
1 ‘Every Which Way but Loose’ (1978)
Best known for his Westerns, Clint Eastwood is nevertheless an actor/filmmaker who’s successfully tackled other genres throughout his long and fruitful career. While he’s right at home in action, crime, and war movies, his comedies tend to be a good deal more hit-or-miss, and 1978’s Every Which Way but Loose is more of a miss than a hit.
The plot is basically non-existent. The movie is two hours of Eastwood’s character – followed by his orangutan sidekick – getting into fights, making enemies, and generally making a mess of things. It’s episodic, clunky, and silly, but for the novelty of seeing Eastwood cause chaos with a charming and rebellious orangutan named Clyde, it can be a fairly decent mindless watch.
NEXT: The Best Clint Eastwood Movies of All Time, Ranked
In conclusion, while the term “so-bad-they’re-good” may seem like an oxymoron, there is a certain charm and appeal to watching movies that are over-the-top, poorly acted, and filled with cheesy dialogue. These movies provide a unique kind of entertainment that is often unintentional but still manages to make us laugh and keep us engaged. With Max providing a platform for some of the best and most iconic bad movies, there is no shortage of options for those looking to indulge in this guilty pleasure. Whether it’s classics like “The Room” or newer additions like “Cats,” Max has something for every bad movie enthusiast. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the “so-bad-they’re-good” ride.
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