Film critics are paid to do the job they have for one reason: they make mistakes less frequently than everybody else who has an opinion on film. All that talk of “everybody should make their own mind up” and “everyone’s a critic” surely becomes moot when you hold a review written by Roger Ebert next to that of the average IMDb commenter. The film critic earned that position by being a trusted guide, whereas the average viewer, to put it plainly, just hasn’t.
Still, no one is infallible – even the trusty movie critic gets it wrong on occasion. When critics across the board get it wrong, though? That’s another deal entirely. Put it down to the danger of groupthink, or the movie under review simply being too ahead of its time for the critics circle to fully appreciate it, but sometimes movie critics come together to make almighty errors in judgement.
Whereas most of our movie classics were well-liked or at least admired from the start, there are some that initially didn’t impress those reviewers at all. For this list, there was only one rule: the film that critics hated then but love now must be the same version that screened in cinemas back in the day they received a dire critical response (so no Blade Runner and its superior director’s cut, and no Once Upon a Time in America and its restored edit).
With that out of the way, here are ten movies that are now embraced as classics, despite critics originally hating them.