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Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Movies of All Time

Updated on October 16, 2014


I'm sure we've seen our fair share of movies before that we know aren't that great to begin with, but for whatever reason, we always tend to like them anyway. But why is that? Is it because they make us laugh so hard that it hurts? Or maybe there's more going on in the movie than arguably most critics, or even most movie goers, would dare give them credit for? Or, maybe it's because these films fell so far under the radar that we tend to dismiss them as bad movies to begin with?

Or perhaps it's all just one giant coincidence? Whatever the case may be, the reality is that most movie fans are guilty of liking a film that we all know isn't that great in terms of narrative story telling, but we love them anyway because they speak to us in some way.

But then again, what really constitutes as a good movie? After all, what one person deems to be a work of art, another person could dismiss it as garbage, and vice versa. Plus, there have been movies that didn't well when they originally premiered, but they would go on to become known as some of the greatest films of all time like "Duck Soup" and "Citizen Kane"; thus maybe these guilty pleasure movies are nothing more than under rated masterpieces, or they could be so entertaining that we can easily ignore their many flaws. Who really knows? However, this list serves as my top ten guilty pleasure films of all time. In this list, I'll be going over my top ten movies that I know most film critics would say are bad ones, but for whatever reasons, I find them fun to watch anyway.

Take in mind, this is NOT my all time favorite movie list, as all of these wouldn't make the cut. However, this is a list of the movies that I deeply enjoy even though I know they're not popular films by film critics, or even most audiences.

Warning: contains spoilers for the DBZ film, "Cooler's Revenge"

10. Any Dragonball Z or Dragonball movie

If I ever had to grade these movies on their own merit, while putting personal biases aside, I would honestly only give all these movies ranging anywhere from a 2 to 2.5 out of four. Why do I say this? Although the "Dragonball" franchise has always featured very interesting characters, and intriguing story lines. The sad reality is that all their movies tend to appeal to only die hard anime fans, who are used to having a dose of camp elements mixed in with the action dramatic side of story telling.

Another thing that alienates these movies is that unless you've followed either the Japanese manga, or the anime, then you're not going to be able to tell what's going on in the movies; hence it limits it's audience range. Plus, the stories are often rushed for the sake action sequences, with various plot holes, and some of the characters seem to pop out of nowhere for the sake of plot convenience. Granted, it's cool if you're a fan of the anime to see someone like Vegeta or Piccolo show up out of nowhere, to kick some bad guy a**. However, if you're a non fan of the show, and you're trying get into the series, then it's not going to make any sense.

Another thing that might put off audiences is that some of it's humor can seem out of place. Again, if you're into the show or manga already, then you should be used to things like this happening. However, in the DBZ (short for Dragonball Z), sometimes a humorous joke can take place, even during a scene where it's obviously designed to build up suspense for an epic fight scene (i.e. Master Roshi doing impressions before Broly and Goku throw down). Little things like this tend to often take away from a movie, but if you're a fan of the anime or manga, then you'll understand that's part of the anime's allure. It's a very interesting show, and I personally love it because of the characters involved.

Granted, the stories aren't the deepest in the world, but it's the characters that make the show interesting, as you always want to root for them; even if some of the sagas they go through tend to rip off the previous ones to a certain extent.


9. Big Stan

Although this film fairly predictable as hell, and riddled with various stereotypes; while featuring more cliches that would probably make the screenplay one of the worst ever written. However, this movie tends to be saved by it's slapstick style humor, and comedic acting performances. The movie revolves around a corrupt real estate broker, Stan (Rob Schneider), who swindles people into complex real estate scams. Needless to say, he ends up getting convicted for his real estate scams, but since he manages to get his new lawyer to bribe the judge, he's given a six month grace period to get his affairs in order before serving a mandatory three year minimum in prison.

Naturally, one would think that he'd probably skip the country during this time, but for plot convenience, he stays because he doesn't want to lose everything that he's worked so hard for. Therefore, he attends various martial arts classes to get ready for prison, in hopes of avoiding being raped. However, none of his attempts are successful, until he meets an ancient Korean martial arts master coincidentally named "The Master" (Played by David Caradine).

For the next six months, he trains to become a essentially a one man army to where he not only learns some of the deadliest moves of karate known to man, but the Master forces him to endure other horrors that'll toughen him up before prison like eating live scorpions, and having him hang by only his nipples to strengthen them. Plus, he even ties him up, and beats him with a flaming stick to make him lose his sense of pain. Ouch. Talk about extreme...

Needless to say, Stan somehow becomes the prison's biggest bad a** because of his karate techniques, as surprisingly nobody in the prison poses any kind of challenge to him.

As I mentioned earlier, the film isn't that great in terms of traditional story telling, and it's arguably features one of the worst screenplays ever written. But is it a bad movie? I don't think so. Although the film does have it's flaws, we have to take in mind that this type of movie was never meant to be taken seriously. If anything, this is just one of those light hearted comedies that relies more on it's slapstick humor, and comedic performances of it's actors. On that note, it does succeed; hence why I always get a good laugh from this movie.

8. Tommy Boy

Like "Big Stan", this is another movie that was never meant to be taken seriously if at all. The screenplay to this movie is a joke, as even a damn three year old could predict how this film is going to end from a mile away. The movie is riddled with various cliches that one would expect. We know from the trailers that David Spade and Chris Farley aren't going to like each other at first, but we know eventually they're going to bond, and learn crap about each other. Plus, if you're a real movie buff, then you can predict exactly when they're going to allegedly bond to become friends. Seriously, this is the type of movie that's insanely predictable to me, but why do I watch it if it's that damn predictable and cliched ridden?

Like "Big Stan", the movie makes me laugh. Not only featuring some of the funniest slapstick comedy that you'll ever find in a comedy, but I have to admit that David Spade and Chris Farley work very well together. In fact, one of the things that saddens me that we never got to see more films with them together, as I thought they made a pretty good comedy duo.

7. Hook

I remember when I first saw this movie as a child, I honestly didn't care for it that much. Sure, I thought it was okay, but as I've gotten older, it's grown on me. What interests me about the film is that it takes a deep psychological look into how Peter Pan would probably end up being if he ever did leave Neverland to grow up in the human world. Not only does it portray a great performance by Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, but I would probably argue this is one of the best family films ever made; based solely on it's ingenuous concept, and light hearted story structure.

Unfortunately, the film tends to be a bit campy, and over the top at times. Plus, it suffers from various plot holes that don't make any sense. However, it's a fun movie that reminds us that no matter how old we are, we can still be young at heart; while also emphasizing the concept of how aging isn't something to be feared, and that growing up in itself can be a magical adventure to explore. Plus, it's an interesting take on one of fictions most beloved characters.

6. Barry Gordy's "The Last Dragon"

Every time I see this movie, I always burst out laughing my a** off. No, it has nothing to do with the clever writing of the script, nor the performances of the actors themselves. No, the humor in this movie resonates in how much this film pretentiously tries to take itself seriously, as a urban style martial arts movie fused with disco style music. Plus, it's kind of funny watching African Americans acting like Asian stereotypes, while the Asian guys try to act like African American stereotypes. It's funny to me. I do apologize if that comes off as racist, as I respect everyone equally. Plus, I'm half Chinese if that's any consolation...

The point is that the film's story is so ridiculously absurd and silly, as it tries to take itself seriously, that it just ends up becoming more of a parody of a martial arts film if anything else. I'm sure in Barry Gordy's mind, and the minds of the film crew behind this movie, they probably felt this story carried a lot of emotional weight. Unfortunately, they're wrong, as the film comes off as being ridiculously silly, as all the characters come off as bland stereotypes, and offers fight scenes that are more comical than actually being intense legitimate action scenes.

Of course, all these things lead this movie to becoming one of my all time favorite guilty pleasure films to watch. Sure, it's stupid, and offers some of the cheesiest dialogue that you'll ever find in a movie. But then again, that's what makes this film so endearingly funny to watch, as it tries to take itself seriously.

5. Joe Dirt

Not only does this film feature arguably one of the most predictable and cliched ridden stories ever written, but many of it's characters mainly consist of stereotypes that many of us have seen before in movies. However, if that's the case, then why is it funny? Well, the thing that makes this movie interesting to watch is that the film makers behind this movie know it's a stupid film, and it seems to embrace that concept completely. In fact, that's part of the film's charm.

If there was ever an award for most over acted performance in a movie, then arguably the whole cast of "Joe Dirt" would probably get nominated. Not only are all the actors funny in their roles, as they deliver some of the most over the top performances, but they even manage to make almost any line impressionable and funny at the same time.

Sure, "Joe Dirt" may not be the best comedy out there, but it's certainly one of the more funnier ones to date.

4. The Expendables

For those critics and skeptics out there that whine about the lackluster plot of this movie, the only thing I have to ask is...what did you honestly expect? Let's be honest here. Guys like Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others are known throughout their careers for doing mostly action packed blockbuster films, so what did you really expect from them in "The Expendables?" Did you think they'd make a movie that's more along the lines of "The Artist" or something?

No, this movie wasn't meant to be taken seriously by anyone. The plot itself is nothing more than a cheap excuse to get everyone's favorite 80's and 90's action heroes together. Sure, there's a bit of an anti-war theme in it; as it involves a plot involving the government sticking their noses where it doesn't belong, and there's a love story involving Jason Statham's character to boot. But again, all this is nothing more than filler, and excuses to see these guys kick a** and take names.

Any movie buff knows that this movie is nothing more than a tribute to the old days of action movies where all you needed for a blockbuster were buff guys shooting people, while blowing crap up. Indeed, like Schwarzenegger's "Commando", this film wasn't meant to be taken seriously as nothing more than a high octane action movie featuring some of your beloved action heroes. As a fan of old school action films, I can certainly enjoy this movie a lot. Sure, the plot is ridiculously stupid, but it's a fun movie to watch.

3. Transformers: The Movie

As a child and going into my early teenage years, I used to consider this to be the greatest movie ever made. However, as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that isn't the case. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I despise the film now, but let's just say that I don't hold it as high as I used to. Granted, I think the animation is simply amazing, as it could definitely rival any other animated feature in terms of it's detail. Plus, you have to love the soundtrack to this movie, and it's voice acting that carried it.

Unfortunately, the movie suffers from various cliches, and it's extremely predictable to boot. To make matters worse, the film also tends to be a bit graphic for it's target audience, as it shows Autobots burning alive, while getting shot and beaten to death.... Yeah, this was a very violent movie...

However, it's still a great film to watch once in a while, as it offers a great character driven story arc; while featuring arguably one of the greatest soundtracks in cinematic history.

2. Rocky IV

Although I still consider "Rocky V" to be the worst of all the "Rocky" movies, this one comes awfully close, but what saves it is that it's still surprisingly entertaining. Unlike "Rocky V" that was almost unbearable to watch, this movie was actually a lot of fun to see. Sure, the story is pretty simplistic, and serves no other purpose than to dish up an excuse to have Rocky fight again in a movie. Plus, like all Rocky sequels, this one was extremely predictable to boot. Notice I said "Rocky" SEQUELS, and NOT the first one, as the original was the only one that was sort of an exception to the rule.

However, the movie does feature a great soundtrack, and as cliched as the script happens to be, I have to admit that I loved the direction of the movie; as it still manages to engulf it's audience into an action packed movie where you find yourself rooting for Rocky anyway. Plus, there's the subtle symbolism involved with Ivan Drago representing the cold hearted, powerful, and ferociously mysterious USSR. You have Apollo Creed representing the pompous arrogance of invincibility of the United States, while having Rocky symbolically representing the middle hard working class of America struggling to defy the odds against a near unbeatable opponent.

Although I wouldn't dare say this is the best of the series, but it's definitely a fun film to watch nonetheless.

1. The Room

As I mentioned before with Barry Gordy's "The Last Dragon", this movie comes off as being so endearingly funny because of how pretentiously serious it tries to take itself telling an obviously mediocre story; while featuring arguably some of the worst acting and directing that you'll ever find in a movie.

Seriously, I could literally write an entire hub citing in exact detail all the flaws wrong with this movie, as I think every film class in the world should see this movie if only to know how not to make a movie. Sure, some would argue that such directors like Ed Wood should be deemed as the worst director of all time, but I think "The Room" pretty much shows that Tommy Wiseau could potentially challenge him someday for that title. Although, I don't think any film maker would want that title...but hey...the Detroit Lions didn't want to go through an entire season in the NFL win less, so we can't always get what we want...


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    • Discordzrocks profile image


      4 years ago from Aw Man

      My most guilty pleasure movie is in my opinion, my fav movie. The Sandlot

    • kotobukijake profile image


      5 years ago

      Strangely enough, I have seen Big Stan, and I actually thought it was one of Rob Schneider's more entertaining films (not that that's really high praise mind you). Also, his buddy Adam Sandler has made several films that could be called guilty pleasures, with You Don't Mess with the Zohan coming to mind. I personally always liked Tommy Boy and Hook, though the former is utterly cliche and the latter is easily one of Spielberg's most uneven films. I also loved The Expendables, and grew up with Transformers: The Movie. Seriously, I think that was the first movie I saw in theatres (true child of the 80s here); now it's so hard to take seriously, but it's still an important film worth remembering. I'm not sure I'd call any of those four guilty pleasures, since I feel little guilt in watching them, but none of them are great films from an artistic standpoint. Anyway, enjoyable hub, and I'll check out your sequel hubs presently.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago

      lol. I don't know if i'd say this is the best hub of all time, but I'm glad you like it. thank you. :)

    • Robertlentini profile image


      8 years ago from Boston, MA

      This may be, let me check.. yep this is the greatest hub of all time.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago

      Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Anyway, thanks for stopping by again buddy. :)

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      Interesting list....I remember I actually saw Transformers The Movie at the theaters as I was such a Judd Nelson fan back then. Joe Dirt has some very funny lines and another bizarre performance from Christopher Walken. Back in the 1980s when I worked in a video store, I used to always put The Last Dragon in the vcr player so it would play throughout the store....and many many times it would get rented before the end of the movie.

      I have not actually heard of Big Stan....I guess Rob's movie career has officially stalled now.....but he had a surprisingly strong run. Thanks for sharing these 10 different guilty pleasures...very interesting to read.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      I will paradise. I'm glad you liked the list, and thanks again for stopping by, as it's always a real honor seeing you. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      lol. Thanks. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way about "The Room." It's amazing how sometimes really bad movies can turn out to be so entertaining to watch. lol. Anyway, thanks for stopping by Barry to read my hub. :)

    • barry1001 profile image


      8 years ago from North Wales

      I have a strong urge to watch The Last Dragon now!! I haven't seen it for years. Agree with The Room; its is soooo bad that its good!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      I had to laugh...The Expendables really was sorta funny in a blow-'em-up and ask questions later kinda way. I never ever got into the whole Transformers thing. I really can't relate to any joy there...but "Joe Dirt"...just classic, in a really campy fashion.

      I love your list, and keep enjoying movies and sharing your reviews with us all.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago

      Thanks, i'll definitely be sure to check it out sometime. thanks for stopping by.

    • lifemoments profile image


      8 years ago

      awesome job on your hub,, check out mine

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago

      @steve lensman

      Well its great to see that great minds think alike. lol. j/k. Yeah, it's funny on how some bad movies can turn out to be surprisingly entertaining to watch sometimes. I've seen parts of "Rambo IV", but I've never seen the entire movie sadly.

      However, I'll have to make room to watch it again though, as i keep hearing nothing but great things about it. as for "Transformers", I do agree that Michael Bay's version would be more of a guilty pleasure, but I merely mentioned the animated film because i know many film critics have dismissed it as a giant toy commercial. personally, i think that's a bit of a harsh generalization, but it's still an entertaining movie though.

      as for "battlefield earth", i think that depends on who you ask. I think it qualifies as a guilty pleasure too, as I always end up laughing how silly it is whenever i see it. lol.

      anyway, thanks for stopping by again steve, as it's always great to see you. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      Thanks. I'm glad you liked the hub. And yeah, it was a hoot to see all those action stars together on the big screen. I just hope the sequel is great as well. Anyway, thanks for stopping by to read my hub. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      Well i guess it's true what they say then that great minds think alike. lol. j/k anyway, thanks for stopping by again. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      lol. that's very true. To be honest, i actually liked that one too; even though i know how horrible it is. lol.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Daniels 

      8 years ago


      Thanks. I'm glad you think so. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      "Scary Movie 4". Yes, FOUR. Admitting you have a problem is the first step...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Tommy Boy and Rocky IV would be on my list too!

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 

      8 years ago from Manchester, England

      "Who am I?" "Sho'nuff!" "I can't hear you!" "SHO'NUFF" "The Shogun of Harlem!"

      Steve, I watched The Last Dragon countless times back in the 80's, definitely a guilty pleasure. :)

      The Expendables was a recent guilty pleasure along with the uber-violent Rambo IV.

      You've listed the cartoon Transformers as a guilty pleasure but I would count Michael Bay's Transformers as guilty pleasures.

      Does Battlefield Earth count as a guilty pleasure or a twisted pleasure? One of the funniest films I've seen in years.

      Voted Up

    • valleyforge84 profile image


      8 years ago

      Hell of a list, I can awatch any of these at any time.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great Hub-To be honest I haven't seen them all, and I was surprised to find out I've never heard of Big Stan. Tommy Boy is probably my all-time favorite comedy I don't care what the critics say. And I agree with your critique on Hook and The Expendables. I went into watching The Expendables with low expectations, but it was pretty good and it was just a kick seeing all those guys on screen together.


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