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Movies With A 0% Rotten Tomatoes Score That Are Actually Worth Watching

Years ago, in the 1980s or '90s, there was never really a critical consensus around the quality of a movie, unless you paid attention to the stars awarded to films in the TV Guide listings. But fast-forward to 2024, and review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has just redefined the way we judge films. The site, founded in 1998, sought to bring together movie reviews from scores of critics so moviegoers could get an idea of how reviewers collectively felt about a film, rather than just one well-known critic like Roger Ebert, Peter Travers, or Leonard Maltin.

While it's rare for a movie to receive a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, there are more movies on the other end of the spectrum than you might think. But can we really give Rotten Tomatoes that much sway? Are movies with a 0% really unwatchable — or have they simply fallen victim to the nature of the aggregating system? That system means that reviews are counted as only "good" or "bad," so even a 2.5-star review might bring down a movie's score. There is no middle ground.

Well, we've sorted out the critical reviews, looked over audience scores, and carefully considered every one of those unlucky losers. While few would ever consider these movies great, we've found quite a few movies with a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes that are actually worth watching.

Simon Sez is a schlock action masterpiece

If you refuse to turn off your brain to enjoy a silly action movie, that's on you. And there are few sillier than the 1999 schlock masterpiece "Simon Sez." Yes, we use the term "masterpiece" half-sarcastically, because when it comes to this grade of goofy, over-the-top action movie, "Simon Sez" hits the nail on the head — starting with its gimmicky star, controversial NBA great Dennis Rodman.

In the film, Rodman plays smooth-talking, wild-mannered Interpol agent Simon who, with the help of his old friend Nick (Dane Cook), is on a mission to take down a dangerous weapons dealer (Jérôme Pradon). Nick's boss's daughter (Natalia Cigliuti) has been kidnapped, too, of course, because Action Movie Plot, and don't you know it, the two situations are connected. Martial arts fans will appreciate the choreography and stunt direction of Hong Kong stuntman Xin Xin Xiong, while for everyone else, Rodman's involvement makes the whole endeavor worthwhile.

Channeling equal parts Wesley Snipes and — perhaps inadvertently — Robin Williams, Rodman can't match the chops of either but is worth watching for the novelty alone. Sure, the movie makes plenty of nonsensical choices (like casting Rodman as an Interpol agent in the first place), but that's kind of the fun. As a "so-bad-its-good" B-movie, "Simon Sez" will only disappoint if you take it seriously.

The Ridiculous 6 is Adam Sandler as usual

There was surprise all over Hollywood and beyond when it was announced that Adam Sandler had signed a four-picture deal with Netflix in 2014 — a deal that was re-upped six years later for another $275 million dollars. As part of that first deal came "The Ridiculous 6," a slapstick Western with a plot that doesn't matter because it's all about Sandler's ridiculous schtick. Arriving with great fanfare, the movie was a huge hit for Netflix despite its 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes, breaking records on the streaming platform.

While critics rightly called out Sandler's foray into the Wild West as unimaginative and lazy, we have to ask: What did they think they were watching? This is, after all, an Adam Sandler movie — it's not a Spike Lee joint or anything — it never aspires to be anything other than a low-brow comedy, just like every Sandler film before it. Is it anything close to Sandler's previous movies? No. Is it often cringeworthy and offensive, and sometimes downright bad? Yes.

Nevertheless, if you've enjoyed Sandler before, whether on "SNL" or in favorites like "Billy Madison" and "Happy Gilmore," you'll still get at least a few good laughs out of this one. Low-hanging fruit and childish vulgarity have always been Sandler's bread and butter, so maybe the professionals should just relax a bit and let everyone else have a chuckle.

Gotti isn't worth all the hate

Gangster movies have been popular since "The Godfather," but true crime stories are all the rage these days, so when it was announced that John Travolta was to star in a dark biopic of ruthless real-life criminal kingpin John Gotti, it probably perked up a few ears. It didn't have a high-profile director, nor the kind of dazzling supporting cast that a Martin Scorsese film might get, but it was still an intriguing project ... and it didn't deliver.

Professional reviewers raked "Gotti" over the coals, with Glenn Kenny of The New York Times calling it a "dismal mess." Nevertheless, while we'll concede it's not very good, it's also not worthless, and John Travolta is a notable reason why. No, we're not contending that the "Pulp Fiction" star gives an Oscar-worthy performance, but it is an interesting one at least, one that fans of the actor will probably get a kick out of. Even Kenny praised the actor's charismatic performance and accurate depiction of the mobster.

If you're looking for a Michael Mann-esque crime thriller, though, you'll be sorely disappointed, and it could be that expectation that killed "Gotti" with critics. Brutally mediocre at its best, you might enjoy "Gotti" for a look at Travolta outside his modern low-budget direct-to-video comfort zone. It may not be one of the best underrated gangster movies, but the hate it gets is definitely overboard.

Wagons East was one of John Candy's last movies

It might seem overkill to put a second Western comedy on our list, but trust us — this one belongs as much as "The Ridiculous 6." This time we're talking about 1994's "Wagons East," starring John Candy, Richard Lewis, and John C. McGinley. The film follows some misfits in the Wild West who hire a hard-drinking rabble-rouser (Candy) to help take them on a wagon train back home to the East Coast.

First off, critics aren't necessarily wrong to call the movie a "witless, toothless satire" as the Rotten Tomatoes consensus states. It doesn't do nearly enough to effectively lampoon the Western genre — Sandler honestly does a better job — but the movie hardly deserves a zero. Candy and Lewis are delightful, even if the laughs can't match either of their best work. But what makes the film more watchable today than even a few years ago is, in fact, the presence of those two stars who have since left us. 

Candy tragically died a year before the release of the film, and while it wasn't the last of his movies to see a release it was the last movie he filmed. And with Richard Lewis' passing in 2024, the film takes on an even more poignant tone. It's is a time capsule of their careers, particularly for Candy, and even when it's not funny, it's nice to see them both trying their best to make us laugh.

Problem Child is a silly guilty pleasure

Possibly the biggest and goofiest guilty pleasure on this list, it would be a stretch for even the least discerning movie fan to claim "Problem Child" is a good movie. But when it comes to kids' movies in the '80s, it might actually be one of the most underappreciated of its stripe. Starring John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck (who married about a decade later), the film follows a pair of parents whose adopted son (Michael Oliver) is more than just a troublemaker — he's a proverbial demon child whose only mission seems to be making his parents' lives a living hell.

A dark comedy that works for all ages, it's definitely not the sharply written social satire that critics might have wanted it to be, but it never really pretends to be either. The film revels in its ridiculousness and boasts a sterling supporting cast: Gilbert Gottfried plays an uptight adoption agent while Michael Richards is at the top of his game as an escaped crook.

Rotten Tomatoes called it "juvenile" and "mean-spirited," but that's all by design as a twisted black comedy. Ritter is genuinely funny as usual, and the timing and chemistry between he and Yasbeck are worth watching for. Ritter's skill at playing a frustrated, overworked, and underappreciated everyman is on full display, too. If you think we're crazy for recommending it, consider it was popular enough to get two sequels, so clearly lots of people were enjoying it.

Cabin Fever (2016) is better as an academic exercise than a film

If you're wondering why an awful remake of a mediocre horror movie makes our list, hear us out. Because this is one of the few we won't defend as some sort of guilty pleasure. After all, there's already a better version available, the 2002 original from director Eli Roth, which boasts a strong 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. No, it's everything surrounding the film that makes the 2016 remake worth seeing.

Sure, you may get some legitimate enjoyment out of the film here and there, but that's not why we're recommending a watch. Its appeal is comparable to Gus Van Sant's "Psycho" remake. For starters, it's fascinating to watch as an exercise in filmmaking: The "Cabin Fever" remake isn't just a do-over for the studio — Eli Roth actually returned as an executive producer and co-writer to remake his own movie, something incredibly rare in Hollywood.

The chance to see the changes Roth made to his own story — not to mention the alternate choices the production makes in cinematography, camerawork, and even casting — are fascinating if not instructive. No, we're not recommending you sit down with a bucket of popcorn for a fun night watching the 2016 version of "Cabin Fever," but if you love filmmaking, there's plenty about it to keep you watching.

Staying Alive still boogies hard

You might be surprised to learn just how many movies that John Travolta with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. It might not look good for him, but at the very least it gives us more opportunities to find Travolta movies for this list. And we found another one: "Staying Alive," the much-maligned 1983 sequel to "Saturday Night Fever."

"Saturday Night Fever," a beloved hit with an 82% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, was praised for its strong script, heartfelt drama, and Travolta's career-defining performance. "Staying Alive," by contrast, was mocked for focusing too much on all the songs and dance numbers and forgetting that it was the character drama that made its predecessor one of the best movies of the decade. Still, just because "Staying Alive" isn't as good as the original doesn't mean its not good. Because at times it's even better than good, and partly due to the stylish — if unpolished — direction of Sylvester Stallone.

Watching with a fresh set of eyes reveals that, just maybe, critics wanted it to be its predecessor a little too much when it's really a very different kind of movie. Yes, it's a direct sequel and spends lots of time on theatrical musical numbers. But through those numbers, we explore Tony Morano's (Travolta) character, his hopes and dreams, and ultimately his self-acceptance, and that's not to mention how good those musical numbers are.

Return to the Blue Lagoon is about as good as the original

A sequel to the 1980 classic "The Blue Lagoon" starring a young Brooke Shields, "Return to the Blue Lagoon" followed its predecessor 11 years later. The original wasn't very good, so it probably wasn't a surprise that "Return" was also met with bad reviews. Still, it's 0% seems excessive, and like many movies on this list, it's at least worth watching for its star: In this case, a young Milla Jovovich.

Just 15 when she was cast, Jovovich supplants Shields in the role of island castaway, this time as Lilli Hargrave, who becomes marooned with Paddy, the baby from the first movie now all grown up. Make no mistake, "Return to the Blue Lagoon" is slow-moving and tiresome, and the romantic drama will barely get you to the center of your seat let alone the edge. But seeing Jovovich in just her second big screen outing — her first as a lead — is at least something to watch. Despite earning her a Golden Rasberry nomination, her performance has enough innocence and effervescence to give a glimpse of both her eventual star power and her limited range.

Highlander II: The Quickening is as ambitious as it is cheesy

The first "Highlander" successfully blends sci-fi, fantasy, and thriller with a hard-boiled crime story about an immortal warrior (Christopher Lambert) who is being hunted by others of his kind. A rare box office bomb that still got a sequel, "Highlander" landed with as big a thud as its follow-up, "Highlander II: The Quickening." And the sequel's 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes means nobody will ever forget.

In "The Quickening," we find Lambert's immortal hero living in a post-apocalyptic far future, a radical departure from the first movie. But when a new evil emerges, he once again fights alongside fellow immortal Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez (Sean Connery). It's not as good as the first movie, but "The Quickening" has its redeeming qualities. Lambert and Connery continue to chew the scenery, and there's something that's just so bonkers about the futuristic setting and its maniacal villains that it's hard not to enjoy — even if ironically.

The story, meanwhile, is more layered than you might think, with the futuristic setting populated with elements of social satire and political commentary — however unsubtle or cliched. And just like the first film, "The Quickening" earned itself a cult following on home video — and cable TV — where the film finally found the right audience who could appreciate it for its big themes and ambitious ideas. It will never be considered a classic, but it's worth a watch if you enjoy the first "Highlander."

Merci Docteur Rey is a decent romp that critics hated

We opened this discussion with the caveat that the movies on this list might not be that terrible ... but they're probably not that great, either. "Merci Docteur Rey," however, might be the lone exception. And that's due to its surprising 65% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes — a rare time a movie with a 0% critical rating received a "fresh" score from average moviegoers.

Top critics didn't like the film at all, and it seems they were confused by what they deemed a pointless, contrived story with little meaning. Audiences, though, felt quite the opposite. Many user reviews praised the film's quirky story — involving a sex-starved young Frenchman (Stanislas Merhar) in search of his identity, his narcissistic mother (Dianne Wiest), a renowned psychiatrist, and lots of murder.

An uneven, wild but controlled art film, the sort of thing we'd now compare to a Wes Anderson film, "Merci Docteur Rey" is populated by eccentric oddballs, which is the film's real appeal. It's not so much a tight, clever story as it is a showcase for its offbeat cast of characters and cast including Vanessa Redgrave and Simon Callow.

Stolen sends grizzled Jon Hamm on a murder case

In the era of streaming, gritty crime thrillers have become a dime a dozen, with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu all pumping out countless films that send grizzled heroes on a quest for justice. Before streaming, though, those kind of low-rent action movies were still common, if easy to ignore, which is probably why "Stolen" flew under everyone's radar in 2010.

Receiving the dreaded goose egg on Rotten Tomatoes, "Stolen" may have gotten a better score if more critics had seen it, as it only received 21 reviews from critics. Those that did see it wrote that it lacks the tension that a thriller needs and is woefully awful in spite of its impressive cast. But that cast is exactly why it's worth more than its 0% suggests, as the movie is led by "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm as a dedicated detective out to solve a cold case that may be related to his own son's disappearance.

He may not exactly give the kind of dazzling Don Draper-like performance that earned him eight Emmy nominations, but for one of his first lead roles in a film, he delivers just enough to keep your attention when the story is lacking. Don't go in expecting "Silence of the Lambs," and you just might have a good time.

Folks! casts Tom Selleck in a decent generational comedy

The late '80s and early '90s saw some of the best comedy movies of all time, from "Groundhog's Day" to "Wayne's World." Unfortunately, the era also produced stinkers like Dan Aykroyd's "Nothing But Trouble" or Sylvester Stallone's "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!" But few flops from that time got as low a rating as "Folks!," the 1992 box office bomb starring Tom Selleck as an uptight yuppie who takes his parents in when their house is destroyed in a fire.

A movie about the ever-widening generation gap between baby boomers and their aging parents, "Folks!" pokes fun at the elderly a little too much for some people's tastes, something that critics found both dreadful and obnoxious. But while the humor can certainly be cringeworthy at times, it's not the worst comedy film of the decade, nor is it even the worst comedy Tom Selleck ever did, with the likes of "Three Men and a Little Lady" and "The Love Letter" coming in well below this one on our ranked list of Tom Selleck's filmography.

Sure, the story is trite and the jokes are predictable. But in a certain light, "Folks!" feels like a predecessor to Adam Sandler movies from later that decade — a nonstop cavalcade of borderline-offensive, low-brow laughs mixed with slapstick farce and lots of bodily harm humor.