17 Movies With Zero Expectations That Blew Us Away

Never judge a book by its cover. You can say the same about movies. Some of our favorite films are the ones we went into with no expectations. Despite this, they blew us away from start to finish.


Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

On the surface, Megamind is just another computer-animated film for kids. It still resonates with the older crowd, however. The film has a surprisingly mature message of a bullied kid finally coming into his own.

The Lego Movie

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

What should have been a complete fumble is instead a huge success. The Lego Movie succeeds because of its strong story and great character development. It’s also pretty darn funny, too.

The Lego Batman Movie

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Surely lightning couldn’t strike twice, right? You’d think wrong.  What many initially viewed as a selfish spin-off was a movie just as enjoyable as the original.

Blast From The Past

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

Despite its utterly ridiculous premise, 1999’s Blast From The Past is better than it has any right to be.  It helps that Brendan Fraser is a national treasure, helping to make this “fish out of water” romantic comedy enjoyable.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Photo Credit: Magnet Releasing.

Eli Craig’s black comedy horror film may not have the mainstream recognition of over movies on this list, but it’s still better than expected. The titular characters are two hillbillies who get caught up in the circumstances straight out of a classic horror film.

The Emperor’s New Groove

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

2000’s The Emperor’s New Groove was released when Disney was in a creative rut. Add a troubled development history, and you have the recipe for an absolute disaster.  Despite all the odds, this is one of the funniest animated movies ever.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Another Disney classic that defies the odds, 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean launched a billion-dollar movie franchise. Based on the ride at Walt Disney World, many scoffed at the idea of a successful Pirates movie.

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A spoof on Star Trek? Surely that would never work, right? Wrong. Not only does Galaxy Quest feature intelligent writing, but it’s also one of the best Star Trek movies ever made.


Photo Credit: Columbia/TriStar.

You could argue that by the 2009 release of Zombieland, the genre was starting to feel tired and worn out. Yet the movie’s novel concept helps elevate it over similar movies that otherwise failed.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

A good movie in the Shrek universe in 2022? It’s true.  Puss in Boots: The Last Wish breathes life into a franchise that has been dormant for a decade. It’s one of the best movies released last year.

The Fugitive

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

It’s hard to believe that there was a world where 1993’s The Fugitive had no expectations of it. Many expected a ho-hum and generic action movie based on the 1960s television show of the same name. Instead, what they got was a film that redefined the action genre.


Clue (1985)
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

How good can a movie based on a board game be? Pretty good when you provide it with witty writing and a memorable performance from an ensemble cast.  Clue is a comedy classic that has earned its cult following.

Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder
Image Credit: Dreamworks.

On the surface, Tropic Thunder is a dumb summer popcorn comedy. In reality, it’s a clever, satirical take on the movie industry. Despite being one of the more controversial comedies in recent memory, it’s also one of the funniest films ever made.

21 Jump Street

Photo Credit: Columbia TriStar.

There’s a common thread on this list of movies that are better than we ever expected. 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street, defy the odds and provide some of the biggest laughs you’ll ever experience.

John Wick

Photo Credit: Lionsgate.

Keanu Reeves proudly proclaims he’s back in John Wick. It turns out he was underselling himself.  John Wick is one of the greatest action movies ever made, and each sequel finds a way to top itself.

The Princess Bride

Photo Credit: MGM.

If I told you that a movie about a grandfather telling a story to his son is one of the most beloved films of all time, you’d think I’m crazy. As it turns out, that’s what The Princess Bride is. A film that, from the outside, seems generic but contains an impressive amount of charm and magic.

Legally Blonde

Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Legally Blonde. The 2001 Reese Weatherspoon comedy looks generic but has clever writing and sharp dialogue.


The Usual Suspects
Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.
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