Skip To Content

    People Shared The Most Unexpectedly Amazing Movies They've Ever Seen, And Damn, This Is A Good List

    From The Lego Movie to Edge of Tomorrow, there's a lot of good stuff on here.

    Sometimes...okay, maybe a lot of times, people go into movies with pretty low expectations (I know I certainly do). Whether it's because the trailer made it look bad or you just "heard bad things," not all movies have the same level of enthusiasm going for them when audiences head into the theater or sit down to stream.

    New Line Cinema / Via giphy.com

    However, sometimes said movies actually really surprise people! So, when Reddit user u/Corn-G posed the question "What was the most unexpectedly amazing movie you've ever seen?" to the AskReddit community, well, I took notes. Here are the top-voted responses:

    1. The Lego Movie (2014)

    Benny, the space man lego, jumping up, happy
    Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Could just as easily have been a cop out two-hour-long advertisement."

    —[deleted]

    2. Arrival (2016)

    Paramount / Everett Collection

    "I thought it would just be another alien movie, hadn’t really paid attention to any trailers either. Was pleasantly surprised."

    CrustedMudge

    3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

    Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Geoffrey Rush pirates standing on their ship
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "When it came out, I was 12 (perfect age for that movie), and nobody could predict back then that it would be that huge. I went inside with my sister, expecting nothing, and came out amazed. I still think that the first movie was great."

    mki_

    4. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

    Tom Cruise in the middle of battle
    Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

    DeckcardCain

    "I think the trailer and the 'starring Tom Cruise' part led to everyone assuming it would be shit. It wasn't shit."

    Cat-Pain-Black-Udder

    5. Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

    Elijah Wood wearing glasses, looking out a car window
    Warner Independent Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "It was a box office flop, didn't do very well at all. My ex took me to see weird movies. I was like, 'ugh...fuck it, at least Frodo (Elijah Wood) is in it.'

    That movie surprised the hell out of me. I enjoyed it a lot. People generally loved it as well, but some critics dumped on it for some reason. Whatever."

    RedwoodHermit

    6. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

    Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine dressed in overalls and trucker hats, covered in blood
    Maple Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "It was a random decision, but now I've rewatched it a bunch with different friends! It's incredibly funny, and of course Alan Tudyk crushes it."

    n00tslayer

    7. District 9 (2009)

    Sharlto Copley, Mandla Gaduka, Kenneth Nkosi dressed as police officers, a giant alien ship in the sky above them
    Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    k-osfan

    "Yes!! Fokken Prawns. Being a South African, I am especially proud of this one."

    Corn-G

    8. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

    Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "A friend of mine who worked at the cinema got some friends and me free tickets for two back-to-back movies. We went mostly for the first one and Cabin was just an extra, but oh man. I can't even remember what the first movie was now. We came in with zero expectations and just figuring it'd be a standard horror movie deal, but we were completely blown away once the twist started unfolding. And it doesn't even rely on the twist as a crutch; the twist also functions as an excuse to have fun, and it was a super fun movie."

    Cruithne

    9. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

    Dave Bautista, Groot (voice: Vin Diesel), Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt as the Guardians, walking
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I'd been kind of burnt out with comic book movies ever since the travesty that was Iron Man 3. And here was this film with an utterly obscure set of characters that I had never heard of. So I wasn't interested. But my family wanted to go, so I decided to tag along. What followed is one of my favorite movies of all time. Bless you James Gunn, you even managed to make a good sequel."

    WholesomeDM

    10. Secondhand Lions (2003)

    Michael Caine, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duval sitting on a stoop talking
    New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "It's a favorite from my childhood, and yet few people seem to have heard of it."

    ClownieTheCaballo

    "Such an unexpectedly touching film!!"

    dandy_lion33

    11. Princess Mononoke (1997)

    Prince Ashitaka (voice: Billy Crudup), San (voice: Claire Danes), Moro (voice: Gillian Anderson) standing in a green field
    Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I thought it was just another anime, then I watched it and got sucked in to Mayazaki's world. Amazing movies."

    —[deleted]

    12. John Wick (2014)

    Keanu Reeves, in a suit, as John Wick, walking through a bar
    Summit Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

    CorneliusRM

    "I put it on one night when I was in the mood to just zone out and watch something before bed, ended up staying awake for the whole thing. Keanu Reeves was amazing in that movie, the fight scenes were like watching the crazy stuff in The Matrix for the first time, and the story wasn't actually half bad."

    winowmak3r

    13. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

    Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi partying in the dark
    The Orchard / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Had no expectations going in. Probably one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen."

    sadamita

    "I love that movie to bits. Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement are hilarious in it. I need to see it again now."

    Zanoushe

    14. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

    Picturehouse / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Truly adore that film. Completely not what I expected."

    LordOfHunger__

    "That’s one of the only movies that I got so into, I forgot I was reading subtitles. Definitely one of my all-time favorite movies and turned me onto Guillermo del Toro films."

    Phoxie

    15. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

    Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "My friend made me watch it and I was not having it. I didn’t want to spend the next couple hours having to read subtitles while watching a foreign film. It’s easily one of my favorite movies and I even prefer the subtitles to the dubbed version. OK, I’m going to watch it now."

    Slim01111

    16. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

    Colin Firth in a pub walking away from some guys
    20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

    —[deleted]

    "Yes! I thought it was going to be just a basic action/comedy I had no interest in, and I only saw it because my friend picked it out on a total whim. It was the best movie I saw that year. I can't listen to 'Freebird' anymore without thinking of that scene."

    —[deleted]


    17. Ex Machina (2014)

    Alicia Vikander as an AI robot
    A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Didn't know a damn thing about it, and that's exactly how you should watch this movie."

    hello_friend_

    "My wife and I rented it because it looked interesting. What a fucking great movie. I was completely taken by surprise."

    pileofbrains

    18. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost sitting on a sofa looking up
    Rogue Pictures / Everett Collection

    "Was expecting Scary Movie sort of parody (ie: so unfunny, it's cringe-worthy) but turned out to be epic."

    Shas_Erra

    19. Captain Fantastic (2016)

    Samantha Isler, Shree Crooks, Viggo Mortensen, Charlie Shotwell, Annalise Basso, George MacKay looking at something through binoculars at night
    Cathy Kanavy/ Bleecker Street Media / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Had no expectations and honestly knew nothing about it going into it. Went with my sister and loved it."

    AnnaLytical012

    20. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

    Mr. Fox, a stop animation character, and his cohorts walking through a tunnel
    Greg Williams/ / 20th Century Fox /Courtesy Everett Collection

    "A beautiful film with some crazy adult humor in it."

    FatFreddysCoat

    "It really was a strange one. First watch I was confused and didn't really get it, but after the second it really does tickle my fancy. Really well done."

    timechuck

    21. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead trapped in a cell, John Goodman looking at her through a door peephole
    Michelle K. Short / Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Went in just wanting to watch a movie at the theater and it was the only thing I was kinda interested in. Fucking loved it. Had no clue what it was about. Thought it was a sequel to Cloverfield, but wasn't sure due to the lack of aliens and any sort of mention to the first movie. I can't wait for the next one."

    davisdamen

    22. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

    Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson dressed as adventurers standing in the middle of a field
    Frank Masi / Columbia Pictures / Everett Collection

    "I expected it to be absolute crap but I ended up laughing myself to tears."

    Sarcasma19

    "Yes I thought there was no way that a Jumaji ‘sequel’ could be good...boy was I wrong. I was legitimately laughing out loud at a bunch of scenes, especially Jack Black's."

    Phoxie

    23. The Nice Guys (2016)

    Ryan Gosling wearing a suit, sitting in a bathtub
    Daniel McFadden / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I had a couple of hours to kill before starting a shift at the cinema I used to work at, and I got free tickets, so I thought I'd see it."

    smits017

    24. Big Fish (2003)

    Alison Lohman, Ewan McGregor sitting in a large field of daffodil flowers
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Loved that movie, had never heard of it, but it came on Saturday afternoon when I was home alone. It just gripped me from start to finish."

    r_elwood

    25. The Prestige (2006)

    Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman in 19th century clothing, talking in the street
    Touchstone Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    ousenggez

    "I just watched this movie a couple days ago after it was referenced in a YouTube video I was watching. I'm so glad I decided to watch it on a whim."

    shock598x

    26. Baby Driver (2017)

    A red sports car racing down a road swerving around another car
    Tristar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "The name sounded stupid to me, but the movie is really good on every count — script, cinematography, acting, music, stunts..."

    hyacinth_girl

    27. Children of Men (2006)

    Clive Owen, Paul Sharma, Chiwetel Ejiofor, standing in a barn full of cows attached to jars
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Knew absolutely nothing about it, loved the story, and the way it was shot was incredible."

    tataatoothie

    "The battle scene they walk through at the end is legitimately one of the best scenes I've ever seen. Gives me chills every time."

    Happy13178

    28. The Matrix (1999)

    Keanu Reeves as Neo, bending backwards, dodging bullets in slow motion
    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "My ex wanted to see it and I was okay with humoring him. Then Carrie-Anne Moss, in a goddamn black leather catsuit, started climbing walls and doing somersaults and putting the smackdown on a bunch of police, and I was hooked."

    no_talent_ass_clown

    29. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

    Kate Winslet with dyed peach colored hair, holding a mug, lying on Jim Carrey's chest, as he sleeps in bed
    Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    HippieTrippie

    "I saw it when it came out (big Gondry fan) and just so happened to be going through a breakup, and wow, that movie is such a real depiction of how it feels to go through a relationship that ends sort of roughly. Easily one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time."

    —[deleted]

    30. And finally, Sicario (2015)

    Emily Blunt as an FBI agent, holding a machine gun, wearing a bullet proof vest, walking down a hidden tunnel
    Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "All I knew is that it had something to do with the drug trade and it had Benicio Del Toro. I took my girlfriend who knew less than that...

    ...we just sat in the theater for a couple of minutes after the lights came on just trying to process how cool it was. One of my favorite movies that year."

    TheLateThagSimmons

    What's a movie you were pleasantly surprised by? Tell us in the comments below and maybe you'll be featured in a future BuzzFeed post!