Over the years, it has been clear that even the best films, with stellar casts including Tom Cruise among others, and great storylines, can fail to please the public or critics and wind up receiving criticism. With people’s mindsets growing with each passing day, the options to make everyone happy are diminishing as well, because while critics point out the elements that are excellent or terrible about the movie, other viewers simply love criticizing the movie while maintaining their agendas in place.

It has been stated that with the new generation, a good movie whose tone, dialogue, or even story fails to match the intellectual level can have a terrible reputation. However, certain movies out there have received criticism and are labeled as bad movies when, in general, they are too iconic movies to pass. Let’s find out about these movies.

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Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Movies that received unfair criticism

 1. 2008’s Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Black, Tom Cruise and more was a satirical comedy directed by Ben Stiller with a screenplay by Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen. The movie centers around how a group of prima donna actors willing to make a Vietnam War movie are left by the director in the middle of a jungle and are left with nothing but their acting skills to survive.

Tropic Thunder
Tropic Thunder

The movie is said to be a satire on various War movies made in the industry and received positive reviews from the audience, especially Downey Jr., who played Kirk Lazarus. Not at the time, but over the years, the depiction of the mentally handicapped and the use of brown face makeup attracted controversy. However, it was later known that it was part of the joke with the movie pointing at the absurdities of method acting and how Hollywood tends to have poor roles for black actors.

2. 1984’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

The action-adventure movie Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom features Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Ke Huy Quan, etc. The audience saw the group traveling to British India to find the mystical stone and rescue their children from a Thuggee cult practicing human sacrifice in honor of the goddess Kali.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

The movie received mixed reviews along with criticism for promoting the imperialist Indian people through the cult, which resulted in the movie being banned in India for a while, but when it came out on home video, it was made available. The depiction of Indian cuisine was heavily criticized, as dishes such as baby snakes, eyeball soup, beetles, and chilled monkey brains are not Indian foods.

Actor Amrish Puri in his autobiography noted that the entire controversy surrounding the movie was silly, adding, “It’s based on an ancient cult that existed in India and was recreated like a fantasy. I know we are sensitive about our cultural identity, but we do this to ourselves in our own films. It’s only when some foreign directors do it that we start cribbing.”

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3. 2003’s The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise starrer The Last Samurai; an epic period action drama movie released in 2003 in which Ken Watanabe starred in the title role.  1877’s Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori, and the Westernization of Japan by foreign powers inspired the movie’s plot.

Tom Cruise, who plays US Army Captain Nathan Algren in the movie, joins the struggle of the Samurai after he is captured and witnesses their plight. The movie ended up receiving a positive response from the audience but also criticism for some of the portrayals on-screen.

The Last Samurai
Tom Cruise in alt. text

At the time, it was noted how the movie ended up opening the debate among Asian Americans and Japanese about whether the movie was racist, naïve, well-intentioned, accurate – or all of the above. Ken Watanabe in his interview with the Guardian in 2022 shared that he did not think of the movie as a white savior narrative, it was a turning point for Asian representation in the industry. The Last Samurai helped in shaping a narrative about Asian stories more authentically.

4. 1999’s Fight Club

One of the cult movies starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton Fight Club became one of the most controversial movies in the 90s and it was suspended after a college student Luke Helder planted pipe bombs in mailboxes in 2002. Helder’s goal was to create a smiley pattern on the map of the United States, similar to the scene in Fight Club in which a building is vandalized to have a smiley on its exterior.

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton

The movie based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk followed Norton as the narrator of the story who had a white-collar job and goes on to form a Fight Club alongside Tyler Durden. The movie failed at the box office but later found success with home videos.

5. 2013’s Man of Steel

DC Studios’ first movie from DCEU Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill, which served as a reboot of the Superman film movies, received criticism from the audience for the ending when Zod forced Superman to kill him and the audience pointed out that it was an unfair choice provided to the character adding that it was hypocritical as well.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel

Some critics also mentioned that there was no need for a reboot but the movie was confident for the audience to watch along with Zack Snyder’s attention to detail saved it.

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6. 2019’s Joker

Todd Phillips’ Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, is one of the most controversial movies which is based on a DC Comics character and at the time received polarizing reviews from critics who did not forget to appreciate the actor for his performance.


However, it was said that the movie was toxic and glorified gun violence and some believed that it would lead to mass shootings. But the movie turned out to be how critical society is about mental health and despite every critic dissing the movie, it went on to become a success at the box office.

7. 2012’s Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx and Sebastian Stan
Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino’s 2012’s Django Unchained starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc turned out to be one of the most perplexing movies where the filmmaker showed the height of American slavery. The use of the word ‘ni**a’ is appropriate and was criticized for using it. African-American filmmaker Spike Lee, said, “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me … I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else. American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a Holocaust. My ancestors are slaves stolen from Africa. I will honor them.”

It was noted that the fans would have likely criticized the film just as harshly had it muted the horrors of slavery.

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