What’s Your Guilty Pleasure Movie?


A guilty pleasure flick is really all about perspective. For instance, I view “Tango and Cash” as my ultimate guilty pleasure film. It’s a film so bad it’s wrong to love it, yet I do. However, some people may just see it as so awful it has no redeeming features.

“Flash Gordon” could be classed the same way. To me, it is so cheesy and camp it’s great, but to someone else, those exact same reasons I love it are the reasons they think of it as a stain on modern cinema.

“How To Make An American Quilt,” to me, is an abomination. Simple. As. That. But to someone else, they may be willing to see the things in the film I view as detestable in a whole different light, thus viewing it in their eyes as a guilty pleasure, or *shudder* a good film.

So how do you know whether a film is your guilty pleasure flick? It would be one of those films that — even though you have it on DVD or video — if it is on the TV when you’re flicking through the channels you will sit down and watch the whole thing. You will also probably have worn out said DVD or video by watching it so many times, and yet you will struggle to admit to anyone that it is one of your favourite movies.

But again there are unquantifiable elements to the whole guilty pleasure situation. For example, I love “Hook.” It was panned by the critics, but I don’t view it as a guilty pleasure since I genuinely think it is a brilliant film. Others may view a film as their guilty pleasure due to the fact that journalists and reviewers rated the film poorly. I don’t, though. Take “Tango and Cash.” I know it is a badly written, directed and acted (“I hate Danish!”), but I still love it. “Hook,” I think, is wonderfully crafted and makes great use of Robin Williams’ strengths to play the boy who never grows up.

IJM writer Cam Smith loves “Shark Attack III: Megalodon” as his guilty pleasure. He obviously watches the over-the-top acting and awful effects and still finds something endearing about it. But others may disagree. Fellow IJM writer Tom Elce says “Judge Dredd” is his guilty pleasure. I have to say I can agree with that one. Maybe we should call it “the Stallone Effect.”

Maybe it has to do with the situation and circumstances to where you first saw the film. Somebody might have seen “Hook” after popping down to the cinema and that was it. To me, it will always bring back personal and special memories from my childhood, therefore the film is held in a much higher regard to me. “Tango and Cash,” on the other hand, reminds me of video-taping late night films off the TV that you knew your parents wouldn’t want you to watch, like the aforementioned “Tango and Cash” or “Judgment Night” or even “The Blob.”

So there are some theories and thoughts of what makes a film your guilty pleasure film. As always — and I am genuinely interested in hearing yours — sound off in the comments box with your guilty pleasure films.

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18 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. deepdarkred #

    dune, the old version…it’s sick and twisted, but i love it:)

  2. Quando #

    “Staying Alive” – the horrid sequel to the great Saturday Night Fever. Directed by . . . Sylvester Stallone!

  3. Lynn #

    Should the “Fifth element” or even “Zoolander” be considered guilty pleasures? Cause they sure are mine!!

  4. Jen #

    Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore. Can’t pass it by on TV without watching the rest of the movie.

  5. moviefan #

    cool article ben. For me i got to agree hook is one of my guilty pleasures and i do watch it when ever its on tv. Another i got to say is the 80s classic kim cattrel film manniquin.

  6. Taskmask #

    It’s a toss-up between a pair of Emmerichs. ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ awesome movies to just turn on and turn off your brain to though ‘2012’ will no doubt inch it’s way into that category for me.

  7. 7

    Pearl Harbor. Try to keep your mocking laughter to a minimum.

  8. Angela #

    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Not only is it my guilty pleasure; it’s my fave movie of all time. No matter where you go, there you are!

  9. Cam Smith #

    It’s always nice to see “Shark Attack 3” being given some free press. Really fun article, and I should also confess my undying adoration for “Con Air”. I’ve watched it too many times to count and still love going back for more.

  10. TAWANA #


  11. 11

    I love a lot of movies that no one else seems to like. One movie I have watched probably more than just about anyone is “Three to Tango,” with Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, Oliver Platt and Dylan McDermott. I’m not saying it’s a good movie, but I like it.

  12. Megan #

    “Boondock Saints 1 & 2” and “My Chauffeur” 🙂

  13. annielicious14 #

    Gangster #1 (can’t get enough of the violence), and Day after tomorrow! (I watch that every rainy Sunday oh ok most Sundays)

  14. mg #

    I’m going with Sweet November starring Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves.I started watching it thinking it was something else and had to finish it even once I figured out it was a chick flick.I own the dvd now.I’m a guy.

  15. Alexa M. #

    Mine would have to be the “Twilight” movies. They’re so poorly written and melodramatic, and as a critic I’m embarrassed to like them, but I definitely just watched “Twilight” and “New Moon” back to back and loved every minute of it.

  16. Allisonbh #

    The New Guy. Definitely not the best movie, but I crack up every time I watch it.

  17. 17

    ‘Under the Tuscan Sun.’ Which I realize makes me a bit of a hypocrite, since it has the same basic premise as ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ whose trailer I recently lambasted. But whatever, I’m not here to be judged by you lot! I chalk ‘Tuscan’s’ appeal up to Diane Lane being lovely and charming, and that Italian villa she buys is gorgeous. It’s like real estate porn.

  18. 18

    “Hook” shouldn’t be considered a guilty pleasure – it should be considered simply a pleasure outright. Sure it isn’t top-tier Spielberg, but it is incredibly heartfelt, narratively clear-headed and spectacularly well-acted. Didn’t deserve the treatment it got.

    Yet one of my guilty pleasures probably did deserve the ravishing it got. Alas, that didn’t stop me enjoying the trashy, low-rent “Judge Dredd” well enough.

    And “The Blob” is legitimately great – the 1988 version, that is.