11 Guy Movie Classics (And Why They Secretly Suck)

Why It's a Classic
Stanley Kubrick directing a horror movie written by Stephen King and starring '70s-era Jack Nicholson as a grinning, axe-wielding psychotic. Awww, shit, yeah. Throw in a karate robot with tits you've got the recipe for the Ultimate Guy Movie of All Time.

Why It Secretly Sucks
The original Stephen King novel takes place largely inside the head of its protagonist as he goes slowly bonkers in a remote ghost-filled hotel. Translate that into a movie, and-not to spoil the surprise here-you've got a film where the point of the plot is that nothing happens for days. And days. And days. The final pay-off climax, with Crazy Jack chasing after his scared-shitless family with an axe, is, yes, pretty sweet. If only you didn't have to endure two hours of Nicholson staring endlessly off into space (right) to get there. Paint, meet drying.

Why It's a Classic
About 20 years before the rest of Hollywood figured it out, the guys who made The Exorcist realized that if you claim a horror movie is "based on true events," it will scare the piss out of audiences no matter how completely ridiculous the premise. At the time it was released, The Exorcist's promotion that the film's plot actually happened in real life was about as close as '70s cinema got to Blair Witch-style hype machines.

Why It Secretly Sucks
Tell people that something is "based on true events," and apparently you can get away with some pretty outlandish shit. Rife with some hilariously bad special effects (right) and even worse acting, it's confusing now how this movie managed to freak people the hell out 30 years ago. Imagine if either the scene where the little girl projectile vomits a fire hose-like stream of pea soup or the "Fuck me, Satan!" crucifix money shot had had been accompanied by a laugh track: Nowadays, you wouldn't be able to keep a straight face. As the years pass, and each subsequent "Based on a true story" horror flick is released, the title is devalued a little bit more, and The Exorcist looks that much more ridiculous.

Why It's a Classic
Scarface contains scene after scene of cocaine use, machine gun fights and a young, sexy-sex Michelle Pfeiffer. In other words, aliens landing on Earth who are curious what makes for entertaining viewing by male humans could watch this and have all their questions answered. "Ahhhh. So, chainsaw fights and drug use, then."

Why It Secretly Sucks
It wasn't until Scent of a Woman that moviegoers finally broke the code on Al Pacino's thespian technique: first he talks quietly. Then he SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS GODDAMN LUNGS and gesticulates wildly (right). We've seen this acting method used by plenty of homeless people, but to date, we haven't given any of them an Oscar for it. We admit it: there are some cool scenes in Scarface. But cocaine and chainsaws don't entirely make up for having to watch scene after uncomfortable scene of Al Pacino in Cuban blackface saying things like "Wotchu wahnt, meng?" If only they could have found an actual Cuban actor, making it unnecessary to coat an Italian man in shoe polish. Say, Andy Garcia, do you know any? Why are you crying?

Why It's a Classic
Donnie Darko is the movie equivalent of that cool indie band you like that nobody else knows about. Dark and complex, with a plot involving alternate universes that folds in on itself like a Möbius strip, Darko's the the sort of film that wears its non-commercial potential like a badge of honor, and rewards its fans with new layers of understanding on subsequent viewings.

Why It Secretly Sucks
We'll admit there's nothing wrong with wanting to see Patrick Swayze's house burn down. Luckily, you can accomplish this on your own with a fifty cent lighter and save yourself two hours, because there's little else to enjoy in this bleak, labyrinthine mess. Darko tauntingly defies you to understand what the hell's actually going on. Only after you've listened to all the DVD commentary and hunted up the film's bonus material-like the book-within-the-movie Philosophy of Time Travel, provided in snippets as a DVD extra-will you have any hope of understanding this convoluted rat's nest of a movie. That's a lot of dedication just to figure out a lot of vague shit about tangent universes and guys in rabbit costumes.

Why It's a Classic
A cult classic crime movie, Usual Suspects doles out plot points in tantalizingly small amounts, building and building on the mystery of the identity of Keyser Soze until the final scene. Not only is it the movie that put Kevin Spacey and director Bryan Singer on the map, it's become a badge of honor for snooty assholes who like to brag about figuring out endings before anyone else does.

Why It Secretly Sucks
From its opening scene to the final reveal, Suspects plays out like a movie where a too-clever screenwriter worked out the shock ending first and wrote his way backwards (right). Anybody who writes a mystery film that doesn't give out any clues until after it tells you the secret either doesn't understand the genre or is too drunk to care. Add to this the fact that for the ending to even work, it means everybody in the audience has been lied to about what's really happened for the last hour and a half, and you can't help but feel cheated by the end if you were actually paying attention. Usual Suspects feels like a bad campfire story that takes too damn long to tell and doesn't make any sense, and at the end the storyteller says, "Oh! I totally forgot to tell you before that the hero was a robot the whole time." Yeah, thanks, Shakespeare. Let's just roast some hot dogs, okay?

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