Movie Franchises That Are Way Better Than You Realize

The critics can't be right all the time, and movies that deserve at least a little bit of acclaim never really get it. Here are some. (click for full column)
  1. Neighbors
    Even if you can't stomach Rogen, the chemistry between Efron and Dave Franco makes it all worth it. There's a reason they took home an MTV Movie Award for Best Onscreen Duo, and it's that they are absolutely adorable from start to finish. Efron also took home the award for Best Shirtless Scene, because the MTV awards are the stupidest and bullshittiest of all the stupid bullshit awards out there.
  2. Riddick
    It took another decade for the third installment, simply titled Riddick, to roll around. But when the Deez outwits an angry space dog by appealing to its innate desire to play fetch within the first ten minutes of the film, you know the wait was well worth it.
  3. REC
    Yes, the plot is unbelievable and borders on being downright corny at times. Sure, you're tired of found footage movies with shaky camerawork. I understand all that, but still, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The found footage genre as a whole may have taken a turn for the terrible like a year after it got off the ground, but there are exceptions, and the REC movies fall into that category.
  4. The Maze Runner
    It's also insanely well-acted for a YA movie. There's not a grating or annoying performance to be found. It's also almost exclusively action. For a premise that actually needs a lot more explanation than I'm pretending here, they manage to spell it all out without too many distractingly long monologues or otherwise excessive forms of exposition.
  5. The Purge
    That's the magic of this franchise: It's based around a premise that seems like it should work exactly one time before all the sequels just start looking like desperate cash grabs, yet they keep finding ways to make it fresh and compelling. Not to mention the fact that the Purge is literally happening for real in the Philippines right now, which makes the events depicted in the movie seem way more believable.