Day 10: 9 Movies With Surprisingly Higher Approval Ratings Than Donald Trump

(Guest post by Matty Miz, aka Matty Pageviews)

Donald Trump’s had a rough first week in office, and in no other place is that more apparent than his approval ratings. Those that are less than thrilled about his ascent to power, well, they haven’t exactly been shy about pointing that out:

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In Trump’s defense: as of today, January 30, 2017, his approval rating stands at 36%. Slightly more popular than a film that has become a metonym for showbiz abomination, much as Nickelback is to music.

As for myself- much like most of America, I never saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop, so I can’t honestly weigh in on if it’s worse than Donald Trump. But this protester did get me thinking: how many of Hollywood’s other steaming hot turds are held in higher regard than our 45th President? Well, thanks to our friends at Rotten Tomatoes, we can find that out.

Now, keep in mind – the Donald’s stellar 36% approval rating is a poll of actual voters, not pundits. In the interest of fairness (and lolz) we’re going by Audience Score, not critics, to gauge these ratings. It’s only appropriate for the most tremendously, yugely populist president ever.

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Glitter (2001)

Starring: Mariah Carey, Valarie Pettiford, Da Brat

Tomatometer: 7%

Audience Score: 46%

From the movie magazine Fade In: “Carey might have a five-octave voice, but her performance as a burgeoning singer was strictly one-note and garnered her a Razzie for worst actress. Trotting out every hoary cliché about the music business imaginable, Glitter isn’t just one of the worst music-themed films ever — it’s one of the worst films ever made, period.”

The critics probably didn’t do a lot to help with Mariah’s ongoing struggle with mental illness, but for her fans, the film did not disappoint. Also, this review was clearly written before the premiere of HBO’s Vinyl.

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Armageddon (1998)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck

Tomatometer: 39%

Audience Score: 73%

To be fair, as the audience score metric indicates, this movie isn’t universally regarded as a turd. But after seeing it at the tender age of 11, I vividly remember this movie being so bad – so nauseatingly, traumatizingly cheesy and horrible – that I wanted to storm into Michael Bay’s office and DEMAND that he gave me back the 2½ hours of my childhood that he had so brazenly taken from me. This movie is all flash, no substance. It’s gaudy and predictable. The only thing worse than the performance of those involved is the cheap, limited dialogue. It’s an awful take on a familiar theme.

So basically, you can draw a direct line between this film being a hit and Donald Trump’s successful White House campaign.

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Suicide Squad (2016)

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Margot Robbie’s cans

Tomatometer: 26%

Audience Score: 63%

In the same vein of overpromise and underdeliver that Armageddon flows through, Suicide Squad may have been the most disappointing film of 2016. Critics, audiences, and fanboys alike were all super excited to see the classic anti-hero comic brought to life on the silver screen, and the star-studded cast only added to the anticipation. Expectations were high, so it was all the more disappointing when the quality of the final product was so low. The good news is that 63% of the people who saw Suicide Squad were able to convince themselves it wasn’t a total garbage fire, and was actually pretty good. In other words, surviving a Trump presidency will be a cakewalk for them.

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Out for Justice (1991)

Starring: Steven Seagal, insignificant people that are not Steven Seagal

Tomatometer: 19%

Audience Score: 54%

Trump watched this movie and had to be told multiple times that it wasn’t a Rudy Giuliani biopic.

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Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Chris Rock, Jet Li

Tomatometer: 52%

Audience Score: 64%

Ahh, Lethal Weapon 4. The sequel that came after the sequel that came after the sequel that absolutely nobody wanted or asked for. Much like your average Trump supporter, this movie has aged about as well as a bag of mayonnaise in Death Valley.

Although to be fair, it’s hard to judge this film on its merits when the first three were just so incredible. It’s like being the headliner when Jay-Z is your opening act.

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Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006)

Starring: Larry the Cable Guy, Bruce Bruce, Iris Bahr

Tomatometer: 5%

Audience Score: 51%

Following the iconoclastic Fat White Dude: Blue Collar Job genre ejaculated onto the silver screen by the film on the sign that inspired this listicle, I get the sense that Larry the Cable Guy’s working-man redneck shtick was an inside joke for the Trumpkins that the critics just weren’t in on, which explains the discrepancy between the Tomatometer and audience score. Fucking critics, man. Always taking everything way too seriously. IT’S NOT TRYING TO BE CITIZEN KANE, ROGERT EBERT!!!

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Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

Starring: Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, Cheech Marin, dogs

Tomatometer: 41%

Audience Score: 51%

I found out about this one when I googled “movies starring dogs doing human things.” I haven’t seen it, but I’m willing to wager that it’s better than Armageddon, unless you remade Armageddon with dogs. Somehow this movie has inspired not one, but two sequels. I wonder – maybe, just maybe – people having their kids watch movies like this instead of having them read is how Donald Trump became president…

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Radio (2003)

Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, intellectual disability

Tomatometer: 36%

Audience Score: 79%

A movie made for those that found The Ringer to be too nuanced and highfalutin; Radio undoubtedly demonstrates that the only person more mentally challenged than the main character is whoever green-lit this gigantic piece of shit in the first place. It’s almost as if Cuba Gooding Jr.’s agent said to him, “dude, you were in Pearl Harbor. Clearly making shitty movies is paying off for you. Go for it.” Also, I’m about 99.99% sure this was the movie that inspired the famous never go full retard scene from Tropic Thunder.

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White Chicks (2004)

Starring: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Busy Phillips

Tomatometer: 15%

Audience Score: 55%

It’s no Don’t Be a Menace…, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this movie was actually pretty great. I mean, where else have you seen anyone do WHITE face?! You have to at least give them points for taking some huge risks as thespians. It’s basically the same thing that Heath Ledger went through when he played the Joker in The Dark Knight.

…and there you have it, folks. I think if there’s any silver lining for the Trumpkins, it’s that right now your savior is just regular run-of-the-mill bad. These are pretty shitty movies (except for White Chicks) – but they’re not so bad that people are rioting in the streets – that’s Gigli-level badness. When Trump approaches Gigli-level, that’s when you need to hit the panic button.

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