One of the most disheartening experiences as a critic is when you adore and praise a movie that nobody else likes. In your defense, you start to haul out words like "misunderstood" or "underrated," or -- in extreme cases -- claiming that everyone else on the planet didn't "get it." Almost as bad is when some stupid movie that you absolutely hated becomes a giant hit, often supported by the unqualified praise of all the other critics.

The thing is, I can cook up a perfectly valid reason for every one of my favorite movies that fail as well as for all those bad movies that become huge. It's useless, of course. Not only does this not change a thing, but also it assumes that a giant audience filled with thousands of people has one, easily defined psyche. But just for fun, let me explain a few recent hits and misses.