“Camp” in movies is hard to specify, however you understand it when you see it. A visual defined by excess, campy movies are typically belittled by high-brow critics. However for routine movie-goers, the dedication to being intentionally elegant becomes part of their indisputable appeal. Whether it’s over-the-top stylization, nonsensically enjoyable plotlines, or synthetic yet captivating lead characters, camp movies understand their trashiness, typically collecting cult followings in spite of their apparent B-movie status.

The paradox of camp is that the category’s tacky qualities make it so enticing. While gaudy movie theater was most popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s with titles like Cry Baby and Barbarella, the qualities of the genre lingered well into the 2000s, adopting noughties sensibilities that brought camp to a new era. Love them or hate them (or, more accurately, love to hate them), these campy movies from the 2000s prove that one man’s garbage is another guy’s treasure.

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

The plot of Charlie’s AngelsJoseph McGinty Nichol’s 2000 reboot of the 1970s initial series — is objectively unoriginal. However with sleek set pieces and indisputable sexual magnetism, the real espionage of the titular trio is barely the point. The movie, led by a completely video game cast consisted of Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore, is a lot more worried with large home entertainment, be it with physics-defying stunts or a cartoonish bad guy in Crispin Glover’s appropriately called “Thin Man.”

The embodiment of design over compound, Charlie’s Angels took apart global criminal offense rings with an understanding wink and welcomed the sex aspect as soon as slammed in the initial series. More critical spy cinephiles must look in other places for a thought-provoking flick, however there’s more pulpy enjoyable to be had in the world of catsuited crime-fighting.


Catwoman (2004)

You needn’t look even more than Tim Burton’s Batman to comprehend that the DC universe was associated with camp for several years. Cartoonish bad guys (see Jim Carrey’s Riddler) and snazzy outfits were a staple of Gotham City, and no place are these qualities more over-the-top than in the Batman-adjacent antihero that is Catwoman.

Catwoman was generally hated upon its release, taking the absurdity of superheroism to its extremes, and presently boasts among Rotten Tomatoes’ lowest-ever critics ratings (a measly 9%). And yet, Halle Berry’s unapologetic take on the feline femme fatale still calls for a rewatch on large trashiness alone, with a plot that consists of ancient feline routines and half a lots cans of tuna. Current Batman versions have actually transitioned towards a more gritty representation of the hero, which is rather of a pity provided the intrinsic silliness which defined the early canon.

Josie and The Pussycats (2001)

Flashy, on-the-nose, and above all enjoyable, Josie And The Pussycats is far from a high idea movie. What it does not have in typical sense (the story follows a tween woman band taking apart the subliminal messaging of their label), it more than offsets in overly-stylized aesthetic appeals.

Every scene has the shine of a Y2K video, and the initial soundtrack perhaps led what the existing pop-punk noise these days is. Bold (if a little belaboring) in its review of consumerism, Josie And The Pussycats led its time, even if its message of business greed feels self-consciously hypocritical.

Lawfully Blonde (2001)