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C'mon Hollywood: Are we too obsessed with movie reviews and ratings?

08.02.2016

We’ve all done it. In anticipation of a new movie about to hit theaters we scour the Internet in order to find out what the critical consensus is, which generally breaks down to two key components: Is the movie good and is it good enough to see in the theater? It’s not unheard of to look for these things either, as money is often tight and we want to make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze when we make the journey out to the theater. But, here’s the problem; a review or consensus of reviews is by no means a guarantee that you’ll love or hate a film. It’s simply one person’s (or collective of persons) perspective on a film, given (presumably) years of study, watching films that have given them a voice to be trusted in providing a thorough and honest breakdown of a film and an opinion on why it’s good or bad, all of which would stem from their own personal taste.

Not facts. Not “objectivity”. Not truth. Not right. Not wrong. Just an opinion.

Films have been reviewed from the very start, but they’ve never been reviewed as much as they have now with the advent of the Internet, which lends a voice to anyone with a keyboard. It’s a blessing and a curse, as it’s given voice to the voiceless, but it’s also…given voice to the voiceless, which means you get reviews on a wide scale, from the “top critics” writing for newspapers, trades, or online movie sites to blog reviews to Facebook reviews to Twitter reviews, etc., all falling into the lap of people looking to see what the critics thought of the latest and greatest to hit the multiplex. It’s a lot to weed through and can be exceptionally daunting.

Enter the roll-up sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, etc. who have seemingly made it quick and easy to get the rundown without having to weed through the heap of reviews and settle, instead, on a score, which is configured from either simply a good/bad review or compiled in some way out of the varying types of ratings given by different venues (stars, numbers, grades) into a simple number between 1 – 100, represented by a green, red, or yellow color to denote good or bad. Easy right? No more reading, yay! While this may serve an average moviegoer who is just looking for a general feel for how a movie is being received, which I think is how sites like RT and Metacritic are best used, the issue is when people accept that it's the "final word" on a film and avoid something they were otherwise interested in seeing simply because of a percentage-based score out of just over 200 people on the planet.

The problem is that this is a completely asinine way of deciding whether a movie is good or bad and if it’s worth seeing in the theater (or at all). It’s by no means definitive, proven, or, most importantly, factual. It’s essentially a score or percentage of opinions, not facts, which is something that gets lost in the shuffle of an easy-to-digest number and color. It's fast, it's easy, it's immediate, and requires no further investigation, right? “It says it all right there in the score!” says a denizen of wool-over-their-eyes readers. No, actually, it doesn't and it’s something that’s crippling us as viewers, as critics, and even the movie industry at large, who now fight tooth and nail for those green-colored percentages, due largely because we’ve become so accustomed to that being the basis on whether or not a movie is good and/or worth seeing. It’s now a bottom-line factor for studios, who can live and die by those ratings and that coveted “certified” rating.

But, let’s take a step back for a second. I want you to imagine a world without the Internet. Scary, right? Well, it’s not that scary. More inconvenient than anything, but hey, I survived without it for the first twenty-odd years of my life, so it’s possible. But, for those that have never known a world without the Internet, I want you to think about how you’d approach seeing a film prior to release without Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic or, hell, even JoBlo.com. Chances are you will have heard of upcoming releases via magazines, newspapers (gasp!), and TV commercials and trailers. You’d be hyped as hell off those factors alone. Spoilers? What the hell is a spoiler? Opening day arrives and you see maybe one or two reviews, a newspaper one and perhaps a grade from Entertainment Weekly. Two perspectives. No big deal. Maybe they’re positive. Maybe not. Either way, you’re going. And you do. You go in, cold as possible, and you see the film. Maybe you love it. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle and need to mull it over. Regardless, you went, you decided for yourself, and you weren’t stopped, influenced, or tainted by a score, number, rating or review.  You talked with your friends afterward and each of you brought up what you liked/disliked and it felt more like an experience, regardless of whether you loved or hated it. It wasn’t a percentage or color or consensus. It was what you took away from it, not what you took with you into it.

Now, let’s hop in the DeLorean and head back to now. The Matrix has us and there’s no getting out. We’re all plugged in and wired up and that’s not looking to change anytime soon. It can be a great thing sometimes and a very ugly thing more often than we like. So it goes. In the end, it’s all (mostly) run by humans and we are a beautifully imperfect race. But, I digress. My point isn’t that we shouldn’t read reviews. We should. Or rather, we can, but we don’t have to take them to heart. We don’t have to take them as fact, because they’re not. They’re opinions. Biased as hell and derived from the perspective of one person, each with their own life experiences, personal taste, and likes/dislikes that will inform them of how they feel about any particular film. They’re simply sharing it with you. You can take it or leave it. The best reviews, to me, are ones that give you perspective on a film that you may not have caught, enlightening the experience of watching it and, in some cases, giving the reader more insight to carry with them into the film. But, that doesn’t mean there’s any one definitive “good review” for a film. Each review brings with it something different, with some better realized than others, and that’s where reviews can truly grab (or lose) you. It’s in the narrative, not the score.

Choosing a score, for one thing, is a bit harrowing.  What’s the difference between an 8/10 vs. 7/10? An A- or a B+? 3 Stars vs. 4 Stars? Is there some type of determining scale that makes these viable in any way? No. Not at all. The problem, too, with giving a score is that not all scores stay the same. Do you still feel the same about every movie you’ve ever seen? I know I don’t. Time, age, life experience (I know I keep saying that, but it’s a very important aspect of how we view films), etc. all change the way we see things over time, particularly films. Some stand the test of time, while others age poorly. Some we hold onto for nostalgia, while facing the hard reality that we don’t love them like we used to. By that same token, we see films we initially loathed or dismissed early on and they take on a new life for us, again informed by our own evolution as human beings. Film, like all art, is a fluid thing, not just a product with a seal of approval (or disapproval). It changes with us, grows with us, sometimes for better or for worse. That, to me, is one of the biggest reasons why I love film as much as I do. It’s an art form that never settles; it is constantly growing and changing with us, be it with new movies or old.

So, how do we solve this problem? How do we stop focusing on scores and start focusing on what’s important to us? Well, for one, we need to do just that; stop focusing on scores, numbers, ratings, green, red, rotten, fresh, certified, etc. Instead, and I know this is hard for some, we need to read more, scour the places that we know and trust (and maybe try some we don’t) and find the voices that speak to us. Find the critics, reviewers, writers, etc. that have similar tastes, that see films as you do and give a perspective that is akin to yours. That’s a start. But, just like the current political discourse in the U.S., you shouldn’t get tunnel vision into only one perspective. Read views that are averse to what you agree with, too. You’ll be surprised at what can happen. You’ll see another perspective, even if you don’t agree, and at least get a sense of why some feel differently. In essence, it will give you a better, well-rounded view as opposed to only seeking out what you want to hear.

And that’s another issue altogether. I’ve seen (and received personally) complaints from people wanting a “different” review whenever they read one written that they don’t agree with or simply don't like. Calls of “bias” (duh), agenda, and, my personal favorite, being paid off by the studio (hilarious) run rampant, which only serves to show the blatant misunderstanding of what a review is. It’s basically like saying, “I don’t like your opinion, so I want a review by someone that has the same opinion as me.” Well, the Internet is a big place and it’s not up to any one individual to change for you, it’s up to you to find the people that you respond to. Plain and simple.

Attacking reviewers because they’re “biased” is Captain-Picard-facepalm stupid. Of course they are! Everyone is biased when it comes to art. It’s a subjective medium. We’re not reviewing iPhones or cars, which are subject to bias themselves. Otherwise, you’re asking for a technical breakdown or synopsis. That’s not a review. A review is an opinion, straight up. Objectivity does not exist in art, regardless of what your high school art teacher may try to tell you. Sure, some films (and art) are made with more care, skill, and talent, but that doesn't mean that any one piece is better than another in some factual, objective way. You can give THE HURT LOCKER all the Oscars you want, but it'll never convince me that it's anything more than a shitty, lazy, misleading war film, while at the same time SAVING SILVERMAN can sit at 18 percent rotten on RT and I'll still love it to death and choose to watch it over THE HURT LOCKER ten times out of ten. I could go on and on with examples like that and I'm sure you could to. I'm not right, I'm not wrong, it's just the way I feel about those films.

The takeaway here is that if you’re basing what you see simply on a score, rating, or review then you’re shortchanging yourself and, in effect, saying that you can’t think for yourself. And I know that’s not true. I know that everyone can (and eventually will) decide for themselves. You can try to fool yourself or align with a percentage of thought, but in the end, whatever comes across your eyes will be assimilated by one singular perspective; your own. And that’s the beauty of film (and art in general). No matter who makes it or what their intent was, in the end it becomes your experience. Sometimes you feel similarly with others and that can be a great experience as well, but ultimately you’re taking the film with you, for better or for worse, and no score or rating will alter that unless you let it.

Reviews are, in my opinion (there’s that word again), a shared experience with the film community and should be viewed as such. They’re one person’s experience on a film that may or may not be similar to your own. And that’s okay. It’s awesome, really. So don’t let it hold you back from seeking out your own perspective, your own experience. Otherwise, you’re robbing yourself of what could potentially be something wonderful (or terrible), but you'll absolutely never know unless you see for yourself. The second that you let a percentage or score determine what you'll see is when you've shut the blinds to a wide canvas of films that could change your life, make you laugh, inspire you, challenge you, or maybe even piss you off. Ultimately, that's art doing its work. Let it.

I'll leave you with the late, great Robin Williams and one of my all-time favorite movies, DEAD POETS SOCIETY (a film I used to absolutely hate, by the way), to illustrate my point. O Captain, My Captain, take it away!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: "I don't hear enough rip!"
Source: JoBlo.com

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11:04AM on 08/03/2016

Thumbs down

Siskle and Ebert ... before the internet... could destroy a film with a set of thumbs... this is not a new problem... a large and growing number of people rely on third party interaction on what to see... hell fans boys - THE WOULD BE PROTECTORS OF THAT IS FILM HOLY - will bail on seeing a film till its "Online" because the initial reviews are bad. That is why when popular websites begin consistently rating films from one company very negatively... it can be an actual problem for the film
Siskle and Ebert ... before the internet... could destroy a film with a set of thumbs... this is not a new problem... a large and growing number of people rely on third party interaction on what to see... hell fans boys - THE WOULD BE PROTECTORS OF THAT IS FILM HOLY - will bail on seeing a film till its "Online" because the initial reviews are bad. That is why when popular websites begin consistently rating films from one company very negatively... it can be an actual problem for the film industry as a whole. People don't want to SEE FOR THEMSELVES they wanna know the food is good before they check out the restaurant... right?
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9:32AM on 08/03/2016
Well said, sir. Great article.
Well said, sir. Great article.
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+1
9:19AM on 08/03/2016

Thanks

Bravo.!.!. I concur. To me it really comes down to, do i see it in theaters or on dvd release. I see every movie. I tend to enjoy the ones most don't. So it's just a matter of spending the money to experience on big screen. For me a movie could be, factually, the worst film ever. But since I have an interest and think (personally) it'll be great to see on screen as opposed to on couch, i'm going regardless.
Bravo.!.!. I concur. To me it really comes down to, do i see it in theaters or on dvd release. I see every movie. I tend to enjoy the ones most don't. So it's just a matter of spending the money to experience on big screen. For me a movie could be, factually, the worst film ever. But since I have an interest and think (personally) it'll be great to see on screen as opposed to on couch, i'm going regardless.
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+1
6:01AM on 08/03/2016
Thank you Paul, a very good and a much needed article! I agree wholeheartedly!
Thank you Paul, a very good and a much needed article! I agree wholeheartedly!
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2:15AM on 08/03/2016
I think the growing obsession is because of time and growing cost. At my theater, they've had 4 price increases in food and 3 in tickets in the 3 years I've been attending it (I should mention it's the cheapest in my town). People finally are watching their money and the core audience only want what's at least decent. Right now, you have tentpole after tentpole that can get at best 3 weeks. A movie can't have legs now and that's what's killing movies this year (it and people are wising up,
I think the growing obsession is because of time and growing cost. At my theater, they've had 4 price increases in food and 3 in tickets in the 3 years I've been attending it (I should mention it's the cheapest in my town). People finally are watching their money and the core audience only want what's at least decent. Right now, you have tentpole after tentpole that can get at best 3 weeks. A movie can't have legs now and that's what's killing movies this year (it and people are wising up, you can only destroy a 3rd act cgi giant beam in a major city so many times).
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10:48PM on 08/02/2016

No Opinion.... yet

Ads look good for this, Joker was weird from the beginning when we saw all the tattoos, but I felt it would interesting and fun to other characters in this universe. But, I'm a fan of the last two, so I may be biased. Can't bury the critics without seeing first right? That's only fair.
Ads look good for this, Joker was weird from the beginning when we saw all the tattoos, but I felt it would interesting and fun to other characters in this universe. But, I'm a fan of the last two, so I may be biased. Can't bury the critics without seeing first right? That's only fair.
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10:44PM on 08/02/2016

140 character or less world

Listen. This is a new world and bottomline people are too lazy to google meme facts before they decide its true and post the damn thing... are saying people are somehow motivated to go invest in a film when millions of reviews... and breakdowns... and "Film in 30 seconds" and blog hate... are available at their fingertips... I mean I have heard people say "Oh that movie sucks" - "Oh ya you saw it" - "well no, I mean I just heard it does" hahaha the net hate needs to take a time out and get back
Listen. This is a new world and bottomline people are too lazy to google meme facts before they decide its true and post the damn thing... are saying people are somehow motivated to go invest in a film when millions of reviews... and breakdowns... and "Film in 30 seconds" and blog hate... are available at their fingertips... I mean I have heard people say "Oh that movie sucks" - "Oh ya you saw it" - "well no, I mean I just heard it does" hahaha the net hate needs to take a time out and get back to people just enjoying, supporting, and loving the art of film
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9:39PM on 08/02/2016
Reviews can be objective. Imagine a movie called This Movie. I will do a review.

This Movie is 2 hours long, It is the story of two friends who are both interested in the same girl. They eventually come into conflict. The movie stars Some Guy and Another Guy and This Girl. They are all actors who have done some stage work, some TV and have been in a few movies already. The movie has CGI special effects and is available in 2D and 3D. The 3D effects were created by converting the 2D to
Reviews can be objective. Imagine a movie called This Movie. I will do a review.

This Movie is 2 hours long, It is the story of two friends who are both interested in the same girl. They eventually come into conflict. The movie stars Some Guy and Another Guy and This Girl. They are all actors who have done some stage work, some TV and have been in a few movies already. The movie has CGI special effects and is available in 2D and 3D. The 3D effects were created by converting the 2D to 3D.

The review provides a lot of relevant information: it just doesn't tell you whether or not This Movie is any good... but the fact is that if I say whether or not I think This Movie is any good I am not telling you that This Movie is objectively good or bad: I am telling if I THINK this movie is good or bad and, frankly, that is the least useful but of information. There are plenty of people who didn't like Captain America: Civil War because all they saw were people in costumes hitting each other.

Opinions are like rectums: everyone has one and they are all full of shit.
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+0
8:31PM on 08/02/2016
Life's too short and money's too tight to be wasted on bad films. You can never trust one review but if the general consensus says it's bad it's most likely going to be bad. Unfortunately reviews should keep film companies in check when it comes to quality but sadly they don't.
Life's too short and money's too tight to be wasted on bad films. You can never trust one review but if the general consensus says it's bad it's most likely going to be bad. Unfortunately reviews should keep film companies in check when it comes to quality but sadly they don't.
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+2
6:46PM on 08/02/2016

We are missing a point here...

THE COSTS OF TICKETS!

I will talk based upon my own experience.

When all of this 3D gimmick crap rose up, ticket prices went way up. Any given night I used to go to a theater just to check-out a movie because it was a fairly cheap form of entertainment. But not any more.

Nowadays, you go to watch a movie to get entertained, pay big bucks and after a crappy show you feel ripped off.

On the other side of things, a solid home theater became affordable and the netflix-and-chill easily
THE COSTS OF TICKETS!

I will talk based upon my own experience.

When all of this 3D gimmick crap rose up, ticket prices went way up. Any given night I used to go to a theater just to check-out a movie because it was a fairly cheap form of entertainment. But not any more.

Nowadays, you go to watch a movie to get entertained, pay big bucks and after a crappy show you feel ripped off.

On the other side of things, a solid home theater became affordable and the netflix-and-chill easily available.

Since we cannot trust movie posters or trailers anymore (ehem... I am looking at you... Prometheus) the "best" option is to read early reviews and then decide whether is worth the price of the ticket or not.

I am not saying that reviews and/or ratings are fair or 100% trustworthy, but I'd rather play the odds and watch a good movie at home then to spent a bunch of my hard earned $$$ and have the risk of get bored or ripped off with a bad one.

Thank goodness we have Joblo and some reviewers I trust 99%, but it took some time to get here.
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-1
6:30PM on 08/02/2016
Ah see. Now Suicide Squad's a perfect example.
I saw Man of Steel, hated it. Wanted to see Bats v Supes but didn't want to reward another shit movie and didn't trust those behind it, so read the reviews and decided against it. Recently saw it for free and it was God awful and I'm glad I spent no money on it. Now my interest in DC's desperately rushed "cinematic universe" weighed heavily on the quality of Suicide Squad, kind of a "three strikes and you're out" deal. I was interested in seeing
Ah see. Now Suicide Squad's a perfect example.
I saw Man of Steel, hated it. Wanted to see Bats v Supes but didn't want to reward another shit movie and didn't trust those behind it, so read the reviews and decided against it. Recently saw it for free and it was God awful and I'm glad I spent no money on it. Now my interest in DC's desperately rushed "cinematic universe" weighed heavily on the quality of Suicide Squad, kind of a "three strikes and you're out" deal. I was interested in seeing it, but after these reviews I will save my money and not "reward" another Warner Bros. stinker in the hopes that the drop in revenue pauses the plans for their comic book movies so that they can start getting it right instead of cashing in on rushing movies out that are getting it wrong. I will watch Squad one day on the off chance of me disagreeing with those whose reviews I trust, but I certainly won't be rewarding the studio any with any of my money taking the chance to do so.
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6:30PM on 08/02/2016

Hollywood is the Issue

In a perfect world, this would be right on. Problem is, see it for yourself arguments don't work because of how Hollywood is set up. Once you see it, they have your money and it no longer matters what you think. This essentially forces people to decide about a movie before seeing it. It is absolutely unfair and non-sensical, but required due to how Hollywood is set up.
In a perfect world, this would be right on. Problem is, see it for yourself arguments don't work because of how Hollywood is set up. Once you see it, they have your money and it no longer matters what you think. This essentially forces people to decide about a movie before seeing it. It is absolutely unfair and non-sensical, but required due to how Hollywood is set up.
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6:27PM on 08/02/2016
I enjoy reading a well-crafted review, but I generally know if I want to watch a film or not. Sometimes a really unfavorable review will convince me to miss a film I was in two minds about but, for example in the case of Suicide Squad, I can be uncertain about a film, it can get shitty reviews and yet I'll still want to see for myself. Generally if I really want to see something, I'll check it out regardless.
I enjoy reading a well-crafted review, but I generally know if I want to watch a film or not. Sometimes a really unfavorable review will convince me to miss a film I was in two minds about but, for example in the case of Suicide Squad, I can be uncertain about a film, it can get shitty reviews and yet I'll still want to see for myself. Generally if I really want to see something, I'll check it out regardless.
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4:57PM on 08/02/2016
Suspicious timing that a site filled with Suicide Squad sponsored content would write an article bashing people who listen to critics on the same day the scathingly negative reviews for SS is released.
Suspicious timing that a site filled with Suicide Squad sponsored content would write an article bashing people who listen to critics on the same day the scathingly negative reviews for SS is released.
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5:34PM on 08/02/2016
Someone call Mulder. we got ourselves a conspiracy
Someone call Mulder. we got ourselves a conspiracy
4:31PM on 08/02/2016

Skwad

After commenting earlier and then the events of the day... I wonder did this have anything to do with the impending bad reviews of Suicide Squad? I've been waiting for one to be posted by JoBlo but still nothing yet... Interesting that this article came out the same day
After commenting earlier and then the events of the day... I wonder did this have anything to do with the impending bad reviews of Suicide Squad? I've been waiting for one to be posted by JoBlo but still nothing yet... Interesting that this article came out the same day
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6:15PM on 08/02/2016
I have been wondering when a review is going to be posted
I have been wondering when a review is going to be posted
7:49PM on 08/02/2016
It was not coincidence. We will have two different reviews up this week.

Just waiting on my WB check to clear ;)
It was not coincidence. We will have two different reviews up this week.

Just waiting on my WB check to clear ;)
9:07AM on 08/03/2016
haha Paul I didnt want that to come off as "the reviewers are biased, so preface with this article" - just thought it was quite coincidental that another hugely awaited movie was being cut-up hours later... looking forward to the reviews - still with you on those Preacher reviews by the way, almost through reading the series again then will watch the first season. From what I've seen the show just doesn't hold a candle to the series - most importantly pissed off at how they dealt with Jesse's
haha Paul I didnt want that to come off as "the reviewers are biased, so preface with this article" - just thought it was quite coincidental that another hugely awaited movie was being cut-up hours later... looking forward to the reviews - still with you on those Preacher reviews by the way, almost through reading the series again then will watch the first season. From what I've seen the show just doesn't hold a candle to the series - most importantly pissed off at how they dealt with Jesse's backstory thus far
+3
4:08PM on 08/02/2016
In the eyes of the studio, money = positive review. No money = negative review. That's just the truth. And until that structure somehow changes, that's all that'll affect the amount of upcoming sequels, remakes, spinoffs, and beating of dead horses to come.
In the eyes of the studio, money = positive review. No money = negative review. That's just the truth. And until that structure somehow changes, that's all that'll affect the amount of upcoming sequels, remakes, spinoffs, and beating of dead horses to come.
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3:14PM on 08/02/2016
I can't believe that it's 2016 and there are still arguements between critics and non-critics as well as the stupid "Critics only like intellectual movies" and "Non-critics only like brainless movies" stereotypes.

It's not that what all critics think is the truth; it's that what a majority of people think is the truth. Art is subjective, but film is an exception because the end result reflects the effort made by the people who worked on it. Technical achievements aren't everything, which is
I can't believe that it's 2016 and there are still arguements between critics and non-critics as well as the stupid "Critics only like intellectual movies" and "Non-critics only like brainless movies" stereotypes.

It's not that what all critics think is the truth; it's that what a majority of people think is the truth. Art is subjective, but film is an exception because the end result reflects the effort made by the people who worked on it. Technical achievements aren't everything, which is why a movie with great visual effects but bad writing and acting still sucks. The systems of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic aren't perfect, but no system is. The score isn't that important, but the consensus is. Actually, a grade in an individual review is only a summed-up way of expressing how the critic felt. People shouldn't look at the grades without reading the reviews. People also shouldn't let a consensus on ANYTHING influence their opinion. Otherwise, there would be no opinions. Consensus are groups of opinions after all. There's nothing wrong with being in a minority. Actually, there literally isn't a single movie that everyone can like or dislike. Every movie has positive and negative aspects (some are technical, some aren't). A movie becomes a classic when the viewer feels that the good outweighs the bad by a mile, which isn't a fact. It has to do with the way the viewer perceives each aspect and its relevance to the overall movie.

People won't know if they'll dislike a movie until they watch it, but not everyone is willing to spend time and money figuring it out. Therefore, people should read reviews in order to decide ONLY when they can't decide for themselves (sometimes the marketing is enough, sometimes it isn't). It's not a big deal, since a lot of people read the reviews after watching the movie anyway.

As for what you said about only following critics with the same taste... That's impossible. Neither critics nor non-critics think the same way about every movie from a specific genre. Otherwise, sequels and remakes would be as good as the originals.
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3:09PM on 08/02/2016
I don't rely on critics etc opinion.I can make up my own mind on whether I want too see this or that movie.I don't think 'I really want too see this movie but I better check RT first.'I do love reading what people think of movies in reviews and comment sections but if it's getting hated on and I really want too see it I'll go (in looking at you batman c supes)
I don't rely on critics etc opinion.I can make up my own mind on whether I want too see this or that movie.I don't think 'I really want too see this movie but I better check RT first.'I do love reading what people think of movies in reviews and comment sections but if it's getting hated on and I really want too see it I'll go (in looking at you batman c supes)
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2:44PM on 08/02/2016

While I do agree a little bit on certain parts

I have to say that I think the whole argument of "go see it and form an opinion," is a misguided statement. I don't need to see certain movies to form an opinion because the trailer and other reviews paint a near spot on picture of the movie. I'll use the example of Gods of Egypt and Twilight films as an example. I saw the trailers, saw some behind the scenes, and they both were examples of what a piece of shit movie looks like and feels like, hence forth I avoid them and not contribute to
I have to say that I think the whole argument of "go see it and form an opinion," is a misguided statement. I don't need to see certain movies to form an opinion because the trailer and other reviews paint a near spot on picture of the movie. I'll use the example of Gods of Egypt and Twilight films as an example. I saw the trailers, saw some behind the scenes, and they both were examples of what a piece of shit movie looks like and feels like, hence forth I avoid them and not contribute to the Hollywood churning machine of garbage/mediocrity.

Look at where movies are today compared to the 90's and 80's (we could go farther back, but I won't). Every year now it seems they just keep churning out sequels/comic/EPIC/CG fest movies and they are for the most part completely forgettable.

We will NEVER have movies like The Sandlot, When Harry Met Sally, The Goonies, Home Alone, The Shawshank Redemption, Speed, I could keep listing, but my brain will hurt. Movies today either have to be reboots/remakes or some bull shit that the studio knows they can make a KILLING. Look at Speed, a fun little action movie that was suspenseful, well acted, had great stunts, and very memorable. IF they remade speed, there would be some huge fucking EPIC set piece action scene at the end with cities crumbling and CG cars flying all over the fucking place.

It feels like Hollywood has forgotten how to make a GREAT memorable movie that will hold up for 10-20 years. The more and more we accept mediocrity and not criticize opinions of others is the reason why we are on the FUCKING 5th Transformers movie, and rebooting/remaking all successful properties of the past, because stupid people will continue to see them because they can "turn off" their brain or because they say things like "I'm a huge Ghostbusters fan, so I'll see it regardless." Hey, I'm a HUGE fan of Resident Evil, but those movies are pure fucking dog shit. I'm a huge fan of video games in general but can admit that the film adaptations are pure shit 99.9% of the time. I'm not blinded by fanboy shit, and can SEE what Hollywood is doing, my blinders are off.

Seriously though, if we continue down this path, the movie Idiocracy isn't too far off. We will have movies like "Ass," where people will just turn off their brains and stare stupidly at the screen at the funny sights and pretty colors.

Rant done.
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11:06PM on 08/02/2016
"Pure fucking dogshit". Ha ha ha ha. Agreed on all points. This movie looks like something I want to see in a theater. Whereas Gods of Egypt? Not even for free
"Pure fucking dogshit". Ha ha ha ha. Agreed on all points. This movie looks like something I want to see in a theater. Whereas Gods of Egypt? Not even for free
2:06PM on 08/02/2016

What good movie criticism means to me

I think that the world of movie criticism took a real blow with the death of Roger Ebert, because he made an effort to share his perspective with the world, and not just churn out reviews for us to take at face value, like a lot of critics these days. People still remember that he gave low ratings to A Clockwork Orange, The Usual Suspects, and Fight Club, but he's still a legend. In the world of modern film criticism I will give credit to you, Paul, because when you review movies I know you are
I think that the world of movie criticism took a real blow with the death of Roger Ebert, because he made an effort to share his perspective with the world, and not just churn out reviews for us to take at face value, like a lot of critics these days. People still remember that he gave low ratings to A Clockwork Orange, The Usual Suspects, and Fight Club, but he's still a legend. In the world of modern film criticism I will give credit to you, Paul, because when you review movies I know you are a comic book geek and a veteran, and to Bumbray, who isn't shy about, for instance, his massive boner for anything James Bond (Eric Walkuski can be a good writer, but I've yet to figure out what he geeks out over). In a TV-related side-note, if you read Emily Nussbaum's reviews in the New Yorker, she has her TV preferences all over her reviews. Their movie reviews are less transparent (though Anthony Lane beats Dave Denby easily). When I find a critic with a real voice it's exciting. It's like finding a new friend. You may not agree 100% on everything, but you know where they stand, and why they gave the movie the rating they did. That said, I just haven't had time to go see movies much this summer, but I'm glad we're finally getting some that are rating better than a 7/10.
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1:43PM on 08/02/2016
If you want to rely on rotten tomatoes, good for you, if you don't, also good for you. Either way there's no objectivity in it, but that does not take away from really thoughtful criticism, that some of the "top critics," on rotten tomatoes offers, which I usually look to since there are opinions that I consistently trust, and marketing alone isn't enough for me to spend an increasingly greater sum of money to see movies, because I may find a diamond in the rough.
If you want to rely on rotten tomatoes, good for you, if you don't, also good for you. Either way there's no objectivity in it, but that does not take away from really thoughtful criticism, that some of the "top critics," on rotten tomatoes offers, which I usually look to since there are opinions that I consistently trust, and marketing alone isn't enough for me to spend an increasingly greater sum of money to see movies, because I may find a diamond in the rough.
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+2
1:39PM on 08/02/2016
In my opinion, the problem isn't an over-reliance on reviews and thinking that critical scores are the definitive word on a movie's quality, it's the opposite -- the all-too-prevelent fanboy mentality that "I like this movie therefore it's good" or "I hate this movie therefore it sucks" "and nobody's going to change my opinion ever ever ever, no matter what." Total objectivity isn't possible in a review, I can give you that much, but "whether a movie is good" and "whether it appeals to you
In my opinion, the problem isn't an over-reliance on reviews and thinking that critical scores are the definitive word on a movie's quality, it's the opposite -- the all-too-prevelent fanboy mentality that "I like this movie therefore it's good" or "I hate this movie therefore it sucks" "and nobody's going to change my opinion ever ever ever, no matter what." Total objectivity isn't possible in a review, I can give you that much, but "whether a movie is good" and "whether it appeals to you personally" are often two different things and the best critics, in my opinion, are the ones who understand that and the worst fanboys are the ones that don't. I group with X-Men, I like X-Men: The Last Stand, but I still recognize that it's a bad movie. Likewise, while I love lots of Ingrid Bergman's films I actually really dislike Persona, but I still realize its a masterfully made film, just one that doesn't appeal to my personal tastes.
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12:59PM on 08/02/2016
I could care less about Anyone's review or score. I judge movies for myself. Its all subjective. I can't stand it when "critics" who who give Capote 5 stars go in to see a film like Sausage Party and completely berate it because its not Capote. Just an example. Also the studios seem to have their hands in it manipulating the review process. Im sure they stand on the street asking people if they're excited for the new Ghostbusters film, and If the person says "HELL NO", they ignore it and move
I could care less about Anyone's review or score. I judge movies for myself. Its all subjective. I can't stand it when "critics" who who give Capote 5 stars go in to see a film like Sausage Party and completely berate it because its not Capote. Just an example. Also the studios seem to have their hands in it manipulating the review process. Im sure they stand on the street asking people if they're excited for the new Ghostbusters film, and If the person says "HELL NO", they ignore it and move on. If the person says "YES DEFINITELY", they're invited to the screening. As for mainstream media is concerned, if this years electorial process has shown us anything, its that the media can be bought and purchased and made to comply with the dishonest agenda.
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2:36PM on 08/02/2016
Facts.
Facts.
3:04PM on 08/02/2016
Yip.
Yip.
12:57PM on 08/02/2016
Give me a break. This article represents everything wrong with Hollywood and it's view of the audience. "Don't listen to critics, pay our ridiculous prices for half assed films to find out yourself, cause that way after you make your decision we already have your money."

Why strive to make great films when everyone supports [link] films? Back when critics had real influence, filmmakers strived to be artists. Now people ignore critics worse than ever, and where has that got us? Endless
Give me a break. This article represents everything wrong with Hollywood and it's view of the audience. "Don't listen to critics, pay our ridiculous prices for half assed films to find out yourself, cause that way after you make your decision we already have your money."

Why strive to make great films when everyone supports [link] films? Back when critics had real influence, filmmakers strived to be artists. Now people ignore critics worse than ever, and where has that got us? Endless Trasformers crap, and movies like Twilight breaking records inspiring Hollywood to churn out nothing but empty fanfare because they know morons like Shirey will keep supporting their ever declining mediocrity.
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1:21PM on 08/02/2016
It's a great article which I think you misunderstood. It doesn't say "don't listen to critics" It says - "don't follow them blindly". Make your own opinions about film and that's a great message.

The article even states that average moviegoers SHOULD listen to Rotten Tomatoes. That's the best use for these websites. But the article also says that we, film fans, shouldn't listen to RT blindly. We are the people who will watch those movies regardless of their score. And when we do, we
It's a great article which I think you misunderstood. It doesn't say "don't listen to critics" It says - "don't follow them blindly". Make your own opinions about film and that's a great message.

The article even states that average moviegoers SHOULD listen to Rotten Tomatoes. That's the best use for these websites. But the article also says that we, film fans, shouldn't listen to RT blindly. We are the people who will watch those movies regardless of their score. And when we do, we shouldn't be swayed by reviews we've already read.
12:47PM on 08/02/2016
The problem with the internet is the hive mind philosophy that seems to prevail. It's one thing to disagree with professional critics, it's another to be insulted by some guy you don't even know because you didn't think like everybody else did for a particular film. This isn't a war; it's just entertainment!

I think as fans, we've had way too many people kissing our asses, telling us we're the reasons movies gets made, and we could really use a bit of self-awareness. It's okay to be
The problem with the internet is the hive mind philosophy that seems to prevail. It's one thing to disagree with professional critics, it's another to be insulted by some guy you don't even know because you didn't think like everybody else did for a particular film. This isn't a war; it's just entertainment!

I think as fans, we've had way too many people kissing our asses, telling us we're the reasons movies gets made, and we could really use a bit of self-awareness. It's okay to be passionate about a film but it's possible to be TOO passionate about it. No movie can ruin your childhood but being a crappy adult can make a childhood pointless.
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10:40PM on 08/02/2016
If you think a movie ruined your childhood then your childhood isn't over.
If you think a movie ruined your childhood then your childhood isn't over.
12:46PM on 08/02/2016
We're in a time where the same YouTube channel that makes it's money by fawning over the latest publicity sponsored leak of movie news (especially from the mouse) then does what it claims are critical reviews of films from that same company.
There was a fan claim that a lot of them were being paid to bad review other companies films but the truth is they do not need to be paid to do that, they all ready owe their livelihood to them.
We're in a time where the same YouTube channel that makes it's money by fawning over the latest publicity sponsored leak of movie news (especially from the mouse) then does what it claims are critical reviews of films from that same company.
There was a fan claim that a lot of them were being paid to bad review other companies films but the truth is they do not need to be paid to do that, they all ready owe their livelihood to them.
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12:43PM on 08/02/2016

Critics lie, don't be naive.

I never let reviews or ratings determine what movies I see. Folks who's movie viewing is determined by a stranger who more than likely had something to gain or lose by writing up a favorable to misleading article are followers. Many of my favorite movies are disliked by these "expert" critics. Once the critics start talking about characters "emotional journey" to tug the heart strings of liberal audiences, I can smell the bullshit from my computer. If a movie looks interesting to me, but
I never let reviews or ratings determine what movies I see. Folks who's movie viewing is determined by a stranger who more than likely had something to gain or lose by writing up a favorable to misleading article are followers. Many of my favorite movies are disliked by these "expert" critics. Once the critics start talking about characters "emotional journey" to tug the heart strings of liberal audiences, I can smell the bullshit from my computer. If a movie looks interesting to me, but critics hate it, the chances are good I will see that movie before some plotless, lifeless movie filled with cgi explosions and boredom inducing car chases. (Seriously, every car chase is exactly the same) the fast and furious franchise has made tons of money pandering to these people it. But whatever, to each his own.
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12:28PM on 08/02/2016
[Old man voice] Back in my day, we used to watch Siskel and Ebert At the Movies and they would give the movies thumbs up or thumbs down so the scores were either 0% or 50% or 100% and the critics were two guys from Chicago. Now you have maybe 200 critics on the site and the scores are more precise but the reviews still are reported as thumbs up ("fresh") or thumbs down ("rotten"} and given that movies are either good or bad and nothing in between in any of these ratings we tend to get the
[Old man voice] Back in my day, we used to watch Siskel and Ebert At the Movies and they would give the movies thumbs up or thumbs down so the scores were either 0% or 50% or 100% and the critics were two guys from Chicago. Now you have maybe 200 critics on the site and the scores are more precise but the reviews still are reported as thumbs up ("fresh") or thumbs down ("rotten"} and given that movies are either good or bad and nothing in between in any of these ratings we tend to get the impression that a film is either a masterpiece or a piece of shit. In reality, even the worst movie still can have Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and thus may still be worth seeing. Hell, even Fant4stic had moments that I could appreciate when I finally saw it on TV.
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+4
11:05AM on 08/02/2016
The thing about people who say "watch it and make your own mind up" are missing a huge thing about Hollywood, and that is simply by watching it, you've already rewarded it. I don't want shit like Transformers or Turtles constantly pumped out, but the second I spend a penny to "make my own mind up" on those kinds of films, I have already rewarded the mediocrity and ensured that mediocrity continues. The only way to stop shit movies is by withholding money from them, and so I find it imperative
The thing about people who say "watch it and make your own mind up" are missing a huge thing about Hollywood, and that is simply by watching it, you've already rewarded it. I don't want shit like Transformers or Turtles constantly pumped out, but the second I spend a penny to "make my own mind up" on those kinds of films, I have already rewarded the mediocrity and ensured that mediocrity continues. The only way to stop shit movies is by withholding money from them, and so I find it imperative that I seek like-minded reviewers whose opinions I usually agree with to ensure I'm not rewarding garbage.
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1:23PM on 08/02/2016
Do you really need a review to know that the next Michael Bay Transformers film will be bad?
Do you really need a review to know that the next Michael Bay Transformers film will be bad?
1:44PM on 08/02/2016
No, but I did to know the first one was.
I hated Man of Steel, really wanted to see Batman v Superman, and the reviews helped me to avoid that utterly. I recently caught it for free, and I'm glad I never rewarded that dogshit with my money.
No, but I did to know the first one was.
I hated Man of Steel, really wanted to see Batman v Superman, and the reviews helped me to avoid that utterly. I recently caught it for free, and I'm glad I never rewarded that dogshit with my money.
11:03AM on 08/02/2016
It's hard to say but nowadays I think studios are focusing a lot more on ratings of their movies rather reviews. With at least lower ratings (as oppose to R or NC-17 rating), they will get more audiences to go into the movies, thus making more money. Like Transformers movies as you pointed, they have low scores on reviews but audiences go see them anyway. It's all about money nowadays.
It's hard to say but nowadays I think studios are focusing a lot more on ratings of their movies rather reviews. With at least lower ratings (as oppose to R or NC-17 rating), they will get more audiences to go into the movies, thus making more money. Like Transformers movies as you pointed, they have low scores on reviews but audiences go see them anyway. It's all about money nowadays.
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10:57AM on 08/02/2016
I do not wholly condemn Rotten Tomatoes. You do not seem to either, Paul. Often, the site offers the essential variety of opinion that you mention. Furthermore, a person can read Rotten Tomatoes weekly and discover those critics that speak to a reader most. For example, at least two JoBlo staffers consistently appear.

And, the site's critical consensus--the meter--can be a voice in itself, and it is usually an accurate one. I find it reliable at least. HOWEVER, you are utterly wise and
I do not wholly condemn Rotten Tomatoes. You do not seem to either, Paul. Often, the site offers the essential variety of opinion that you mention. Furthermore, a person can read Rotten Tomatoes weekly and discover those critics that speak to a reader most. For example, at least two JoBlo staffers consistently appear.

And, the site's critical consensus--the meter--can be a voice in itself, and it is usually an accurate one. I find it reliable at least. HOWEVER, you are utterly wise and correct that the individual cinephile DOES NOT need to love or hate something simply because the crowd does. For example, I skipped Captain America: Civil War and The Shallows regardless of their Tomato scores. I disliked the studios approach to the respective stories, and I voted with my dollars. You provide your own examples above.
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10:53AM on 08/02/2016

Consensus is fine, but...

you need to actually READ the reviews and discover why the consensus is what it is and make your own decision from there. Take the latest Bourne, for example. The consensus is it's OK, but unnecessary and lazy. I read that in about 15 reviews from reviewers I respect (including here). Therefore, I will wait and save my money for something else. I'll never go by a Tomameter alone. Had I done that, I never would have seen Freddy Got Fingered which, I think, is one of the funniest films ever made.
you need to actually READ the reviews and discover why the consensus is what it is and make your own decision from there. Take the latest Bourne, for example. The consensus is it's OK, but unnecessary and lazy. I read that in about 15 reviews from reviewers I respect (including here). Therefore, I will wait and save my money for something else. I'll never go by a Tomameter alone. Had I done that, I never would have seen Freddy Got Fingered which, I think, is one of the funniest films ever made.
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10:21AM on 08/02/2016

!

I certify this article as fresh and green... Well put, Paul - I often think the same thing and how our lives would be better/worse without or just with less internet. MAKE YOUR OWN OPINIONS PEOPLE! and don't bash those whose are different from yours
I certify this article as fresh and green... Well put, Paul - I often think the same thing and how our lives would be better/worse without or just with less internet. MAKE YOUR OWN OPINIONS PEOPLE! and don't bash those whose are different from yours
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