If there is one thing I truly do not like in the movie and TV industry, it’s honestly movie critics. I get the point of them, to provide an insight into whether a movie/show is good or not, and whether you should see it. Sure sure, it can help you to decide whether you want to pay to go see a movie, when seeing a movie nowadays isn’t exactly cheap, but let’s be real, movie critics are TOO critical.
That sounds kinda ridiculous right? How can a movie critic be too critical? Well to be honest, it seems like they’ve forgotten the essence of movie going. To go, sit down with a drink and some popcorn, and just relax and enjoy the show.
At least, that’s my take on how you should see a movie.
Critics go to movies, and I honestly feel like it’s a glass half empty type of attitude they go in there with. From reviews I read, it’s like they look first for everything that’s wrong or bad with a movie. What can they find to use to tear the movie down. Forgive me if I feel like that’s a really awful way to go about viewing a movie and reviewing it.
I feel like if you’re going to review a movie, you should be going and viewing it from an audience standpoint first, not a critic standpoint. Look at it from a glass half full attitude instead. I base my opinion of a movie on one standard really. Did I enjoy my time there? Would I have rather been elsewhere? Cause honestly, if I enjoyed being there and I didn’t feel like I’d have had more fun doing something else, then the movie must have been a good one to me.
No movie will EVER be perfect, there will always be something wrong at some point. Going into a theater to see something and to point out the glaring holes or plot errors or inconsistency is honestly nitpicky at best, and when reviews are written that way with this method in mind, it encourages people to avoid movies, when in whole they are actually fairly good.
Obviously reviews are entirely opinion based, and reviewers can have whatever opinion they want, it just seems like it’s a negative trend with reviewing, one that shouldn’t be there when it’s for something that’s supposed to bring everyone there joy.
For example, let me put this into perspective with a blockbuster movie that just released today. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. I’ll use Rotten Tomatoes as my basis.
I went and saw it last night, and honestly I thought it was AMAZING. A fitting end to the Skywalker saga and a send off I was happy with. Yeah, I have a couple issues with it, a couple I can’t talk about without spoiling the movie, but one I can. I thought it was a little rushed. The movie moved at a pretty fast pace and I wish they would have slowed it down a little. Did that ruin the movie for me? Hell no, not even close. Let’s take a look at Rotten Tomatoes though. What did critics think of it?
Yikes. For a Star Wars movie, that’s really bad. To put this into comparison, only one other Star Wars movie ranks lower, and that’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The rest have done marginally better.
I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous, Rise of Skywalker was EASILY better than any of the prequel movies. Now let’s do a different comparison, one based on audience score and not the critics.
We’ll look at Episode I and II, as they are the closest comparisons.
In comparison, critics rated Episode I at a 53% and Episode II at a 65%. Audience rated Episode I at 59% and Episode II at 56%. Relatively close, but Episode II was a marginal difference in opinions. Just a bit of a hint towards how skewed critic ratings are. Let’s gander at Episode III now, one of the more questional films in the saga.
Weird…critics thought it was a lot better than the audience. Not a HUGE amount, but definitely significant. Which leads me to my final nail in the coffin of critic reviews being skewed and not really helpful. We’ll look at The Rise of Skywalker now.
W O W. Now THAT is a huge difference in opinions. 58% from critics, but 85% from the audience? That sums up exactly what I mean. Critics go into movies nowadays with this negative reviewing concept, and it skews things for people who do go out and try to read reviews to be more conscious and effective with their spending. I hope those type of people do look at the audience score as well and not just the critics score, but if you don’t actually dive deeper (at least on Rotten Tomatoes site), you won’t necessarily see the audience score.
All this being said, my biggest takeaway that I want anyone reading this to have is to just look a bit deeper into a movie if you’re checking out reviews beforehand. Look past the critics, they really can’t be trusted all that much anymore for an honest, normal person’s viewing experience. Not everyone likes to analyze every little single part of a movie, so I personally think reviews should reflect that.
Thanks for listening to my TED talk, and for joining me in being a critic of critics :), it’s quite meta.