Why Do Audiences Rate Movies Higher Than Critics?

Summary

The New York Times investigates (using Rotten Tomatoes data). Back to Article

Comments

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

No one likes to openly admit that they just wasted their money.

Aug 15 - 06:17 PM

Jack M.

Jack Macau

Or because audience knows what they expect beforehand while critics go to each movie ready to be challenged intellectually

Aug 17 - 11:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Why spend money on what you exactly expect? You can sit home and imagine your expectations for free. A good movie should surprise, thrill, have suspense, and, yes, sometimes challenge. If audiences knew what they wanted, they could make their own movies (which I probably wouldn't want to see).

Aug 18 - 05:20 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Half the planet is retarded.

Aug 15 - 10:29 PM

Infernal D.

Infernal Dude 2.0

Because audiences can pick the films they view. Critics can't.

Aug 16 - 12:32 AM

John Q.

John Q

Absolutely! Great point. I go to see the type of movies I like. And while I'm occasionally disappointed, in general the movie delivers about what I expected. But if I had to see almost EVERYTHING that's released, including movies I personally would likely never see if it wasn't my job, I'd likely be irritated from the start and unless they won me over in a big way, I'd be rating them poorly too.

Aug 16 - 06:13 AM

scifimark

scifi mark

Thats a pretty interesting point of view. Ive never thought of it that way before

Aug 16 - 12:08 PM

Dave J

Dave J

There's a lot of truth to what you're saying but Ebert seemed to like movies many critics didn't like!

Aug 16 - 09:30 PM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

Apparently he was the only one who liked Speed 2.

Aug 18 - 07:56 AM

Sir Phobos

Sir Phobos

Well said.

Aug 18 - 08:38 PM

John Q.

John Q

Absolutely! Great point. I go to see the type of movies I like. And while I'm occasionally disappointed, in general the movie delivers about what I expected. But if I had to see almost EVERYTHING that's released, including movies I personally would likely never see if it wasn't my job, I'd likely be irritated from the start and unless they won me over in a big way, I'd be rating them poorly too.

Aug 16 - 06:13 AM

inka s.

inka s

I think critics are just more aware and perceptive of the inner workings that makes filmmaking works. Average car drivers will be happy if their cars can get them to places they want to go, but a true automotive expert appreciates and understands what's going on under the hood.

Aug 16 - 07:07 AM

Jesse Leon Rodgers Jr

Jesse Leon Rodgers Jr

This.

Aug 19 - 10:12 AM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Simple, critics have watched literally thousands of films more than the average viewer and are much better at pointing out the cliches and contrived plot points as well as much less forgiving of them.

Audiences have to actually be interested in a film to pay money to see it and chances are, they'll be more forgiving 'cuz they're fave actor is in it or the action scenes were good.

Critics are wine tasters and audiences just wanna get drunk.

Aug 16 - 08:36 AM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

I can see the realistic point you're making, but it sounds as if the entire audience is dumb. Plenty of the public make clear analyses.

Not that I'm dismissing your entire point, but the audience likes to escape as much as they do to understand it.

Aug 18 - 08:01 AM

John Gagnon

John Gagnon

Critics are there to critique the film. The regular audience is there to escape. I still can't believe the critics gave Man of Steel a rotten score. They got that one wrong!

Aug 16 - 08:46 AM

Esteban Martinez

Esteban Martinez

No they didn't. But more power to you for enjoying it.

Aug 17 - 04:03 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Not all the time. There are a bunch of art films that critics rate higher than audiences.

Aug 16 - 10:03 AM

josephcurdy

Don't Tase Me Bro

There's a good reason for that too. Critics are far less wowed by spectacle over story, uber A-listers over unknowns. A good film with a solid story and fascinating characters is like a pretty face. If the pretty face needs gobs of make-up, then it's probably 'making up' for what's not there. And it rightly irritates critics because most audiences prefer spectacle over story... This was the year that the critics effectively struck back against the big tentpole, spectacle, A-lister films...

Aug 17 - 05:04 PM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

They didn't strike much against Avatar. I hope the critics are far less wowed by the sequels.

Aug 18 - 08:03 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

They struck back against them because mostly they weren't very good, not just because they were blockbusters.

Aug 18 - 04:26 PM

scifimark

scifi mark

Almost all of those movies were flat. I think superman was a special case because most critics were too in love with the Donner version and alot of the critics were pretty closed minded in that regard. The movie was ok at best and definitely had issues.

Aug 19 - 06:27 AM

Captain Terror

Captain Terror

Seems to me that this is pretty self-explanatory. When a couch potato such as myself watches a gymnastics routine I think "Wow, look at all the difficult stuff that guy can do!" Even if the gymnast has completely blown the routine, I'm not going to know any better. Someone that has spent their life studying gymnastics, on the other hand, will be able to pick out flaws that I didn't even know were there.

Aug 16 - 11:54 AM

scifimark

scifi mark

Thats a pretty interesting point of view. Ive never thought of it that way before

Aug 16 - 12:08 PM

Dave J

Dave J

There's a lot of truth to what you're saying but Ebert seemed to like movies many critics didn't like!

Aug 16 - 09:30 PM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

Apparently he was the only one who liked Speed 2.

Aug 18 - 07:56 AM

Esteban Martinez

Esteban Martinez

because the masses are stupid.

Aug 17 - 04:02 PM

Esteban Martinez

Esteban Martinez

No they didn't. But more power to you for enjoying it.

Aug 17 - 04:03 PM

josephcurdy

Don't Tase Me Bro

There's a good reason for that too. Critics are far less wowed by spectacle over story, uber A-listers over unknowns. A good film with a solid story and fascinating characters is like a pretty face. If the pretty face needs gobs of make-up, then it's probably 'making up' for what's not there. And it rightly irritates critics because most audiences prefer spectacle over story... This was the year that the critics effectively struck back against the big tentpole, spectacle, A-lister films...

Aug 17 - 05:04 PM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

They didn't strike much against Avatar. I hope the critics are far less wowed by the sequels.

Aug 18 - 08:03 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

They struck back against them because mostly they weren't very good, not just because they were blockbusters.

Aug 18 - 04:26 PM

scifimark

scifi mark

Almost all of those movies were flat. I think superman was a special case because most critics were too in love with the Donner version and alot of the critics were pretty closed minded in that regard. The movie was ok at best and definitely had issues.

Aug 19 - 06:27 AM

Derek Brayton

Derek Brayton

If a movie gets under 50 % tomato score, i usually wait till DVD to see it. Every time a lousy film does well at the box office, i usually chalk it up to good promoting and a lot of people that just dont have high standards of what they want to watch.

Aug 17 - 06:55 PM

Brandon Carlson

Brandon Carlson

The way I feel about it is this. Critics are professionals. They look at a film much deeper than general audiences. I will admit before I started actually paying attention to everything about a film i loved movies that were critically despised. But now that I pay attentionto itall films I would have liked before I now cant stant

Aug 17 - 08:22 PM

Rated NCC-1701

Rated NCC-1701

Because it's widely known that RT audience scores are made by non-RT-registered Facebookers and spammed by studio votebots.

Aug 17 - 10:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yes, as surprising as many seem to think. Studios do have employees who spend their time online pimping their movies. There are many here in fact. I am proudly not one, but you'll notice that familiar faces will always want to see films from the same studio.

Aug 18 - 05:25 PM

Jack M.

Jack Macau

Or because audience knows what they expect beforehand while critics go to each movie ready to be challenged intellectually

Aug 17 - 11:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Why spend money on what you exactly expect? You can sit home and imagine your expectations for free. A good movie should surprise, thrill, have suspense, and, yes, sometimes challenge. If audiences knew what they wanted, they could make their own movies (which I probably wouldn't want to see).

Aug 18 - 05:20 PM

grouchyeditor.com

John Haakenson

Another reason could be the age of the average moviegoer, which I'm guessing is young compared to most critics. If something like "Disturbia" (which I liked, by the way) comes out and a 20-year-old sees it, he or she might well be wowed. The critic, on the other hand, will be very familiar with its inspiration, "Rear Window," and might find the newer film lacking by comparison. Young audiences simply have a more limited frame of reference.

Aug 18 - 04:31 AM

Augusta Mels

Augusta Mels

Apparently he was the only one who liked Speed 2.

Aug 18 - 07:56 AM

What's Hot On RT

Total Recall
Total Recall

Cameron Diaz's 10 Best Movies

Five Favorite Films
Five Favorite Films

Brick Mansions star RZA

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

24 Frames
24 Frames

Experiments Gone Wrong!

Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile