The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
What's disappointing about Anonymous is that it isn't dumb enough. Rather than plunging merrily ahead with its fanciful counternarrative, the movie keeps stopping to actually, seriously make its case -- to posit and explain and persuade.
Don't let the frilly costumes, courtly language and historical pretense fool you: "Anonymous" is still a Roland Emmerich movie - a blessing when it comes to vigor and a curse when it comes to subtlety, proportion or sense.
The very qualities that fuel the historical hokum of Anonymous -- over-the-top royal intrigue and incest, violent literary backstabbing, frothing conspiracy -- also happen to make for wild entertainment.
Historians will quibble with the timing and accuracy of a lot of the film, and you know what? Let them. The rest of us can enjoy the performances and the sumptuous look of the movie, which is a lot more satisfying, anyway.
Anonymous, far from ascending the brightest heaven of invention, is a muddled, often confusing film, unable to mesh its political and theatrical plotlines. Worse, it undermines its own argument by cramming in too many fanciful possibilities.
Anonymous is so dubious in its intent and so tangled in its execution, it might have worked better as a comedy like Notting Hill or The Boat That Rocked, where Ifans could agreeably play the fool as before.
As the initial whiff of scandal eventually gives way to great, repetitive blubbering about the brilliance and significance of Shakespeare's works, "Anonymous" ultimately feels like much ado about nothing.