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.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them turns out to be a hyperbolic name for a pretty so-so movie -- one with entertaining passages, but which mostly feels like a big-budget prequel to the better, more cohesive film that's yet to come.
Set against all the thunderous themes are the antics of a bunch of uninspired imaginary animals - sorry, fantastic beasts - and an astonishingly winning cast that very nearly atones for everything else.
Rowling and her studio are not so much telling a story as erecting another "tentpole," the Hollywood name for a "franchise" that becomes a virus - but is nonetheless regarded as a remedy for red ink. I only wish there were a vaccine.
Fantastic Beasts offers a good intro to Potter-iffic times ahead, some of them suitably creepy (note the parental guidance rating) as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald threatens to bring his evil doings across the Pond from Europe.
"Fantastic Beasts" feels very much like its own thing, worthy of its own attention and box-office. It's an entertaining, visually stunning film that doesn't require Potter knowledge to enjoy (though it would probably help).
Even if you, like me, are a bit Pottered out and wish Rowling would devote herself instead to her marvelous Cormoran Strike detective-novel series (magic comes in many forms) - it's still a pleasure to revisit the author's world.
Yates and Rowling skillfully weave their bleak - and very blunt-edged - message into the fabric of the story. It might be wildly out of place in a fantasy aimed at tweens, but it's a welcome change from the usual vapid blockbuster.
The "Potter" movies were so well conceived that they contain endless possibilities for more entries, and "Fantastic Beasts" takes the bait right on cue, not repeating a formula so much as enriching it with a spellbinding polish.
Has all the makings of a huge family blockbuster, but all the bloated traps of those, too. It hasn't quite got the balance right, but, like the title hints, surely knows where to find the magic formula over the ensuing movies.
Likely to draw in just about everyone who followed the Potter series and to please most of them, the picture also has things to offer for fantasy-friendly moviegoers who only casually observed that phenomenon.
"Fantastic Beasts" has clearly been designed for the most devoted of Rowling's fans, and though it may prove confusing to newcomers, the faithful will appreciate the fact the film never talks down to its audience.