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.
The new documentary on Joan Rivers is so in your face, so fraught with harrowing, oversized personal stuff, you might want to get a theatre seat a couple of rows behind where you normally sit, to safely take it all in.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is one of the smarter, more unexpectedly touching documentaries of the year, and I recommend it to you whether you love Rivers or loathe the very thought of her. How is this even possible?
Stern and Sundberg definitely fulfill the Prime Directive of every celebrity documentary, which is making a famous person -- especially one the audience "knows" and has strong feelings about -- seem recognizably human.
She's a teller of hilarious gutbucket truths as surely as Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor ever were. Yet while they were consumed by their demons, Rivers is just the opposite. Letting her demons run wild is what saves her, every day.
You don't get winsomeness, innocence and cuddle-me charm. Nobody will ever tap her to play Doris Day. But you do get one unique dame with a love she doesn't sell cheap, and a hidden heart bigger than her Botox budget.
It's easy to think of comics, especially time-tested ones like Rivers, as mechanical laugh-generators. Stern and Sundberg allow her to reveal the deep-rooted humanity of those ever-present quips, and the effect is humbling.