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.
This tale of a failing network that feeds on the mental breakdown of one of its anchors, cannibalising itself for ratings, feels as savagely relevant now as it did when it was released nearly 40 years ago.
Network taps into the hysteria of the television business at a time when the medium was still important, a monolithic and competitive media industry hungry to tap into the next big thing and do anything for ratings.
There is plenty wrong with television, plenty to satirize. But Network prudently misses the point, dishing up an outrageous razzle-dazzle stew that will ruffle no network feathers and delight a popular audience.
For some reason, Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning satire was perceived as a drama when the movie came out in 1976. Much ahead of its time, the film was a cautionary tale of the news media as infotainment (emphasis on the secon part of the concept).
One would assume that a 1976 film about network television would feel dated today, but director Sidney Lumet and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky had such a fine concept that Network seems downright contemporary.