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.
Scream's brand of horror, which lampooned the slasher genre while simultaneously embracing it, was fun and breezy in 1996. In 2011, it's about as fresh as the whiff of something stale and rank from a crypt.
Craven guides us expertly down a series of blind, bloody alleys, a journey that's more pleasurable than frustrating. On account of his steady hand, the last act is as good as could be expected: skillfully conceived and entertaining in its preposterousness
Like its predecessors, "Scream 4" replaces the values of storytelling and suspense with the value of being in on the joke. Unfortunately, in the 11 years since "Scream 3," the joke has gotten pretty old.
Though director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson don't quite generate the lightning-in-a-bottle energy that made their first Scream movie a hit, they manage to awaken a 15-year-old slasher franchise that has been dormant for a decade.
The actors do what they can in a film that doesn't care about human insights. The characters are almost preternatural in their detachment; if you were embedded in events like these, wouldn't you be paralyzed with panic?
Honestly, it's not an unwelcome thing to watch the return of Neve Campbell as the slasher victim who wouldn't die, Courtney Cox as the tabloid hack in bloodlust for a story and David Arquette as the bumbling Barney Fife of fright-flick cops.
The film very quickly, and tediously, becomes more of the same old and Craven thing -- self-referential film buff gags accompanied by a clockwork killing spree that seriously reduces the population of a small town.
Overblown, overlong and overstuffed with genre self-referentialism, yet undercooked in terms of credibility, worthwhile new characters and memorable scares, it's not the razor-sharp reboot fans were hoping for.