Is Rotten Tomatoes Really Rotten?

November 30, 2017

Picture this: It’s Friday night and you’re thinking of something to do. Then, you just remembered that a new movie just came out and you really want to see it. You get dressed  with the anticipation of the excitement of the new movie. You’re walking out to your car checking your phone for movie times. As you get into the car, you see the Rotten Tomato score and it’s low or rotten. The feeling you had of anticipation just became sad or disappointed. You go back inside your home, put back on different clothes and jump back into bed watching Netflix until you pass out. What’s wrong here!!!! I’ll tell you, it’s Rotten Tomatoes!


For the last 4 years, Rotten Tomatoes has been ruling Hollywood with it’s website and it’s reviews. It is the number one movie review website in the nation, but is that a good thing? For starters , I love and respect other people’s thoughts and their opinion on movies, game and T.V shows. The problem that I have with Rotten Tomatoes is that their rating system is flawed and misleading.


The first thing that you should noticed are the logos Rotten Tomatoes give for their review. If a new movie scores higher than 60%, it’s declared fresh. The logo that goes with it’s rating is a red tomato. The other logo for movies that score 59% or lower are known as rotten. These are given the symbol of a green, smashed up tomato. And if a movie is 75% or higher, it gets a certificate of freshness. This is where you see ads on movies if there rating is higher, telling the audience that you should see this movie. Now I don’t have a problem with advertising your film but, your using Rotten Tomatoes as your reasoning to see the movie, not using other critics or other opinions to support your film


Now I bet you’re wondering how does a movie gets it rating. It really simple; the website is a database for starters. This database is made up by movie critics and fan base. If 8 out of 10 people gave “Thor: Ragnarok” a grade  higher than 60%, then the movie has a higher rating. But what Rotten Tomatoes really isn’t showing you is the movie’s average number. When you login and write your review on Rotten Tomatoes, the last part is to give it’s rating. The rating system is 1 to 10. If more people put a higher rating on a film, then the tomatometer goes up. This is where the average film score and the tomatometer get screwed up.


Now let take a look at two movies from a different franchise. Let’s look at 2013 “Man of Steel” v.s 2008 ‘The Incredible Hulk.” If you look at each of the films on Rotten Tomato, you’ll see that both have a 6.2/10 on the average rating system. But if you look at the tomatometer, you’ll see that “Man of Steel” has a 55% on the tomatometer declaring that it was rotten. But then if you look at “The Incredible Hulk” tomatometer, it has a 67% declaring that it’s fresh. How does “The Incredible Hulk” have a higher tomatometer than “Man of Steel” if they both have the same rating, and the the rating justifies the tomatometer? What you just saw is one small piece of the entire website.


Let’s compare some movies from last year. Disney’s “Finding Dory” has a 94% on the tomatometer. A really good score for a good movie right? But how does a film with a 94% on the Tomatometer get so high when it has a 7.6/10 on its average rating? Then if you look at the Oscar Winner “La La Land” with a average score of a 8.6/10 get a 92% on the tomatometer. Why does a film with a better rating have a lower score than a lower scored film with a better tomatometer? It doesn’t make any sense.


Now I bet you’re thinking that I hate Rotten Tomatoes. And the answer is, no, I don’t. I’m just really worried about the future of Hollywood and it’s directors and screenwriters. I’m worried because many directors have been taken from their job because of their reviews. And yes, bad movies happen all the time. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least give it a try or see a movie that has a lower score, or that someone should be fired if they had low ratings on their films.We had one of the best summers of all time, with really good movies. But if you look at the box office numbers, this was the worst summer in over a decade. Trust me, I work at a movie theater to prove it. The reason why people don’t go to theaters anymore is because they look at a review from any website, most likely Rotten Tomatoes. They see the score and walk away.  


The bottom line is that Hollywood is dying, and for people who want to be in that world, it is getting skinnier everyday. I hope that we keep getting great movies like “Blade Runner 2049”, “Wind River”, “Lady Bird”, and the “Big Sick” more often than getting five superheroes a year. I do believe that Rotten Tomatoes can be a great website but things need to change. First, get rid of the tomatometer and replace it with the average rating. Second, please redo the system and fix the scores. And lastly, if you really want to, see a movie that may look a little different. Give it a shot and make your own opinion. Don’t always rely on a review and go see it yourself. Get off your bed, turn off Netflix and go see a movie in the theaters and enjoy.


Picture credit: Den Of Geek   

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