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Why Rotten Tomatoes scores don’t mean what they seem

Why Rotten Tomatoes scores don’t mean what they seem


Chances are you’ve seen this tomato before. It’s become ubiquitous — and quite contentious This chart helps to explain why. We’re releasing more films now than ever
before. And in a world of excess choice, people need
guidance to make tough decisions. Which is why we need services like Rotten
Tomatoes The internet staple got its start in the late
90s. And in 2016, Fandango bought its parent company. Now, you go to buy a ticket, and there it
is. Which makes that rating important to understand. Because the tomatometer — it’s more complex
than you might expect. Films can earn one of three designations:
rotten, for movies rated 60% of critics gave a positive review. Fresh, for those earning a rate above 60% Or Certified Fresh. That’s reserved for films that were reviewed
80 times and 70% or more of the reviews are positive. 5 of those reviews need to be from top critics. Critics submit a review with their own rating,
or sometimes Rotten Tomatoes asks the critic if it’s positive. If it’s borderline, Rotten Tomatoes usually
says the review is fresh. Rotten Tomatoes depends on a small army of
reviewers to make the tomatometer work. There’s about three thousand critics that
are counted right now though not every critic reviews every film so it’s usually a few hundred
per film. That’s Alissa Wilkinson — she’s a staff
film critic at Vox.com. Which means her reviews count toward the official
Tomatometer. But the nuance in Alissa’s writing is largely
reduced to the rating you’ll find near the top of her articles. Because Rotten Tomatoes uses a thumbs up thumbs
down method on everyone’s reviews it means that it kind of makes a vaguer statements
of consensus. we don’t get a sense so much of people who
have mixed ideas about a film. Look at these two films: Ridley Scott’s
Alien: Covenant, and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. Both films are certified fresh, but the similarities
end there. Alien was an underwhelming blockbuster sequel
with a reported budget of 97 million dollars. Moonlight was an Oscar winning drama from
a fledgling director with a budget 1/24th the size of Alien’s. Both films achieved the blanket consensus
needed for the certified fresh badge. Alien finished with a Tomatometer at 70% — toward
the low end of the certified fresh spectrum. Moonlight received a 98 percent Tomatometer
— near total consensus. But Alien was rated 6.4 out of 10 on average,
after Rotten Tomatoes converted critical star ratings, letter grades, and number scores
to its 10 point scale. Moonlight, on the other hand, earned an average
rating of 9 out of 10 per review. Most critics loved it and agreed with one
another. So the two films earned the badge, but were
qualitatively world’s apart. This demonstrates the imperfection of the
Rotten Tomatoes system. This imperfection also appears when you compare
two of 2017’s most critically acclaimed films. Here’s another scenario:
Both Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out are highly rated and certified
fresh. But according to the Tomatometer, Get Out
edges out Dunkirk by 6 percentage points. If you saw these scores on the Fandango purchase
page, you might think that critics rated Get Out higher than Dunkirk. The Rotten Tomatoes page for each film shows
that Dunkirk earned a higher average rating per review. Dunkirk earned a lower tomatometer because
there was less agreement among critics — more variance in the data. And when there is less consensus, the rating
is lower. But a cute single tomato rating just can’t
give you all that information. Other rating systems try to circumvent these
problems with their own methodology. Metacritic, the most visible aggregator aside
from Rotten Tomatoes, is very subjective. It casts a much smaller net than Rotten Tomatoes,
and generally does more interpretation and weighting in their scoring. Metacritic is also less transparent about
their rating system than Rotten Tomatoes. So, is there a one-size fits all, killer method
to get digestible and accurate reviews of film in a fraction of time than it logically
could take? Absolutely not. That’s preposterous; the whole point of the Tomatometer is to help
you make a decision quickly. If you want context, you click and then you
read. Or, watch. And in a world of limited time and excess
choice, we all benefit from a bit of guidance. Just make sure you know how your guide is
getting you there.

Comments (100)

  1. Read more on how Rotten Tomatoes works from Vox's Alissa Wilkinson: https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/8/31/16107948/rotten-tomatoes-explainer-critics-movies-aggregation

  2. What kind of a name is rotten 🍅 anyways.

  3. I always prefer audience ratings over shills'….

  4. I think you meant that Metacritic is the most OBJECTIVE because it's so straight forward

  5. Why you should trust nothing on vox unless an online sjw is sufficient for you

  6. They are film critics i slready dont agree with most of the ratings they make up

  7. It’s far more complicated now! Especially concerning Disney films. You should probably update this video.
    Rotten Tomatoes deserves to have rotten tomatoes thrown at them.

  8. Captain "rotten cheese" Marvel masturbates for this

  9. Just couldn't resist throwing the "666" in there at :38 seconds…..

  10. rotten tomatoes is a joke.

  11. "Samantha, I need to know that you understand that I have a couple of eyeholes."

    Samantha: "I do! I do understand about your eyeholes – here, look at MY eyeholes!"

    "OMG, you have 8 eyehole… holes!! Oh. Oh ho ho. I'm looking through your eyeholes!"

    dat song

  12. Movies are like book which book should never be judge on there details

  13. Agreed, it's no longer a trusted, reputable website.

  14. Metacritic is "very subjective" and "generally does a lot more interpretation." Can you please elaborate? You kind of just put that out there without an evidence to back it up. After researching the histograms of the four possible distributions of ratings for a large sample size of reviews for a single movie, Metacritic's histogram most closely resembles a normal distribution (a bell curve). IMDB comes in at a close second, Fandango seems to be heavily skewed towards the right, and Tomatometer looks like the opposite of a bell curve (or normal distribution).
    https://medium.freecodecamp.org/whose-reviews-should-you-trust-imdb-rotten-tomatoes-metacritic-or-fandango-7d1010c6cf19

  15. most ratings for anything suck

  16. What’s that music at the start?

  17. I think they should at least have the option to rate a movie "neutral" or "mixed". Some things you will have mixed feelings about and maybe find mediocre but not bad

  18. IMDb is the only way to go💯

  19. Idk I just use the Google reviews score thing over the rotten tomatoes. I'm just looking to see an okay movie and am not a critic lol

  20. Many of my favorite films have terribly low Rt scores, like Pocahontas and Oliver % Company. I also don't really care to watch Citizen Kane, The Godfather or Cool Hand Luke, despite thie rperfect scores.

  21. I think the tomato meter is underrated because the live action TMNT movies, I thought they were good, although the Micheal bay Transformers movies didn’t go with the original, I thought they were awesome, the rotten tomatoes are there just to tell people not to spend our money on something like good movies such as captain marvel

  22. I stopped caring about rotten tomatoes ratings when they rated Black Panther over The Dark Knight

  23. This is why everyone uses the "Audience score".

  24. alien is ceritified fresh its got a 65

  25. I use both imdb and rotten tomatoes. If the movie scores above 70% on both of these platform, then the movie won't disappoint you.

  26. Never look at the Tomatometer to judge the movie. Look at the audience score

  27. I try not to care about RT, but it gets to me.

  28. I thought Moonlight was bad… Just sayin

  29. "When there's less consensus, the rating is lower" – This is not correct. When there is less consensus, the rating would be closer to 50%.

  30. Rotten Tomatoes is to movies as Vox is to news.

  31. What is the point of this video, that the public's opinion of a film differs from those of critics? We've known this for forever. Critics have a very different scoring standard and they have drastically different metrics with which to judge films. The public often judges a film by solely how much they enjoyed it and now much else, while critics take into account the production, the visuals, acting, technical ability and more. It's only natural that they aren't exactly the same.

  32. Couldn't careless about rotten tomatoes ratings I like what I like

  33. She looks like Pam

  34. I dont follow critic score since they watch so many movies they prefer artistic and original movies with deep meaning.

    No, I watch movies at most once a month I want to watch entertaining movies with lots of explosions.

  35. Rotten tomatoes sux, the critics are not representative for the population. These are people in their own artsy world.

  36. Yeah, but let’s be honest, the people who have seen Captain Marvel disagree with rotten tomatoes

  37. I don’t really agree with a lot of the critics on things. Rotten Tomatoes seems to be worse to me because audience scores aren’t filtered into the main score, only critic scores. I don’t think a higher rating should make your decision. A bad movie in one's eyes might be a great movie in another's eyes and vice versa. Sure, I like to read the reviews, but only for the fun of it. I have thought about becoming a movie reviewer for fun, but I wouldn’t be a very serious one. You wouldn’t really be able to call me a critic with my reviews.

  38. This guys voice sounds like he is trying to do an asmr thing. Can you please get a little more excited about this good topic?

  39. I hate Rotten Tomatoes

  40. I don't need rotten tomatoes as a guide to what movie I wish to see. If a movie looks interesting to see based on its ad then I would see it. In other words I would see a movie based on my own judgement and not by someone else.

  41. Huh. I got a rotten tomato certified movie ad before this video

  42. Cause they delete reviews they don't like? I.e. All those negative black panther ones

  43. When you see high rankings on superhero movies, you realize Rotter Tomatoes is a joke

  44. TBH I trust Imdb more than Rotten Tomatoes 😕

  45. Solution: force your friend (that has similar taste to you ) into watching for you and then see if they say it’s good or not before spending your money

  46. I prefer IMDB, seems more acurrate.

  47. Didn't mean anything until captain marvel …

  48. The reason I don't like rotten tomatoes is because critics and general audianced watch movies completely differently.

  49. what???   pain au   chocolat!!!!    CHOCOLATINE…

  50. It really, really isnt hard. "Professionnal critics" will be voting with political correctness in mind. That's it. Pretty sad… but works whatever movie you pick.

  51. Relying on narrow-minded critics whose lifestyles and interests don't align with yours is a bad idea to begin with.

  52. Does 64 Rotten Tomatoes mean good

  53. I have never seen that rotten 🍅

  54. Nowadays critics are so freaking strict they care about the small cinema sins details smh

  55. Rotten Tomatoes is a work of CRAP. If you believe their ratings you are as dumb as they are……..

  56. Rotten Tomatoes has a liberal bias.

  57. rotten tomato suckkss

  58. Dis is why idl rotten tamatoe as much cause most of the movie they review aren't that accurate i just downloaded fandango on my phone and im a huge fan of godzilla and im extremely excited for godzilla:king of the monsters and i saw the rotten tamatoe reviews and instead of being fresh it was rotten and that pissed me so much cause the people on the audience score were positive reviews.

    I love rotten tamatoe it just that they must find a way to be more accurate.

  59. Rotten Tomatoes haven’t failed me yet.

  60. There's a video on Youtube where supposed food tasting experts were served with McNuggets.
    They praised it on high regards.

    This is why i rely on user scores be it video games or movies.
    50 Critics are too nitpicky with everything, while thoudands of consumers will still arrive at a general consensus of their rating.

  61. Does the tomato score For a movie ever goes up at all when it’s released

  62. And does it ever go open enough to change the status of the movie from rotted to fresh?”!!!!

  63. when people say is made up of every kind of critic I really just think it’s just A few hypocritical ones pulling the strings Around The Whole Thing To what Movie They Deem Worthy, And, Just.”!!!!!

  64. Chernobyl has a 96%, so I'm chilling.

  65. I've always had pretty ambivalent views on RT (sometimes I agree with critics and/or audience members, sometimes I strongly disagree), so I appreciate nuance takes on the site like this video

  66. IMBD for the win…. I've been a decade old user of that page and it usually doesn't let me down in their scores

  67. GUYS. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU MIX THE ROTTEN TOMATO TO THE FRESH TOMATO?

  68. Actually Rotten Tomatoes scores no longer have any meaning.

    They're decision to LIE in support of Captain Marvel means their Site is worthless for accuracy.

    No one I know still goes there for anything.

  69. This ish is crazy I can't go by this rotten

  70. This video was sponsored by metacritic

  71. There are really good movies that have a bad rotten tomatoes.

  72. Better not believe the critics (which mostly paid to hype up) and take a look yourselves.

  73. or just go to imdb

  74. After I found out about Rotten Tomatoes 🍅 I know how the critical system of Cinemas, Games and TV shows.

  75. Don't judge me but i thought that its related to tomatoes and ketchup

  76. rottentomatoes are the worst. There is no distinction between very good movies, good movies and above average. Black Panther and Spider-verse is a good example. Both had 97% but Spiderverse had 8.5 imdb but Black Panther just 7.3.

  77. We don’t need Rotten Tomatoes. People should use Letterboxd for what real audiences and people who love movies think.

  78. 65% is enough for me. Metacritic is kind of random and IMDB is just madness

  79. Check out the reviews for "the red pill"
    See if you can trust any critic score from now on

  80. Imdb ratings >>>>

  81. Dc maybe proud now

  82. It’s idiotic how now a days a movies RT scores is the one thing that matters more than quality story or who directed.

  83. I learned not to trust Rotten Tomatoes after Doctor Who series 11

  84. I always judge based on IMDB

  85. Black Panther is #1 movie ever according to the top 100 Rotten Tomatoes… something is wrong.

  86. Anyone know what the song playing at the end is?

  87. imdb is better…

  88. 90% or More in rotten tomatoes of the movies have bad ratings. Is the worst thing to use before watch a movie. Just use Imdb or google % liked because they are rated by regular people how watch the movies.

  89. Rotten Tomato gave Megamind 71 %

  90. Excuse me! But you forgot the ranking where the critics been snorting mold that ended with a totally opposite result. From the looks of it Rotten Tomatoes still hasn’t learned its lesson of the after affects mold addiction! 😒

  91. If a movie gets low ratings across the board I avoid it. Period!

  92. Rotten tomatoes > Imdb

  93. Their ratings are fairly consistent with most movies

  94. Rotten Tomatoes does't make any sense …!!

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