Batman V Superman producer: Rotten Tomatoes is killing movie culture

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Rotten Tomatoes, the review aggregator website for movies and TV shows, has been around for almost twenty years. To many, the site’s a good way of finding out if something’s worth their time and money. But not everyone’s a fan, especially those in Hollywood whose work often falls into the “rotten” category.

One of those is Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour movies and whose company co-produced the recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival this past weekend, Ratner said: “The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes.”

There is a suggestions that a lot of Ratner’s comments could be sour grapes; the highest rating he’s ever received from the site as a director is 69 percent, for 2002’s Red Dragon.

“I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism," Ratner said. "When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on 'Batman v Superman' I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”

The Dawn of Justice score was of particular annoyance to Ratner. It cost $250 million and grossed nearly $900 million worldwide, yet has a Tomatoes rating of just 27 percent.

“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”

Entertainment Weekly reached out to Rotten Tomatoes for a response, which turned out to be quite diplomatic.

At Rotten Tomatoes, we completely agree that film criticism is valuable and important, and we’re making it easier than it has ever been for fans to access potentially hundreds of professional reviews for a given film or TV show in one place,” Voris wrote. “The Tomatometer score, which is the percentage of positive reviews published by professional critics, has become a useful decision-making tool for fans, but we believe it’s just a starting point for them to begin discussing, debating and sharing their own opinions.

In August last year, Over 18,000 angry DC comics fans signed a petition demanding Rotten Tomatoes be closed, a response to Suicide Squad’s 29 percent approval rating. Strangely, this happened the day before the movie was released.

The headline in a previous version of this article mistakenly suggested that Brett Ratner directed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. His company, RatPac Entertainment, co-financed the movie. Zack Snyder directed it. We apologize for the error.

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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued.
Oh so because you put a lot of money into something it's worth gold?

To me everything started wrong with the name, it was more like "Batman meets Superman, feat. Wonder Woman", out of the almost 3 hour movie, it was 15 minutes of BvS, 30 minutes of...spoiler alert...funeral, and the rest was a whole mess of fecesstorm. LL casting sucked, the "reworks" on the story sucked, how LL got into BM head sucked, it was freaking Batman for christ sake. My idea of a good movie is one that I have to watch in a single seating, this one, made me sleepy, made me call it a night and continued the next day... yeah, that. I'm not a Marvel fan btw. And I have friends who are comic book geeks that love Batman and Superman and everything DC, and they hated the movie.

Sure, it made a huge amount of money on the box office, because out of the 15 minutes of action in the whole movie they showed one whole minute of fight scenes and explosions in the trailers. It's called over-hyping.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
And he is right to an extent. I for one though don't care what Rotten Tomatoes says. I will watch the movie and find out for myself.

I personally think the overstock of movies are giving too big a selection. This large catalog of cultures is whats killing cultures by making each one smaller and smaller as the years go by.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
There is much truth to this.
These new millennial 'entitled' critics judge movies based on make believe criteria and personal standards.
One example is Armageddon. Many of the young reviewers use the word 'cliché' to describe its generic save the world story line but using word cliché to describe a movie from a different era has no relevance. Anything can be considered 'cliché', I hate that statement. Movies are mostly meant to be entertaining (Armageddon was awesome), very few of them try to push the limits of cinematic boundaries. Too many reviewers sound like whiny kids, if something isn't a spectacle or memorizing experience they review it like its a disappoint.
This goes along with just being a critic in general and the feeling that your godly opinion matters so much.
***** please.
You want to see someone's true character? Give them power.

I could go on and on about how some movies I liked didn't get the best reviews, and other movies that got like a 90% I didn't really enjoy that much. I think reviewers are like sports analysts, they over-analyze.
In the original Jaws, the movie was so great because it teased the monster in bits and built up to a climax at the end. The 2014 Godzilla was the same thing and director Gareth Edwards was highly inspired by this build up approach, but this same exact method got criticized here, but praised in Jaws.

In short its all a bunch of BS, sometimes RT can give you a good idea of how well they pulled the movie off but if a comedy is funny as hell, then it served its purpose. It doesn't have to be the best comedy ever made to meet your glassy standards. Other then Batman V Superman's ridiculous title, me and my girlfriend enjoyed the movie and the universe you can see them trying to establish. It had nice teasers of what will be in Justice League and overall it was pretty good. I think many whiny reviewers wanted to see something exceed the execution of some of the Marvel movies and anything less wouldn't be satisfactory. Sometimes you just got to enjoy/appreciate what your watching, something whiny entitled millennial's have trouble doing, not just in reviewing movies, but life itself.
 
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mojorisin23

TS Booster
If he made a good movie, it would be reflected there. That movie was utter garbage and couple that with the fact that nowadays a movie ticket can cost upwards of $20, it better be worth my money!
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
It's evident that this Ratner guy hasn't considered bribery yet. He should give it a try sometime and find out how effective it can be.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
If he made a good movie, it would be reflected there
If I screw up making a cake and its ugly but it tastes really good, how are you going to rate it?
Some people will rate it very high, others will not.
If a car goes real fast but it looks like sh!t, how are you going to rate it?
Some people will rate it very high, others will not.

There is a lost common ground on what makes a good movie. It doesn't have to be executed perfectly to be enjoyable or even great. Batman V Superman has near a 65% approval rating for average consumers...people liked it overall and it made 900 million. Critics are upset because many aspects of the film could have been done better. The RT's score is based on executional issues but it's pretty obvious people enjoyed it.
Listen I am not saying BvS should be at a 90%, but its enjoyability score is much higher then its execution score, thing is, which one factors more into your score?
The Fifth Element has a 71%... that movie IMO should be in the 90's.
 
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lumbeeman

TS Enthusiast
There is much truth to this.
These new millennial 'entitled' critics judge movies based on make believe criteria and personal standards...

I could go on and on about how some movies I liked didn't get the best reviews, and other movies that got like a 90% I didn't really enjoy that much. I think reviewers are like sports analysts, they over-analyze.
This 100%. RT most of the time is BS and completely backwards in my opinion.
 
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dirtyferret

TS Evangelist
I think his rotten movies do more harm then rotten tomatoes. His Batman - Superman movie was not very good, I would give it a 5.5 out of 10. If rotten tomatoes is anywhere near that mark then he has nothing to cry about.

I actually use metacritic more often and if I see a movie in green that I would like to see, I read reviews from review sites that I trust.
 
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D

davislane1

"The points system is really killing us. We play for four quarters, that's 60-minutes of blood and sweat, after a grueling season, and millions of dollars in salaries. But then the second half comes around in the big game and all anybody cares about is the score." - The Atlanta Falcons in Hollywood
 

Kotters

TS Maniac
I see a lot of oldies here blaming the ethereal "Millennial"

It is the boogieman behind everything they dislike, it seems.
 

Mr Dude

TS Enthusiast
While I didn't care much for BvS, I do agree that Rotten Tomatos should go the way of the dinosaur.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Warcraft movie and while the Assassin's Creed one wasn't brilliant, it was also a good watch for me. Both movies scored abysmally on Rotten Tomatoes.

There's a number of core flaws to the way the Rotten Tomatoes work, the first of which being that their rating is treated as gospel. The second of which being that they're all self-important pricks.

Sorry, I got side-tracked. The issue with it is that Rotten Tomatoes rate movies as movie reviewers... for the taste of movie reviewers. Read any review and they'll go on about how the movie fails on the art of cinematography, due to a countless number of artistic/stylish/writing sins that nobody cares nor notices. Like how a food critic's might trash your favorite pub for, in this case, not being a silent french noir movie. In the case of any game-to-film, that's a 50% cut, right off the bat. Because it's just simply uncool.

People vary greatly in tastes and movies is one such regard. People could film the best movie ever, in technical terms, and people could still find it as charming as a wall of bricks. Ratner's not the best director, but he's not wrong that the score in Rotten Tomatoes a movie does not make.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
There is much truth to this.
These new millennial 'entitled' critics judge movies based on make believe criteria and personal standards.
One example is Armageddon. Many of the young reviewers use the word 'cliché' to describe its generic save the world story line but using word cliché to describe a movie from a different era has no relevance. Anything can be considered 'cliché', I hate that statement. Movies are mostly meant to be entertaining (Armageddon was awesome), very few of them try to push the limits of cinematic boundaries. Too many reviewers sound like whiny kids, if something isn't a spectacle or memorizing experience they review it like its a disappoint.
This goes along with just being a critic in general and the feeling that your godly opinion matters so much.
***** please.
You want to see someone's true character? Give them power.

I could go on and on about how some movies I liked didn't get the best reviews, and other movies that got like a 90% I didn't really enjoy that much. I think reviewers are like sports analysts, they over-analyze.
In the original Jaws, the movie was so great because it teased the monster in bits and built up to a climax at the end. The 2014 Godzilla was the same thing and director Gareth Edwards was highly inspired by this build up approach, but this same exact method got criticized here, but praised in Jaws.

In short its all a bunch of BS, sometimes RT can give you a good idea of how well they pulled the movie off but if a comedy is funny as hell, then it served its purpose. It doesn't have to be the best comedy ever made to meet your glassy standards. Other then Batman V Superman's ridiculous title, me and my girlfriend enjoyed the movie and the universe you can see them trying to establish. It had nice teasers of what will be in Justice League and overall it was pretty good. I think many whiny reviewers wanted to see something exceed the execution of some of the Marvel movies and anything less wouldn't be satisfactory. Sometimes you just got to enjoy/appreciate what your watching, something whiny entitled millennial's have trouble doing, not just in reviewing movies, but life itself.
Armageddon was *****ic in every way and it wasn't even that entertaining as a strictly "popcorn" movie. What do millennials have to do with THAT stinker? Most of them have never heard of it.
 
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amstech

IT Overlord
Armageddon was *****ic in every way and it wasn't even that entertaining as a strictly "popcorn" movie.
To each his own, that's what makes the world go round. (y)

What do millennials have to do with THAT stinker? Most of them have never heard of it.
I thought you were trying to argue my points not help them, but thanks.
The 90's were a different time for sure, (VHS rewinding anybody) but many big budget popcorn movies didn't have brains. Some did, like Terminator 2 and Twister. But mostly it was to entertain, not make the greatest movies ever made.

http://www.clipd.com/movies/30000/15-great-movies-that-scored-terribly-on-rotten-tomatoes/
Top Gun and Hook are great movies IMO, and its not just a 'thing of my time' take on it.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Art is, by its very nature, subjective... therefore, any one person's opinions on a movie are simply that - their opinion.

In order to use a review site properly, you must first understand your own tastes and find out if they correspond with the specific site (or person) who reviews the movie. I miss Siskel and Ebert, as their tastes tended to coincide with mine more often than not...

If you are someone who requires a consistent plot, character build-up and good acting, then choosing Batman v Superman is probably a waste of your time...

If, on the other hand, you go to the movies simply to escape reality and just want to see superheroes smashing each other... Perhaps this IS the movie for you... I was annoyed by Batman V Superman mostly because Luthor's entire plot hinged on the complete id1ocy of Batman.... I mean, isn't he supposed to be the smartest superhero in the world?!?!!

Anyways, to each their own... Rotten Tomatoes, by it's very nature, is an aggregate and therefore tends to portray what the majority of people think of a film... if you're someone who tends to disagree with this majority, then this site isn't for you...
 
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fps4ever

TS Evangelist
I've read some of Rotten Tomato's scores and reviews. He has a point. There should be a minimum IQ level to be able to post on that website and give a score.
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I've read some of Rotten Tomato's scores and reviews. He has a point. There should be a minimum IQ level to be able to post on that website and give a score.
lol.... the problem is, people are generally not that bright...

Think of someone you know who is of "average intelligence"... they're pretty dumb, aren't they? Now... realize that half of the world is DUMBER than that person.... scary, isn't it!
 
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Stiqy

TS Booster
I thoroughly enjoyed the Warcraft movie and while the Assassin's Creed one wasn't brilliant, it was also a good watch for me. Both movies scored abysmally on Rotten Tomatoes.

.
Both of those movies were bad. Rotten tomatoes has the "popular opinion" score visible right there with their own score. Anyone who wants to see if a movie is poular or not can see it clearly. But critically, those movies are garbage and deserve their rotten criticall scores. So does BvS. RT shows the critics score, and the viewer score.. so what's the complaint?