Rotten Tomatoes


Well-known Member
Can anyone explain why (on average) the User Review Rating for a film is double or at least always higher than the Critics Review Rating on Rotten Tomatoes?

Critics jobs are to review films to give the general public the ability to make an informed decision before they spend their money on either a trip to the cinema or buying a dvd/blu ray. Yet it seems that their 'professional opinions' rarely represent that of the public at large.

I guess the problem is that when you review films for a living your overall standards are more stringent than the average punter as your 'palette' develops over more and more viewings. I guess a bit like a Wine taster or Food Critic.

At what point does a critic become too critical to have any real benefit to the very people that listen to them?

I have used Rotten Tomatoes merely as an example to put my point across.

I'm not a particular fan of 'critics' anyway. I prefer to make my own mind up which films i watch. Or if I'm not sure i check USER reviews on the net first. Some of my most favourite films are those which have been critically panned.



Well-known Member
i think the reviewiers on rotten tomatoes give everything as low a mark as they can get away with, to keep up the theme of the site. Wouldn't be much point to a site called "rotten tomatoes" if they liked most of the films..


Well-known Member
surely the site name is just ironic rather than being to represent its overall objectives?


Distinguished Member
At what point does a critic become too critical to have any real benefit to the very people that listen to them?
Its once they start taking into consideration their egos and political ideologies is when reviews go wrong.

Roger Ebert is probably my favourite critic, but the Kick-Ass (2010) review was a shamble. He rated it 1 star because he was offended by the 12 year old girl swearing and killing people.
The problem with Ebert is his too sensitive with a lot of subjects, for example in Assassination of jesse james (2007) reviews (best 07 film), he wasn't very fond of the homosexual theme.

To answer your question, The people who read review usually tend to have the same (or at least similar) taste in movies as he does. Therefore they value his opinion.
I often stick to Empire and Ebert as we always tend to like the same films, hence why I don't bother reading other online reviews anymore.
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Active Member
Rotten Tomatoes is the first place I go to for reviews but I take it all with a pinch of salt.
I often switch to the Critics Review, I value it more than the User Review Rating. The User Review Rating is more similar to going to a movie forum: its harder to "to separate the wheat from the chaff".
I often think Critics are missing the point but it's just a starting place or after I've seen the film it can be a place to laugh at their views.
I finf I still need a starting place - as I can't go and see every film.


Active Member
I tend to stick with Empire as I know from experience that I agree with a lot of their reviews. Having said that some of my favourite movies only got mediocre reviews so I guess as it's all a matter of opinion then it should all be taken wih a pinch of salt.
Generally I use the reviews to narrow down the list of films I want to see and then I tend to prioritise based on my preferences because I know what I like.
Oh and I also listen to the Mark Kermode/Simon Mayo podcast every week as, although I don't always agree with his opinions, he does give a good feel for the movie in question.


Standard Member
i think imdb suffers from the same thing. people tend to mark things they love as 10 and things they hate as 1.

fanboys or haters:)


Distinguished Member
It's a tough one, and whilst quite often I agree with critics, there's some notable discrepancies, so I'll always make up my own mind. I've never forgiven the critics after being fooled into watching There Will Be Boredom.

I Am Custard

Well-known Member
I always watch and make my own mind up. I read empire every month and respect them greatly for there reviews. But I believe it can only be advice not the end of all opinion.

I often dislike films they rate very highly, but that is down to my personal taste (very hard to please).

I use the reviews score as a starting point and try to judge accordingly.

But has been said, what does it matter what someone else feels about a flick anyway?

I loved Inception but hated Mr Nobody, there I said it out loud!! (feels good to have that off my chest)


Well-known Member
Warner Bros has acquired movie discovery service Flixster, which owns film review website Rotten Tomatoes, this reported in the Guardian May 2011.

This may make them less than unbiased perhaps, or am I being overly cynical ?

I tend to read R.T. to find out what is 'hot' but will be a little more guarded now. I know its meant to be an average score of reviews but the cynic in me is a little weary now.

I wondered if this had been discussed on AVForums before, but this seems to be the only self-titled thread, so despite how old it is, it seems appropriate to resurrect it to add this context.

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
It's a tough one, and whilst quite often I agree with critics, there's some notable discrepancies, so I'll always make up my own mind. I've never forgiven the critics after being fooled into watching There Will Be Boredom.
Totally agree with you there! :D

The acting is great (Danny Day-Lewis is fantastic). The PQ is great. The film is...:boring:

Clock-watching central is one description I would use. I can see how some people would like it though. Thin Red Line fans maybe ;)

Assassination of Jesse James was another one I was looking forward to and ended up being disappointed. Bit of a snooze-fest too.


Distinguished Member
It won't make any difference to me. I tend to read reviews to reinforce a decision to watch a film I would have anyway.


Distinguished Member
I think you need to read film critics like this in the right way.

It's not whether they think something is good or bad, but why they think it's good or bad.

I will often watch a film that a critic has panned because I have enough information from his/her review to make up my own mind.

If you go to a critic expecting them to make your mind up for you, then you've got it wrong, not the critic.

The other thing to remember is that there's a difference between giving on objective judgement on a film's qualities and offering a subjective opinion.

Steve W


Well-known Member
i normally just read down the bubble summaries, reading equal tomatoes (good) and splats (bad) reviews to get an idea.
sometimes it better to go see one being panned. i've been disappointed by some rating 90% and over


Well-known Member
I think the trouble is a lot of people see a high rating (say 90%+) and think it's going to be a great film. All it means is that it was a good film and was probably enjoyed by a wide range of critics. It's therefore safe to say that it will appeal to a wide range of people and most will find it a good watch, but there's no guarantee it will be anything more than a decent well made film.


Distinguished Member
It's when you say that you didn't really like something, but then some arse goes
"Well, you can't be right, because it has 90% on RT!"


I'm quite hesitant about seeing these films that are critically acclaimed from the start. 'Acclaimed' seems to be an alternate term for 'pretentious nonsense'.

The last one I burnt my hands on, was Submarine.
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