Is Rotten Tomatoes Fair?

I am about to see the new DC movie Suicide Squad and I hear the early Critics Consensus is very negative. People are emotional about the movies they like and don’t understand how a movie can be Rotten or Fresh according to the website.

Rotten Tomatoes is a website launched in August 1998 devoted to film reviews and news; it is widely known as a film review aggregator. Coverage now includes TV content as well. The name derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance. The company was created by Senh Duong and since January 2010 has been owned by Flixster, which itself was acquired in 2011 by Warner Bros. In February 2016, it along with its parent site Flixster was sold to Comcast’s Fandango. Warner Bros. retained a minority stake in the merged entities, including Fandango.

Tomatometer critic aggregate score

Rotten Tomatoes staff first collect online reviews from writers who are certified members of various writing guilds or film critic associations. To be accepted as a critic on the website, a critic’s original reviews must garner a specific number of “likes” from users. Those classified as “Top Critics” generally write for major newspapers. The staff determine for each review whether it is positive (“fresh”, marked by a small icon of a red tomato) or negative (“rotten”, marked by a small icon of a green splattered tomato). (Staff assessment is needed as some reviews are qualitative rather than numeric in ranking.)

Icon Score Description
Certified Fresh 75–100%- Certified Fresh. Wide-release films with a score of 75% or higher
that are reviewed by at least 80 critics, of which 5 are "Top
Critics" are given this seal. The "Certified Fresh" seal
remains until the score drops below 70%. Films with limited releases only
require 40 reviews (including 5 from "Top Critics") to qualify
for this seal.
Fresh Tomatoes 60–74% Fresh. Films with a score of 60% or higher that do not meet the
requirements for the "Certified Fresh" seal.
Rotten Tomatoes 0-59% Rotten. Films with a score of 0-59% receive this seal.

The answer to the question is Rotten Tomatoes Fair? The answer is yes by the system they set up. When a critic makes it clear to Rotten Tomatoes that they liked a movie on a 60 percent or greater scale the movie is fresh by their policy set since 1998. The rating Rotten in most cases is the responsibility of the movie critic or reviewer. So then you have the human element involved with likes and dislikes and the critical ability of the one reviewing the movie. Agree or disagree that is how it is, and it is not the fault of a website that reflects the aggregate score of a film.

For those who say the The critics are prejudice against DC films well below is a list of all the major DC superhero movies. While I don’t quite understand how “Return of the Swamp Thing” has a higher rating than “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” it does not prove a bias against DC Entertainment. All I can say is if you feel that the critics are not trust worthy in what makes a good movie then ignore them and judge for yourself. The good news is that movie makers produce movies that make them money. If the movie does well you will see more of that kind of movie.

The Dark Knight – Year: 2008
Tomatometer: 94%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film,
but as a richly thrilling crime saga.

Superman The Movie – Year: 1978
Tomatometer: 93%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving,
nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.

Superman II – Year: 1981
Tomatometer: 89%
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets,
if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.

The Dark Knight Rises – Year: 2012
Tomatometer: 87%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan’s franchise in spectacular fashion.

Batman Begins – Year: 2005
Tomatometer: 84%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Year: – 1993
Tomatometer: 82%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.

Batman: The Movie – Year: 1966
Tomatometer: 80%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form — and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.

Batman Returns – Year: 1992
Tomatometer: 80%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton’s dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton’s work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.

Superman Returns – Year: 2006
Tomatometer: 76%
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer’s reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.

Batman – Year: 1989
Tomatometer: 72%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson’s Joker too often overshadows the title character.

Watchmen – Year: 2009
Tomatometer: 65%
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.

Swamp Thing – Year: 1982
Tomatometer: 64%
Critics Consensus: Unabashedly campy — often to its detriment — Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.

Man of Steel – Year: 2013
Tomatometer: 55%
Critics Consensus: Exhilarating action and spectacle can’t fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.

Constantine – Year: 2005
Tomatometer: 46%
Critics Consensus: Despite solid production values and an intriguing premise, Constantine lacks the focus of another spiritual shoot-em-up, The Matrix.

Batman Forever Year: 1995
Tomatometer: 40%
Critics Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.

The Return of the Swamp Thing – Year: 1989
Tomatometer: 33%
Critics Consensus: An endurance test even the most forgiving audiences won’t find pleasure in.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Year: 2016
Tomatometer: 27%
Critics Consensus: Smothers a potentially powerful story — and some of America’s most iconic superheroes — in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.

Green Lantern – Year: 2011
Tomatometer: 26%
Critics Consensus: Noisy, overproduced, and thinly written, Green Lantern squanders an impressive budget and decades of comics mythology.

Superman III – Year: 1983
Tomatometer: 26%
Critics Consensus: When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace – Tomatometer: 12%
Critics Consensus: The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.

Steel – Year: 1997
Tomatometer: 12%
Critics Consensus: Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.

Batman and Robin – Year: 1997
Tomatometer: 11%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher’s tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that’s too jokey to care much for.

Catwoman – Year: 2004
Tomatometer: 9%
Critics Consensus: Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can’t save this laughable action thriller.

Supergirl – Year: 1984
Tomatometer: 7%
Critics Consensus: The effects are cheesy and Supergirl‘s wide-eyed, cheery heroine simply isn’t interesting to watch for an hour and a half.

Truth is people go to see movies as an escape from the real world or to be inspired and possible entertained. Memorable movies are thought provoking and stick around as the years go by and are not necessarily critically acclaimed. You can just enjoy what you like and trust those of like mind to tell you about the movies and it’s OK to disagree, it is the American way. On that note we will see you at the movies. 🙂 Walt

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