Director with bad Rotten Tomatoes ratings slams Rotten Tomatoes
a lot of people weren’t fans
Are loving movie reviews and reading their Rotten Tomatoes ratings mutually exclusive? Apparently, according to Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, who recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his hatred of the latter.
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” said Ratner, whose company helped finance the famously panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (he also directed X-Men: The Last Stand — never forget). “I think it’s the destruction of our business."
"Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’" he added later, referring to how movie reception has changed over time. "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.”
Ratner isn’t the first to express his dissatisfaction with Rotten Tomatoes, which scores movies out of 100% based on aggregated reviews from different media outlets. In 2014, Canadian director David Cronenberg said that some of the reviewers featured on the site are "quite stupid and ignorant." A HitFix video tied to Suicide Squad used the film’s negative responses to investigate what goes into a Rotten Tomatoes rating, to determine if the site just had a vendetta against DC Comics (they probably aren’t).
"I have such respect and admiration for film criticism," Ratner told EW. "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."
The reviews themselves do exist and are more abundant than ever. Instead of getting a critique from Kael or another handful of reviewers, movie buffs can now turn to any corner of the internet (including Mashable) for thoughtful, detailed film reviews.
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner said of Dawn of Justice. “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.”
“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," Rotten Tomatoes Vice President Jeff Voris said in a statement to EW. A Rotten Tomatoes score, he explained, should be the impetus for fans to start deeper discussions about the films they’re seeing.