What makes a movie good or bad? For some, it’s their personal enjoyment of the film. Others will wait for reviews to come out before deciding whether something is worth watching.
That’s why we turn to Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator uses its Tomatometer to help us understand what the critics are saying about a movie — and whether the audience feels differently. But Rotten Tomatoes scores can be fickle things.
Recently we saw Citizen Kane, a film considered as an absolute classic by Hollywood, lose its 100% fresh rating due to an old negative review that was unearthed. This now puts a number of 100% fresh films rated above Citizen Kane, including Paddington 2.
However, reviews aren’t everything. This got us thinking about movies that are considered bad by critics on Rotten Tomatoes but loved by audiences.
For a movie to be considered bad on Rotten Tomatoes it needs to get less than 60%. Here are some popular films with fans that didn’t earn fresh status.
Space Jam – 43%
While it’s no slam dunk, Space Jam’s silly, Looney Toons-laden slapstick and vivid animation will leave younger viewers satisfied — though accompanying adults may be more annoyed than entertained. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 63%
Looney Tunes and basketball players? What could go wrong? Space Jam was beloved by audiences but still couldn’t crack that fresh rating. And 25 years later we’re getting a sequel with Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is a tribute to its cult status.
Venom – 29%
Venom’s first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways — chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 81%
Look, Venom can’t hold a candle to a lot of the superhero movies these days, but that didn’t stop it from being popular. It made $US855 million at the box office, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2018.
It’s also getting a highly anticipated sequel (hopefully) later this year, so there’s a chance for it to improve on some of its criticisms.
Step Brothers – 55%
Step Brothers indulges in a cheerfully relentless immaturity that will quickly turn off viewers unamused by Ferrell and Reilly — and delight those who find their antics hilarious. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 69%
Look, you know what you’re signing up for when you watch a film like Step Brothers and it does exactly what it sets out to do. Unfortunately, it got panned for doing so.
National Treasure – 46%
National Treasure is no treasure, but it’s a fun ride for those who can forgive its highly improbable plot. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 76%
Say what you will but National Treasure is an absolute classic movie and one of Nicolas Cage’s finest works. It was Indiana Jones for a new generation and most of us remember it very fondly.
Disney also clearly thinks so with a new National Treasure TV series in the works.
Hocus Pocus – 38%
Harmlessly hokey yet never much more than mediocre, Hocus Pocus is a muddled family-friendly effort that fails to live up to the talents of its impressive cast. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 71%
It’s sad to think that movies can’t be fun and rated well at the same time, but that’s what happened to Hocus Pocus.
The Room – 23%
A bona fide classic of midnight cinema, Tommy Wiseau’s misguided masterpiece subverts the rules of filmmaking with a boundless enthusiasm that renders such mundanities as acting, screenwriting, and cinematography utterly irrelevant. You will never see a football the same way again. – Critics’ consensus.
Audience score: 47%
The Room is not a good movie by any standards, but it is loved by audiences for just how bad it is. Cinemas around the world now hold special screenings of The Room that are consistently packed out by fans. It even has an Oscar-nominated biographical film (The Disaster Artist) about the making of the film, which just goes to show the impact of its cult status.
What do you think? Did the critics get it right or do these films deserve to be rated higher?