Screw Rotten Tomatoes!
We all know the feeling. A movie you’ve been looking forward to for months is about to hit theaters. Then, the reviews start coming in. It’s official: the film is a total flop. One critic after another warns you how much it’s going to suck. Now you’re full of regret for tweeting incessantly about each new trailer, for telling everyone about your excitement for this flick.
You go see the movie anyway. Because of the stigma you decide to not check in on Facebook. The film starts to roll. Bit by bit your disappointment is overtaken by excitement. You’re really enjoying the movie after all?—?like, a lot. As you’re leaving the theater you ask yourself the eternal question: Should I broadcast my feelings on social media?
I’m here to tell you that yes, you can disagree with the critics and haters and post about your love of the film. You don’t need permission from anyone to like a bad movie, and you should feel totally free to tell the world exactly how you feel.
People are allowed to have different opinions, especially when it comes to entertainment.
I’m going to say it: I liked “Suicide Squad.” I’m very much aware of the fact that critics far and wide hated it. You know what else? I also liked “Divergent: Allegiant,” despite its 13% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, I didn’t enjoy it as much as “Insurgent” (which also didn’t get very good reviews), but still. I enjoyed these critically-panned films, and I’m not ashamed to say it!
Don’t agree with me? That’s totally fine. Just because we don’t share the same opinion doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. I’m not going to shame you for your cinematic preferences, and hopefully you won’t shame me for mine, either.
It’s a movie reviewer’s job to over-analyze movies. By nature they’re watching the film with different intentions than you or I are, and they’re expecting different things from it.
Critics get paid to scrutinize movies. They aren’t at the theater to have a good time. They’re looking for plot holes, opportunities for improvement, etc. For a professional critic, seeing a movie is work, and they’re expected to deliver a review that’s more than just a thumbs up or thumbs down.
Normal moviegoers like you and me typically want to see a movie that we find enjoyable. Depending on your preferences, you might want to laugh or you might want to cry. You might just want to escape to another world for two hours.
For a critic, seeing a movie is just another day on the job. For the rest of us, going to the cinema is a night out. It’s an event, something we look forward to.
When a new film is on trend, every critic wants to add their two cents.
That’s because their readers are going to expect a review about it. So a critic may be obligated to write about a popular new film despite the fact that it may be from a genre they don’t particularly enjoy.
Consider this: If you’ve ever hesitated to express enjoyment about a critically-panned film, imagine how hesitant an actual critic is. It can be difficult to go against the grain, and I can only imagine it would be career suicide for a critic to admit that he or she loved “Suicide Squad.”
Screenings often don’t take place in premium theaters, which can affect the overall experience?—?especially for films heavy in special effects.
Hear me out on this one! For the most part, when someone goes to an advance screening of a film, it likely isn’t on a large format screen at a top quality theater. I’ve been a guest at a few advance screenings and they’re usually in smallish theaters, or special screening rooms in office buildings. Can you imagine watching “Avatar” in an office building?
What’s more, a lot of critics will get copies of the film on Blu-ray to view at home, or even just a link to download a file that they can watch on their computer.
Particularly with big budget, effects-heavy movies, your environment often heightens the experience. It’s not just IMAX screens or the latest 3D technology that amplifies the drama; it’s being surrounded by dozens or hundreds of other fans who will cheer and laugh along with you. Obviously this can’t compare to watching a movie alone on your laptop.
Bottom line: Critics are describing their own experience in their review, which may be completely different than yours.
Don’t let a review on Rotten Tomatoes stop you from going to a movie you think you’ll enjoy, and don’t shy away from shouting your love of it from the rooftops.
There have been rumblings about “Rogue One,” the upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff. But no matter what the reviews say, I’ll definitely see it in theaters on opening weekend. A lot of us will. We may like it, we may not. But one thing is for sure: each of us who sees it will be entitled to our own opinion.
So I say, screw the critics. Screw Rotten Tomatoes. You don’t need a professional’s permission to like a movie?—?or anyone else’s for that matter.