Hearing out the film critics

film critics conversation bubbles

When it comes to the movies, many people tend to shun film critics. Instead they may look straight to a five-star rating or a good or bad conclusion and avoid hearing out what the critics have to say.

The beauty of individuality is we all see things differently and have a unique perspective

If you do read a review, particularly of a film you enjoy, you may find yourself being annoyed if that review shines a negative light on the film or says something about it you fundamentally disagree with. From my perspective, it’s better to engage with both the good and the bad of film critics and let them not just inform your opinion, but inform your viewing.

The beauty of individuality is we all see things differently and have a unique perspective. If you consider that these perspectives are neither right nor wrong, but are offering something insightful regarding a film, which you may have missed or happen to notice on a second viewing, then ultimately, it’s enhancing your experience.

An informed opinion is a good opinion

Friends at the cinema discuss the film.Those who don’t really take notice of film reviews will often ask friends their opinion. But why would that, often amateur consideration be considered more informed than a critic who is professionally employed to offer an expert view? You may ask a friend because you have many things in common, but that doesn’t mean to say that they will connect with a film in the same way you might.

So, by dismissing a review, you could be missing out on something you enjoy. Why not let a review, good or bad, drive your enthusiasm to offer your own opinion?

Rotten Tomatoes

In recent years, there was an incident involving the website Rotten Tomatoes, which temporarily shut down after film fans complained of scathing reviews related to the Suicide Squad movie.

I like Rotten Tomatoes and was disappointed when it was taken offline, and equally concerned about free speech. I’d not seen Suicide Squad at the time, nor was it a film on my must-see list, so at the time I was unsure if the reservations were unduly fair or not, nor would they define my opinion.

However, I did know about some issue’s concerning rival comic labels Marvel and DC and some very serious incidents in America surrounding the Christopher Nolan Batman films, although I would contend it is debatable whether such incidents involved film fans.

Opinion word cloudEither way, this incident with Rotten Tomatoes was rooted, overall, in a passion comic book fans had for their films and felt the website was hyping one label and undervaluing another.

For me, this isn’t the case. I feel the structure of the website and its aggregated score can create an unfair percentage attributed to a film, but more importantly the blurred distinction between Ripe and Rotten, leads many film critics, who may have enjoyed the film but had mixed feeling about it overall, to score a more rotten than ripe tomato as there’s no in-between.

I think that’s why I like the website, because analytically it’s showing you people left the theatre with no major problems with the film when it’s ripe and if it’s at 35-65 % it’s clearly divisive, making it even more interesting.

Be informed

Unless we have access to informed debate or review, we are left to look aimlessly at cinema listings and posters

So the uncertainty can lend itself to the allure of seeing something some critics hate and some like.  There’s also the occasional 10% or lower…even 0%, again this can prove divisive as audience opinions can in contrast quite positive. (I’ll be writing more about 0% ratings in a future posting.)

Overall, unless we have access to informed debate or review, we are left to look aimlessly at cinema listings and posters or scrolling through Netflix to check descriptions and titles alone, when we could be informed by film critics who offered a positive or negative review, but who nonetheless engaged our interest in a film and motivated us to seek out our own opinion.


  1. I spent 10 years in Canada and the city of Vancouver; I’d lived a portion of my life here before and I’d left and sort of disappeared for a decade and then I came back (I was there so long that I’ve forgotten who I was before). All those little things you take for granted that annoy you like waiting for the cross walk to bleep you across, not trusting any of the oncoming cars to stop, or paying for your bus fare with dollars not tickets – suddenly stop.

    I’ve always enjoyed cinema and film and wanted more than to just discuss film. I wanted or want to start my life again and make or earn peace with the past and embrace the future. This was my attempt to start over.


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