In the days before the internet, word of mouth traveled slowly. When a new film came out, if no one in your immediate circle of friends went to see it before you, you had to rely on critics to gauge whether a film was worth spending your money on. Needless to say, I saw a lot of terrible movies. Then I found the great Roger Ebert, a man who, while he had artistic sensibilities, had a common man’s taste for what was good and bad in cinema. If Ebert gave a film a thumbs up, I almost always found it at least OK, and usually good.
Today, for me, Cinemascore is often more accurate than any critic. Recently, critics seem to be going farther and father off the rails. Today, I decided to spend a few minutes looking at all recent movie and TV reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, specifically looking for films and series where the critic’s scores significantly differed from the audience scores. These films can be divided into two groups. In this post, I’m going to look at the films the critics hated.
Rambo: Last Blood
Critics 27%, Audience 82%. Critics don’t like violence (except when they do).
Here are a couple of the critics comments: Racist in addition to being offensive in its sadism. [It] is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement speech.
Here is one of the audience comments: This movie was great fantastic. There has been a lot of hate due to the violent nature of the movie but honestly you should have expected that with a movie titled RAMBO. If you are not a fan of the series up until this point you probably won’t like this one either but those of us that grew up watching and loving these movies now have a great send off to one of the greatest action heroes and one of the last of his kind.
The Lion King
Critics: 53%, Audience: 88%. Critics don’t like groundbreaking CG.
Critic: Where the animated original had an endearingly cheery anthropomorphism, with wide eyes and cute expressions, this lacks that. You’re marveling at the beauty of the animals, but it just doesn’t work with the material.
Audience: I never got the hate for The Lion King remake. I think it kept in what should have been kept in, it made a couple of neat changes, and all the while having some of the greatest advancements in visual effects that I’ve ever seen.
Angel Has Fallen
Critics: 39%, Audience: 93%. Critics don’t like action movies.
Critic: It’s a throwback piece of entertainment, but in the way it evaporates as soon as it ends, it’s also a throwaway. By the time it’s over, it’s already fallen from your memory.
Audience: Ignore the critics… it’s a good ride. Good cameo from Nick Nolte. It won’t win any awards but it’s great entertainment—solid plot, watchable characters and LOTS of action!
Critics: 57%, Audience: 94%. Critics don’t like remakes.
Critic: The new telling brings little that feels essential, and the missing elements-chiefly, the controlled chaos and unbridled comedy of the late Robin Williams’ vocal performance-have given the film’s candy-colored visual palate a homesick pall.
Audience: One of the best live action remakes Disney has done to date, definitely comes close to the original. Will Smith shines as the genie 🧞♂️ with all the great classic musical numbers. Naomi Scott is also radiant with her song “Speechless”, which wasn’t in the original but fits perfectly in this remake. Fun for the whole family from start to finish.
Malificent: Mistress of Evil
Critics: 40%, Audience: 95%. Critics don’t like reimaginings either.
Critic: Further attempts to subvert the original Sleeping Beauty only manage to further sideline Maleficent in her own story, giving the whole enterprise an appropriately soporific quality.
Audience: This finishes the rewrite of the story. Very good. If you enjoyed the last movie, this one is even better. As I always say don’t listen to the so called professional critics most have forgotten that this is entertainment. Go see it you will live it.
The Addams Family
Critics: 41%, Audience: 70%. Critics want edgy family movies.
Critic: They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and all together ooky. They’re not bland, toothless, cuddly or conformist. Yet as reimagined for this new animated effort, they’re about as edgy as Strawberry Shortcake or The Care Bears.
Audience: I saw the Addams family opening weekend. My family and I really enjoyed it. It was simple and it did not deviate far from other incarnations before it. The overall story was a bit trite but the movie was charming and a good watch for families that like the Addams Family. I was surprised and happy that there were really no inuendos/adult humor. Also, I was glad to see there was a lack of a political agenda that has marred many film franchises recently.
Critics: 25%, Audience: 85%. Critics hate high frame rate.
Critic: Obviously, the dire dialogue doesn’t help, but what blunts Smith’s performance and makes the film itself hell to watch is the innovative, ultra-high-frame-rate which renders actors, objects and even the air somehow flimsy and weird and fake.
Audience: If you go to the movies to be entertained and you know how to check your brain at the door, then you should see this movie. very entertaining, Will Smith did an incredible job playing both roles and while the storyline may not have been believable or very strong, everyone involved did a great job. The fight scenes between Smith and his younger self were seamless and looked very real. I really enjoyed this movie for what it brought to the table.