Rotten Tomatoes is a useful tool for movie fans, and provides a convenient aggregation of critic’s reviews that makes it easier to decide which movies to watch. However, like all criticism of art, it isn’t perfect, and many viewers find that some of their favorite films slip through the cracks.
Whether it was goofy spoof movies like Spaceballs or high-concept thrillers like The Village, many movies don’t receive the best treatment by critics at large. Users on Reddit took to the site to discuss some of the films that they thought deserved a second look despite their poor Rotten Tomatoes scores.
The Village (2004)
Some directors are hit-and-miss when it comes to their critical reception, and yet they still have a rather large audience of fans. User Shakespearskid defended a particular film when they wrote “The Village by M. Night Shyamalan. 43% on RT but I bloody love that film.”
Even though a large portion of his catalog has been run through by the critics, director M. Night Shyamalan still typically cleans up at the box office. As for The Village, it came at a time in his career where his act was beginning to wear thin, and many critics were mixed on his films. Because of its stellar cast and creepy location, some viewers are apt to look back fondly on his twist-ladder thriller.
In The Land Of Blood And Honey (2011)
Some films are notable critical failures, while others manage to slip through the cracks and go by without barely being noticed. User SuarezBitMyFinger recollected such a film when they commented “In The Land of Blood and HoneyAngelina Jolie’s take on the Bosnian war, which received a 57% from critics, but I actually really enjoyed it and thought it was very artistic and heartbreaking”.
Capturing any historical event on film is difficult, and recent events also tend to be even harder to capture. Jolie’s stab at the Balkans conflict was met with mild attention from critics, largely because of its misguided nature. The concept is a fascinating premise for a film, but most weren’t interested in seeing an American take on such a tragic piece of history.
Running Scared (2006)
Certain genres leave critics perplexed, and action films especially tend to divide critics on their merits. User NegativePiglet8 pointed out one such action film when they wrote “Running Scared (2006) has a 41% on RT, but its a fun, stylish action film that gets pretty creative with its camera.”
Running Scared is a perfect example of a “rotten” thriller that scored well on IMDb, and it showed that critics weren’t exactly sure how to approach it. Cinematically speaking, the film was a fun ride that stood well on its creative merits. However, because of its sillier premise, it turned certain critics off who typically scoff at ‘action schlock’.
Movie 43 (2012)
Comedy is a divisive subject, and what one portion of the audience finds funny, another may not. User SpanosIsBlackAjah mentioned one of the most divisive comedies when they said “Movie 43 is considered by some one of the worst movies of all time. It’s Rotten Tomatoes is 5% but I swear it is one of the funniest movies I have seen.”
Notorious doesn’t even begin to describe Movie 43, and it had audiences and critics scratching their heads upon its release. Despite being a terrible film, it had an all star cast that couldn’t help save it from its own strange sense of humor. Like all films though, Movie 43 had its fans, even if most critics weren’t among them.
Viewers can sometimes form a personal connection to films because they touch on shared experiences between characters and audience members. User ericdraven26 pointed out a specific example when they wrote “Waiting… got a 30% critic on RT, but if you’ve ever worked food service, you need to see it”.
Films often capture exciting new worlds, and things that are unfamiliar to audience members, but workplace comedies like Waiting… bring things more close to home. For many fans of the film, it perfectly captures the food service experience, and brings it to life with a heightened sense of humor. For critics though, films like Waiting… can be a turn off because of their somewhat juvenile jokes, and over the top characters.
Mystery Men (1999)
Some films aren’t necessarily panned, but fans believe that middling reviews are not enough to represent its quality. User Beauregard_Nanners came to the defense of a film when they commentedMystery Men – this has a 61% critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but I’m still listing it because…I think it’s genuinely hilarious and hella slip on”.
Like a sign of things to come, Mystery Men was a hilarious parody of the superhero genre. While it only gets funnier with time, it was initially dismissed as a forgettable popcorn flick. With the benefit of hindsight however, it has become clear that the movie is actually poking fun at the blockbuster movies it was being lumped in with.
The Beach (2000)
Occasionally, a film can have everything going for it and yet it still misses the mark when it comes time to be reviewed by critics. User SamURLJackson defended a film they loved when they said “The Beach (2000) has a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, lower than The room…It’s a very entertaining film that I’ve probably seen four or five times”.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Danny Boyle, The Beach It seemed like a perfect storm of success and yet it still managed to falter. While it isn’t a terrible film, it suffered from great expectations and failed to live up to its possibilities. Ultimately though, it did enough things right to still be fondly remembered by those who saw it when it was first released.
The 1980s was a decade dominated by gigantic movie franchises, and it was a bold move to take a swipe at them at their peak. User felixjmorgan pointed out a poorly reviewsspoof, writing “Spaceballs has 57% and is a dumb but hilariously fun sci-fi parody by one of the greatest comedians of all time”.
Making several spoof films in his career, legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks took aim at the sci-fi genre in Spaceballs. With his trademark mix of genuinely clever, and unflinchingly juvenile humor, Brooks was at his best in the movie. Though it wasn’t well received, the film is still considered one of Brooks’ best films.
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
Some directors are instantly recognizable simply through their filmmaking style, and that is often hit-or-miss with critics. User felixjmorgan defended a great director when they wrote “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is not Wes Anderson’s best but I really don’t think it’s his worst either. It’s a funny and charming film with an amazing cast and beautiful cinematography, but it only has a 56% on RT”.
Hyper-stylized films like Life Aquatic can often be very divisive with critics and audiences alike, but director Wes Anderson often makes up for it with a great story and characters. Tone was ultimately the biggest killer for the film, and many critics couldn’t reconcile the film’s shift from bright comedy to dark drama on such short notice.
Josie And The Pussycats (2001)
Some films seem doomed to critical failure from the outset, just based on their premise alone. User BeamesonFilm was dismissive of critical reaction when they said “Josie and the Pussycats. I don’t know what the Rotten Tomatoes score is (and I don’t care), but it was a commercial failure and…dismissed by critics. But it’s actually genius”.
Critics usually take the art of film very seriously, and that can often blind them to films that are just made to entertain. Obviously, adapting an antiquated cartoon into a feature film isn’t going to produce the next Citizen Kane, but it could still have merit. Ultimately, a film’s main goal is to entertain, and if it succeeds at that mission, critical opinions seem less important to the people that love it.
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