Director Brett Ratner slams Rotten Tomatoes

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer
27% Fresh – Credit: Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes or sour grapes?

It looks as though Brett Ratner isn’t a fan of review aggregate websites, as he launches a scathing attack on Rotten Tomatoes, claiming it’s ‘the worst thing we have in today’s movie culture’.

But Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t exactly been kind to him.

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Appearing at the Sun Valley Film Festival (via Entertainment Weekly), Brett Ratner wanted to make it clear – he appreciates traditional film criticism. But Rotten Tomatoes is just a step too far.

“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” explained Ratner. “I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore.”

His problem? It seems he’s not a fan of those Tomatometer scores.

40% directorial average – Credit: WENN

Clearly, he’s not happy with the way Rotten Tomatoes boils down hundreds of critical reviews into a simple aggregate score. And while it may be a good indicator for film fans, Ratner believes it often misrepresents the quality of a film.

“Now it’s about a number,” he said. “A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”

It’s worth pointing out that his beef with the ‘Batman V Superman’ score is likely in part due to the fact that his own production company, RatPac Entertainment, co-financed ‘Batman V Superman’ along with dozens of other Warner Bros. titles.

So he’s not exactly unbiased.

It gets worse when you look at Ratners directorial efforts:

  • Money Talks: 13%
  • Rush Hour: 60%
  • Family Man: 53%
  • Rush Hour 2: 52%
  • Red Dragon: 69%
  • After the Sunset: 18%
  • X-Men: The Last Stand: 58%
  • Rush Hour 3: 18%
  • New York, I Love You: 36%
  • Tower Heist: 67%
  • Movie 43: 4%
  • Hercules: 40%

As you can see, Brett Ratner’s movies haven’t exactly done well over at Rotten Tomatoes. Particularly when you realise that the minimum score for a ‘Certified Fresh’ rating stands at 60%. That means only three of his twelve movies have been up to scratch.

But does he still have a point?

I have to admit, I agree with him… to some extent. It’s easy to see how Rotten Tomatoes and the like can get it really, very wrong. Just look at the recent ‘Iron Fist’ debacle, with the show managing a dismal 18% fresh rating. And yet, it’s just been revealed to be Marvel’s second most popular Netflix show, with an audience approval rating of 83%.

Not as bad as critics thought – Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Quite a difference.

Still, the scores aren’t the be all and end all. Rotten Tomatoes does provide a way for users to find critics whose opinions and preferences may be similar to their own. And it’s a great way of sifting through the reviews for a particular movie.

Perhaps just don’t believe everything you read.

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