Brett Ratner is no stranger to poorly reviewed films.
Critics haven’t always been kind to the director and producing mogul over the years, who’s helmed films that were met with tepid reception, like X-Men: The Last Stand and The Family Man.
While the Hollywood veteran has plenty of respect for all the pretentious film critics out there, he made it clear that mass-scale movie review aggregators are ruining Hollywood.
Specifically, the Rush Hour filmmaker named review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes as the “destruction” of the movie biz!
Speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival last weekend, the 47-year-old said reducing hundreds of reviews from print and online sources into a bite-sized aggregate score has become a poisonous and even inaccurate method.
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. 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. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ├óΓé¼╦£What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?'”
Ratner, whose company RatPac Entertainment co-financed Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, claimed the superhero movie’s low Rotten Tomatoes score “put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
The 2016 blockbuster was a disappointment with critics, landing a 27 percent on the-site-that-shall-not-be-named. It did gross nearly $900 million worldwide because… Batman v Superman… but with its inflated budget was something of a disappointment for Warner Bros.
Ratner continued to say the popular review site is hurting studios because the almighty Tomatometer is “not always correct.” He added:
“It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ├óΓé¼╦£Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
You know what else is sad? Most of Batman v Superman — which is why most critics hated it! Still, audiences should also make sure to form their own opinions, as some titles have won audiences over despite being panned by the professionals.
Cult classics with low Rotten Tomatoes scores include Wet Hot American Summer (32 percent), Drop Dead Gorgeous (44 percent), Hocus Pocus (30 percent), The First Wives Club (39 percent), and Space Jam (35 percent).
But it looks like Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t necessarily disagree with Ratner’s philosophy. Vice President Jeff Voris responded to the director’s remarks with a statement of his own, telling EW:
“At Rotten Tomatoes, we completely agree that film criticism is valuable and important, and we’re making it easier than it has ever been for fans to access potentially hundreds of professional reviews for a given film or TV show in one place. The Tomatometer score, which is the percentage of positive reviews published by professional critics, has become a useful decision-making tool for fans, but we believe it’s just a starting point for them to begin discussing, debating and sharing their own opinions.”
That’s a fresh thought right there!
Reviews should be a starting point for fans getting a taste for the films that look interesting to them. Because despite getting a fresh RT score of 67 percent, audiences still hated Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist.
Do YOU think Rotten Tomatoes is ruining Hollywood? Cast your votes (below)!