Screen Rant

10 movies from 2021 where critics & audiences completely disagreed.

Critics and audiences aren't always on the same page, and between Eternals and Spiral, that seems more like the case in 2021 than it ever has before.

Critics and audiences aren't always on the same page, and that seems more like the case in 2021 than it ever has before. The year has seen several blockbuster hits that managed to make hundreds of millions of dollars despite being critically scathed.

RELATED:  Adam Sandler & 9 Other Movie Stars That Critics Hate But Audiences Love

For example, Eternals was the very first MCU movie to get a rotten rating and Spiral followed suit with every other Saw movie by being critically panned too, but that didn't stop them from being loved by fans. The following movies have a "rotten" rating but great audiences scores on Rotten Tomatoes .

The Tomorrow War (Critics: 52%/Audience: 77%)

In a world where every streaming service is competing for the most subscribers, each big move from the platforms is like a chess move. Netflix paid Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig $100 million each for two Knives Out sequels, Apple was willing to give Martin Scorsese a $200 million budget for his next movie, and Amazon released a high concept sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt in  The Tomorrow War .

It isn't clear how many new subscribers were drawn in because of the movie, but critics tried their best to sway potential households away from it. With a 52% critic score, they thought that it was one of the most forgettable sci-fi movies in recent memory. But there was enough entertainment, action, and star power that general home viewers enjoyed it, and it has a 77% audience score.

F9 (Critics: 59%/Audience: 82%)

When it comes to critical acclaim, the  Fast and Furious  series actually had a great run. After the first four movies in the series were all rotten, the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth movies are all certified fresh. Unfortunately, the ninth movie ruined that streak, as it has a 59% critic score with many believing  F9  totally jumped the shark .

But the  Fast  series has always been about giving fans exactly what they want, and there has never been any pretense in hiding that fact. So after jokes amongst fans for years about how the franchise will see the crew go into space,  F9  made the joke a reality and audiences ate it up, which led to an 82% audience score.

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (Critics: 37%/Audiences: 75%)

It's hardly a surprise that Spiral has a rotten rating of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, as there isn't a single film in the Saw series that is rated fresh. But funnily enough, Spiral is still rated higher than most other Saw movies. The film promised a return to the franchise's roots by being as much of a crime thriller as a horror, but according to critics, the result is too convoluted and silly.

RELATED:  Saw - 10 Major Events That Led To Spiral

With an audience score of 75% on the other hand, the movie managed to impress viewers, as it still provided fans with a good measure of what they liked about the series in the first place. Fans and newcomers to the series found the movie satisfying and it was a promising start for a fresh new direction for the franchise.

Red Notice (Critics: 35%/Audience: 92%)

The thing about actors in the movie industry today is that they're all about building their brand. Ryan Reynolds is known for playing characters with Ryan Reynolds-like quips, and the same goes for Dwayne Johnson, and that's largely the problem with Red Notice . The movie's 35% critics score comes down to how it isn't engaging and that the bankable on-screen charisma just isn't enough.

But the 92% audience score and the sheer amount of times it has been viewed would say otherwise. In the audience's eyes, it seems like Reynolds, Johnson, and Gal Gadot can do no wrong, as Red Notice has been watched 70 million times .

Holloween Kills (Critics: 41%/Audiences: 66%)

Honestly,  Holloween Kills  is coming off a huge win for the horror series, as the previous film was a massive hit, making over $250 million worldwide, becoming the franchise's highest-grossing movie by far. It was also a success among critics too, as it breathed new life into the series.

Unfortunately, the 2021 sequel botched what could have been a brilliant trilogy (a second sequel to the 2018 reboot,  Halloween Ends , is scheduled for next year.) The new movie has just a 41% critic score, but a 66% audience score. Fans and audiences were more easygoing of the movie and forgiving of its shortfalls, as it still supplies some big moments and thrilling jump scares.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (Critics: 25%/Audiences: 79%)

The sequel,  Space Jam: A New Legacy is full of mesmerizing animation, impressive basketball tricks, and tons of pop culture references and easter eggs. With a 79% audience score, viewers couldn't help but be enthused about the movie when they saw the Mask, Mr. Freeze, and even Alex from A Clockwork Orange cheering on LeBron James.

RELATED:  9 Movies With Franchise Cross-Overs Like Space Jam: A New Legacy

But while general audiences loved all of the references to other movies in the Warner Bros. catalog, the wool can't be pulled over critics' eyes so easily. Movie reviewers saw the sequel for what it mostly is, which is a giant commercial for Warner Bros. and the streaming service HBO Max, and that's largely the reason why it sits at a miserable 25% rotten.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Critics: 59%/Audiences: 84%)

Just like the first Venom , the sequel is unapologetically fun and it isn't exactly trying to woo the critics. However, unlike its predecessor, Let There Be Carnage is teetering on the edge of being fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is so almost fresh with a score of 59%, but a lot of critics still couldn't get on board with the iffy visual effects and dumb fun.

The critical consensus didn't keep general audiences from loving it though, as the movie has an audience score of 84% and they loved the added layers too. Not only is the sequel riotous fun, but it dives further into the odd couple-like relationship between Eddie and the symbiote. On top of that, Eddie being pulled into the MCU in the end credits is so much fun and one of the  ways  Venom can return in the future .

Eternals (Critics: 47%/Audiences: 80%)

Eternals  is one of the biggest upsets of the past few years, and though superhero fatigue has been talked about for years, it has finally landed with a lot of critics. With so much talk of the movie's potential for being nominated for Best Picture before its release, it was a huge letdown among critics.

Given that  Eternals was inspired by Man of Steel , which also has a rotten score, it definitely didn't help. But despite being the only rotten MCU movie with a critic score of 47%, audiences loved it just as much as any other Marvel flick. It contained just enough jokes and action to still achieve an 80% audience score.

The Green Knight (Critics: 89%/Audiences: 50%)

Most movies that critics and audiences disagree over are usually ones that critics hate and audiences love, but in this rare case, it's the opposite. The Green Knight , which follows the nephew of King Arthur who tests his courage by taking on the titular antagonist, is hated by audiences but loved by critics.

Other great  fantasy movies like the  Green Knight  tell the same story, but few are as compelling as the 2021 movie, and it has an 89% critic score. But audiences largely hated it, as it has only a 50% audience score, as they thought it relied too much on mood and atmosphere, and that the pacing was too slow.

Mortal Kombat (Critics: 54%/Audiences: 86%)

Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Mortal Kombat was made with the fans in mind. Even though there were some strange choices, such as making Goro weak even though he's the reigning champion of the tournament, the new movie is extremely faithful to the games.

It's a hard R-rating, meaning the brutal fatalities are so satisfying, and the visual effects look stunning too. And what's more is that it didn't take itself too seriously, which is what recent video game adaptations like Assassin's Creed and World of Warcraft are guilty of. But it's for all of those reasons why the critics hate it too, as it has a 54% critics score compared to its amazing 86% audience score.

NEXT:  Mortal Kombat (2021) - Every Villain, Ranked From Worst To Best

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These 17 Films Got Such Different Reviews From Critics And Audiences, I'm Not Sure They Watched The Same Thing

Let's see if you agree with the critics...or the masses.

Benjamin Dzialdowski

BuzzFeed Staff

Rotten Tomatoes may be the go-to website to find out how good a film is but sometimes there's a massive difference between the critics and audience's approval rating.

So i found some of the biggest disparities, and saw how they compared to my own opinion., 1. the greatest showman.

Critics score: 57%

Audience score: 86%

All I can say are the songs are fun I guess... But I feel like they paper over the cracks of a rushed plot. My main problem with this film is it glosses over the real P.T Barnum, whose fame was built more on exploitation and enslavement than glitz and glam (his first-ever ' exhibit ' was an enslaved woman whom he'd bought and claimed to be 161 years old). Perhaps if it was The Most Questionable Showman  I'd prefer it, but I feel like I have to side with the critics here. 

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Critics score: 50%

Audience score: 89%

I always assumed that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was a chaotic but well-liked film, although that's probably just because of its cult status among some film fans. It definitely doesn't fit into the 'easy watch' category, but I wouldn't say it's that bad. At the same time, 89% feels way too high for a film that is both interesting and sort of boring at the same time...? I'm somewhere in the middle here. 

3. We're The Millers

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Critics score: 49%

Audience score: 72%

I feel like both sides were too stingy here, it's actually a little gem. It's one of those movies that I'll just throw on if I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself. With a stacked cast and a simple but smart script,  We're The Millers is silly yet hilarious. Sorry critics, you're clearly taking yourself too seriously here. 

4. The Lion King (2019)

Critics score: 52%

Audience score: 88%

The critics were clearly scoring this against the original, and so they should! I'm not so sure about these live-action remakes. I think that the more  real people there are in the film, the more worthy of a remake it is. Aladdin – worthy, The Jungle Book – just about gets away with it,  The Lion King? –  I just didn't really see the point. I mean there are literally NO humans in this film, so they're essentially just swapping the animation for CGI? I did love the casting, but the movie? Not so much... 

Critics score: 30%

Audience score: 81%

I was shocked when I saw how low the critics scored this and personally, I'm with the audience all the way. While I didn't love Venom, I found it quite a fun take on a superhero film, and Tom Hardy never disappoints. The plot was fairly simple and Riot wasn't the most amazing baddie, but come on guys, this isn't The   Godfather  we're talking about, 30% is a bit dramatic... 

6. Zombieland: Double Tap

Critics score: 68%

Somehow the audience scored this higher than the first movie?! Some films require sequels. Some sequels can make movie franchises even better. This one not so much... I loved the first, but realistically this is just some more zombies and some more alive people, with not much else going on. I thought the critics were being on the kind side TBH. 

7. Black Panther

Critics score: 96%

Audience score: 79%

I know, I know, this isn't a huuuge disparity and it was well-liked by both, BUT for the critics, it scores so high that it places second in Rotten Tomatoes' 'best movies of all time' list. As for the audience, it scored six percent lower than Happy Gilmore ... (no offense to Adam Sandler). Some viewers seemed to be underwhelmed by 'plot holes' and thought it lacked 'logic' (it's a superhero film...  logic isn't the USP)! For me, Black Panther is one of Marvel's greatest showpieces. With the late great Chadwick Boseman putting in an epic performance, I'm with the critics on this one! 

8. Chicken Run

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 65%

I'm assuming that the 35% of audience members that voted this incredible film negatively only did so because it made them feel guilty about eating chicken. Chicken Run  is stop-motion's answer to The Great Escape and they couldn't have done a better job, another point to the critics from me!

9. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Critics score: 84%

Audience score: 68%

Before watching the first Lego Movie I had no expectations and it delivered in so many ways – everything was actually awesome. I was super excited for the sequel but after watching it I was fairly underwhelmed. It kept its familiar ironic charm but the storyline didn't compete with the first film, I'm part of the crowd with this one, 68% is about right. 

10. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Critics score: 78%

Audience score: 53%

78% for this...? Coming 20 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ( perhaps that should have been the last  crusade), the Kingdom of the   Crystal Skull  really let me down. It's somehow a bit too cheesy and the CGI just didn't work for me. Hopefully, we'll see a return to the norm with the fifth in the series that comes out next year (although realistically how often does that happen, maybe it's time to hang up the whip). 

Critics score: 93%

Audience score: 59%

While Us doesn't cut quite as deep as Get Out, it is most definitely still a great (but creepy) film. I was a bit disappointed after the first watch, but this for sure fits into the 'better the second time' category. The fighting-dance scene to that string version of "I Got 5 On It" is a work of art and the ending still gives me goosebumps. I can safely say that the critics were spot on with this one and I cannot wait for Peele's new Horror Nope  in Cinemas next year! 

12. Captain Marvel

Critics score: 79%

Audience score: 45%

Captain Marvel seemed to split opinion from the outset, but 45% is way too extreme. Okay, it's not one of Marvel's standouts, but Brie Larson does an excellent job of making Captain Marvel a captivating character and an enjoyable watch. I found the movie fun and visually entertaining, and it was about time the MCU had a female superhero!

13. Hail, Caesar!

Critics score: 85%

Audience score: 44%

Hail, Caesar! is clearly a divisive film, but I don't know why. Maybe people had a problem with the lengthy dance numbers, but I found the whole movie a busy bundle of joy! I don't know if viewers were expecting a Fargo or a No Country for Old Men -type thriller, but it was about time the Coen brothers had some fun, which this film most certainly is! 

14. The School of Rock

Critics score: 92%

Audience score: 64%

This was my reaction when I saw that one of my favourite films as a kid (and to this day) scored a mere 64% with the audience. Okaaay, it may essentially be a movie about a washed-up musician who illegally manipulates a school class into competing in a rock competition... But it's one of the most joyful, funny, and quotable films out there. Thankfully the critics have my back. 

15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Critics score: 91%

Audience score: 42%

Visually, this film could be considered a success, but that's about as good as it gets. There are way too many plot holes and there seems to be a strange rejection of all the character development that had been done by the previous trilogy (they also pretty much trashed Luke's character). Also who TF thought flying-Leia, massive CGI dog, and space-casino were good ideas?! Siding with the audience here I am. 

16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Critics score: 83%

Audience score: 51%

I think 51% is being a bit harsh but realistically, living up to Gene Wilder was always going to be too much to ask. I'm also not sure how the critics gave it 83%... All I can really remember about this film is it changing my opinions on squirrels, which says a lot, right? I think Tim Burton's style worked fairly well with Roald Dahl's world of pure imagination, but nothing really stuck with me which is weird, because I've always loved chocolate. 

17. The Green Knight

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Critics Score: 88%

Audience Score: 50%

Without a doubt the best film based on a 14th-century poem I've ever seen... (shoutout to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Nightmare Before Christmas  for other notable poem-inspired films). Seriously though, I sort of get the disparity on this one. From the outside, it seems more classically 'questy' and magical, but it's actually a wonderfully weird and beautifully shot journey, and who better to take you on that journey than Dev Patel? 

So, are you more of a critic or part of the audience? Let me know who you side with more!

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Data reveals the films where critics and audiences disagree most

Written by Shawn King

Have you ever sat down to watch that film that critics are raving about only to be massive unimpressed? Sure, Mark Kermode might have loved The Florida Project, but let’s be honest – what it really needed was a few more car chases and explosions to liven things up. In fact, it often seems like critics and ordinary cinema-goers are at loggerheads: They want beautifully crafted tales about people in the olden days having feelings, which elucidates universal truths about the human condition. While we want massive robots hitting other robots.

This kind of stuff always fascinates me – how critics can love or hate a movie but audience reaction is the complete opposite. I first noticed this when I saw Naked Lunch and Barton Fink in 1991. Critics loved the two films so I saw them for that reason alone. I hated both of them.

But then again, I hated Forrest Gump so go figure.


Why Do Critics And Audiences Disagree So Much In Film & TV Reviews?

In recent years, it’s become increasingly apparent that the opinions of everyday audiences and established film and television critics are growing increasingly further apart. Cursory glances at review sites like Rotten Tomatoes list several films in which the audience score and the critics’ score have a gap of over 20% between them. Divisive responses to films like The Last Jedi , for example, drew almost a 50% divide between the audience score and the critics’ score, with critics lauding the film with a 91% fresh review, and audiences bemoaning their experience with a dismal 42%.  Who’s right? Is one opinion more valid than the other?

But, what’s going on under the surface of this phenomenon? Why have audiences’ tastes and critics’ tastes grown so far apart when it comes to film and television? In exploring this cultural phenomenon, there are a few key elements worth exploring as it pertains to the growing rift between established cultural critique and amateur film and television review.     Divergence between ratings are often the difference between the objective assessment of the artistic merits and subjective tastes.


Due to the rise and easy access of social media, it’s extremely simple for anyone to share their thoughts or opinions on a piece of media. When the audience’s responses are positive, these “shares” can even prove valuable to media conglomerates, streamers, studios, and networks looking to build their support base.

As these entities are (more often than not) governed by executives who are primarily fixated on monetary concerns, so too has social media engagement proven itself just as valuable as a high Nielsen rating. Thus, studios and networks tend to encourage their audience to take to social media to share their thoughts, reactions, or even full-fledged reviews in the hopes of amplifying their opinions and increase viewership.  

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Photo by Brian Jiz

That said, encouraging this type of engagement also drives viewers to share negative reviews, long-form critiques, or even video essays decrying a piece of media they find ill-conceived or even offensive. And, unlike positive reviews, which serve as advertising for the film or series, negative criticism works the opposite way. Negative criticism, particularly when framed in either a comedic or an intentionally hyperbolic manner, is not only (of course) bad for the media being critiqued, but in turn, directs traffic and attention to the writer of the criticism, not just the media.

There are, of course, many essayists, vloggers, and other critics present on social media who do excellent work when it comes to reviews. However, more often than not, social media’s engine prefers to reward snappy, negative, and more hyperbolic criticism with clout. This, in turn, encourages any audience member, or perhaps even an aspiring filmmaker seeking a platform, to take to social media platforms with their negative critique as a method of self-promotion. The more hyperbolic (or, as some would say, “hot”) their take is, the better.

The Established Veteran

Conversely, consider a veteran critic like the late Roger Ebert. Ebert’s career began in 1967 as a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, wherein he slowly earned dedicated followers and respected peer admiration from other critics like Pauline Kael. By the time Ebert won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975, his specific voice and mantra as a film critic had earned him a level of respectability that made his opinion not only valuable, but unmired by trends. Most importantly, Ebert was also known for being generally more favorable in his reviews than his peers, often critiquing a movie through the lens of its intended audience, not just his opinion.  

Comparing the career of Ebert, who earned his reputation through a base level of objectivity and long-garnered ethos, to the work of self-platformed reviewers reveals a very specific rift in approach between established cultural critics and audience reviewers: namely, how each earns attention and respect. Whereas a critic like Ebert earned attention and recognition through a long and consistent career, self-published reviewers earn those same things through snappiness, cynicism, negativity, and most of all, trendiness. What separates reviews posted to social media or other platforms even more from established criticism like Ebert’s is its reliance on trends, being “of the moment,” and landing a well-timed “hot” take that’s sure to garner attention, either for being undeniably correct or delightfully contrarian?

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What’s unfortunate is that, perhaps unwittingly, many self-published or self-platformed critics suffer under this rule as well. Because their platform necessitates driving their own engagement, any analysis or critique of a film has to be run through the filtering question, “How will this draw eyeballs?” Answering this question typically leads to generating clickbait or the aforementioned “hot take,” and can even encourage a poster or reviewer to share a purposefully contrarian take designed purely for the purpose of driving engagement. Agreeing with their own contrarian take isn’t even a requirement for the reviewer in many cases, so long as the engagement is high.  Social media algorithms don’t have opinions. They measure traffic.

Between the ease of social media, the benefits of using a personal review platform for the purpose of self-promotion, and the power of trendiness, it’s easy to see why audience reviewers’ opinions have grown farther apart from those of established critics. These two different types of criticism benefit from entirely different methodologies. Established critics benefit from developing a long-standing, ethos-driven perspective, whereas audience reviews and other self-platformed critics benefit from driving engagement, good or bad, and thus rely on hyperbole and trendiness.

Unfortunately, this methodology has also led to a decrease not just in overall media literacy, but a misunderstanding regarding the art of critique. While many reviewers prevalent on social media spend dedicated time developing a thoughtful, albeit “hot” take, many other reviewers skip over this step, and instead rely on a path of least resistance in conceiving their negative, trendy review. This has led to a spike in what many call “bad faith criticism.”

Bad Faith Criticism

To use the broadest possible definition, bad faith criticism is a critique or review that seeks to purposefully poke holes in or tear down a creative work, or otherwise highlight flaws in a piece of media for sport. For clarity, the YouTube channel CinemaSins (though meant purely for comedic purposes) is a great example of bad faith criticism. Its goal is to address flaws, inconsistencies, continuity errors, or logistical concerns in a film’s plot regardless of any other artistic merits.  

In many ways, this type of criticism is entirely antithetical to a critic like Ebert’s methodology, who chose to critique movies based on their intention and desired audience. Thus, in turn, bad faith criticism is perfect for reviewers who exist outside of traditional media outlets. Bad faith criticism is not only the easiest way to create hyperbole but also the fastest way to generate easily digestible negative criticism that is both fun to read and drives engagement. And yet, it is not real criticism and not real cultural commentary. Instead, it is self-promotion that masquerades as critique.  

The greatest example of bad faith criticism, as well as the greatest example of how powerful and influential this type of criticism can be, has to do with the movie Titanic . Over the years, countless critics, reviewers, and fans alike have dissected, experimented, and torn apart the logistics of the movie’s climax. The climax, in which Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) realizes he cannot fit on the floating door with Rose (Kate Winslet), and thus cannot save himself from the threat of hypothermia after the ship’s sinking has long been the subject of ire and ridicule. Fans and critics alike decry this scene over and over again, insisting that there must have been some logistical way for Jack to also fit on the door (thus saving his life in the process), despite the fact that the film has clear dialogue and action that says otherwise.

Creative Screenwriting Magazine

This is bad faith criticism at its core – a willful misinterpretation of a scene based on a logistical concern that not only is addressed directly in the film, but is also irrelevant to the overall themes and ideas explored in the story. Why does it matter if Jack perhaps could have fit on the door? The film has told us he can’t, and in doing so, explores complex themes regarding the nature of sacrifice and the desire to honor that sacrifice by living a full life. And yet, this criticism of the climax of Titanic has remained so influential, that it is still regurgitated by self-platformed critics and reviewers today.  

If this gap between audience reviews and established critics is ever to be bridged, it has to start with the dissolution of bad faith criticism. At its core, bad faith criticism is not real critique, but rather, a form of entertainment all its own. The issue that drives this rift between audience opinion and established critical opinion has less to do with platform, background, and education, and more to do with the art of critique, and its transformation into more of a form of self-promotion and entertainment all its own, and not just a journalistic endeavor. And, what’s worse is that, as long as bad faith criticism like the critique of Titanic ’s climax remains prevalent and powerful, we’ll lose out on not only the art form of critique, but a shared media literacy we can all agree on.    


Jack Filsinger

Jack is a writer with an eclectic background in television and feature development. He studied at New York University, earning a degree in Film & Television. Over the past few years, Jack has worked as a freelance writer, assistant, coordinator, and reader at various outlets and production companies. Jack's writing can be found in BuzzFeed and Screen Rant.

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Top 10 Things We Want To See in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Tommy Blanchard

movies where critics and audiences disagree

Genres Where Audiences and Critics Disagree Most

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Introduction ¶

I recently browsing the Rotten Tomatoes page all-time favorite sci-fi series, Firefly . I was surprised that critics were not impressed with the series (average rating of 7.96/10). Among 'Top Critics', this score dropped to an average of 7.25/10. But everyone I know who has seen it loves the series!

Unwilling to accept that my beloved sci-fi franchise deserved this low rating from critics, I thought that maybe this was a bias with science fiction. Critics end up seeing most big movies and shows regardless of their personal tastes, so on average they might not be geeky enough to really appreciate a good science fiction movie. The typical audience who has decided to view science fiction, on the other hand, presumably are geeks who really 'get' science fiction. So we might expect audiences to rate good science fiction higher than critics, because the geeks who see science fiction really 'get it'. Consistent with this, the average audience rating of Firefly is 9.2/10 - a score closer to what I (a self-styled science-fiction connoisseur) think it really deserves.

Is this true of the genre more generally? Do audiences tend to appreciate (or at least more highly rate) science fiction media more than the critics? Unsatisfied with just hypothesizing about this, I decided to look at some data. It turns out I was very wrong.

Data Source and Disclaimers ¶

The data I analyzed is from the 10 most popular movies every year from 1975-2015. I obtained the data from Crowdflower . The data used was largely a matter of convenience - it was the first data source I found that was fairly large and had genre labels, audience ratings, and critic ratings. That said, since these are 'blockbuster movies', the results might be a bit different than if we included less popular movies.

Critics Are More Critical? ¶

Here is a plot of each movie's audience and critic ratings, coloring by one of their genres. You can hover over a point to find out what movie it corresponds to. Note that most movies have multiple genres, so the coloring is a bit arbitrary. The red diagonal indicates where audience scores and critic scores are equal. Above the line means audiences rate the film higher, below means critics rate it higher.

One immediately obvious observation is that critics just use a wider range of ratings. Specifically, critic scores go much lower than audience scores. Average critic scores go as low as 2.7/10 (for The Blue Lagoon and Staying Alive ) and as high as 9.1 (for E.T. , Raiders of the Lost Ark , and All the President's Men ). Audience scores, on the other hand, only go from 5 ( Godzilla , The Flinstones ) to 8.8 ( The Avengers , The Dark Knight , Guardians of the Galaxy ). Unsurprisingly, the average critic score is lower than the average audience score - 6.58 for critics compared to 6.96 for audiences. This bias for critics to rate films lower than audiences is consistent with what others have found .

So across the board, audiences rate films higher than critics. But does science fiction stand out as a genre, taking into account the overall bias? While the points are colored by genre, there aren't any obvious patterns. The data becomes more interpretable when we average across genre.

We can see that the trend of audiences liking movies more than critics is consistent across all genres. Interestingly, both audiences and critics seem to love animation films. It's easier to see where audiences and critics disagree most by looking at the difference in their ratings.

Now we can see my hypothesis was actually quite wrong. Sci-fi falls right in the middle of the pack in terms of how much the audience ratings differ from critics. Instead, fantasy leads the pack in genres that audiences love more than critics.

Top 10 Fantasy Movies Audiences Love More Than Critics ¶

To get a sense of what kinds of movies are driving the disagreement over fantasy movies, we can look at the movies in this genre where the scores disagree most.

Perhaps obvious in retrospect, The Twilight Saga and superhero movies are where critics and the audience disagree most.

Top 10 Movies Audiences Love More Than Critics ¶

We can also look across all movies, what movies do the audiences love much more than critics.

Movies Critics Love More Than Audiences ¶

What about the reverse? What are the top 10 movies critics rate higher than audiences?

Again, I have to say, I think I like the critics' tastes better than the audience (though if this data set contained La La Land , that might be different).

Conclusion ¶

I had hoped that my science fiction films would be vindicated as being good movies as long as you were one of the people who 'got it', and in that sense this project backfired. Instead I've discovered that the same argument I was planning on using to defend my beloved genre actually works better as a defense of Twilight.

Update: I've written an addendum to this, looking at the data after normalizing it (taking into account the bias of the critics/audiences) ¶


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  5. 50 Movies Critics Hate But Audiences Love

    movies where critics and audiences disagree

  6. Movies Critics Loved, But Audiences Really Didn’t

    movies where critics and audiences disagree



  2. Bhagwan aur Maa Kaha Zukhna chahiye🥰 #shorts

  3. Critics and Audiences RAVE!! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Greater Boston Stage Company


  1. 10 Movies From 2021 Where Critics & Audiences Completely Disagreed

    Eternals (Critics: 47%/Audiences: 80%) Eternals is one of the biggest upsets of the past few years, and though superhero fatigue has been talked about for years, it has finally landed with a lot of critics

  2. Films That Critics And Audiences Disagree On

    Let's see if you agree with the critics... Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

  3. Data reveals the films where critics and audiences disagree most

    Written by Shawn King. Gizmodo:Have you ever sat down to watch that film that critics are raving about only to be massive unimpressed? In fact, it often seems like critics and ordinary cinema-goers are at loggerheads: They want

  4. Why Do Critics And Audiences Disagree So Much In Film & TV Reviews?

    share:In recent years, it's become increasingly apparent that the opinions of everyday audiences and established film and television critics are growing increasingly further apart

  5. WatchMojo

    Unlock Super Powers, Login Now:#1. Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The Boondock Saints · Suggested by bobbylashley18

  6. Exclusive: Data Reveals The Films Where Critics And Audiences Disagree Most

    Exclusive: Data Reveals The Films Where Critics And Audiences Disagree Most. In fact, it often seems like critics and ordinary cinema-goers are at loggerheads: They want beautifully crafted tales about people in the olden days having feelings

  7. Critics And Audiences Strongly Disagreed On These 12 Movies

    Recently, Rave checked Rotten Tomatoes movie scores from critics and audiences and collected the most divisive ones. The piece in its entirety is VERY interesting, but take a look at some of the more popular