Continuing last week's post where I noted that Transformers 2 was quite enjoyable even if unremarkable action movie, I'll continue with some analysis of tastes of movie critics versus tastes of the public.
In case you missed the story Aircraft Careers 2 is a movie with huge box office success, decent public reaction, and completely hated by pretty much every single movie critic. Go to the cinema and watch it to see what the controversy is all about ;-)
As proxy for taste of the public I'm going to use The IMDB Top 250 list. I'm interested in what the public actually liked, not just what they were duped into watching by pretty trailers and marketing buzz, and this list is pretty much it. Top 250 list contains movies that were both very highly rated and rated by large number of people, to exclude ones that nobody cares about other than the director and the lead actress, who both voted 10/10.
As proxy for taste of movie critics - The Tomatometer, or more or less a weighted percentage of movie critics that liked a particular movie.
And... it turns out movie critics and public agree most of the time. 18.8% of the top 250 has very rare perfect 100 tomatometer score, 77.6% has extremely good score of 90 or more, 91.6% has still very good 80 or more score - perhaps critics are not as amazed by the movie as the audience, but they liked it anyway. There are just 19 (7.6%) movies with scores in their 70s, and 2 (0.8%) in their 60s - where we can genuinely says the critics were largely unimpressed. Not a single movie has a horrible score like Transformers 2's 19.
Here's the entire list:
If you hoped to see some overmarketed garbage among the public-beloved-but-critically-panned movies, sorry to disappoint you. I'm surprised by how many movies that won Oscars for the Best Picture are there - Braveheart, Forrest Gump, and Crash, plus some nominations like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
I haven't seen all the movies critics disliked, but for the ones I've seen I have no idea what was their problem. In particular - Fight Club? Léon? V? The original Matrix? Kill Bill? In Bruges? What the heck critics? These are masterpieces of the modern cinema!
IMDB's unwashed masses and Rotten Tomatoes' distinguished critics mostly agree, and when they don't IMDB tends to be right, so keep using IMDB.