Every time I go to watch a movie, I check the ratings to see whether it’s going to be worth my time or not. And one way or the other, I migrate to the ‘film critics’ section and as a result, my decision is based on the reviews that these people give.

This got me thinking, what makes them so qualified so as to have the power to dictate whether I watch a movie or not?

Isn’t liking or not liking a movie subjective?

Not just individual critics, but critic sites like Rotten Tomatoes and even newspapers (in India) play a vital role in deciding how well a movie is going to do at the box office.

Barring certain movies which have a crazy fan following, all movies suffer either positively or negatively by their ratings on these critics sites. But the thing is, as I said, they are very very subjective. The danger is that when all critics speak as one, the bottom line of the movie is hurt, even if the movie is good and people like it. But a significant chunk won’t even go and watch it because of its bad ratings.

Check out this article about 15 times where RT got their ratings wrong.

In the critic world, there is this formation of an echo chamber where they continue to shout out their viewpoints and thoughts which then come back at them. They do not allow fresh views to enter and challenge their stance. For example, people reported that Rolling Stones hated everything that DC did.

Now barring hardcore DC fans, a lot of people were put off from watching the movie because of RS’s reaction.

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It is this undue influence that I am afraid of. We operate on the principal idea that all film critics are ‘experts’ and that their judgment is sacrosanct. Except it isn’t.

Because where on one side they do have a lot of experience and have great knowledge about films, they cannot decide whether each and every person who watches the film will like it or not. Their metric of judging is totally different and this imposition of one single metric to judge a piece of art is very problematic.

The critic culture is basically giving the power of decision to a couple of people who have no verifiable metric of judging but their metric is still considered valid just because why not?

And I am not alone in this, there is a legitimate movement called crush the tomato which is fighting against the conglomerate that Rotten Tomatoes has become.

So, it really depends on you whether you would like to watch a movie or now. But it would be highly appreciable if these so-called experts stopped telling us what to do.

Sources: Variety, Dissent Magazine, Complex

Image Credits: Google Images

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