The majority of reviewers on websites are men. So that ‘audience score’ you see on every film is really telling you what men like, not women
Independence Day: Resurgence was this summer’s dead-on-arrival blockbuster – Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw called it “planet-smashingly boring” in his one-star review. Massively popular film review website Rotten Tomatoes (it has 22 million users) scored it at just 35%, with critics and audiences alike dismissing it as a dull, brainless sequel. Over on IMDB the user reviews were of the “Wow, I can’t believe I paid $8 for that trash” variety. I always check both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB before heading to a cinema (or for new releases on Netflix), so was thankful to see the scores – it saved me a tenner and a wasted couple of hours. A few weeks ago similar reviews stopped me wasting another tenner, this time on the Ghostbusters reboot. But was I being seriously misled? What Ghostbusters reveals is how, in the words of one movie blogger, the internet review system is broken.
In the past, films relied on good reviews plus word-of-mouth. Today RT and IMDB have digitally replaced word-of-mouth and become hugely influential consumer websites as a result. So it matters enormously that what they tell you is fair. Continue reading...