The new all-female reboot of 1984’s “Ghostbusters” is officially Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes!  The Misogynistic man-baby trolls were wrong!  Go tell all you friend, the movie is actually brilliant!

Well, not exactly.

A lot of people out there seem to have a bit of trouble understanding exacty how Rotten Tomatoes actually works, and sometimes that can be misleading if all you do is go off of the RT score to decide whether or not a movie is worth seeing.  Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t actually assign a score to anything.  That just isn’t how it works.  It’s actually a lot more complicated – and in some ways more deceptive – than that.

Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregator.  What that means is that RT collects all of the written/video/radio/television reviews of films and compliles them into a database.  That database then takes all of the scores that individual critics have given the film and the rating you see is only the percent of critics that reviewed the film favorably.  It really doesn’t even average the actual scores, it just goes on a pass/fail basis.  If a reviewer gives the film a 5/10 or better, it’s considered a positive review according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Right now, “Ghostbusters” (2016) holds a RT score of 74%, which is considered “Certified Fresh.”  Because of this, all of the recent TV spots for the film are advertising that rating – which, of course, they should – and in a way, they’re misleading the audience.  Sony understands how RT works better than you do, and they’re capitalizing on this.

If you read the actual reviews, yes a lot of them can be considered positive if you’re only going on a pass/fail basis.  Many of the critics agree that the movie isn’t terrible.  “Ghostbusters” does an extremely good job of being incredibly mediocre.  That’s it, but Sony wants you to believe that they and their movie have been vindicated.

The same thing happened with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and to an even greater degree “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

With “Star Wars,” many critics gave the film a positive review and then proceeded to negate that rating by listing off every major problem they film had.  I did not give the movie a positive review.  If you read my review over at TheBlaze, I said the film was mediocre at best.  A lot of the critics who gave the film a much more favorable review than I did, however, dinged the movie for some of the exact same faults that I dinged it for.  They were just, apparently, willing to give the film a pass.

We are seeing the same thing happening right now with “Ghostbusters.”  Even though many of the reviews are positive, when you read the reviews they list off some fairly major faults.  The critics aren’t lying to their readership, necessarily – you are capable of deciding whether or not you’re interested based on the info given, and the critics are giving a proper analysis of the film – but they are still contributing to the deceptive RT score.

I would implore everyone reading this, don’t go simply by Rotten Tomatoes scores.  They aren’t accurate.  They just aren’t designed to be.  Read the actual reviews.  Pick four or five of them – both good and bad – and actually read them.  You’ll find that, more often than not, both sets of reviews are in agreement more than in disagreement and they will give you the same basic information from which to base your own opinion.

Don’t fall into this herd-mentality that many of us seem to have about movies these days.  Actually read the reviews, do your research, and then decide for yourselves.  Many times, you could miss out on a great film – like “Batman v Superman” – or get suckered into a bad one – like “Ghostbusters” – if you go only by scores and RT ratings.

Don’t let that be you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.