Movies Audiences Hate But Critics Love

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

Moviegoers rely on film critics to give an honest assessment of a movie so they can avoid wasting their money and their time on a bad movie. Yet sometimes these two groups are at odds, with some critics reviewers turning up their noses at blockbusters or slapstick comedies that regular movie fans enjoy.

However, sometimes these roles are reversed — with critics heaping praise onto a film that most audience members end up disliking. Through film history, there have been a wide variety of movies that despite receiving rave reviews from professional critics, that audiences ended up hating. 

To determine the movies that critics audiences love but audiences critics hate, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience and critic ratings from Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. Films were ranked based on the difference between a film’s Tomatometer score — the percentage of professional critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes that are positive — and the weighted average of audience ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. 

Many of the films on this list fall into one of two categories — children’s movies and horror films. While critics are reviewing films for aspects like pacing and artistic choices, audiences may overlook a movie intended for kids or be repulsed by the gory or frightening scenes in a horror movie. 

Having a wide gap between what critics and audience members think seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. Of the 30 movies on this list, just six were released before the year 2000. This is also the case with films that the audiences loved but critics do did not — nearly all of them were released in the last 20 years. These are the movies audiences love but critics hate.

To determine the movies that critics love but audiences hate, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience and critic ratings from Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. Films were ranked based on the difference between a film’s Tomatometer score — the percentage of professional critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes that are positive — and the weighted average of audience ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. The average audience score was weighted by the number of audience reviews on IMDb and on Rotten Tomatoes. Only films with at least 25,000 audience reviews on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, 10 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of less than 70%, and a  critic rating of at least 75% were included. Supplemental data on domestic box office came from film industry site The Numbers.

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