With thousands of new movies released each year, professional critics are relied on by audiences to identify the best the industry has to offer. By doing so, movie reviewers help moviegoers avoid wasting time and maximize their movie-watching pleasure.
And while critical consensus is generally in line with audiences’ likes or dislikes of a film, sometimes the tastes of critics and audiences differ immensely.
24/7 Tempo has identified 50 films that audiences love but critics hate. In order to do so, we created an index based on the disparity between audience and critic ratings based on reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the Internet Movie Database.
Many of the films with the greatest differences in critical and audience appreciation would be considered low brow. Light-hearted comedies and over-the-top action flicks do not always aim for lofty intellectual goals but exist as unpretentious entertainment for movie lovers, who have no trouble expressing their enjoyment. Critics — who tend to look for more than just entertainment and review the movie’s artistic qualities — rarely praise these films. In comparison, these are the movies that both audiences and critics love.
Certain filmmakers have received more critical scorn than others, despite being loved by fans. Director of Christian movies Alex Kendrick has four films that appear on our list. Actor David Spade stars in four and Chris Farley in three. Poor reviews haven’t prevented these creators from growing their audiences and making financially successful movies. These are the top 100 grossing movies of all time.
It appears that divergence in opinion between critical pundits and the average moviegoer may be becoming increasingly common. 24/7 Tempo reviewed the ratings for more than 6,200 movies, dating back to the early 1920s. Yet more than half of the films with the largest discrepancy in average ratings were released since 2000. The most recent movie to make the cut is 2019’s “Rambo: Last Blood” — an especially violent revenge flick that Sylvester Stallone co-wrote.
To determine the movies critics hate but audiences love, 24/7 Tempo calculated the difference between each film’s average user rating and average critic rating. The average user rating was calculated as an average of a given film’s Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience rating and Internet Movie Database’s average user rating weighted by the number of votes for each. Critic ratings were the average critic score from Rotten Tomatoes, not the “Freshness rating,” which refers to the share of critics who gave each film a positive review. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb, 5,000 audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and 10 approved tomatometer critic reviews.