Since 2015, Amazon Studios has produced and/or distributed more than 100 films. Among its distinguished films are “Manchester by the Sea,” which won the first two Academy Awards for Amazon; “Sound of Metal,” which also took home two; and “One Night in Miami,” nominated for three Oscars. But the streaming service has had its share of swings and misses. (On the plus side, here are the best Amazon Prime original movies in the company’s history.)
To determine the worst Amazon Prime original movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of September 2022, weighting all ratings equally. Documentaries were not considered. Directorial and cast data are from IMDb. (Amazon defines “original” not only as films Amazon Studios produces but also those produced elsewhere that it acquired and distributes to theaters and for Amazon Prime Video.)
What is noteworthy about this list is the wide disparity between their Rotten Tomatoes critics and audience scores. For six movies here, there is a difference of more than 30 percentage points between the two. The widest gulf is for “Life Itself” (2018), where 83% of the audience liked the film and only 13% of critics gave it a thumbs-up. The latter score is the lowest of any film on the list for either critics or audiences.
Woody Allen fans might be sad to see two of his films make the list – “Café Society” (2016) and “Wonder Wheel (2017). The feeling among some critics is that these later films from Allen lack the depth and completeness of his earlier works and sense that he is in decline as a director. (He’s one of the 25 great directors with the most box office bombs.)
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