In some ways Rotten Tomatoes has ruined the public’s collective perceptions of film and film criticism. The popular online aggregator has become a benchmark for many on whether or not to see a movie. A “rotten” score (anything below 60%) on the website can mean millions of dollars lost at the box office. On the flipside, a “certified fresh” score can bode well at the box office for a flick. The problem with the site is that it uses a standard binary system, basically a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Consequently, a film that rates a “C” carries the same “negative” weight as an “F” rating for the same movie. Not a lot of room for nuance there. All of this is just preamble to keep these things in mind when you read this next bit of news.
The final critic tallies are in for STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and the news isn’t good. At 471 critic reviews accounted for, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER now holds the dubious distinction of being Rotten Tomatoes’ worst reviewed live-action STAR WARS film of all-time. RISE OF SKYWALKER currently sits at a 52% rotten score on the eponymous website, just edging out 1999’s THE PHANTOM MENACE which holds a 53% rotten score. It’s important to note however that THE RISE OF SKYWALKER isn’t technically the worst reviewed STAR WARS film of all-time. That record belongs to the abysmal 2008 animated feature STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. The film that kicked off the television series checks in at a mere 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Now whether or not a person holds Rotten Tomatoes in high regard is going to factor in a lot on how you interpret this news. Personally, I don’t consider RT the end-all be-all when it comes to film criticism. It usually doesn’t factor into my decision on whether or not to see a movie. Furthermore, reducing all movies down to a mere number is a real disserve to the art of film. It completely precludes any room for nuance, context, or engaging discussion. Also I find it passing strange that the audience score for THE RISE OF SKYWALKER has stayed at 86% for weeks despite adding hundreds of new scores each day. How reliable is the site in actuality?
In addition, just because Rotten Tomatoes deems something “fresh” or “rotten” doesn’t make it so. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME stands at 95% on RT and I think the film is overrated, certified garbage. TAKEN on the other hand I consider to be one of the best action/thriller films of the last fifteen years and it has a 58% approval rating on the site. What I’m getting it is that all art is subjective, especially film. At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is your own.
So what about you guys? Do you trust Rotten Tomatoes? Do you think it’s a waste of time? What were your feelings about THE RISE OF SKYWALKER? Let us know in the comment section below!