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The RottenTomato Score System is Quite Flawed

The RottenTomato Score System is Quite Flawed

 

As if this writing, the RottenTomatometer for Batman v Superman sits at 29%. That is super rotten, and it got me thinking. I obviously still stand by my review, but was Batman v Superman really that bad as to deserve a 29% average? To dig deeper, one has to look at some of the reviews that RottenTomato takes into account and also the system by which a film's TomatoMeter score is established. 

I found out today how insanely flawed the RottenTomato system can be. If one goes through the reviews for Batman v Superman, you will find that they are not as horrid as the TomatoMeter suggests, but instead that this is definitely a film with mixed thoughts. There are some parts that critics loved (E.g. Ben Affleck's Batman), and there are other parts that critics find serious issues with (e.g. "Martha..."). Coming out of this film once I'd seen it, I was thinking that critics were way too harsh on this film. But it turns out that the real reason for the very poor score on the RottenTomatometer for this film is the way that the website aggregates reviews. They don't create a percentage score for each review and average each score from each review, they take reviews as binary numbers, which is extremely stupid. Either a film is completely rotten or completely fresh in a single review according to rottentomatoes, which is really against the whole system of critiquing films. They then add up all the binary results of the reviews that they take into consideration (usually from the top publications/movie review sites, so the reviews themselves are quite solid) and tell you what percentage of the reviews were "fresh" and establish that as the score of the film. This is a very flawed system. 

Simply looking through some of the reviews, I found both praise for certain aspects and dislikes for other aspects. Overall, in my opinion, if the rottentomato system took reviews and gave each review a score and averaged those scores, the result would be much more reflective of the critical consensus. Batman v Superman should be atleast a 50-60% fresh film. Do you know what other films have a better score than Batman v Superman? The Brothers Grimsby! The latest Sacha Baron Cohen film which both film fans and critics despised has a 38% rottentomato score and consequently people gave the film no money at the box office. That's how things should work. But in the rottentomato system, reviews are taken in as binary numbers and then averaged out, which definitely skews things by a wide margin. 

Moral of the story, don't look at aggregate score sites like rottentomatoes.com, read actual reviews from established publications like The New Yorker or something (And this site of course...) and then make up your mind as to whether you want to go to this film or not. 

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