The Tomatometer should be done away with

The Tomatometer should be done away with

Hayden Fillmore

When people go to the movies, they leave with an opinion of the movie or movies they watched. These opinions are what the movie industry likes to call a rating, but if the rating is from a professional critic, they call it a review. For those who don’t know, a rating is an overall percent summary of the audience’s opinion on the movie and a review is a percent summary of professional critics on the movie. Those from the general audience who choose to put these ratings online are responsible for a public rating, while the professional critics who put their reviews online are responsible for what viewers call a Tomatometer score. 

Some people have decided that Tomatometer scores shouldn’t even exist, and I personally agree, except I believe that it should be changed instead of removed. The Tomatometer score comes from a website called Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes is a website of critics and professionals who leave overall reviews on movies they watch based on plot, acting, animation, etc. The overall score of the critics is left as a percent, but Rotten Tomatoes says there’s more than that. 

Rotten Tomatoes judges movies on a scale sort of like school grades. When at least 60% of reviews for a movie or TV show are positive, a red tomato is displayed to indicate its “Fresh” status. When less than 60% of reviews for a movie or TV show are positive, a green splat is displayed to indicate its “Rotten” status. 

This form of rating has caused some arguments among the public though, as in some movies, the audience rates the movie better than the Tomatometer score. One example of this is in The Super Mario Bros Movie with an audience rating of 96% and a Tomatometer score of 59%, which makes the movie “Rotten” in Rotten Tomato terms. This Tomatometer score is from the all critics score though, with the top critics section being even more harsh at 42%. Being a movie hyped up for about two and a half years, people haven’t taken kindly to this review.

When a movie is released, critics shouldn’t really be a big part of it since the movies are made for the general public. If a critic wants to write a review on a movie, they can do it on a separate webpage so people can read the review if they actually want to. This is personally how I would change Tomatometer so it won’t affect viewers as much, because when you put a critic’s score on the movie title, people’s opinion on the movie may change even if they haven’t seen the movie.

Not only do critics’ reviews change people’s opinions on a movie, but they also change how people experience the movie. When a person sees a bad score, they might not even want to see the movie they were wanting to see because of a critic’s view on what would otherwise be a normal movie. 

Also, when a person reads a critic’s work on something in the movie being wrong or sounding weird, the audience will likely see this error easier than if they were to watch it normally. One example of this is in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In the scene before Han Solo gets frozen, his hands are tied in front of him, even though after he is frozen, his hands are held up to his shoulders facing out, and they’re untied. If you didn’t know this, watch it and try to spot it.
The audience isn’t the only one changing with the reviews, because the creators of movies try to fetch a good Tomatometer rating. Sure, it seems kind of harmless to chase a good score, but this leads to most film creators making mundane movies because they are scared to take risks. A bad review could kill a movie production company, so fetching that “Fresh” status is a good way to gain recognition as well as keep the company alive to make a new movie.

All in all, Tomatometer, even though its intentions were good, is starting to hurt the filming industry. By keeping reviews away from the actual movie, we might start to see some creative new titles start to appear as they should be.