The Critics Don’t Get Us!


by Aaron Lowe (@loweaaron)

From time to time, a truly incredible movie comes along, and millions of people are dying to see it. But why would a brilliant, stunning movie like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey only gets a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? I don’t have to tell you nerds how much anticipation there was leading up to the release of The Hobbit, the lines of people gathered to catch an opening night experience. E! Online states, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came away with an estimated $84.8 million at the weekend box office, its studio reported, the largest-ever Friday-Sunday domestic debut for a December release, including James Cameron’s all-time champ, Avatar.”

So why do critics bash what viewers seem to love the most?

I remember seeing The Matrix on opening night and being blown away, it was a mind altering, life changing experience at the time. Never had a movie seemed so real, so fantastic. In the following days, I was shocked to see the critics tear the movie apart like it was trash.

It was recently announced that The Matrix will be among the twenty-five movies picked this year to enter the U.S. National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. Said Librarian of Congress James M. Billington, “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture,” So I’d say the critics got it very wrong!

People are sick of being told what to like by critics, ratings and the media, and are actively looking for other ways to be heard.  Nerds seem to get it the worst; everything either gets cancelled, or turned into a commercialized parody of what it should be.

The news of the partnership between Twitter and Nielsen bodes well as the beginning of having our voices heard. This surely comes in part as a result of all the faithful fan followers that trended their favorite shows week after week. Shows like Chuck may still be on the air had they come up with this system sooner. Twitter results won’t be tied to actual ratings, but they will be monitored.

Change is coming, so keep talking and tweeting about your favorite things! Keep the conversations going and maybe things will start to turn around.

    One Comment

  1. TimDecember 21st, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    The reason critics don’t “get us” is because they are not “like us”. Most folks attend movies to be entertained–and entertained in the broadest terms. A film need not be based on a literary masterpiece, have outstanding acting, or promote certain cultural or political messages to be entertainiing and popular.

    Critics on the other hand, are for the most part focused on the “art” of filmaking–the “art” of acting or the “underlying message” of the filmmaker–and that focus overcomes their ability to “see the forest (the overall entertainment value of a particular film) for the “trees” (a particular performance or cinematography or staging). One need only look at some recent Oscar nominations to see that the most entertaining (and therefore most popular) films are not viewed as the “most artistic” and are therefore considered “unworthy” of “serious” awards.

    Bottom line is that those critics who elevate “art” to the almost exclusion of “entertainment value” are for all intents and purposes intellectual snobs–they feel that the average movier goer needs an education rather than a ratification of whether the particular movie will be entertaining. I have a few favorites whose views I rely on (Richard Roper is usually on the mark) and a few others whose endorsement is a message to me to avoid the film at all costs (any critic from the Rolling Stone or New York Times). It is also good to get the feel of a movie from folks like me–who just want to be entertained!

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