• Nolan Schmidt

FILM CORNER - Why Movie Reviews Don't Mean Much



Last weekend, I saw my first film that was released this year at one of the local cinemas in my area. The film was an action thriller entitled The Marksman, which features Liam Neeson as a Marine veteran and rancher who protects a young boy from a Mexican drug cartel. I personally thought the movie was pretty good. It had its moments of intensity, Neeson gave an amazing performance throughout the film, and the feel and style of the film reminded me of Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino and The Mule. However, I was disappointed when I saw that the critics associated with Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a total average of 36% (despite the audience rating was at an 86%). Does this mean that the movie was bad because a combined total of certain critics reviews say it's bad,


My answer: Not really. I'll explain why.


There have been times where people rely way too much on what the critics say to see if they should go see a certain movie or not. Big personal example. One movie that I consider to be a terrible movie is The Hurt Locker. This particular Best Picture Oscar-winning film is rated on Rotten Tomatoes with a Fresh 97% rating that states how it is a "A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic" based around the Iraq War. Even with an audience score of 84%, I found the film to be an overrated, boring waste of 2 hours and 7 minutes I have ever seen in my life. Plus, it doesn't help that even some of my friends who are veterans of the Iraq War can point out every inaccuracy within the film involving how soldiers experience war in a heartbeat. One of them even stated that Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds was a better, more accurate war film (despite it not being historically accurate). Plus, the so called acting, intensity, and action within The Hurt Locker was pretty much non-existent.


As stated with Hurt Locker, audience ratings may not be reliable as well to decide to see a movie or not. This pretty much happened with two films, the 2019 remake of The Lion King and Sonic the Hedgehog. I had a feeling that the Lion King remake would be terrible, but I gave it a chance to see if I would be wrong (especially how there were people saying it was good despite what critics were saying). My assumption of the film being bad was on point as I watched the film in the theater. The voice acting was staler than a bland piece of toast, the songs were sung terribly, and two of my favorite characters from the original movie (Timon and Pumbaa) felt like the butt of really poor timely fart jokes (literally and figuratively). I eventually voiced my support of watching the original over the remake that seemed only to be made to make a quick cash grab at the box office. As for Sonic the Hedgehog, despite it being an okay film in my opinion (I mostly enjoyed Jim Carrey's performance as Robotnik), the story was so cliche that I predicted every single thing that was going to happen throughout the movie. Despite being the most profitable adaptation of a video game, I felt Detective Pikachu (which was released a year before Sonic) had a better story flow.


Personally, as a filmmaker, I prefer anyone to see a movie based on their interest to see said movie, not what a bunch of critics or a majority of audiences say. I've seen films that were considered horrible both groups that I liked, and I hated films that were loved by both groups. The only people to say to us if a movie is good or not is ourselves.