Martin Scorsese slams movie review site Rotten Tomatoes
Martin Scorsese has voiced his anger at how film critics online negatively impact a film's worldwide reception.
Martin Scorsese has lashed out at popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, insisting editors and contributors have negatively impacted the film industry.
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, the director voiced his disdain for the popular site, which assigns films a score based on random reviews.
Scorsese explained he has a problem with people who reduce the quality of a film to a number grade, and claims that modern cinema is often judged too harshly.
Acknowledging that he's received his fair share of positive and negative reviews over the years, the Goodfellas filmmaker pointed out that in the past critics would share their responses in a "thoughtful manner, with actual positions that they felt obliged to argue," unlike today's business.
"The brutal judgmentalism that has made opening-weekend grosses into a bloodthirsty spectator sport seems to have encouraged an even more brutal approach to film reviewing," he wrote. "I’m talking about market research firms like CinemaScore, which started in the late '70s, and online 'aggregators' like Rotten Tomatoes, which have absolutely nothing to do with real film criticism. They rate a picture the way you'd rate a horse at the racetrack, a restaurant in a Zagat's guide, or a household appliance in Consumer Reports. They have everything to do with the movie business and absolutely nothing to do with either the creation or the intelligent viewing of film."
Adding that "even the actual name Rotten Tomatoes is insulting", he used the recent release of Darren Aronofsky's Mother! as an example of when critics made a huge impact on the film's opening weekend, leading it to garner an F rating from website CinemaScore. Scorsese recalled how he was "disturbed by all of the severe judgments" of the film and the fact that the low score became a news story in its own right.
"After I had a chance to see Mother!, I was even more disturbed by this rush to judgment, and that's why I wanted to share my thoughts," he said. "People seemed to be out for blood, simply because the film couldn't be easily defined or interpreted or reduced to a two-word description."
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