Top 10 Movies That Critics and Fans Did Not Agree On
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
This just in: you can't please everybody. For this list, we'll be looking at movies with major discrepancies between critic and general audience reception. Our countdown includes “The Witch”, "Venom", “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”, and more!
Top 10 Movies That Critics and Fans Did Not Agree On
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 movies that critics and fans did not agree on.
For this list, we’ll be looking at movies with major discrepancies between critic and general audience reception. We’ll be excluding animated movies as deserving their own list.
Do you tend to agree with the critics? Let us know in the comments below!
#10: “Us” (2019)
“Get Out” was a monumental success, and general audiences were chomping at the bit for Jordan Peele’s next socially-conscious horror film. The result was “Us”, a bizarre movie about government-created clones living underground and doomed to mimic their above-ground counterparts. The movie received widespread acclaim from critics, with a score of 81 on Metacritic, and 93% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes reviewing it positively. However, the user scores are far more middling at 59% and 6.4, respectively. The movie also sits at just 6.8/10 on IMDb, where scores are based on user reviews, with many stating their disappointment and bringing up plot holes. One thing is for sure - “Us” was nowhere near as beloved as “Get Out”.
#9: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
Expectations were high, and perhaps unmeetable, for this 2005 adaptation. The source novel is a beloved piece of children’s literature, and the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka is an all-time classic. And were those expectations met? It depends on who you ask. Critics generally enjoyed the movie, judging by the 83% score on Rotten Tomatoes and 72 on Metacritic. However, the 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes indicates a far more divisive reaction amongst general audiences. The movie also sits at 6.6/10 on IMDb. Some love the movie, others absolutely detest it - with most of the criticism aimed at Johnny Depp’s creepy and childish performance as Willy Wonka.
#8: “Grandma’s Boy” (2006)
It’s not always critics loving a movie and general audiences hating it. Case in point - the 2006 comedy “Grandma’s Boy”, about an adult video game tester moving in with his grandmother. Packed with crude and hit-em-over-the-head-with-it jokes, the movie was widely panned by critics, resulting in an abysmal 16% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, the audience score sits at a far more favorable 85%. This discrepancy is mirrored on Metacritic, with the Metascore sitting at 33 and the user score at 7.2. Gross out comedies aren’t often critical darlings, and “Grandma’s Boy” is no exception. But general audiences were far more into it.
#7: “The Witch” (2015)
Atmospheric horror movies like “The Witch” can be divisive. This is not a jump-a-minute scare riot, but a slow-burning film about superstition and isolation. The horror comes less from the film’s titular villain and more from watching a young girl’s own family turn against her. And that’s not what general audiences were expecting. The movie’s audience score sits at just 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, whereas the official Tomatometer holds at 90%. Critics adored its foreboding atmosphere, unique screenplay, and inventive visuals, whereas many moviegoers grew impatient with the film’s slow pace and lack of traditional scares. “The Witch” went on to win numerous accolades, including Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay. It was also named Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Horror Movie of 2016.
#6: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990)
This classic film is notable for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it was the last major project that Jim Henson worked on before his death in May of 1990, with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop developing the iconic costumes for the titular turtles. It also became the highest-grossing independent movie of all time, taking in over $200 million throughout its box office run. That record, combined with the 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.0 user score on Metacritic indicates a certain love from audiences. However, this love is not shared by critics, as evident by the 40% Rotten Tomatoes score and 51 Metascore. Many critics argued that the movie was silly and mediocre.
#5: “Spy Kids” (2001)
Looking at just the reviews, you could be forgiven for assuming that “Spy Kids” was a widely beloved children’s movie. But it ain’t so according to audiences. Critics adore “Spy Kids”, as evidenced by the 93% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes and 71 Metascore. It received praise for numerous aspects, primarily the deft way in which it catered to both children and adults. It even received recognition at various award ceremonies, including the Saturn Awards in which it received a nom for Best Fantasy Film. However, audience reception is far more lukewarm. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score sits at just 46%, and “Spy Kids” holds just a 5.5/10 on IMDb.
#4: “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
There are two ways that “The Blair Witch Project” is perceived. One side regards it as a groundbreaking film that revived the found footage genre and told an eerie story. Others see it as a bore about three people yelling at each other in the woods. “The Blair Witch Project” was a critical darling, standing at 86% and 81 on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively. It was also a box office phenomenon, grossing nearly $250 million on a budget of a few hundred thousand. But the movie’s quality remains hotly debated. It received a middling C+ CinemaScore upon release, sits at 6.5/10 on IMDb, and carries an audience score of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes.
#3: “Venom” (2018)
Hype was incredibly high for a Venom movie - especially one starring Tom Hardy. Perhaps it was this hype that led general audiences into forgiving its more egregious flaws. “Venom” was trashed by critics, resulting in a measly 29% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 35 Metascore on Metacritic. Many critics took note of its incoherent story and unintentional hilarity, with some even comparing it to a cult classic midnight movie in the vein of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. General audiences, while far from adoring the film, were generally more forgiving. The movie’s 6.7/10 IMDb score, 6.3 Metacritic user score, and 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes point towards a warmer reception - as does the $856 million in box office earnings.
#2: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
The release of “Batman v Superman” caused quite a stir. Not for the story beats or fight sequences, but for the pitiful critical reception it received. The movie sits at just 29% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned eight nominations and four wins at that year’s Razzie Awards. And while few loved the movie, it fared far better among general audiences. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score sits at 63%, it has an IMDb score of 6.4/10, and its 7.0 Metacritic user score is far more positive than the 44 Metascore it received from critics. Zack Snyder has proven to be a divisive director, with “Man of Steel” having also seen a split between critic and general audience reception.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Uncut Gems” (2019)
While Critics Loved This Crime Thriller, Viewers Were Divided
“About a Boy” (2002)
The Romantic Comedy Received Rave Reviews, But Left Audience Scores on the Fence
“It Comes at Night” (2017)
The Psychological Thriller Pleased Most Critics, But Didn’t Meet Audience Expectations
“Man on Fire” (2004)
Critics Disliked This Movie About Vengeance & Vigilantism, While Audiences Lapped It Up
“Under the Skin” (2013)
The Sci-Fi Movie’s Arthouse Approach Won Over Critics, But Divided Viewers
#1: “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (2017)
This may be the most divisive movie of the 21st century. Critics adored the film, resulting in a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score and an 84 Metascore on Metacritic. On that same website, it was the 22nd most mentioned film on “best of the decade” critic rankings. And then there are the audience scores. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score sits at just 42%. On Metacritic, the user score is a paltry 4.2. The negative response was so noticeable that some began to suspect vote brigading, and a Rotten Tomatoes spokesperson told The Verge that it had been “seriously targeted” by review bombing. Others just genuinely didn’t care for the movie, with many criticisms aimed at its story and characterizations.