Review aggregation sites are an invaluable tool for the casual movie goer. There are so many movies that are so easily accessible the more help a person can get when making a difficult movie decision, the better it is. Two of the most popular and used review aggregates are Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Rotten Tomatoes has become so popular that it has actually become a marketing tool. Getting a 100% rating on the site is today’s “two thumbs up”.
What is the difference between the two sites? Rotten Tomatoes takes the reviews from the top 100 movie critics. Theoretically, the movie reviews found here are the most respected and trusted to be found. The downside is the reviews are based on a yes or no scale. Either a movie is Certified Fresh or it is Rotten. There is no middle ground or room to see if the movie’s flaws matter to your personal tastes. Still, it is a great way to see what top critics think of a movie.
Metacritic is a little more rounded. It includes the middling review making the overall rating more accurate. It also places audiences scores side by side with critic scores. This is a nice addition since the two can be so different. One possible downside is Metacritic does not have a stated standard and potentially the scores are not as reliable as what can be found on Rotten Tomatoes. Overall, it is a great way to compare critic and audience scores while also getting an accurate rating.
Are the two that different? Here is a look at how they both rated movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thanks to Pablo Martinez for putting the information together.
The highest rated MCU movie per Rotten Tomatoes is Black Panther. This is not surprising since it is was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. After Panther, the ratings are very close. Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel’s The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the second two Captain American movies are all within three points of each other. The big surprise for some may be how well the original Iron Man movie has held up. The movie that began the entire juggernaut over a decade ago is still the second highest rated movie.
The bottom of the list is unsurprising. The first two Thor movies, the oft forgotten The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton and the second Avengers and Iron Man movies are the usual suspects when fans pick their least favorite MCU movies. What may be surprising to some is Captain Marvel just barely missed being in the bottom five.
At first, the ratings look the same. Black Panther and Iron Man are at the top. Then things start to differ. Guardians moves in to the top five. Meanwhile, the first Avengers movie which is one of the five highest rated on Rotten Tomatoes barely makes the top ten on Metacritic. The biggest takeaway is the scores lower on Metacritic. I doubt many people will not see a movie because it is rated 89% instead of 90%, but it is interesting
The bottom looks much like Rotten Tomatoes with the order being slightly different. Again, The Dark World gets the lowest scores. Once more, Captain Marvel scores surprisingly low. The movie is doing very well at the box office, but critics clearly find it in the lower tier of MCU entries.
Review aggregate sites are a helpful tool for undecided movie goers. It comes down to preference as to which a person will choose, but even in their differences, both are similar enough to point audiences in the right direction.