Special Report

Movies Audiences Love but Critics Hate

With thousands of new movies released each year, audiences rely on professional critics to identify the best the industry has to offer. By doing so, movie reviewers help moviegoers avoid wasting time and maximize their movie-watching pleasure.

And while critical consensus is generally in line with audiences’ likes or dislikes of a film, sometimes the tastes of critics and audiences differ immensely.

24/7 Tempo has identified 30 films that audiences love but critics hate. We created an index based on the disparity between audience and critic ratings based on reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the Internet Movie Database.

Many of the films with the greatest differences in critical and audience appreciation would be considered low brow. Light-hearted comedies and over-the-top action flicks do not always aim for lofty intellectual goals but exist as unpretentious entertainment for movie lovers, who have no trouble expressing their enjoyment. 

Critics — who tend to look for more than just entertainment and review the movie’s artistic qualities — rarely praise these films. In comparison, these are 76 movies with a perfect score from critics.

It appears that divergence in opinion between critical pundits and the average moviegoer may be becoming increasingly common. Over 1,000 movies — with enough data for comparison — made the original list of movies that audiences love but critics dislike. They date back to the early 1920s. Yet slightly more than half of the films with the largest discrepancy in average ratings were released since 2000. These are the 40 greatest movies of the 21st century.

Click here to see the movies audiences love but critics hate

To determine the movies that audiences love but critics hate, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience and critic ratings from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. FIlms were ranked based on the difference between a film’s Tomatometer score — the percentage of professional critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes that are positive — and the weighted average of audience ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. The average audience score was weighted by the number of audience reviews on IMDb and on Rotten Tomatoes. Only films with at least 75,000 audience reviews on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, 10 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and an average IMDb-Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of at least 75% were included. Supplemental data on domestic box office came from film industry site The Numbers.