Cuties Causes the FANS to Fight the CRITICS on September 25, 2020
Friday Feud: Fans vs Critics. This week the fans do battle with critics over The Social Dilemma, I Am Woman, The Broken Hearts Gallery and…
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Hello everybody and welcome back to another edition of “Fans vs Critics,” a series of articles posted every Friday where I take some of the new films released recently–two weeks ago in order to give enough time for fans to rate them–and decide if fans and critics agree. I use IMDB for the user ratings and compare them with the critical ratings from Metacritic, but I also use Rotten Tomatoes for both of them as well. I’ve thought about combining the two and have a final average rating but I enjoy seeing how websites differ and tallying that up throughout the year.
Since I began this there have been some intriguing findings but this is the most exciting week by far. That’s because this week we finally get to tackle the minefield that is Cuties. I haven’t seen it but “Fans vs Critics” is not about my opinions, it’s about what the data suggests to me, with my opinions occasionally sprinkled in. So let’s just dive into this.
IMDB/Metacritic and the Endless Argument Over Exploitation in Cuties
As we can see here, fans and critics actually agree most of the time. “Same opinion” means that the ratings are almost identical, and “similar opinion” means that they are within 14 points on a 100 point scale. You’ll never guess what the large difference is.
Coming in with a 41 point difference is Cuties. For the record, I consider anything that differs from 20 points to be a large difference, so this is double that. In doing this weekly I predict that we will rarely get this level of difference, but I could be wrong. It happens occasionally, I know. If you’ve been following these articles you may have already seen me be wrong before, and I don’t know why I’m reminding you.
I don’t usually include this information but here’s a breakdown of Cuties on IMDB:
77% rated it 1/10. That’s absurd, but I am well aware that there might be some review bombing going on. I’m not willing to concede that that’s all it is because often people will use that as an excuse to vindicate themselves, but I don’t doubt that there’s probably an amount of people who saw some images or a trailer and went to IMDB.
The next highest percentage is 4.6% on the polar opposite end, the 10/10 masterpiece rating. But this is a clear case of the more exciting activity happening on the tail end, on the extremes. You see that if you exclude the 1/10 ratings, most of the activity is from 6-8. So, a typical average on IMDB from my understanding is within that range; it’s just that it goes overboard because so many people ravaged it with 1s.
Might as well say sorry now because I imagine most of this article will focus on Cuties. I’ve kept silent on it but now is my moment to shine!
Rotten Tomatoes: Some People Just Want to Watch the World (With Cuties in It) Burn
Rotten Tomatoes seems to be the more chaotic of the websites. Opinion between fans and critic vary more often there than on IMDB/Metacritic. Why? Perhaps because IMDB might attract a different form of movie-goer than Rotten Tomatoes, since RT is more in the public eye.
I input the data before I do this but I don’t actually look at the charts until I start writing the post, so I did not expect to see this. Let’s dig into this.
Wowzers (forget I said that)! So by looking at this, you’ll see that there’s an even bigger split between fans and critics for Cuties on Rotten Tomatoes than IMDB/Metacritic. But I Am Woman is not loved by critics, nor is The Broken Hearts Gallery. So what do we posit about this? Critics are for child exploitation, critics hate women and critics hate love. I’m just kidding… we all hate love.
Seriously though, I find all of this interesting. Without knowing anything substantial about I Am Woman, I would have expected it to be more beloved by critics than fans. The reception towards The Broken Hearts Gallery doesn’t surprise me. We should also note that we all agree on The Social Dilemma, which I would assume means we are all aware of the dangers that face us and our caveman brains concerning social media… hold on, I have to check Facebook.
IMDB: Outside of the French flick, critics and fans agree more often than not. It’s cool that this time there’s a large difference. It’s the first one on IMDB/Metacritic since I started this a few weeks ago.
Rotten Tomatoes: On the complete opposite end of the spectrum was the fans who frequent Rotten Tomatoes. They didn’t give a crap about critical opinion, except for with The Social Dilemma (a movie I reviewed here by the way)
The Final Verdict: Your opinion on whether fans and critics agree or disagree will be dependent on which site you visit. If your exposure is IMDB/Metacritic then you might have more faith in the relationship, but if you find your way to Rotten Tomatoes you will see swords at each others necks.
You Could Be Done Now but If You Want More Detail, Follow Me Friends
If you’ve followed along week-by-week thus far then you’ll notice the pattern. People under 18 don’t rate much, people who are 45+ years of age rate quite a bit but mostly it’s 18 to 44 who need to go on the interwebs and voice their opinions. It’s also usually male, and a large portion of them are also from outside of the US, which I imagine will always be the case.
This time the ladies rate higher on average. Conventional stereotypes would indicate that some of this might not be a surprise when you look at the movies. You’d expect a movie titled I Am Woman to be more loved among female audiences. We all know that women prefer romance movies more than men do, so The Broken Hearts Gallery would fit in there. Cuties… well, I mean, it’s about children but there’s also the controversy so that is a whole other thing. The Social Dilemma is interesting too because men tend to prefer non-fiction, but girls–specifically young girls–seem to be more impacted by social media in a negative way than young boys. Now, it’s really not young girls watching that documentary so it might be a moot point, but I still felt it was worth pointing out that women rate it higher, even if it’s only 1 point, which admittedly is pretty meaningless.
Those statements weren’t meant to be offensive, especially since the differences between male and female aren’t huge. It could also just be a case of women rating less.
One last thing about Cuties in this section: even though nobody likes it, if you look you see that the 45+ age group likes it the most. You creepy old men!
If you look at the runtime reception chart in the top left corner without context, then you might assume that fans have some issue with the 96 minute duration, which would seem odd because that’s an average movie length. Of course, we know better and we can blame that damn Cuties again.
If you look at “Age Group Breakdown by Runtime” you’ll notice that the teenagers really hate the 110 minute mark. That’s just because literally nobody in the <18 age range rated The Broken Hearts Gallery. Are y’all insecure or something? Of course, it’s more likely that they don’t know what the hell it is.
Nothing else really sticks out to me but maybe you can find something worth pointing out.
I try to use the MPAA film classifications when I do this but sometimes I can’t, so that’s why you’ll see 15 here. There were two PG-13 movies and two 15 movies so the comparison is even. Fans prefer PG-13 and critics prefer 15, but Cuties rears its ugly head once again because it’s rated 15.
When it comes to the world ratings and the age breakdown then they mostly rate the same so there’s no real movement there. PG-13 is impacted because 0 people, as noted earlier, rated The Broken Hearts Gallery, which is PG-13. I could have just nulled it out and that would have changed the chart, but I opted to put in a 0. Nothing very amusing to say here so let’s wrap this section up.
Cuties Cuties Cuties. I could just end it here because it’s the gift that keeps on giving, but as evidenced earlier, Rotten Tomatoes is more exciting, and this deeper dive explains why.
Despite the fact that Rotten Tomatoes is so much more exciting, I still found that fans prefer PG-13 movies over 15, like on IMDB. In that regard they are no different than their brothers and sisters on the other site.
Yet despite liking movies more in general, you’ll notice that critics actually recommend movies more. This is found in the Tomatometer, which is not the average rating of a film (I need to write an article about this at some point), but just the percentage of critics that give a film a passing grade. The audience score functions fundamentally the same. If you look at the film breakdown it’s that film Cuties sticking out. Gee, I haven’t mentioned that one yet.
This is a good example of why you have to always look at different aspects of data to get a clearer picture. If you just looked at “Audience Score vs Tomatometer” you might come to the conclusion that the audience doesn’t like movies as much, especially if you are unsure of the proper purpose of the Tomatometer.
The Tally Since I Started Doing This
Let’s bore with some numbers and percentages! Yay!
IMDB agrees with the critics 83.3% of the time.
Rotten Tomatoes’ audience agrees with the critics 50% of the time.
Before we wrap this up, I see a narrative forming. I have a theory that could be off-base. I stated earlier that I believe Rotten Tomatoes has a more public face so that could potentially account for the more even distribution, because “casuals” might show up. Could it be that IMDB is probably for “film buffs”, who are more likely to agree with critics? I only use the term “casual” and “film buff” to simplify a distinction, not to be derogatory because who cares what you are as long as you like what ya do.
Well, that’s it for another week. I try to make it as entertaining as possible with some humour, and I attempt to tell stories without just quoting the numbers, but I understand that sometimes it gets a little dry because I’m trying to find a balance. It’s possible that I put a little less emphasis on witty commentary here than I used to simply because I figure that the people who want to read this are people who are willing to trudge through numbers–and do math, you raging nerds–to get to some form of truth.
If you have any suggestions to make this better then by all means write in the comments below. But of course I would prefer undying love and totally undeserved praise so if you want to do that then you may comment multiple times. To the spam bots who are going to attempt to comment, I appreciate that you always fluff me up.