The highly-anticipated, almost-wasn’t-released “Watchmen” film opens Friday in the US and there’s an interesting divide occurring at Rotten Tomatoes, the movie review aggregating site: while the “T-Meter Critics” are currently giving a aggregated rating of 68% (not bad), the so-called Top Critics are only giving it a rating of 14% (bad!).
Why the difference?
Well, the Top Critics tab only includes professional or highly-established critics, like A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, while the 68% score is the result of the “professional” critics’ scores as well as anyone else the site surveys, including random Joe “I Write A Film Blog” Blow.
I like Rotten Tomatoes but only use it as a rough guide. Part of my problem is that many of the reviews they sample from don’t provide numerical grades, which means RT must read the review and then generate a score based on the critic’s review. Thus, not an exact science. And when I do use RT, I try to stick to the Top Critics since I have no idea where the fuck they’re getting some of these people from. That said, I’ve never seen such a discrepancy between the total score and the Top Critics score; I wonder if it will even out as the release date nears and more reviews are published.
Trivia: “Watchmen” was the only graphic novel to appear on Time‘s Best English-language Novels From 1923-present. (Source)