Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rotten Tomatoes: More on The Dark Knight's Snub

In the wake of Thursday's Oscar nominations and the unfortunate inclusion of The Reader in the Best Picture race, I decided to take a look at Rotten Tomatoes, the go-to compendium for every critical review in the country.  It's a website that counts all the good reviews (fresh tomatoes) and bad reviews (rotten tomatoes) for a film and then gives it a freshness percentage.  Anything over 60% is deemed fresh.  For more, see

Not that critics' reviews are everything, but the freshness percentage does give you an overarching sense of a film's quality.  Looking to this year's crop of Best Picture nominees, and other films left out, leads to some shocking results:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: 72%
Frost/Nixon: 91%
Milk: 93%
Slumdog Millionaire - 95%
The Reader: 60% - barely fresh!

And what about the snubs:

The Dark Knight: 94%
Wall-E: 96%
Revolutionary Road: 68%
Gran Torino: 77%
The Wrestler: 98%
Doubt: 77%

And just to add insult to injury, all of these films were better reviewed than The Reader:

Man on Wire: 100%
Iron Man: 93%
The Visitor: 92%
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army: 88%
Kung Fu Panda: 88%
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: 85%
Bolt: 85%
Ghost Town: 83%
Tropic Thunder: 83% 
Vicky Christina Barcelona: 82%
In Bruges: 81%
Burn After Reading: 79%
Cloverfield: 77%
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: 72%

What does all of this mean?  Well, for one thing, The Reader has no business being nominated as one of the best pictures of the year.  It just goes to show you: highbrow literary source material + the Holocaust + Kate Winslet naked = Best Picture.  Way to play into all the nomination stereotypes, Academy.  



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