Sunday in Depth #6: Metacritic vs. Rotten Tomatoes


When you make up your mind about whether to go spend your ten bucks on a movie, you usually take a glance at a movie’s reviews or at least an accumulation of them like the ones you find on Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes. But is there even a difference between the two. The short answer is yes. This difference is obvious with a movie such as the 2015 movie Spy which features a Metascore of 75% while the Tomatometer gives it a whopping 94%. So how is this?

Well Metacritic takes major film critics’ ratings of films and finds an average of them. So if all the reviews are ‘pretty good’ the film will get somewhere in the 60 to 70% range. On the other hand Rotten Tomatoes focuses on whether reviewers give the film a positive review. So if everyone thinks the movie is ‘pretty good’ it would get a perfect score. And that is exactly how a movie like Spy gets such a great Tomatometer score.

But which one is better? Personally I prefer Rotten Tomatoes’ layout and website as it is easy to use and now also features television programs, but I think Metacritic’s way is probably more accurate of how good a movie is. On the other hand (again) Rotten Tomatoes almost serves as a percentage chance of the viewer in enjoying the film.

So really it depends on what you are looking for. Metacritic provides you with information on how good the movie is while Rotten Tomatoes provides you information on the chances of the audience enjoying the film.


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