Not Every Movie Has to be the Best Movie Ever

Sunday, July 7, 2024
I think the sentiment that every movie has to be 4/4, 5/5, or in the 90% range on the tomato meter to be worthy. Honestly, I think we see a lot of this discourse with the superhero franchises and the delusion of the stans about the real quality of the MCU and DCEU films, and that has spread to film discourse at large. Not every film needs to be defended to the death that it's great or shouted down for being bad.

Three-star films are still films people should see. People should even see bad movies, cause it's good for the film going diet, you might even find a good-bad movie, or a bad movie that you just can't stop thinking about. 

I also think this is a function of people misunderstanding how to actually read and use Rotten Tomatoes and Letterboxd. Those platforms are not meant to be the critical end all be all. I use Rotten Tomatoes rarely, but when I do,  I really scroll down to the critic's reviews and clink the links to take me to the full review on whatever site they write for, and then I spend more time on that site clicking around, or at least until I hit a paywall. I might even decide it's a site that's worth subscribing to. It really is a good starting place to find critics whose work you want to follow. Letterbox is a good way to log films you've watched, much like Goodreads for novels. Those two sites are not a place for critical discourse. It's a place to talk about things between peers, much like you would in real life. A written word of mouth, which is how movies can build momentum at the box office and gain more traction with audiences. Unless the review on Letterboxd are a professional film critic's, I don't think they should be given the same weight as a published review. Speaking of which, it's also a good place to follow your favorite critics as well, and see what they're watching and rewatching, get a real idea of their taste in film. 

Both of these sentiments I think are bad for movies across the board. If you expect movies to be 5/5 all of the time, and you build up this hype you can only be disappointed when a movie is only good or great, and angry when movies are bad. And it can lead to a frustration and an unwillingness to give a new film a chance. A healthy discourse and a healthy film industry means that the good, bad, and great films are made, released in theaters, given a chance to find an audience (and make money), and have people talk about them. 
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