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Critics and audiences, for the most part, have a hard time aligning their tastes. Sometimes what the professionals will pan becomes the #1 movie in America, and sometimes the critics will love a movie that audiences just aren't buying into. If you're like PhD student Benjamin Moore, you've probably wondered just what films are strewn across the dividing lines of "us versus them". Which means you've probably conducted the same study Mr. Moore has shared with the world, and if that's the case you don't have to read any further. But for those of us who haven't crunched the numbers and remain curious which films are the most over and under rated by the critical community, there's a lot of interesting data to take in.
Benjamin Moore's study (seen here) used the Rotten Tomatoes scale of "freshness" and compared the differences between the official Tomatometer percentage and the Audience percentage, specifically those pertaining to a select sampling of the sites Top Rental titles, as well as titles that are listed as similar than those top titles.
In the Most Overrated camp, we see that Spy Kids is the overall winner, as it was 93% fresh with critics, but only rated a 45% with audiences, yielding a chart topping 48% difference.
Conversely, audiences championed Facing The Giants with a 73% difference in opinion between their 86% and the critical freshness percentage of only 13%.
Benjamin Moore didn't stop there though, as he not only included the exact coding he used to obtain his results, but he also included some notes and caveats in order to fine tune the study in the future. In addition to his own blog post, Mr. Moore weighed in on his analysis when iO9 reported it themselves. Of particular note was his additional list of the universally adored and universally reviled films that audiences and critics agreed on. Seven Samurai and 12 Angry Men actually tied for the most adored, while Police Academy 5 was named the most hated film between the two groups.
The technical details, and all of Mr. Moore's notes are in his original blog posting, and are highly interesting to read. Here's hoping that someone picks up where his work left off and shows us an even more complete picture as what films lie on the limits of the critical and audience continuum. You know, I'm still surprised that Police Academy 5 wound up being ranked as the worst film. How bad can a movie advertised like this be?
I guess Steve Guttenberg was more popular than we ever could have thought.