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There's a dark corner of the movie world, in which films that fail hard are confined. We don't tend to speak of those films often, but since Flatliners is heading straight for that dark territory, it's time to unlock the vault and throw it in with the others that have achieved the film's lone claim to fame. As of today, Sony's remake of the 1990's original has remained at a 0% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
With just 36 reviews logged on Flatliners' official RT entry, absolutely none of them were positively rated on the scale that helps determine just how the critics enjoyed the film. Of course, it didn't really help that the film was barely, if at all, screened for critics prior to last Thursday's early roll out. Though that's only part of what's really sunk the film's prospects at the box office this weekend, as the critics that did venture forth to see the movie weren't exactly pleased with what they got.
Most reviews of Flatliners called the film out for having a pretty good cast, and decent directing, but a script that just didn't cut it. Our own Conner Schwerdtfeger saw Flatliners for himself, and in his review of the film, the following summation pretty much says it all:
Though competently directed and well-acted, Flatliners does little to set itself apart from a run-of-the-mill thriller. True to the material, it simply lacks a pulse.
But what sort of company is Flatliners keeping in the pool of 0% fresh rated films? Well, that's where it gets a little complicated, because the 0% threshold is held by lots of films. The only problem is, the number of reviews can range anywhere from low single digits to moderate/high double digits. So for the sake of argument, let's take the 36 review watermark, and go with similar and higher review counts for the lowest of the low films on Rotten Tomatoes. By that threshold, films such as 2012's A Thousand Words and 2008's One Missed Call are above its horrific metrics, with Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six ranking in with only two fewer critical reviews.
That's not exactly a spirited neighborhood to occupy, but how did Flatliners do with the people? Surely, the audience score must have been kinder? Well, in essence, it was kinder than the critical ranking, with 43% of audience members enjoying the film. Taking into account the film's $6.7 million opening weekend, it doesn't seem like there's any good news to be had for these intrepid medical students. And yet, if you head over to CinemaScore, the film has a healthy B- average, managing to stay out of that other exclusive club of infamy that's been discussed as of late. How's that for a plot twist?
With all of this in mind, it'll be interesting to see how Flatliners manages to hold up in the coming weeks. In case you're interested in seeing just what a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes looks like, the film is currently showing in theaters.