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Critics vs Audiences – Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?

Who should you trust when watching a film, Critics or Audiences? Our answer is to focus on: Enjoyability. It has and will always be our main focus when writing our Hooves Reviews here at Dead Horse Media. We pride ourselves on steering audience members on whether a movie is worth their time watching if it’s one that you can sit down and simply: enjoy.

However, when most people look at whether a certain film is worth watching, they’ll visit Rotten Tomatoes. It’s one of the biggest review sites online, taking reviews from hundreds of critics and averaging those reviews into a percentage score with 0% being the worst and 100% the best. It’s not just certified critics that can give their opinions, there’s also an audience score. This means that thousands of general audience members can publish their opinions which in turn creates its own separate percentage score. Both the audience score and critic score usually match in some way yet sometimes there are cases in which the audience members and critics don’t seem to agree…

Venom Movie HD Still


There are quite a few examples of these:

  • Venom rocked up an awful 29% critics score HOWEVER it received 80% from audience members.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi receiving 91% from critics and only 44% from the audience.
  • Ad Astra received 83% from the critics but only 42% from the audience.
  • Goldfinch received a terrible 24% from Critics and an impressive 73% from Audience members.

Audiences or Critics?

But who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, if we use Venom as our main example we can see that critics gave the movie 29% which is terrible; this is because it’s fair to say that objectively, Venom is not a cinematic masterpiece. Venom is not a revolutionary piece of cinema that ticks the boxes for top critics. Most critics aren’t swayed by emotion, action or their favourite comic-book characters. They search past all of those things and examine every movie in great detail, it’s their job to do so. Therefore, they’re much more likely to nitpick, looking for what worked and what didn’t.

However, most general movie-goers don’t ever do this. Most people who go to the cinema to watch a film are there to enjoy it. General audiences are spending their valuable money and free time to watch a movie that will entertain them and take them away from their hectic lives for just a couple of hours. As audience members we’re not there with note pads and pens ready to pick apart a movie as much as we can. This is why a lot of audience members generally enjoyed Venom, hence its 80% score. Because let’s be honest: Venom was a fun film. It was full of comedy, action, heart and explored a well known comic book character on the big screen. It’s likeable and entertaining, but it’s no cinematic masterpiece (whatever that means anyway).

Star Wars Audience


While critics and audiences may sometimes clash when it comes to opinions, it’s important to understand that neither sides opinion matter less than the other, both sides are just looking for different things. Taking this into account: all of our Hooves Reviews will always focus on the enjoyability of a film, TV series, game or comic. Just because something is considered a cinematic masterpiece, it doesn’t mean it will connect with audiences.

Critics see film as pieces of art, they’re there to be examined, picked apart and criticised. On the other hand, audience members generally look to be entertained, and that’s why as a platform we will always aim to guide you on whether a certain piece of media fits your personal taste but overall whether it’s entertaining and worth your precious time watching/playing/reading. That’s our promise to you.

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Written By

Co-Founder of Dead Horse Media

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