How much weight do movie ratings carry with you (for movies you WANT to see)?

Let’s say there’s a movie that just recently came out and is in the theaters that you REALLY WANT to see. You’ve been looking forward to seeing it and have been fairly excited for it. You also (and this is a very important point to consider in this question) EXPECT to really like/love the movie. As in, you have a very good feeling it will be a movie you will enjoy. It looks the the type you’d love, it has actors/actresses that you love in it, the genre is the type you love the most…you just kind of KNOW, deep down, that it’s a movie you’re going to really enjoy, just by the previews alone, even.

But then reviews start coming out for it and…well…most of them are BAD/NEGATIVE.

On a scale of 1-5, how much weight do you put in reviews?

5: A LOT. If almost everyone (especially a reviewer I trust/respect) pans it, I will probably change my mind and NOT see the movie.

  1. A bit/some. I will still go see the movie for myself, but I will probably EXPECT it to be bad. I will expect myself not to enjoy it as much as I previously thought I would, although if I do wind up still liking it, all the better.

  2. It doesn’t really make a difference to me. I will go into the theater with no expectations and make my own opinion. I may like it or I may also think it sucks, but before I see it, I won’t give the reviews any mind.

  3. Hardly at all. I know me and my taste in movies. If I have a GOOD idea that I’ll like something, chances are I’ll like it, negative reviews be damned. Who cares that everyone else hated it? I’ll still see it for myself and I have a good feeling I’ll enjoy it…although I probably won’t be as extremely excited to see it as I once was.

  4. None at all. If I have a good feeling I’ll like a movie, I usually always like it, no matter what the reviews say, so I will DEFINITELY go see the movie still. It doesn’t matter that everyone and their mom critically panned the movie, if I know I’ll enjoy a movie, then I’ll enjoy it. I’ll probably be the only one to do so.

I voted 3 for the specific given situation of reviews being bad/negative.

If it had been word of mouth from friends/co-workers, I would have voted 1.

Very little…there’s nobody I trust to have the same taste as me…I’ve never encountered a reviewer who wasn’t all over the place on that, or else 180 degrees from me. I may listen to WHY they rated it so badly, and decide based on that…but I’ve encountered enough movies where the complaints were overblown or just plain wrong to not trust even that, most of the time.

I answered 2 - mostly I ignore reviews and can select the movies I’ll enjoy. Sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes and some horror are all pretty likely to win with me regardless of reviews.

However, there are actually quite a few things I look for in reviews

First, the “professional critics.” The more Roger Ebert likes something, the more likely I am to avoid it. The Academy Awards are much the same. (For example, I did a quick self-check on best actor awards: I have to go back to Gladiator in 2000 to find a winning movie I’d say I liked and back to 1991 for Silence of the Lambs to find another. In another category, I like their picks for visual effects only about half the time.) So it’s obvious to me that my taste in movies are pretty much opposed to what these groups of people are looking for.

Second, there are certain individuals I know I’m likely to agree or disagree with. A family member loves meandering, dramatic indie movies. You know, the kinds that spend two hours watching someone mope and then end without a resolution. So anything they like is out. I have some other friends with more similar tastes to me, so their positive review of a movie is something useful.

Third, I’ve found that NetFlix reviews can be quite helpful if you look for people who give somewhat detailed and thoughtful reviews. (I actually *like *reviews with spoilers.) It doesn’t even matter to me whether the person liked the movie, just what they say about it. If I read “This horror movie spent too long developing the story and not enough time killing people” then it’s a good bet I’ll actually like it because I prefer horror emphasizing atmosphere and suspense over body counts and gore.

I don’t understand the question. If I want to see a movie, I will, and if I don’t, I won’t. The relevance of reviews is that they might change my mind on what I want to see.

I will often hear about a movie and think “Hm, that could go either way. I’m going to wait to see what the reviews are like before deciding”.

I give it some weight. I find the consensus of others is often right. But it’s not a sure thing. I’ve enjoyed some movies that were generally considered bad and I’ve disliked some movies that received critical and/or popular acclaim.

Actual reviews by critics I largely ignore, since they often pan movies I love and like movies that bore me. But now that there’s rotten tomatoes and netflix and all the ways of aggregating user reviews, those I pay some attention to. They can change me from “must see this in theater” to “watch it when it comes out on something convenient.”

2, only because if LOTS of other people think it sucks they might be right. But if it still piques my interest I watch it. I fell asleep twice during Captain Phillips but was on the edge of my seat throughout All Is Lost.

I’m not a frequent movie-goer (>once a month) so while I usually have a good sense of what I like to watch I’m not a film gourmand and give weight to movie reviews. I usually check the Rotten Tomatoes site first.

So I voted with (so far) the majority. Four.

I read all the reviews for The Lone Ranger (bad) and took my wife. We liked it. It was pretty mindless and overblown, but I already knew that.

No matter how psyched I am for a new movie I would never go and see it if it was universally panned by critics.

There are two ways that a movie can go wrong. By reading the reviews of a flop, you can usually figure out which kind it is.

The first kind is that the director makes the movie they are trying to make, but the movie they are trying to make just isn’t very likeable. The other is that the director just misses the mark entirely and fails to make the movie they are trying to make.

If the movie I want to see is the first kind of failure, I’ll still go see it. Often, I find these are some of the more interesting movies to watch. Sometimes, they can be movies that were billed as one thing but ended up another, like how Showgirls was billed as a sexy mainstream movie and was actually an absurd satire riffing of classic 1950s melodrama. Or they can be movies with an idea that is so amazingly bad that it’s fun to watch just to see what happens, such as my favorite terrible movie about humanitarian aid workers, the outright offensive “Beyond Borders.” And then there are the movies that are just so out there that nobody knows what to do with them…these too can be fun.

But if it’s the second kind, I’d probably avoid it. If the movie ends up being boring, or poorly written, or just plain badly made, it’s probably not worth watching.

Misread the question. I pay a lot of attention to reviews (not ratings); it’s the only way to know if a movie is any good or not…

A couple years ago I was all psyched to see the new Shymalan movie the Happening for my birthday movie. A couple days before my birthday the reviews started pouring in, saying it was one of the worst films ever. Damn straight I didn’t go, I’m not going to voluntarily see a POS movie on my birthday.

Many movies I’ll postpone until RedBox if the reviews are horrible. It’s expensive and a big time commitment to go to the movies, I don’t like to waste my time and money.

Somewhere between 3 and 4. I chose 3, because that’s probably the case the majority of the time in those situations.

I usually consider a negative review of an anticipated film as a warning, or preparation for the brace position. But I know that many films I like a lot have had mediocre reviews, and many films I hate have had rave reviews, so there’s no real reason to believe any of them will align with me at any given time.

Reviewers see hundreds of movies each year. Thousands in a lifetime. I have seen maybe five hundred ever. They are making their judgements in comparison to other movies they like, don’t like, and in respect to actors/directors/writers they like or don’t like. I generally tend to judge my movies firstly within genre, then maybe within cast, but wholly by whatever I’m into. My views will rarely match even the most like-minded of reviewers.

With all the conditions of the OP probably a 1 or a 2. For stuff I have a half-hearted interest in maybe a 4 or a 5.

Since UNIVERSALLY panned, means panned by the critics I usually agree with, I’d give it a lot of weight; similarly, if most critics liked it, but the few I pay the most attention to didn’t, I’d still tend not to see it.

However, there are certain performers I like to see even in bad movies. Since there was the note about the movie starring people I like, I went ahead with a three. Too many variables.

Previews don’t sway me much. Who the director is, and what a handful of critics I like are more important to me. (Exception: back before everything was CGI, I sometimes went to a film just for the FX, in which case a preview might pull me in.)

I should add that before I had a child, I went to a couple of movies a week. Now I’m lucky if I see that many a year, save for the Pixar films I take my son to. I do buy On Demand movies, though, now, which is something I never used to do, because I’d rather see films in the theater.

I think that the IMDB ratings carry a great deal of weight and when I’m looking to spend a few houirs of my time, I will consider those ratings very seriously.

I’m rarely in a rush to see movies in the theatre, so if a movie I’m interested in gets lots of bad reviews I’ll wait to see it on TV.

Four. I was really excited to see Prometheus, but never did after reading all the reviews. I’ve watched so many critiques about the film on YouTube though, that I feel I’ve pretty much seen the movie anyway.