Six Rotten Tomatoes Movie Ratings that Contradict Popular Opinion

rtmainThere’s nothing worse than seeing a bad movie…okay there probably is, but it still sucks. That’s why we always try to find out whether a movie is worth the time and overpriced popcorn before we see it. And this is where websites like Rotten Tomatoes come in handy. Rotten Tomatoes gathers reviews from various film critics, and uses the ratio of positive to negative reviews to provide an overall “freshness” rating.

So that means that Rotten Tomatoes is the best way to tell whether a movie is good or bad, right? Theoretically, yes. However, there seem to be a few instances where a movie’s supposed “freshness” conflicts with the opinion held by the general public, as evidenced by the following examples:

Terminator 3

terminator [2]The Popular Opinion: Terminator 3 is widely believed to have “ruined” the Terminator franchise. And given that it led to Terminator Salvation, we can’t really argue with that. The film begins with Arnold 3.0 quickly explaining that the core theme of the first two films is actually bullshit, and it all goes downhill from there.

The Rotten Tomatoes Rating:


First off…“a welcome addition”? In most homes, a copy of Terminator 3 would be as welcome as the reanimated corpse of Osama bin Laden. Now to be fair, Terminator 2 holds a rating of 98%, so that 70% rating is a substantial decrease. But not as substantial as the drop from Back to the Future (97%) to Back to the Future Part II (64%). And nobody thinks that Part II “ruined” the series. All it ruined was our ability to be content with wheels on skateboards.

Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore

billy madisonThe Popular Opinion: If you ask anyone what their two favorite Adam Sandler movies are, they’ll reply Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. It’s not just because they’re the only movies of his that are in any way watchable. It’s because they’re really, really funny. These movies are often listed amongst comedy classics, and serve as a fond reminder that before Just Go With It and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Adam Sandler was a man who could really make you laugh.

The Rotten Tomatoes Ratings:

happy madison

That’s right, they’re “rotten.” Again, these are easily two of the most beloved comedy films of the 90’s. There’s probably a scene or two from each of these movies that you can recite directly from memory. Can you say the same for Blades of Glory or Hot Tub Time Machine? Because those decent but unremarkable movies are rated higher than these classics (69% and 64%, respectively).

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

vaderThe Popular Opinion: Revenge of the Sith is considered to be the best of the three Star Wars prequels, which is kind of like saying that the guy who doesn’t stab you is the best of the three guys mugging you. Many complained about the poor writing, the overly drawn-out fights and the general lack of sense. Fans are of the overall opinion that Revenge of the Sith, like Episodes I and II before it, has dragged the Star Wars name through the dirt.

The Rotten Tomatoes Rating:


That’s not just a good rating, that’s pretty impressive. 80% is the kind of grade that a mother could be proud of. But the kicker here is that according to Rotten Tomatoes, Revenge of the Sith is better than Return of the Jedi (78%). That statement is blasphemy in the highest regard. Tell that to a die-hard Star Wars fan and they’ll have an aneurysm from trying so hard to force choke you.


spaceballs [2]The Popular Opinion: Spaceballs is one of Mel Brooks’ most popular films, and that’s saying something. The man is a master of the spoof movie, responsible for such gems as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. And although Spaceballs may not meet those lofty comic standards, it’s still considered hilarious, featuring great performances from Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis, not to mention John Hurt in one of the funniest cameo appearances of all time.

The Rotten Tomatoes Rating:


This is probably the most insulting entry on this list. Not just because Spaceballs deserves a better rating, but because according to Rotten Tomatoes, it’s only a slightly better spoof than Scary Movie (53%). And you do NOT put an EGOT winner like Mel Brooks on the same level as the creators of the Scary Movie franchise. That’s like comparing the scientists who cured polio to the scientists who invented super-polio.

Live Free or Die Hard

diehardThe Popular Opinion: The Die Hard movies were always slightly ridiculous, but many people believe that Live Free or Die Hard went too far. Somewhere between the computer wizards who can hack into anything and John McClane destroying a helicopter with a car because he was “out of bullets”, fans thought that the series had lost it’s grip on reality. Also, partnering McClane with the “I’m a Mac” guy seemed incomprehensible, considering that his partner in the previous movie was freaking Samuel L. Jackson.

The Rotten Tomatoes Rating:

die hard

Not only does Rotten Tomatoes give Live Free or Die Hard a great score, it actually rates it as the second best film in the series. That 82% rating is head-and-gunshot-through-the-shoulder above Die Hard 2 (64%) and Die Hard With A Vengeance (49%). So apparently, fans who didn’t like the fourth film were just upset that the series got good again.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

indy2The Popular Opinion: You don’t need us to tell you how many people were disappointed by the fourth Indiana Jones film. Either you or a friend of yours has likely made one of the following complaints:

  • “How does hiding in a fridge protect you from a nuclear bomb?”
  • “Aliens shouldn’t be in an Indy movie!”
  • “Shia LaBeouf?!”

Basically, this movie confirmed what the Star Wars prequels made everyone suspect: that George Lucas is an emotion vampire who feeds on the unhappiness of others.

The Rotten Tomatoes Rating:

indyAgain, we see that very wrongly presumed “welcome”, considering that this movie was apparently bad enough to warrant a South Park episode about the “raping” of the franchise. But Rotten Tomatoes says that the film is only 8% worse than Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which is warmly embraced by the fans. The only thing really wrong with Temple of Doom was Short Round, and we have a feeling that even he has more fans than Shia LaBeouf.