Those hoping Justice League would be buoyed by a strong Rotten Tomatoes score are likely in for disappointment. The fifth entry in DC's cinematic universe is being met with decidedly mixed reviews. And while the Tomatometer score won't be officially known until Thursday, it's not difficult to figure out where it will land.
The criticisms aren't quite as sharp as those that welcomed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad; many reviewers who have panned the film have noted that it still feels like a step in the right direction for the franchise and is intermittently entertaining even if it ultimately comes up short. But there's no getting around the fact that this is not the reception Warner Bros. was hoping for after they enjoyed their critical breakthrough with Wonder Woman earlier this year.
There is a new wrinkle this time around, however. Rotten Tomatoes is delaying the reveal of Justice League's Tomatometer score until Thursday, days after the embargo lifts. The score will be revealed in Rotten Tomatoes' new Facebook show See It/Skip It. This controversial decision is a pretty bald-faced move by the popular aggregator to both hype their new show and to move more into the realm of criticism and influence.
But it's not necessary to wait until See It/Skip It makes its decree to form a highly educated guess as to the movie's score. Dozens of reviews of the film are flooding social media as the embargo lifts. Of those, we are currently tracking 58 are from reputable, professional outlets that are always listed on Rotten Tomatoes, including the likes of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, and Empire. Running those reviews through the same simple positive/negative ratio Rotten Tomatoes uses gives Justice League a Tomatometer score of 60.34%, just barely cracking into positive territory. Interestingly, the estimated "Top Critic" score is sitting higher at a clean fresh rating of 64%.
Given, a great number of the positive reviews land in the "mixed/positive" range of 6/10, meaning when reviewers designate their ultimate thumbs up/down to Rotten Tomatoes, it could flip some from our evaluation of positive to a negative review. Due to that, and the fact that hundreds more reviews are yet to come in, including a number of staple "Top Critics," that score is far from final and could see a big swing either up or down. As it stands now it's clearly higher than Batman V Superman (27%) and Suicide Squad (26%). It finds itself in much tighter competition with Man of Steel (55%), and doesn't occupy the same solar system as Wonder Woman (92%).
It should be noted a poor Rotten Tomatoes score is not necessarily a film's death knell. Plenty of films have been both financially successful and popular with poor Tomatometer scores, and arguments continue to rage over the level of importance granted to the site's stats. That said, this will certainly be a disappointment for both the film's producer's and DC's ardent fanbase, and likely means Justice League will have an uphill battle to reach unqualified success.
Source: Various (see links)
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019