In The Age Of Netflix, It Doesn’t Matter What Critics Think

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

When everything is one click away and under a subscription, what value does a critic’s voice have?

Let’s be honest, Netflix hasn’t had a good time particularly with their movie content and the critics. Starting off with their acquisition of future Adam Sandler movies, most of all of which have been universally panned. Sandler movies, in general, have all had the same reception though. What’s brought about this article, however, is the reception that both Bright and The Cloverfield Paradox have gained.

Does it matter that Bright and The Cloverfield Paradox were bad?

Bright was the first big example of where critics and audience preferences do not interject. It’s been predicted that 11 million people watched Bright the week it came out. The current Metacritic rating? A rather pathetic, 29.

Both movie’s review scores on Netflix itself? Not perfect, but they do not represent what

Likewise, The Cloverfield Paradox, the long-awaited and rumoured follow-up to 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and 2008’s Cloverfield was universally panned. It’s currently sitting at 37. Given the sudden release and initial reaction around the web, we think Cloverfield is going to pull in big numbers too.

We should interject at this point that Netflix has had plenty of success when it comes to movies and critics. It’s had some big hitters with Beasts of No Nation, Mudbound and plenty more. With that said, these titles probably didn’t pull in the viewing numbers like the two titles mentioned above.

Netflix is as much of a data company than it is an entertainment company. This is cemented by its spending as really, subscriber numbers are all that matters.

Of course, on the flipside, Netflix’s TV shows have generally been getting high scores across the board. Does this give us an indication that TV critics are more in tune with modern TV audiences than that of movie critics and modern movie watchers?

The case of getting rid of movie critics

If you think about why you ordinarily would want to read or listen to a critics view, the majority of cases will involve you handing over money for a product. In the case of Netflix, you already own a subscription so the only thing you really have to lose is your time. Even if you are losing your time, it’s not like you’re obliged to complete your viewing either.

You also have to consider that poor review scores actually fuel more people to watch these movies. What does the viewer have to lose? Maybe 20 minutes to find out, yes, the movie is bad. On the flipside, they may start enjoying it and finish and end up loving it. If this was the case that you listened to the critic’s opinion, you could’ve lost out on an enjoyable experience as at the end of the day, your opinion is really what matters.

In conclusion, it may be an outlandish suggestion to remove the role of a movie critic altogether but the role is changing and evolving. Whether it’s for better or worse is yet to be seen.

What do you think? Is there a case for keeping movie critics? Is there any point of reviewing movies that you don’t have to spend money on and only have time to lose on? Let us know in the comments.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.