I think pretty much everyone loves using Rotten Tomatoes to size up a movie, but every once in a while I’ll leave a film wondering how it got such a high score. And I think the problem is: Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t really measure what we think it does.
The site isn’t measuring a movie’s quality so much as it’s measuring whether a movie is mostly good or mostly bad. Because an incredible, best-of-all-time movie gets the same red tomato from each critic as a movie that’s merely palatable. If it’s good enough, it’s red. If it’s not, it’s a green splat.
So an 80 percent rating just says that four out of five people think a movie is good enough. It doesn’t really speak to its quality beyond that. Obviously a really good movie is likely to have more fans than a mediocre movie, but you can’t tell exactly how well liked a movie is until you actually read the reviews.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
First They Killed My Father
Netflix has the new movie from Angelina Jolie, an adaptation of activist Loung Ung’s biography about being a child during the Cambodian genocide. A first trailer for the film came out this week, and the clip is haunting in its silence. The film comes out September 15th.
David Fincher is behind this new Netflix series about FBI agents who track down killers by studying how other killers think. As you might guess from Fincher’s involvement, the series looks incredibly creepy and unnerving. It’s also based, to some extent, on the FBI’s actual serial crime unit. The show comes out October 13th, and it’s already been renewed for a second season.
What Happened to Monday
Noomi Rapace plays seven roles in this dystopian sci-fi film about a group of identical twin sisters growing up in a society that only allows one child per family. The film seems oddly reminiscent of The Matrix, just without the whole computer simulation thing. It comes out August 18th.
Carpool Karaoke: The Series
Planet of the Apps didn’t exactly go that well, but Apple is working within an already proven formula with Carpool Karaoke: The Series. The company put out a new trailer this week that basically just highlights how many famous people will be hanging out and singing in the show. (It’s a lot.) The series starts August 8th on Apple Music.
The Problem With Apu
Comedian Hari Kondabolu has put together an entire series about Apu from The Simpsons, examining the character’s harmful stereotype and the damage it does. From the trailer, it looks like a fascinating deep dive on a troubling piece of pop culture that most people don’t put much thought into. The show airs on TruTV sometime this fall.
Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name was one of my colleagues’ favorite films of Sundance, and from the trailer, it’s easy to see why. The film looks absolutely beautiful — not just in its imagery, but in the mood it seems to set in every scene. It comes out November 24th.
Eli Roth is remaking Death Wish with Bruce Willis as the star. I’ve never seen any of the original films, so I can’t say how this compares, but it appears to be just one big excuse for Bruce Willis to go around shooting people. It’s really over the top and definitely trying to be funny, but I can’t tell how self-aware it is about a lot of what’s going on here. The movie comes out November 22nd.
Netflix’s latest true crime series is a complete send-up of true crime series. From the trailer, it’s clear that American Vandal knows exactly what tropes and tendencies to make fun of — but also, the show is literally an eight-episode dick joke. It comes out September 15th.
I assure you, this is exactly what it sounds like.