Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has highlighted a steadily growing divide between the general audience and critics in 2019. Movies or TV shows that are loved by the audience are often slammed by critics on the site while the movies or TV shows that critics praise are increasingly getting a tepid reaction from the audience.
Now, No Safe Spaces, a movie about free speech and the First Amendment, is getting the same Rotten Tomatoes treatment, with the general audience loving the movie and rating it 99% Fresh while critics are slamming the movie and have rated it 45% Rotten.
The movie focuses on comedian and podcaster Adam Corolla and radio talk show host Dennis Prager traveling the country and talking with experts and advocates about what free speech in American should look and sound like.
The Verified audience ratings, which come from users that Rotten Tomatoes has verified to have purchased a ticket for the movie, overwhelmingly praise the movie for being “informative,” “well researched,” and “pro American.”
However, despite the positive reception from the audience, most of the Rotten Tomatoes critics have a different view and claim that the movie is “paranoid whining” and “two smug, smirking jerks having a conservative “free speech” circle smirk.”
Beyond highlighting that critics of movie and TV shows appear to be increasingly out of touch with the feelings of the general audience, the Rotten Tomatoes page for No Safe Spaces is also actively promoting the views of these critics while hiding the audience ratings.
All of the reviews from critics are featured on the main Rotten Tomatoes page for No Safe Spaces.
Despite there being more than 10x the amount of Verified audience ratings and even more unverified audience ratings, none of these audience reviews are featured on the main Rotten Tomatoes page for No Safe Spaces. If people want to see what the audience has to say about the movie, they have to actively select the “See All Audience Reviews” button which is close to the bottom of the page.
While No Safe Spaces is the latest release to get this Rotten Tomatoes treatment, it's certainly not the first.
Batwoman has a 12% Rotten rating from the audience yet critics have rated it 73% Fresh – a massive 61% divide.
And despite having an 89% Fresh rating from the audience and becoming the most profitable comic book movie ever made, Joker is currently only rated 69% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
While this rating is still favorable overall, it means the movie misses out on being Certified Fresh – the top rating that Rotten Tomatoes gives to the best-reviewed movies and TV shows.
The critics' rating for Joker also dropped to 44% Rotten in October while the general audience was still overwhelmingly praising the movie and rating it 90% Fresh.
As this divide between the general audience and critics continues to grow, Rotten Tomatoes has responded by silencing the general audience. Earlier this year, after legacy media outlets lied about Captain Marvel being review bombed, Rotten Tomatoes overhauled its rating system and prevented users from leaving pre-release comments on movies.