Rotten Tomatoes, a movie review aggregator, has temporarily suspended comments. Film critics Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Marshall Fine of Hollywood & Fine were assailed by fanboys for daring to give a negative review for The Dark Knight Rises, which subsequently dropped to rating of 87% fresh.
The blurb for Fine’s review read, “At times, the action is so massive and thunderously clunky that I might as well have been watching one of the Transformers movies.” Many of the commenters never read the full review, which crashed Fine’s website, but they didn’t let that stop them for having their (uninformed) say. They quoted the movie, “Your punishment must be more severe.” It eventually escalated to death threats.
“I really did not expect this level of response,” Fine told Indiewire. “I knew it would probably be controversial just because I was the first negative one, and the first person to burst that 100% bubble always comes in for some negative response, but it was like a tsunami.”
Hollywood & Fine is back online and moderating comments but Rotten Tomatoes is says it will hold off until at least the end of the week. It’s expecting more trolls with the upcoming release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They’re debating what to do with the comment system.
“There are a lot of options on the table,” said Editor in Chief Matt Atchity. “We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens.”
Rotten Tomatoes has banned at least one negative reviewer, who intentionally instigated a flame war. Critic Eric D Snider wrote, “The Dark Knight Rises is easily the most disappointing Batman film so far – and I’m including Schumacher’s Batman and Robin in that statement.”
It was revealed to be a prank when visitors clicked for the full review, which read: “Just kidding! I haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet. It’s probably very good! I just wanted to post a negative quote on Rotten Tomatoes and see how many idiots would type angry words at me without actually clicking the link to read the review. ‘You ruined this movie’s RT score!’ is a dumb complaint that is only made by dumb people.”