Metacritic Makes the “Really Like” Movie Grade

For sometime now, I’ve been aware that Rotten Tomatoes is not the only website that aggregates movie critic reviews into an overall score. Metacritic, which was launched in 2001, also creates a movie critic consensus rating for individual movies. Initially, I felt that using two movie critic rating website scores in my selection algorithm might be redundant. I chose to use Rotten Tomatoes because it used more critic reviews and it provided ratings for almost every movie ever made. Metacritic is more hit and miss for movies released prior to its 2001 launch. After choosing Rotten Tomatoes over Metacritic, I put Metacritic off to the side intending to study it more when I got the chance. Well, I’ve finally taken the time to analyze Metacritic and I’ve changed my tune. Metacritic ratings belong in my algorithm.

For sometime now, I’ve been aware that Rotten Tomatoes is not the only website that aggregates movie critic reviews into an overall score. Metacritic, which was launched in 2001, also creates a movie critic consensus rating for individual movies. Initially, I felt that using two movie critic rating website scores in my selection algorithm might be redundant. I chose to use Rotten Tomatoes because it used more critic reviews and it provided ratings for almost every movie ever made. Metacritic is more hit and miss for movies released prior to its 2001 launch. After choosing Rotten Tomatoes over Metacritic, I put Metacritic off to the side intending to study it more when I got the chance. Well, I’ve finally taken the time to analyze Metacritic and I’ve changed my tune. Metacritic ratings belong in my algorithm.

If you’ve never seen Metacritic ratings before, click here to view the website. They use  Green, Yellow, and Red recommendation symbols which parallel Rotten Tomatoes’ Certified Fresh, Fresh, and Rotten Ratings. Metacritic uses fewer critics but they evaluate the quality of the critics and weight their final ratings towards the better critics.

Both movie critic rating systems are predictive of whether you will “really like” a particular movie. Here are the “really like” probabilities that a specific Rotten Tomatoes Rating will produce a rating of 7 or better on IMDB:

IMDB 7+ Prob.
Certified Fresh 79.3%
Fresh 72.1%
Rotten 59.5%

and here are the probabilities for Metacritic recommendations:

IMDB 7+ Prob.
Green 78.7%
Yellow 67.5%
Red 56.1%

Both rating systems are predictive of how people who see the movies will rate the movies. But, is their value in using both rating systems in the algorithm? Are they redundant?

The answer lies in the methodologies used in each rating system. They measure different things. Rotten Tomatoes measures how often the universe of critics recommend a movie. Metacritic measures how much the critics in their universe like a movie. Rotten Tomatoes uses a quantitative measure. Metacritic uses a qualitative measure. They should complement rather than replicate each other.

The data supports the complementary nature of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

7+ Prob.
Certified Fresh & Green 78.4%
Certified Fresh & Yellow 73.8%
Fresh & Green 73.8%
Fresh & Yellow 71.2%
Rotten & Green or Yellow 64.7%
Rotten & Red 56.1%

Certified Fresh movies that are also Green on Metacritic are more likely to be enjoyed by IMDB voters than movies that are Certified Fresh and Yellow. If you want to take a chance on a Rotten movie, stay away from the movies that Metacritic has also rated Red.

If you’ve reviewed the 2017 Objective Top Twenty within the last two weeks, you’ll note that there is a Metacritic column. That signifies that Metacritic has made the grade. It is in the algorithm and is a viable tool in our quest to find more “really like” movies.

 

Author: Mad Movie Man

I love good movies. In my prior life I worked with predictive models. I've combined my love of movies with my prior experience to create a simple Bayesian probability model to help select movies that you will probably "really like".

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