Movies

'Transformers' Opens Big: Does That Mean Critics Are Clueless?

Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox in Transformers

hide captionTransformers: Revenge Of The Fallen: Is there a gap between audiences and critics, or do they just have different jobs?

Paramount Pictures

An AP article argues today that Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen "sets a new standard for the gulf between what reviewers and mass audiences like."

The film is on its way to make insane amounts of money, while critics have mostly hated it. Rob Moore, vice-chairman of Paramount (the movie's distributor), offers the smug claim that audiences "kind of roll their eyes at the critics and say, 'You have no idea what you're talking about.'"

But is that right? That audiences read reviews of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and think, "You don't know what you're talking about"?

Or do audiences understand what critics mean by "good," and simply think that's not the kind of "good" they're looking for on a Friday night?

Imagine a restaurant review of McDonalds. Now think about how much money McDonalds makes. It seems like a stretch to assume that the disparity means that people who eat at McDonalds are rolling their eyes at restaurant critics and thinking they don't know what they're talking about.

That's because not every purchase is conceived as an attempt to buy quality, either with burgers or with movie tickets. Sometimes you just want what you want.

Moore insists that critics "forget what the goal of the movie was. The goal of the movie is to entertain and have fun." This is a common argument leveled against movie critics —

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