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David Poland

By David Poland

Shocking Rotten Tomatoes Report

Tomatometer Report: “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is the Best Reviewed Film of the Year
Two of this week’s wide releases, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Red Eye,” would appear to have little in common. One is a comedy that mixes sentimentality with the profane, and the other is a Hitchcockian thriller aboard a plane. Yet both films are among the best reviewed of the year.
“The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” starring Steve Carell as a dork with all the wrong moves, is currently the best reviewed wide release of the year, at 90 percent on the Tomatometer. “Red Eye,” Wes Craven’s thriller starring Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, is also soaring; at 83 percent, it’s the fourth-best reviewed film of the year. “Red Eye” is just behind “Cinderella Man,” at 84 percent, and “Batman Begins” at 83 percent. Rounding out the top five is “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” at 82 pecent.
There have been 82 wide releases in 2005 (we’re not including films that start in limited release and slowly move wide, like “Kung Fu Hustle” and “March of the Penguins”). Here’s the list of the best reviewed so far:
Best Reviewed Films of the Year with Wide Release Debuts
(Does not include films with platform releases)
1. The 40-Year Old Virgin – 90%, 102 Reviews
2. Cinderella Man – 84%, 171 Reviews
3. Batman Begins – 83%, 217 Reviews
4. Red Eye – 83%, 101 Reviews
5. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – 82%, 229 Reviews
6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – 82%, 185 Reviews
7. The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants – 82%, 105 Reviews
8. Hustle & Flow – 81%, 121 Reviews
9. Sin City – 78%, 212 Reviews
10. Crash – 77%, 154 Reviews
11. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie – 76%, 68 Reviews
12. Wedding Crashers – 74%, 151 Reviews
13. George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead – 73%, 146 Reviews
14. War of the Worlds – 72%, 218 Reviews
15. Hitch – 68%, 168 Reviews
16. Sky High – 67%, 103 Reviews
17. Unleashed – 66%, 109 Reviews
18. Coach Carter – 65%, 122 Reviews
19. Robots – 63%, 164 Reviews
20. Fever Pitch – 63%, 163 Reviews”

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11 Responses to “Shocking Rotten Tomatoes Report”

  1. lazarus says:

    I’m doubting that Virgin and Red Eye stay at those levels as further reviews trickle in, but is anyone else surprised that Episode III managed to lock at 82%? 10 points higher than El Spielbergo’s War of the Worlds, 4 points above Sin City, and only 1 point behind Batman?
    I mean, if you thought it sucked you’re not going to agree with the majority, but it is a pretty overwhelming consensus.
    I’m a little surprised Romero’s Dead entry didn’t score higher because of his legacy.

  2. David Poland says:

    Well, it is important to remember that this is an objective ranking of a subjective form, reviewing. I would expect that the support for Sin City and Batman is much stronger subjectively than either of this week’s films or others.. but interesting.

  3. Angelus21 says:

    Romero’s dead didn’t score higehr because it wasn’t that good of a film.

  4. Ryuukuro says:

    Without having seen either film (and looking forward to seeing both) I think that there’s an explanation of why they’re both doing so well.
    1. The 40 Year Old Virgin is a mix of crudeness and kindness and that works with reviewers and audiences. It’s like a sweet and sour movie dish. It makes the cinematic tounge happy.
    2. Red Eye is, indeed, a Hitchcockian thriller from what some would call an unexpected source if they ignore Scream. Most everybody loves Hitchcockian thrillers and with its short running time it isn’t too taxing.
    3. Last week saw the release of a Rob Schneider movie. Everything looks good after that.

  5. cullen says:

    critics annoy me to NO END…

  6. Mandrax says:

    It’s somewhat important when seeing somethng like this to remember that Rotten Tomatoes uses an either/or methodology: either the movie is Fresh or it is Rotten, with the total of the binary results simply divided by the number of reviews. In that way, sure, the 40 Year Old Virgin *is* the most unviersally liked, but if those same critics were polled as to their choice for the movie they each liked *the most* this year, I find it unlikely based on the actual reviews that 40YRV would win. I sometimes disagree with them, but a site like MetaCritic which scores a movie based on the review (not always accurately) by converting a letter grade or star-rating to a numerical score, shows a bit more of an honest portrayal of any given movie’s actual reviews. They do use a much smaller sample, though (only 1/3 of Rotten Tomatoes’ for this given review.) And if interested, their system currently shows The 40-Year Old Virgin is the 6th-best reviewed wide release of the year behind The Constant Gardener, Kung Fu Hustle, Sin City, War Of The Worlds and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.) None of these systems are really scientific and all have their very own problems- which pretty much precludes coming to any kind of solid judgement or pronouncements based on review aggregators alone.

  7. joefitz84 says:

    After 2 weeks of Dukes, Deuce, and the like, you can put any decent movie out there and the positive reviews will soar. Its like getting sun after 2 weeks of downpours. Everyones too happy to bad mouth.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I enjoyed Red Eye up until the plane lands. After that, it’s one ludicrous moment after another, with too many unintentional laughs.

  9. Krazy Eyes says:

    It’s good to see 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN getting both the critical and financial goods. I haven’t laughed that hard at a theater in a long time. I was a bit surprised at the number of middle-aged couples in the audience but I guess with the subject matter I shouldn’t have been. Is it safe to assume with it’s opening numbers that teens are connecting with the movie too?
    RED EYE has been getting mostly good reviews but nearly all of them are just on the postivie side. One of the flaws of using the tomatometer as a guage of total worth.

  10. Aladdin Sane says:

    I haven’t seen either of this weekend’s new releases, but I wouldn’t disagree with CM, BB and SW as being the top three wide releases for this year…

  11. Sanchez says:

    Red Eye is ludicrous? Just the premise makes that so. If you are expecting realism from Wes Craven you really set yourself up for a bad time.

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