The Marvel and Star Wars franchises have some pretty devoted fandoms, but that doesn’t mean that they always agree about the quality of the films. In fact, the questions of what brings a comic book universe to life on screen, or how intergalactic political machinations ought to be depicted, can be the source of some contention.
In some cases, movie-loving critics are just not as forgiving as fans when it comes to cinematic techniques. On the other hand, for some fantasy and superhero film audiences, the motion-picture ‘reality’ just can’t live up to the expectations of their fantasy-fuelled imaginations.
So which Marvel and Star Wars films do critics and audiences disagree on the most? To find out, Budget Direct collated critical reviews from IMDb and audience ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, to find out which films achieved interstellar acclaim, and which were in Team Terrible.
The most divisive Marvel film was Captain Marvel (2019). The hotly-anticipated imagining of the popular superhero met with some backlash from some comic fans, who were resistant to the ‘feminist propaganda’ of a powerful woman protagonist disrupting their perception of the Marvel universe. It received an abysmal Rotten Tomatoes rating of 48, compared to a more favorable 69 on IMDb. This may be down to tactical ‘review bombing’ – efforts to denigrate the film by people who may not even have seen it!
Also showing a gap between critical and audience opinion, Spider Man: Far From Home (2019) is perhaps not as contentious as it seems. It’s not an arthouse masterpiece, but the critics on IMDB still gave it a healthy rating of 75. That doesn’t really contradict the higher Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92, since ticket-buying audiences tend to be more generous towards the ‘breezy’ mix of action and teen romance that Marvel delivered in this film.
Star Wars Stingers
The Last Jedi (2017) was the most divisive film in the Star Wars franchise, by quite a margin. Critics gave it a satisfying 70 on IMDb, while it crash-landed on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience rating of 43. This is a reversal of the usual trend, which usually finds audiences more forgiving of technical imperfections compared to critics. Despite the critical approval, The Last Jedi clearly touched a nerve with some audiences.
Critics and audiences were also divided on the 2008 animation The Clone Wars. Neither thought it was good, with IMDB rating it 59 and Rotten Tomatoes a terrible 39 for its poor script and animation. Much less divisive were some older films of the series, such as The Empire Strikes Back (1980). With IMDb ratings of 87 and Rotten Tomatoes at 97, both critics and fans loved the classic space-action adventure.
Check out this infographic to see which other films the critic and audiences just couldn’t agree on.