Design

Do or Don’t: Reading Reviews Before a Movie

Downsizing

Have you seen the trailer for Downsizing? Directed by Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways), the comedy stars Kristin Wiig and Matt Damon, who live in a world where people can shrink down to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation. It looks hilarious and bizarre. But…

Then I read mixed reviews! And Rotten Tomatoes currently gives it a 67 percent. Yet I still want to see it, don’t you? Who knows, maybe we’ll love it?

Cup of Jo editor Megan actually avoids reviews before seeing movies. “I don’t want to have anyone else’s opinion in my mind while watching,” she told me. “I went into Lost in Translation knowing nothing other than that Bill Murray was in it. As I watched, I kept thinking, ‘I love this! This is the best movie I’ve ever seen!’ It feels so good to have those big surprises. I wonder if I would have had such a strong reaction if I had read a bunch of great reviews.” Maybe it’s worth going into the theater with fresh eyes?

Any movies you are looking forward to seeing? Stronger and Lady Bird also look great.

P.S. A new podcast, and the joy of re-watching TV shows.

  1. “Good thinking, Brad”
    You’re genius. What would I do without you

  2. Leena says...

    Cant help myself, i always take a peek. Most of the time i take the reviews with a grain of salt, even if there seems to be a common theme spread throughout i still tend to give the film its impressionable moment its entitled to. Most of the time i find myself to not be a tough critic & find some kind of shining light within any film i watch. It’s neat to see how others process the happenings of a movie though!

  3. Gilli says...

    I try not to look at the reviews but my husband is obsessed with looking at Rotten Tomatoes! I went on a girls night recently to see “Home Again” and wow. I wish I had looked at the reviews because the reviews were right, it was so bad I was cringing!

  4. Allison says...

    Never read a review first! Your own opinion is the one that should matter most when it comes to films, books, paintings, etc. Don’t let someone else rob you of making the decision on how to feel about a piece of art.

    I have a friend who reads not only reviews but entire plot synopses before seeing a film. He wants to know how it’s going to end before he even begins it. He’s clearly insane, but he’s so fun to be around, so our friendship continues.

  5. Amanda says...

    My husband is stuck on how many stars or what rating a movie has received on Netflix or rotten tomatoes etc. But I am always finding movies I looove that have poor ratings. My theory is that people with my personality type and interests aren’t the kind of people who generally take the time to rate movies online. (I’ve never done it!)

    • Catherine Keene says...

      HAH Amanda I love your theory.

  6. Sure but sometimes you really need reviews to be emotionally prepared for a movie. Years ago a friend invited me to see “Amores Perros” saying it is a romantic comedy about dogs. I almost walked out. I was so upset and shocked. Recently, I dragged my husband to “Manchester By the Sea” saying its a romantic drama with Michelle Williams. She’s so fun! He still hasn’t forgiven me. :)

  7. Cait says...

    I only read reviews beforehand for content…we really don’t watch most new films and are picky about a good story without anything explicit. Unfortunately that means almost everything, and the trailer usually tells me enough. But I LOVE movies and it takes a really bad movie for me to not enjoy it…so I’m often shocked at negative opinions I read later, haha!

  8. Brittany says...

    I definitely read reviews except for things I am going to see no matter what (like all the Star Wars movies). I do not have enough time or money to see bad movies or movies I am definitely not going to like.

  9. Anneka says...

    Too many movies and not enough time to go see bad ones. I definitely read reviews, but stick to ones I trust.

  10. Jillian Rea says...

    I almost always either read a review or at least check the rotten tomatoes rating. I find RT to be right on par with my own taste and I honestly feel like life is too short to watch bad movies.

  11. I like reading the reviews after and if they match my opinion I always feel a little validated like, “I was right about this! told you so!” even if there is no one around!

  12. Celeste says...

    I don’t read reviews and am surprised at this popularity. Maybe sometimes I’ll read a summary of it after I’ve seen it if I fell asleep or didn’t understand something. My daughter and I want to see Wonder in November.

  13. C says...

    I usually like watching trailers, but not reading reviews. I do check the Rotten Tomatoes score pretty often, but try not to dive any deeper than that. And sometimes I love movies that Rotten Tomatoes hates – you need a silly movie every now and again! (Step Up 2: The Streets, anyone?!?!) I also get frustrated when the trailer gives up a plot twist, which this one for Downsizing did for me :( :( Definitely want to see it in December, though!

  14. Dana says...

    I prefer watching a movie when I know almost nothing about it. Unless it’s scary! For suspenseful movies, I can’t watch unless I know beforehand when to close my eyes. My stepson recently told me about this website, which explains exactly where all the jumps are in a huge database of movies, and it has saved my life https://wheresthejump.com

  15. Terrell says...

    If a movie trailer leaves me scratching my head, I definitely read reviews. I recently did that for “mother!” and I’m so glad I did, because it saved me from wasting my time, $$, and mental energy on a movie I know I wouldn’t like.

  16. Emily says...

    I recently saw The Big Sick in the theater, knowing absolutely nothing about it beforehand. When the movie started, it was such a fun surprise! It was truly the most enjoyable movie experience I’ve had in so long. (I realize, though, that this was a pretty great movie. It could’ve been a real bummer to spend $12 on a terrible movie!)

    • Kayla says...

      It was so good! We didn’t know much about it (my husband knew nothing, I checked rotten tomatoes which led me to choose it over home again) and we both loved it. It was fun not really knowing what to expect.

  17. Hannah says...

    One of the most “romantic” parts of my relationship with my boyfriend is the ten minute car ride from the theater to the house. We see at least two or three movies a month and we always break it down on the way home, the conversation always starts with me saying “I have thoughts on thoughts.” Those ten minutes are always a stark reminder of just how much I love him and how much I like just knowing what he thinks about a two hour movie. Our latest one, Logan Lucky, started a debate on Channing Tatum’s merit as a comedy actor, Soderbergh’s casting, and why accent coaches are always an asset.

    • C says...

      that’s really cute :)

  18. Babs says...

    Are there any other women out there who like horror films? Reading the comments, it seems my affinity for having the crap scared out of me at the cineplex is shared by very few. Horror films tend to get terrible reviews, especially from aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes or the old Netflix star system, because people don’t like being frightened and downgrade the movies accordingly, or justifiably because a lot of scary flicks are terrible. Word-of-mouth has brought me to more enjoyable cinematic experiences than reviews or trailers.

  19. Kaitlin says...

    When my husband and I watch movies – or start into a new TV series on Netflix – at home, I can’t help but to Google the film and scroll through Wikipedia as we watch. I know it’s the worst (so distracting!), but I feel like I need to know the story in order to understand it as it unfolds. Strangely, this doesn’t happen with books…maybe because I can always re-read a passage?

  20. Sara Carmella says...

    Trailers and reviews give away so much of the plot that it usually spoils my experience of watching a movie really unfold the way it was meant to. I’ll watch the first 20 or 30 seconds of a trailer to see if I like the general vibe. And I will see something if it gets better than a 50% rating, but I don’t read reviews. I’ve liked lots of movies where the ratings were not the best.

  21. I don’t read reviews before movies, but I DO read the synopsis (generally from Wikipedia) of a scary or anxiety inducing movie before or during watching. For example, I got home one day from work and my husband was watching “World War Z” at FULL VOLUME (two kids napping in the next room, how you wizard??), and I came in at the point when the zombies are climbing over the wall in Jerusalem. I lost my mind and hid in the kitchen while I read EXACTLY what happens throughout the whole film. Knowing what will happen helps me get through that adrenaline-pumping feeling that makes me want to vomit.

  22. Laura says...

    Seeing a movie in the theater involves time and money- and since there are so many that I often want to see, looking at reviews or rotten tomatoes %s helps me narrow it down to the ones I should definitely see in theaters and the ones I can wait to watch or rent later. For example- I really wanted to see Passengers before it came out (Jennifer Lawrence in an epic romantic space movie? amazing!), but I’m glad I looked at reviews beforehand and prevented myself from wasting $30.

  23. Laura says...

    Ideally, I prefer reading reviews after watching the film. I probably only do so when I had a strong reaction to it (whether positive or negative).

    • Laura says...

      Also, some of the best movies I’ve seen were the ones that I had a completely blank mind about. Like this year, a friend of mine wanted to see Get Out and I had no idea what it was about or any of the hype around it. Loooved it.

  24. Andrea B. says...

    My boyfriend and I get into a discussion about this pretty much every time we see a movie, check out a new band, try a new restaurant, watch a television show etc. Essentially, he loves reviews and stands behind his point of view that they don’t hinder his ability to form his own opinion. Personally, I take it more on a case-by-case basis but I prefer to avoid reviews of most things so I can have a fuller experience knowing that whatever thoughts I have are completely my own. One of the things that we do sync up on is on the financial side; if something has a majority of positive feedback you may have a better shot at feeling like your money was well spent. When things are a bit tight and we want to go out to a new place for dinner, we like to check out what others are saying about the restaurants we’re considering. However, If budget isn’t the top priority I find that I enjoy discovering things all on my own much more.

  25. Zulema says...

    I don’t like to see other people’s reviews either! It ruins the film for me. I did see the trailer another blogger posted about it. I’m intrigued to see the issues that will arise once they shrink. So weird and interesting at the same time.

  26. Heather says...

    I definitely do NOT read reviews before I see movies. Not only do I want to avoid knowing if it’s critically “bad” in case – who knows – I love it anyway, but even moreso, I also don’t want to know if something is critically “good” because I want to form my OWN opinion.

    I have noticed lately that we all seem to be such suckers for HYPE these days, and I’m not sure that we always watch things with our own critical eyes. A couple recent examples that come to mind for me personally are La La Land and S-Town – so much hype, and I just did not think either were as great as so many people were saying. But it felt almost controversial to express that opinion to certain friends!

    So along those lines, I don’t want the influence of things like Rotten Tomatoes to shape how I take in and assess movies. But I do love to read the reviews afterwards once I have taken a moment to ask myself what I thought.

    Let’s not be sheep!

  27. Tricia says...

    This movie looks so cute and interesting! The negative reviews definitely won’t stop me from seeing it. Kristen Wiig and Matt Damon get tiny!? Sign me up.

  28. liz says...

    Loved Lost in Translation. What did he say to her at the end?

    • Jules says...

      google it, there are a couple of theories about what he said. Also, some people say it was intended to be inaudible.

  29. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks about a movie I see. The only opinion that matters is mine (because I am the one watching it or not) Someone else may hate or love a movie that I feel the opposite about. Other people’s opinions on movies are not something that I have brain space for or care about. :P
    PS: the Downsizing preview looks silly, but entertaining.

  30. Simone says...

    I don’t watch reviews, but I do watch trailers before deciding to see a movie. For books I’m even more careful with what I know before reading. I do not read the summary on the back. I decide by book cover, author, and friends’ recommendations. Very rarely when I’m on the fence about a book, I will take super quick peek at the first sentence of the summary :)

  31. My normal MO is to read movie reviews like crazy before I see something, but last week I went to see “mother!” and managed not only to avoid seeing a single trailer for the film but also read only the first line of a review, which said, “If you haven’t seen ‘mother!’ DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS REVIEW.” It felt kind of wild to be watching something with essentially zero preconceptions, (except you know, everything everyone already knows/thinks about Aronofsky…)

    It seemed a good number of our fellow movie-goers were equally in the dark about what would be in store and wound up walking out before it was over. It was exciting/dramatic to be in a theater with walk-outs! While I’m still not sure what I think about “mother!” My approach + that crazy-ass movie made for a really memorable experience at the cinema.

  32. OMG I DO THE SAME THING. Everyone thinks I’m a weirdo for reading the ends of books sometimes but I can’t help it

  33. Therese says...

    This is my first time posting a comment on a blog, but I just have to …Check out the trailer for 3 Billboards outside of Ebbing Missouri. Has Frances McDormand in it. Looks great

    • Erin says...

      3 Billboards was filmed in the town where I live! (At least the downtown / police station scenes, etc.) A friend took my daughter to watch some of the filming, and apparently it was the scene where Frances McDormand drops the F-bomb all over the place! My friend was so apologetic, but I said, “Hey, at least my kid got to see Frances McDormand in person!” Can’t wait to see the film!

    • Three Billboards won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday! They had a free screening but unfortunately I couldn’t go as I had another screening to attend that night. Definitely up there on my to-be-watched list!?

  34. 100% agree with Megan! I wish I could go back and ignore all reviews of The Glass Castle. I’ve waited on that movie for years, being a huge fan of Jeannette Walls and her books, and was so excited to take myself on a movie date. Then I read all the crap coming out about it, and it completely tainted the whole thing. I still haven’t seen it, and part of me thinks I would have loved it anyway. Lesson learned.

  35. shelley says...

    My cousin writes reviews on his website From The Balcony. I really like to read his reviews of movies if he has done one. He doesn’t spoil things the way some reviews do. I generally agree with his opinion although we have definitely disagreed in the past over some movies :)

  36. Andrea says...

    I tend to like foreign films, because if I don’t know the actor, I am not sitting there thinking, “O, that’s Ralph Fiennes!” So, I might go to the Onion’s AV Club to look at the rating, but not the whole review. I like to make my own mind up.

    I also like certain genres and will see a film even if it’s not great, like the recent Reese Witherspoon film. I also love fashion and photography documentaries, so they tend to get a pass.

  37. I avoid reading reviews before I see a film! I don’t want anyone elses experience to cloud my own expectations.

  38. yael steren says...

    I don’t want to read the review before seeing a movie but I do want to know the rating it got on IMDB. I find that so long as the movie got a 7.5 or above it’s worth it. Plus it’s always been accurate (in my opinion)! Of course if it’s a silly movie then I’m not as concerned about the rating!! xx yael

    • Christine says...

      Omahan here as well. I was an extra in this movie- so of course I have to go see if I made the cut! It was such an amazing process to watch. SO MUCH work goes into a movie- I naively had no clue how exhausting it all is!

  39. I try to avoid reviews, but I do look briefly at ratings. I agree that it’s best to have very few expectations of what a film is going to be like.

    I just recently saw Tulip Fever and loved it! It was wonderful. I’ve now recommended it to friends, and still haven’t looked at any reviews.

  40. I have the bad habit in reading reviews of movies the day I’m going to watch them in the cinema so I know what to expect. But several times had the bad experience of ruining the movie because I also read in the spoilers.

  41. I rarely even read descriptions when I see a movie. I love a good surprise and seeing what happens with only my own opinions in my head.

    That being said, I don’t mind when someone spoils something for me.

  42. M says...

    I had an ex-boyfriend who would ONLY see movies that had a 90% rating or above on Rotten Tomatoes. I love movies of all ratings, so I’ll look up the Rotten Tomatoes review and then go see it anyway :)

  43. Carmen Faye Mathes says...

    I recently saw Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! without knowing a thing about it, and by the 3/4 mark I was like, “that’s it. I hate it.” People were actually walking out about that time! When the lights went up, I turned to my partner and another friend we were with and said, very confidently, “I did not enjoy that.”

    After, we went for drinks and pizza and discussion. As we were trying to break down the whys and the what fors, it started to dawn on us: the allegory. Oh. my. god. THE ALLEGORY. We started chasing it– trying to remember Sunday school stories and religious studies classes and to piece it all together. The division between old and new! The flood…

    All that weekend and this week it’s been on my mind. There have been text chains about aha moments and actual follow up conversations. Then, I read this (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/movies/jennifer-lawrence-darren-aronofsky-mother-explained.html?mcubz=1) article, in which Jennifer Lawrence and Aronofsky *disagree* about whether to tell people or not beforehand what the movie is even about!

    Now that I’ve been through the entire journey from “I hate it” to “I love it” (and I really do *now* think it’s a great film!) I don’t think I’d have wanted it any other way.

    • MK says...

      I think I would have been devastated to see that movie without knowing what happens at the end. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to see it and he insisted to me that I would probably have had a hard time with it (he had already read spoilers online). Of course then I was curious and looked it up, and even just reading about it, woah.
      I am normally a “know as little as possible” type of person with movies and books, but I fear this experience has changed that! I ended up wishing I hadn’t even read about it.

  44. I try not to red reviews before watching the movie, love the surprise factor:) And the trailer of Downsizing is great! Can’t wait for the release!

  45. Aki says...

    I love reading reviews AFTER watching films.

  46. I never read them. I don’t want to think something’s bad just because other people didn’t like it. If I like it, then I like it!

  47. Aigul says...

    OMG!Can’t agree more on the Lost in Translation movie!

  48. I don’t avoid reading reviews, but I do avoid watching the whole trailer for the movie. I think trailers give away too much of the plot. If it’s a comedy the trailer often features the best jokes in the movie, too. I usually watch about 30 seconds of the trailer and then stop before I learn too much!

    • Jen says...

      And trailers seem to be getting longer and more spoiler-y. During a Blade Runner trailer recently I closed my eyes and actually put my fingers in my ears in the theater. I must have looked insane.

    • brianna says...

      Trailers are getting way longer. They have to entice people to the theater somehow because so many people are waiting for movies to hit Netflix and Redbox. This is pure speculation on my part – I have nothing to back this up other than my own personal experience of waiting for movies to hit Netflix or Redbox before I see them. I haven’t been in a movie theater since August 2014.

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  50. Vee says...

    I often look up the score on Rotten Tomatoes (both the audience and the critics score) to make sure it didn’t get a really low rating but I don’t read any individual or specific reviews. I rarely read about plot either (beyond finding out the genre and maybe a sentence about the movie) because I like to enjoy a movie on my own terms. It helps too not to look up the cast because I found that a character would be introduced as a peripheral character but because I knew who the cast was from imdb, I could see that they would end up coming back in a pivotal role. Or reading in a review that a character dies when in the film it takes a while for that to happen. I don’t form the same connections or feelings about characters if I know the story arc in depth.

    And once in a while, I’ll just go see a random movie without knowing anything about it. Some interesting things have come from that for sure :)

  51. jean says...

    The show Anne with an E got several terrible reviews, and as a lifelong Anne of Green Gables fan, I decided it would be best to avoid tarnishing the original. Months after it came out, I finally caved and decided to watch the pilot. Turns out the show is gorgeous. I think it’s a beautiful tribute to the character. I would have missed something special if I’d heeded those negative reviews.

  52. Jules says...

    I’m an anomaly. I love going into a movie based only on the poster or the actors or writer. I do the same thing with books! I find that most trailers condense the entire movie into a few minutes and it ruins the surprise. Doing this keeps my mind open and free from forming premature opinions.

  53. Margaret says...

    This is so sad, but I actually read entire plot synopses instead of watching a movie. It all started when I watched the movie 21 and couldn’t take the suspense (of poker! So sad). Now if someone mentions a movie they enjoyed, I can “watch” it in 5 minutes and get on with my day. It isn’t the best method, but I feel up to speed on movies without having to spend hours each week trying to play catch up.

    • Cooper says...

      Haha, I am the same way (although I sometimes watch the movie, too). However, once I read the Wikipedia synopsis for a horror movie my husband was going to watch without me, and while he didn’t think the movie was that scary, reading the synopsis alone was enough to give me nightmares!

  54. I love knowing as little as possible. I don’t want a plot synopsis, I don’t want a trailer, I don’t want reviews. Basically I just want to know either who made it, who’s in it, a tiny glimpse of the premise or even just someone telling me it’s good. I feel the same as Megan about the freshness and strength of feelings. It makes me feel more like a playful child to go in this way.

  55. Jess says...

    Normally I don’t worry at all about reviews. BUT! I so wish we had read reviews of Mother! before going. We get to go to like 2 movies a year (2.5 year old twins…) and this was for my husband’s birthday. We typically go for blockbuster/comedy since we get WGA screeners and that covers us on all the more “artistic” stuff… but due to timing, we were like, ok, let’s give Mother! a go. FML! It is an extremely effective movie! I have never been so anxious – and physically anxious – during a movie ever! I was overheating, my heart wouldn’t slow down, I did breathing exercises for the entire two hours. We both just kept hoping it would be over soon. It was literally painful. Very well done, but not what we wanted in a movie… had we only known, we would have waited the extra half hour for the new Nancy Meyers (ha!).

  56. Andrea says...

    Ladybird IS great, amazingly funny and touching and just…great. I got the chance to see it (along with Downsizing) at Telluride Film Festival and it was by far my favorite.

  57. I never read the reviews, and my fiancé is adamant about reading them! So we will go to the movies and he will already know the entire plot, the climax, the aha! moments, etc. and I am the one who gets to be all gobsmacked when something crazy happens.
    The times I have read reviews for movies (usually something I loved but the reviewer did not) I just have to remind myself that they have to write with some kind of an angle in mind, right? Earlier this year (I think?) there was an adaptation of The BFG and a reviewer said it was inappropriate for children to think they could just call the Queen of England for help whenever something went wrong. Seriously. I was like whaaat how is that even what you got from that film? So yeah, I don’t pay too much attention to them haha

  58. My husband will look at the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and looks to see if a movie has a review embargo on it or not (says that usually helps you see if the studios is nervous it might get bad reviews or confident in the product) but avoids literally all other things to do with the movie including trailers and posters. He say she wants to be surprised.

  59. Katie H says...

    Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. But I’m not letting a so so score on Rotten Tomatoes influence me on this one. It looks so unique!

  60. I agree with Megan. I love surprises…though trailers can be nice. And if I’m skeptical but people I know want to see it, I might read something to help get me excited about it.

  61. Nicole says...

    I also try to avoid reviews until after seeing a movie & I usually only seek reviews if I really REALLY enjoyed it. Within the last couple of years, my husband & I even started avoiding trailers if it’s a movie we’re really excited for. I highly recommend this. Trailers are super long nowadays & sometimes give too much away.

  62. Karin says...

    I used to go to movies A LOT (like 3 in one day) in my 20s and would read EVERY SINGLE review and basically know the entire plot before going.
    Now I go about 3x a year and I can’t be bothered to read more than one review, if that. I’m a lot happier with most movies I do see because I have no expectations–
    One of the best movies I’ve seen in theaters in a while was The Big Sick, which I knew nothing other than that “that one guy from Silicon Valley is in it.”

  63. Erin says...

    I read reviews for EVERYTHING before committing… to a ridiculous extent (hello Costco shampoo deep dive). Years ago I went to a small-town, one-screen movie theater thinking I was going to see a well-reviewed Bill Murray film (he’s so awesome) called “Broken Flowers”. But a film called “Junebug” started playing! I guess I had gotten the time wrong, and I freaked out bc I didn’t know a thing about this film! Of course I stayed and of course Junebug is still one of my all-time favorite movies to this day.

  64. Marika says...

    I got to see Downsizing at TIFF (Toronto Film Festival) last week. Won’t give any spoilers, I liked it but there were definitely films I got to see that I would recommend more (Call Me By Your Name, Shape Of Water, and I, Tanya). Don’t go to see the movie for the Kristin Wiig factor, she’s not an important character in the film. We had lots of great films at the festival that will be released this fall and winter, going to be a good movie season

    • I am soooo sad I couldn’t get to see I,Tonya during TIFF. The screenings didn’t fit into my schedule! But I absolutely loved Roman J. Israel, Esq (Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell), The Mountain Between Us (Kate Winslet, Idris Elba) and In the Fade (Diane Kruger). Happy movie watching, everyone!

  65. Madeline says...

    I saw this at TIFF last week and absolutely LOVED it! I didn’t want it to end. Afterward, I heard the reviews had been mixed and it broke my heart! Sometimes critics can be too harsh. I cannot wait to see one this again!

  66. Oh! The Shape of Water is what I am most looking forward to. Guillermo del Toro is my spirit animal. His interview on Charlie Rose is the best!!! Yummers.

  67. I loathe reviews! Even good ones from exceptionally prestigious places anger me. They definitely box people into a feeling and we lose the experience- based on one person who is a review writer! In high school I used to go to Indie movies with a friend without even seeing a trailer and that was great. As I arrived to a theater once, I was invited by market research folks to see a new movie called, “Rushmore”. I also remember sneaking into “the Princess Bride” with my aunt after seeing whatever we saw before that- who could remember! This movie looks fantastic and I love Alexander Payne movies always. Oh yes, and basing the movie on the trailer will often work. I have a friend who makes them and a dead giveaway is if you’ve “seen the whole movie” in the trailer.

  68. Emily says...

    This seems like one of the movies that’s presented as a comedy but is actually really depressing. Overpopulation is definitely an issue but we can combat it with education, female empowerment and birth control– not shrinking haha! My mom and I are planning to go see Brad’s Status, which looks touching and funny.

  69. OMG! This looks funny. I love when Matt Damon does comedy and I love Kristen Wig and all the other actors in this film.

  70. ALI says...

    I absolutely check out the reviews before deciding to see a movie. This is ever since I went to see The Night Before (Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt etc) and literally the only funny parts were what they compiled for the trailor. I felt so duped!

    However my one exception – I will go and see any movie with Melissa McCarthy in it, no matter the reviews (a lot of them are quite terrible) AND I ALWAYS LOVE THEM!

    • Amy says...

      I hate it when all the funny parts are in the trailer!

    • Helen Ng says...

      I hate it as well! Ted had all the best jokes in their trailer. I don’t understand why they do that. It just makes the viewers feel disappointed after watching the movie.

  71. Meghan says...

    Kristin Wiig? COUNT ME IN. She can do no wrong.

  72. Sarah says...

    Oh my goodness! That movie looks terrifying to me even though it is a comedy. Eek

    • cilla says...

      Same :( I just wanted the trailer to end

  73. Carla says...

    I only like movies if A.O. Scott says so :)

  74. kate says...

    I saw Knight and Day (action comedy with Carmen Diaz and Tom Cruise) in theaters knowing NOTHING about it. I thought it was hilarious, while everyone else I was with was underwhelmed because most of the big laughs had been in the trailer. Sometimes it really is fun to just be swept up and surprised! We don’t get to do that too often.

  75. Susan says...

    I don’t read reviews, but I do watch the trailers.

  76. Nichole says...

    I go back and forth. Like Megan, I don’t want other’s opinions in my head while I’m watching a film; however, I also don’t want to waste my time and money watching a junk movie at the cinema when I could have just Netflixed it a few months later. My personal solution to this is that I look at the Rotten Tomato score but I don’t read the actual reviews. I’ve it’s over 70%, I’ll go, if under, I usually wait.

  77. Kelly says...

    When I was a kid, ALL my favorite books were about little people — The Borrowers, Thumbelina, The Indian in the Cupboard, Tom Thumb… I would scour the bookshelves at the library for books about fairies, and daydream about what I would do if I were little (live in my dollhouse, obviously, and then travel in my best friend’s pocket to/from school).
    So yeah, I will be seeing this movie.

  78. Also, TIFF teamed up with Huawei for the TIFFxHuawei portrait studio. They invited actors and filmmakers who were in town for the film fest to pose for portraits in their studio. All portraits were taken with a Huawei P10 smartphone! They are sooooo stunning.?

    http://www.tiff.net/the-review/tiff17-portrait-studio-day-3/

  79. JO says...

    I read reviews because I’m a wuss and if there is one drop of scary or disturbing, I need to know!

    • Julie says...

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one to do this! I’m definitely not proud of this (this is rather annoying), but any scary movie requires some preparation (reading reviews) before I watch it, otherwise it’s just unbearable. Wusses unite!

  80. Lizzie says...

    I read reviews obsessively before I see a movie in theaters. Just this morning I read an interview with the stars and director of “mother!”, which is reportedly very weird and very intense. The interview had serious spoilers, but they pushed me into the camp of Officially Want To See It. I guess I don’t like surprises, and I also don’t like the feeling of sitting through a movie and not getting it, so I’ll take the risk of review bias!

  81. Meredith says...

    Oh man…after seeing “mother!” this weekend before reading any reviews, foolishly thinking that it was a psychological thriller (spoiler alert! IT AIN’T) and then scaring my husband half to death because of how much I sobbed through the credits… yes, I think I’ll be reading reviews from now on.

    • Jess says...

      DITTO!

  82. Love this post sooo much. I avoid movie reviews at all costs!

    Downsizing premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival which ended on Sunday. Unfortunately, the screening times didn’t fit into my schedule. But I am looking forward to seeing it in theatres!

    I saw Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell), The Mountain Between Us (Idris Elba and Kate Winslet), and In the Fade (Diane Kruger) at the Festival.

    I highly recommend checking out Roman J. Israel, Esq when it hits theatres. I attended the film premiere and Denzel and director Dan Gilroy (who directed Nightcrawler) did a Q&A at the end.
    I learned sooooo much and certain things I didn’t clue into while watching the movie became so clear! It was such an intense film. Superb acting and amazing cinematography!

    The Mountain Between Us left me in awe! It was filmed in Western Canada.
    The editor came on stage before the screening and explained a bit about the editing process. He also told us that no green screens were used! Idris, Kate and the rest of the cast and crew flew into the mountains in -38 degree celcius weather each day for filming. Talk about hardcore!? Emotional, adrenaline-pumping, and sprinkled with humour in all the right places.
    The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking!

    In the Fade was incredible. Diane Kruger won the best actress award at Cannes for her performance and it was soooo well deserved. Left me reeling. When the movie ended, the audience walked out of the movie in silence. A movie has never left me so stunned in a loooong time! I am still thinking about it.
    I am not sure if this will be released in theatres as it’s a German film.

    Films that premiered at the film fest that I can’t wait to see:

    Molly’s Game (Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba)
    https://youtu.be/Mb2hMVDD8fs

    Stronger (Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany)

    Mudbound (Mary J. Blige)
    https://youtu.be/wORnPqqxiik

    Kings (Halle Berry and Daniel Craig)

    Submergence (James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander)

    The Upside (Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman)

    Battle of the Sexes (Emma Stone and Steve Carrell)

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (This film won the People’s Choice Award at the Fest. Definitely wanna see it now!)

    https://youtu.be/itmbmNr439o

    Happy watching!
    xoxo

  83. Movie reviews = never EVER read (I can form my own opinions, thank you!)

    Clothing/shoe reviews = ALWAYS read (does this run small? how is the fabric? what is life?! send help!!!!!!)

    • jill says...

      agree 100%

  84. Zoe says...

    My boyfriend is firmly in the camp of no reviews (we’ve actually gotten into arguments about this) but I ALWAYS look at Rotten Tomatoes beforehand, which I trust because it is more cumulative than one person’s opinion. My boyfriend LOVES typical garbage humor and action flicks so I use it to decide if I will actually go see a movie with him or not. Surprisingly, I feel like looking at the reviews makes me a bit more open-minded to seeing movies that aren’t in my normal wheelhouse. If it got a decent review then I will give it a shot! But if it looks stupid and got bad reviews then I am OUT. However, if something looks like my type of movie with actors I like, I’ll probably go see it regardless. I also LOVE reading reviews after seeing a movie to help me verbalize what I did and didn’t like–sometimes it can be hard to put into words! BTW y’all–everyone should see Logan Lucky! Sooooo good.

  85. Amy says...

    I totally agree. I barely want to watch trailers at times because they give away so much of the movie. I usually only watch one trailer they release and not the 2nd and 3rd because I will probably be able to tell by the first one if I want to watch that movie.

  86. Kate says...

    I work in the film and TV business so critiquing movies is part of my job. To make sure I still enjoy them I have a rule for myself: if I’m really excited about seeing the show/film I won’t look up reviews, but if I’m on the fence and can’t decide, I’ll let the reviewers help guide me! I also suggest finding a reviewer that you love and agree with – my go-to is A.O. Scott from the New York Times. Rotten Tomatoes and NYMag are also great references!

    • Jean says...

      I always look up the review on RT. There are very few movies that I’ve seen where after watching it, I disagree with it’s rotten tomatoes rating. Some of my friends hate that I do this because we’ll be excited to see something after watching the trailer, then after seeing it flunk on RT I won’t want to see it anymore. But it’s so accurate for me that I can’t help it!

  87. Melanie says...

    I must see this movie! Reviews be damned!

  88. Carrie says...

    Just watched this preview last weekend and can’t wait to see it!!! It looks refreshing and different.

    And the only movie reviews I ever read are for movies I love and have seen tons of times, only then am I curious about what others have to say.

    Donnie Darko reviews are especially fun to read. I love that movie, have seen it many, many times but everyone’s interpretation is different, it’s really interesting!

  89. Cooper says...

    My husband is SUPER strict about not reading reviews, watching trailers, or even glancing at the synopsis before watching a movie – he chooses to see a movie based solely on the actors or director alone. It’s made for some interesting movie nights!

    I’m the complete opposite and if the movie has any suspenseful elements, I prefer reading the complete Wikipedia detailed plot summary before (or during) the movie. Life is just too stressful to add anxiety to what’s supposed to be entertainment. It drives my husband nuts, of course :)

  90. Laura says...

    I didn’t like the original Star Wars (I’m old enough to have seen it when it came out in 1977). Yeah, I know, there’s something wrong with me. :-) My point is that even blockbuster movies can lack appeal to some people. I read reviews, but if I really want to see the movie, I go regardless of the reviewer’s opinion.

    • Karin says...

      I didn’t like it either! You’re not alone!

  91. Sasha says...

    I do read reviews, but never go to movies, just netflix or red box. I usually read a couple, and if they are bad, I pick something else. So many times I end up agreeing about a great movie that I figure reviews must be pretty good. I read book reviews too. I read reviews for everything actually, stuff from amazon, restaurants, resorts, cars, you name it. I figure people know stuff

  92. brianna says...

    This looks cute. I don’t read movie or book reviews; it’s too subjective. For example…well, of course I can’t think of an example.

  93. judy says...

    A friend and I had planned to see something that was sold out. So, instead we went to a brand new movie that we had never heard of called “The Sixth Sense.” This is before all the buzz and spoilers. We were totally like, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?”

  94. Denise says...

    Reviews are only handy to tell me what popular culture thinks, not what I’ll think. I can read bad reviews and still love the heck out of something. Often I’m not in with popular culture and I’m fine with that.

  95. I’m on the fence about this. On the one hand, I hardly see movies in the theater anymore, so I want to get a good bang for my buck. On the other hand… what do critics know about what I personally like, you know?

    Rotten Tomatoes does give a good barometer whether a movie is truly not worth watching – I’ll avoid it usually if the percentage is below, say, 50%.

    But this movie is at 69% and it looks so weirdly great! I mean, Matt Damon + Kristin Wiig… how could it be bad?

  96. I never read movie reviews because I want to see the movies that sound interesting to me (good actors, cool trailer) without someone else’s opinion informing my own. But! My mom, who I love to go to see movies with, won’t go if the movie gets a bad review in the paper. She’s always quoting the New York Times or local papers reviews to me even though it drives me crazy! Did the most recent Bridget Jones movie get a glowing review? Don’t know and don’t care. Fortunately we loved the first two Bridget Jones and loved the third so much we were stumbling out of the theater with tears in our eyes from laughter. I wonder if my mom read a review of that!?

  97. Amy says...

    I don’t really read reviews, not purposely avoiding them, I just forget about them. Case in point, I finally watched Suicide Squad months after it was available on DVD and fully expected it to be good. Lol.

  98. Britta says...

    On a similar topic, I ALWAYS think about the profession of cutting movie trailers, as well. How cool is that? Using cuts of some scenes, and not other ones, they can break down 2+ hours (well really years) of writing and acting, and either convince or turn someone away from wanting more. Don’t you hate it when you think, “ugh! I’ve seen the whole movie!” after watching the trailer? I love going to the trailer section on Hulu and getting exited about upcoming movies, or getting to the theater early with my extra-buttered popcorn and finishing it almost before the movie starts. I think those guys should earn a huge cut of the movie profits! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      megan’s friend has the job of making movie trailers! would be so fascinating.

    • K says...

      Can you interview Megan’s friend for a piece? That sounds fascinating.

  99. Deb says...

    I argue with my husband all the time about reviews. I like a surprise. Bad movies can be so bad they are good and certainly memorable. My solution is to go to the movies alone, if my husband says no way. Or with my daughter. And I loved Hotel Transylvania 2 also! Lol

  100. L says...

    This movie looks so cool!!! I usually read a few reviews, but I feel like they don’t really affect me, even if they’re bad, I still go, and make my own opinion, and if they’re good, it gets me even more excited!

  101. Amanda Blair says...

    I never read the reviews! I love to see something because it looks good to me. I view it as practice as not caring what other people think. I CANNOT wait to see this movie! It looks so interesting. I love Matt Damon and Kristin Wiig so, it’s bound to tickle my fancy. Actually, I don’t think there is a Matt Damon movie I’ve seen and haven’t loved. He’s the best!

  102. LaurenB says...

    I have a toddler and I see *maybe* 1 movie a year in a theatre. Since it is so rare, I’m definitely reading reviews to try and make it a good one. But usually I don’t – if I’m just watching at home on Netflix, I prefer not to know much about it in advance.

  103. Sonja says...

    I am in the no review camp. So what if I enjoyed a silly rom-com or hated an epic drama? Much like music or books or plays you’ll enjoy yourself so much more if you like what you like free of judgment. I’m particularly hard on myself for things like that, “I didn’t love it? Was I not smart enough to get it? I didn’t have that insight! Is my knowledge of X,Y,Z so shallow that I missed crucial and subtle subtext?!” All to say, I question enough about whether or not I’m good enough in so many areas I just can’t invite movies into that realm.

  104. Hannah says...

    Am I the only one that just can’t stop thinking about Honey I Shrunk the Kids?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes!

  105. alison says...

    MINI CHRISTOPH WALTZ. I’M IN.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha

    • Carrie says...

      Right?

  106. Sarah says...

    I always like to know whether people identify more with critic reviews or audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Seems like everyone has a strong opinion one way or the other!

  107. A new Alexander Payne movie? With Kristen Wiig, no less? Reviews be damned, I’m seeing it!

  108. Omg that movie looks great. I was just listening to a piece on the radio about how rotten tomatoes has completely changed the film industry. I went RUNNING to see Get Out mainly because it got 100%! (and I thought it was very very good). On the flip side, if a movie gets, say, a 65%, I wont go see it in theaters. Just recently, I watched Passengers (Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt), and I completely enjoyed it. After, I looked up ratings and was surprised it only got 63% on RT. And immediately my feelings towards the movie changed. I kept wondering, what WASN’T good? Did I miss something? Funnily, my mom doesn’t even read the back jacket of a book before diving in. She just reads the first page, and if she likes it, she keeps reading it. I’m the opposite; I’ll actually read the entire plot summary of a movie before watching it (especially if it’s a mystery — I have zero patience!). When I was little, I would sneak out and open my Christmas presents under the tree. I know, terrible.

  109. Jenna says...

    I neverrrrrr read reviews before going to see the movie. Mostly, because I usually don’t agree with what the critics say.. I tend to like movies that they hate and hate movies that they like. If I listened to what they said I’d miss out on a lot of things I actually like!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sometimes i’m so surprised by reviews, especially when it comes to children’s movies. for example, i actually loved hotel transylvania 2, and it got panned :)

    • Andrea says...

      On Joanna’s comment: SING was highly recommended by a 6 year old I know, so I rented it. It was so mediocre. I guess I need to find a better children’s movie reviewer!

  110. Laura C. says...

    The last one about Churchill. I am very curious!

  111. Bianca says...

    Sadly, as soon as I decide on watching a film, the very first thing I do is check the reviews, and they do actually influence whether I will go through with seeing it or may distort my perception/opinion when watching the film. I really should just let go and decide for myself as it ruins what is just an enjoyable time. (I also like to read the ending of a book sometimes, this must definitely be my vice of impatience kicking in)

    • Jackie says...

      OMG I DO THE SAME THING. Everyone thinks I’m a weirdo for reading the ends of books sometimes but I can’t help it :)