A really good article by Ben Yagoda on Slate about why critics are so far off.
Hereâ€™s the heart of the problem: The set of criticsâ€™ and audiencesâ€™ interests do not perfectly overlap but rather form a Venn diagram. In the audience circle, the pressing question is, â€œShould I spend some number of the dollars I have to my name and the hours I have left on Earth on this thing?â€ Critics get in for free and by definitionÂ haveÂ to read or watch or listen to whateverâ€™s next up. So their circle is filled with relativistic questions about craft and originality and wallet quality and the often unhelpfully general â€œIs it good?â€ (Some of them even have an idea of what they mean by â€œgoodâ€; the rest are winging it.
As we head into Awards season, and watching the Golden Globe awards a few weeks ago, I realize I hadn’t heard of half the movies or shows that were nominated. Granted, I’m not big on pop culture, but I’ve learned that I generally don’t like the movies the critics rave about. I’m looking at you, Birdman. However, I did find a few where I agree with the critics.
It’s a good reminder to be mindful of who’s doing the recommending and understand their biases. Don’t throw your money at or waste your time on any old “critically acclaimed” anything.