Why Critics Are Wrong About Justice League

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After a shaky start, Warner Bros. and DC’s fledgling cinematic universe seemed to be heading in the right direction when this summer’s superheroine blockbuster Wonder Woman received near-universal praise from critics and fans alike. However, not even Gal Gadot reprising her role as the Amazon Princess was enough to stop critics from panning WB’s fifth installment in the DCEU, Justice League.

Without question, this superhero ensemble film is polarizing. Even we here at Epicstream found things we loved and things that left us feeling underwhelmed. Is Justice League a bad movie, though? Far from it, despite not being the critical and financial success WB had hoped for. In fact, judging by the fan reception, a case could be made that the film might not have been judged as fairly by critics as other modern superhero films. With that in mind, here’s why critics are wrong about Justice League:

  1. The Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score Is Double The Tomatometer

    According to Rotten Tomatoes, Justice League is currently sitting at a less-than-stellar 41%. However, that’s based solely on critic reviews.

    As for the audience score? 82%. That puts Justice League in relatively close proximity to the 88% audience score of all three of Marvel Studios’ 2017 films: Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

    The merits (or lack thereof) of Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregation methods are an entirely different debate, but the fact remains that out of over 100,000 user ratings, 82% of fans enjoyed Justice League versus the 165 critics who said the film was “Rotten.”

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  2. The IMDb Score Is Comparable To Many Other Superhero Movies

    On IMDb, Justice League currently has a score of 7.3/10 (i.e. 73%) based on almost 111,000 reviews. And while that’s far from a perfect score, it actually puts Justice League in line with a number of other modern superhero movies.

    The aforementioned Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have scores of 7.6 and 7.8, respectively. Meanwhile, Marvel’s last big team-up movie, Captain America: Civil War, boasts a 7.9, and the one before that, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has a 7.4. Even the critically acclaimed Wonder Woman only has a 7.6, which puts the DCEU’s crowning achievement just .3 points higher than Justice League.

    Is Wonder Woman a failure? What about any of these Marvel Studios films? Of course not, so why is Justice League being treated like an outlier by critics when, by audience’s accounts, it’s comparable to many of the superhero genre’s other offerings?

  3. It Received A B+ On CinemaScore

    CinemaScore might not be as big a name as Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb. Nevertheless, their grading system is a great way to gauge a film’s appeal among general audiences on opening night.

    Justice League received a B+, which is far from a disappointment, and it actually measures up with plenty of other 2017 blockbusters which, for some reason, critics were far more kind to. It and Kingsman: The Golden Circle also received B+ ratings, while Thor: Ragnarok received an A and Blade Runner 2049 received an A-.

    Given everything we’ve discussed thus far, one can’t help but wonder why Justice League – a film that’s clearly on a similar level as so many other beloved movies – is being treated so harshly by critics. 

  4. The Halo/Horn Effect

    For those unfamiliar with the term, the halo effect is when one makes an outcome about a person, organization, or even a film, based on factors derived from elsewhere. Alternatively, the horn effect occurs when one develops a negative predisposition toward all aspects of something based another aspect they dislike.

    Say, for example, a critic goes into Justice League after feeling largely let down by the DCEU’s offerings, thus far. A cognitive bias such as the horn effect could cause that reviewer to project their negative predisposition onto the film, itself.

    This isn’t to say there’s some sort of conspiracy, or that the majority of film critics are biased against the DCEU – it’s just trying to find a logical answer for the overwhelming disparity between fans and critics when it comes to Justice League.

    What about you? Do you agree with the critics, or do you think Justice League is getting a bad rap? Let us know in the comments section!