Email This Post HomeHumorPop CultureRotten Tomatoes’ Search Sucks Amy Vansant December 19, 2012 Pop Culture 21 Comments There are people who don’t like RottenTomatoes.com, the online movie review site, largely because they don’t like the reviews. Rotten Tomatoes tried to fix that by offering two review ratings, one by the professional reviewers and, more recently, one by the average audience. That made it easier to avoid being tricked into watching black and white art films about a French girls who drop scarves in the rain and then contract consumption, just because they got 99% by film critics who found the lighting “pregnant with the dark opulence of meaning.” (Spoiler alert: The French chick dies, but it takes three actual film hours to do it, two of which are shots of a wall clock ticking but the clock hands are made of Vienna sausage.) Giving audience opinions some weight also enabled movies with subplots built completely around farting dogs to score much, much higher reviews. When Mike and I read Rotten Tomatoes reviews to each other, we say things like: “59% by the assholes, 75% by the peoples.” I don’t think all movie reviewers are assholes, it’s just a shorthand we use to differentiate the people who study the art of film making (and possibly take themselves a little too seriously) and the people who think every movie should have a minimum of 70% “shit blowing up.” It can still be confusing. Take The Expendables 2. The audience reviewers gave it 72%, which makes sense; it has famous actors and lots of exploding things. But the critics gave it 66%?? Between the grunts/accents of Stallone, Lundgren, Jet Li, and Arnold Schwartzenegger I had to watch it with subtitles, which went something like this: Lungren: *Grunt* Jet Li: *unintelligible* Schwartzenegger: *achingly bad acting* Arnold’s acting was SO bad I couldn’t help but wonder how Maria didn’t know he was diddling the maid 5 seconds after he planted his monster seed. He isn’t believable reporting the sun will rise tomorrow. Stallone: *Grunt with an Italian accent* (here the movie pauses to allow viewers to peacefully marvel that this guy wrote and was nominated for an Oscar for Rocky.) Bruce Willis: *What the hell happened to my career? Eh, at least I didn’t get dumped by Ashton Kutcher.* Jason Statham: *radiating tremendous hotness for a short bald guy* But after all that, I’m not going to get into the pros/cons/usefulness of Rotten Tomatoes‘ reviews. After a while you learn, based on your tastes. how much to rely on the professional reviewers vs. the peoples. But Rotten Tomatoes’ Search Sucks What I DO want to get into is how badly Rotten Tomatoes’ search SUCKS. Misspell a word? Forget it. No results. Try and look up a relatively obscure movie with a one-word, common-word title? Forget it, you’ll get every popular title with that word in it before you get the movie actually called THAT. Try typing “Jack” in Rotten Tomatoes’ search. “Jack” with Robin Williams comes up on the second page, twelfth, after “Jackass” and “Full Metal Jacket.” Maybe Rotten Tomatoes just feels they’ve so cornered the movie review market, they just don’t care anymore. Their reviews even show up on DirectTV listings now. How to Fix Rotten Tomatoes’ Search, a Plea. Dear Rotten Tomatoes, Go back to basic search engine algorithm class and try and make your site a little more user-friendly than a Commodore 64. If you do, maybe I won’t even vent on those annoying full page pop-up ads. I can type “sushi” into Google and it will return pizza listings because it knows in my heart of hearts I really wanted pizza. If I don’t know how to spell something, I can just type the alphabet into Google and it will spit out the word I meant. When I’m drunk I can type “where is my pocketbook?” and Google will tell me it is in the refrigerator. Make a partnership with IMDB or Wikipedia or something, because there is where I end up after I type “Audrey Hepburn young Peter O’Toole checkered floor thieves hide in closet” into Google. I should be able to type that into YOUR search engine and get How to Steal a Million (1966) because that is how people remember movies. By how hot young Peter O’Toole was. Not by the rating a bunch of reviewers gave it or something as silly as the actual title. Author Recent Posts Amy VansantAmy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries. Latest posts by Amy Vansant (see all) Pineapple Hurricane is Released + Even More Giveaways (three chances to win a kindle) - June 4, 2020 Too Many Book Deals, Steals, Kindle Giveaways… - May 27, 2020 Name the Hurricane Winners, Win a Kindle + Books - May 19, 2020 21 Responses Michele Drier December 19, 2012 Too true! I can’t type well and Google always manages to find something, along with the admonition at the top, “Did you mean suspense books” when I type “supense boks”. Of course I did. Take that, my college typing teacher! 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 I love that getting dumber is so painless. 0 likes Reply Amy December 28, 2019 Fk yes! Also, when you filter movies in the search (like say 60-100% on the tomatometer) and then you look at a movie search result, when you back up to the previous screen you have to go back and check all the filter/sorting settings AGAIN! I’m like…dudes, you must be making enough money by now to hire web developers and UX/UI people to make this more user friendly! ARRRGH! 0 likes Reply Winopants December 19, 2012 I’ve noticed that weird search thing. You’d think with as popular as that site is, they could manage to do a little better. Even dictionary sites give you “did you mean..?” and not “nahah boo boo, learn how to spell” 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 Seriously. Who is going to put up with “no results” nowadays? 0 likes Reply Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point December 19, 2012 I agree. I give their search feature 1 out of 5 stars. It’s poorly implemented, often unhelpful, and the ending is a great disappointment. 1 likes Reply Natalie the Singingfool December 19, 2012 “Random movie with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Not that one, the other one.” 3 likes Reply Lance December 19, 2012 I’m not a very good dude. I have yet to see either Expendables . I just watched a documentary made my Jamie Kennedy, the comedian and dude from Scream, called Heckle. It’s pretty profound in revealing how critics have evolved since Siskel and Ebert. A lot of those Rotten Tomatoes people are dudes in their basements trying to make a name for themselves with their blogs…wait, hi pot, I’m kettle. Merry Christmas to you and Mike. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 Merry Christmas to you and yours too! Watch Die Hard & we’ll let you keep your man card for the holidays. 0 likes Reply Nina Potts December 20, 2012 This is why I rely on Netflix. People can put them down all they want, Netflix has only given me one or two movies that they thought I would like and I really hated (Valhalla Rising and Act of Valor). The 2 upsides of Expendables 2 is Charisma Carpenter is in it, and you don’t have to hear Steven Segal once say “don’t you know who I am?” like he did on that reality show about him being a cop. Justification for paying money to see that movie is never having to hear him ask that ever again. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 Charisma Carpenter… why does that sound familiar… Buffy? Angel? Angel wasn’t it… 0 likes Reply Nina Potts December 25, 2012 both actually. She started on Buffy, when they made the Angel spinoff she moved to that. Then the killed her. Unless you haven’t seen all of Angel, then she has some very mysterious things happen to her, maybe death. 0 likes SarcasticNinja December 23, 2012 The Vienna Sausage clock hands are full of meaning: the girl is pregnant by her Austrian lover, but her fatal illness ticks down the moments of her sausage-spawn, unknown and unseen as she had not yet taken a pregnancy test to realize she was with child. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 Well jeeze, now I’m on the edge of my seat… 0 likes Reply Suburban Snapshots December 23, 2012 I fell for you at “consumption”. There is no technical reason for Rotten Tomatoes to have such a piece of shit search engine, the same as there’s no technical reason finding anything on Netflix Streaming (all the shitty sequels you didn’t want to see!) is near impossible. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant December 24, 2012 Agreed. I get so excited by the IDEA of Netflix streaming and then I’m all like … Blarg. 0 likes Reply skintagsremoval July 7, 2013 Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon! 0 likes Reply Damien January 5, 2014 Oh man, deciding between the opinions of reviewers and those of the public is like deciding between Hannibal Lecter and Genghis Khan as your dinner date. I have always relied on word of mouth, well, ever since I was bamboozled into watching The English Patient. Hey, don’t mock the Commodore 64 or hot short guys (he shouts from his beautiful, yet slightly Cromagnon, 5’7 perch). Your description of the Expendables 2 dialogue is hilarious and disturbingly spot on. 0 likes Reply dumb and dumber 2 June 11, 2014 dumb and dumber 2 0 likes Reply bruce October 8, 2014 I found this article because I too think the search engine sucks. But to compare it to the best search engine there is (Google) happens to be a bit silly. I dont mind spelling the titles correctly, etc. But How about some simple advanced search settings. I kind of would like to watch some modern movies (not things before 1990) so how about a date filter? Or a time filter? Maybe Im only feeling it for something under 90 minutes? 0 likes Reply weight loss January 7, 2015 Great posts you post here, i have shared this article on my twitter 0 likes Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Add me to Amy Vansant's Humor Newsletter!