Twist: The audience score touted by 'Gotti' might not even be real

The worst reviewed movie of the year is firing back at film critics.

The official Twitter feed for Gotti released an ad slamming reviewers who have given the John Travolta mob drama a rare zero percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Audiences loved Gotti but critics don’t want you to see it… The question is why???” reads the tweet, and then in a promo the title cards declare: “Audiences loved Gotti. Critics put out the hit. Who would you trust more? Yourself or a troll behind a keyboard.”

So, kinda harsh, and with irrefutable logic — if you don’t trust an audience opinion score, then you must not trust yourself! (Also, their “yourself or a troll behind a keyboard” line was presumably meant as a question, but there was no question mark, as fellow keyboard trolls probably noticed).

Here’s the promo:

The audience score for Gotti on Rotten Tomatoes is indeed considerably higher than its critical score at 75 percent (which is hardly in the “loved” category but also is far from an “incomprehensible mess of a movie,” as one critic put it). EW’s review was less harsh than some, praising Travolta while condemning the film as “belated and disappointing.”

But hold up. Some are suggesting the real conspiracy is that Gotti audience score, which has a suspiciously high number of user ratings — like 7,000, which is more than Oceans 8 and on par with Incredibles 2 despite being seen by a much, much smaller audience. In its opening weekend in limited release across 25 cities, Gotti only grossed $1.6 million. So is that 75 percent total fugazi? If true, it wouldn’t be the first time the accuracy of the Rotten Tomatoes’ audience scores were questioned (like when Star Wars: The Last Jedi received a suspiciously low score after becoming the target of fanboy campaigns).

Rotten Tomatoes, however, looked at the reviews for Gotti and suggested they weren’t, in fact, fixed. “We closely monitor our platforms and haven’t determined there to be any problems,” the company said in a statement. “All of the reviews were left by active accounts.”

The ad comes on the heels of Warner Bros. film chief Toby Emmerich’s exclusive interview with EW where he tackled the topic of Rotten Tomatoes, a site that many in the industry have condemned for its influence on public opinion, and the value of critical reviews in general. “The good movies work better,” he said. “Somebody once said the best business strategy in motion pictures in quality. And I think in a world of Rotten Tomatoes and social media, what’s been proven the better the movie — particularly in the superhero genre — the better it performs. You can’t hide the bacon anymore.”

This post has been updated with a statement from Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Movie