The Divide: Audiences Vs Critics

Is there a great divide in how critics rate movies compared to audiences?

Over the last 10 months Roobla has partnered with offering our movie reviews to their users to help them choose which movies to watch. With all this data Veboli founder Thomas van Wageningen noticed various patterns in how critics rate movies compared to users and has compiled this short, but interesting report for us.

At Veboli, we’re always thinking of ways to improve the movie advice we give the movie lovers on our site. Last summer we rounded up movie critics from all over the world, including seven here at Roobla, to connect movie lovers to critics that best understand their own taste in movies. This of course generates a lot of data (Holy crap, there are more than 20,000 reviews!). With all that data, I wondered: how do you users compare to critics?

Before diving into the movies, let’s look at how the critics here at Roobla compare to the average users ratings on Veboli. Philip Rogers’ taste in movies is the most similar to the average Veboli user, Ian Bailey’s taste is the most unique. Below is a table of all the Roobla movie critics and their average difference from the average user rating on Veboli.


Average Difference

Philip Rogers


Jack Bottomley


Dan Green


Olivia Haines


Tom Batt


Thomas Salmon


Ian Bailey


At first, I thought this could indicate that the movie critics on Roobla and users on Veboli differ slightly in how they rate movies. But I discovered something even more interesting! The average critic has an average difference per rating of 1.08. So Roobla critics are a little more different than users compared to all of the 113 movie critics on Veboli. But here comes the shocker, users are even more different from each other! The average user has an average difference per rating of 1.51. Of course, just because movie critics and users on Veboli might be different, there is still a lot of matches between the groups. Heck, Philip Rogers has 70 similar users!

Now let’s look at the movies, specifically those where there is disagreement. The top five movies are Black Panther, A History of Violence, Starship Troopers, Moonraker, and Defiance. It seems like users like James Bond movies much more than the critics. Users gave Moonraker a 6.9 while critics gave it a 4.2. Die Another Day, Diamonds Are Forever, and The World Is Not Enough also got significantly better marks from users than critics. Horror movies seem to be the opposite, often these score much higher among critics than users. This could be critics often aim to judge a movie more objectively (how good were the scares?) whereas users are often more subjective (how much did I like the scares?).

There are also a lot of movies where users and critics agree on, such as Dark Shadows, A Good Day to Die Hard and Unknown. I wasn’t able to find much of a pattern in these movies. Perhaps movies starting with H foster agreement? Her, all three of the Hangover movies and all eight of the Harry Potter movies have really similar average ratings.

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