While the popularity of critical aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes has indeed diminished the influence of any film reviewer, it is still possible for a powerful reviewer to tectonically influence general opinion about a film, and in turn. reduce its prospects at the box office.
It’s incredibly rare for critics to categorically admit that they’ve ever been wrong about a movie – after all, their opinion is their reputation – but every once in a while prominent critics have dared to admit their initial guess was wrong.
More often than not, critics admit to having changed their minds when a film they initially shot was warmly embraced by the wider critical cohort and even became a certified classic.
Whether they wait only a few minutes or up to 30 years, these critics have all publicly turned on a film they have otherwise reviewed for the masses, whether it is because they just couldn’t connect. to the film at the time, that they were reoccupied with personal issues, or maybe even that the star of the film was breathing their necks.
Since the reputation of these critics has hardly been compromised by admitting their faults, they are the perfect proof that a good reviewer is an open mind …
There will never be a more iconic film critic duo than the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.
The couple argued fiercely about each week’s new releases on their At the Movies TV show, with each man typically digging his heels and becoming more and more defensive during their heated debate.
However, there is only one exception where Ebert was able to convince Siskel to change his mind about a movie.
While discussing John Woo’s 1996 action movie Broken Arrow, Siskel gave it a slightly positive review, although after listening to Ebert complain about it, decided to change his “thumbs up” to “thumbs up”. the bottom “alongside his colleague.
Ebert himself barely hated the film, although he viewed it as a pedestrian and unimaginative action film, and Siskel ultimately found himself unable to argue otherwise.
For the remainder of their tenure together, neither managed to convince the other to change their mind about another movie, although, as you’ll see later, Ebert occasionally reversed his decision on paper.