Measuring the Critics

Slate’s Brow Beat has an excellent graph of relative conformity of movie critics. One critic, dismissed as a troll (and he praised both Norbit and Transformers 2 so I’m inclined to agree), nevertheless agrees with other critics 50% of the time. Further, virtually all of the critics bunch up at about 75% conformity, with the most conformist critic at only 83%.

This suggests to me that a scale from 1 to 100 doesn’t really work. These guys should be graded (for conformity) on a curve, spread evenly across a spectrum. With that graph, we could break film critics up into three categories: trolls, thoughtful critics, and squares.

Or maybe I’m just saying that because I despise critics at both ends of the list. (My favorite three movie critics writing today are David Edelstein, Roger Ebert, and A.O. Scott, followed by up-and-comer Lindy West.)