A film review is just one person’s opinion of a movie, but it has the potential to start a firestorm on the Internet. In this day and age, fans have become obsessed with what critics think of the most anticipated blockbusters, and any pundit who says the next comic book movie isn’t the best thing since sliced bread draws the ire of audiences. Wild accusations of bribes, petitions to shut down Rotten Tomatoes, and even death threats, have become far too commonplace these days. But moviegoers aren’t the only ones who will voice their displeasure with critics. Actors and directors never like it when their work is ripped to shreds, so sometimes they strike back. Here are 10 actors and directors who publicly fought with critics.
Many hoped David Ayer’s Suicide Squad would be the critical hit the DCEU needed, but it proved to be just as polarizing as its predecessors. As the negative reviews stacked up, the cast and crew defended their movie. Cara Delevingne claimed that critics don’t like superhero movies, and David Ayer reignited the old “I make movies for fans, not critics,” debate – implying that reviewers can’t also be fans of the material. Actor Jay Hernandez took it another step forward by saying, “The critics can kiss my ass.” They were all obviously frustrated, but at least Suicide Squad is a box office hit.
Those who feel Marvel is in the pocket of film critics should give A.O. Scott a call. The New York Times reviewer was one of the few who didn’t like the first Avengers movie, saying it was full of “bloated cynicism” and “grinding, hectic emptiness.” Many disagreed with this take, including Samuel L. Jackson. The actor took to Twitter to say Scott needed a new job, one he could “actually do.” Scott and Jackson went back-and-forth on social media for a while before they let it go. The Avengers is considered one of the best superhero films of all-time, so it’s safe to say Jackson “won.”
James Cameron’s romantic drama epic tied a record by winning 11 Oscars in 1997, but not everyone was a fan of the film. The LA Times’ Kenneth Turan was particularly critical of it, saying that it “reeks of phoniness and lacks even minimal originality.” Cameron wrote a lengthy tired against Turan, ultimately accusing the reviewer of insulting the moviegoing public with his feelings on Titanic. Turan smartly stayed out of it, but when the heat died down, he then claimed that Cameron had written to the Times in an attempt to get Turan fired. The critic got to keep his job, but it’s safe to say he won’t be exchanging pleasantries with Cameron anytime soon.
Gods of Egypt
Even before this film came out, Gods of Egypt stirred up controversy due to its whitewashed cast. When it finally premiered, the movie was a forgettable box office disaster that hardly impressed critics. Director Alex Proyas took great offense to the panning of his movie and fired back on Facebook. In his meltdown, he referred to movie pundits as “deranged idiots” and “diseased vultures,” while calling them “less than worthless.” He also accused many of writing their reviews to fit into the general consensus, an erroneous claim since most reviews are written prior to there being a consensus. If and when Proyas makes another film, he’ll have a hard time getting critics on his side.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
The DCEU had a rough year with critics, as Batman V Superman couldn’t live up to the high hopes of many. As the film was picked apart, members of the franchise came to their colleague’s defense. Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg in Justice League, Instagramed a meme riffing on a Batman V Superman scene, where Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne implies that the critics are uniting to wipe out the DC film slate and it’s up to the Justice League to destroy them. That was enough to make many people cringe, since a lot of critics want the movies to be good. Hopefully Justice League is a step in the right direction and brings people together.