Superhero Film Rank-narok Disparity (race and gender stuff)

While I was compiling this list, I managed to pull in all the critical grades from Metacritic, and compared those to my own rankings. I wanted to see where I agreed and disagreed with the film critic world.

This was a bit of an ego trip, and I realized that I should have also pulled in the user reviews, especially since that’s more of what I am.

The two comparisons had some notable differences. I placed movies like “Return of the Jedi,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Solo” much higher than the critical world, and I ranked “Goblet of Fire,” Deathly Hallows 2” and “Half-Blood Prince” way lower. It ebbed and flowed as I went to the user comparison, and that’s where things got (potentially) gross.

To the surprise of no one, users ranked movies like “Infinity War,” “Joker” and “Revenge of the Sith” much higher than I did. Then – also to the surprise of no one – we move to the opposite. The ones where I ranked a movie higher than the users did. Here are the eight movies with the biggest disparity and the points difference:

  • Black Panther: 69 points
  • Captain Marvel: 63
  • Wonder Woman: 54
  • The Matrix Resurrections: 50
  • Birds of Prey: 49
  • The Force Awakens: 45
  • Solo: 44
  • The Last Jedi: 40

Now… what patterns do we see in here? We’ve got one of the most/only prominent films featuring a mostly Black cast, four directed by women, and five starring women central character.

I suppose it’s possible that this could be a coincidence, that the type of people most likely to leave reviews are all white men, and that these are films that don’t center them, but I don’t think it is.

The two biggest standouts for me here are “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman.” I thought we all agreed that “Panther” was at least above average fare for the MCU. Not according to these users. According to them, it’s the THIRD WORST! The MCU movies average 73% by users. “Panther” scores a 63%, with only “Eternals” and “Captain Marvel” below it (again, women).

Then with  “Wonder Woman,” I’m baffled for much the same reason, with likely similar results. I thought the consensus story was that A.) DC Fanboys stood tight by their universe’s movies, and that B.) “WW” was at least better than average. Apparently not! With a franchise average of 63%, “Wonder Woman” has a mere 58% — once more the third lowest in the franchise with only “WW1984” (33%) and “Birds of Prey” (28%) ranking lower.

And you know what? I’m going to expand my surprise, because while I’m sure it could be counted as somewhat divisive, there’s no way a movie like “Birds of Prey” should score a 28%. That is the lowest ranking of ALL of these movies. Lower than “Green Lantern” AND “Batman & Robin!” It gets even worse when you bring in other DCEU movies I haven’t seen (“BvS:DofJ,” “JL,” ”ZS:JL” and “SS”). Instead of “Wonder Woman” and “Birds of Prey” at #6 and #7, they fall all the way to #10 and #12.

I just can’t figure out what would make this collection of mostly white men devalue these movies created by and starring women and people of color. Maybe there’s some systematic issue at play.

With the Metacritic site, of course.

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