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Legend of Tarzan: Major Divide Opens Between Critics and Audience

Legend of Tarzan (Movie), Legend of Tarzan Reviews

Opening day isn’t quite over yet, but it’s already abundantly clear that while for most films there is a strong correlation between critics response and audience response — not so for Legend of Tarzan. LOT is currently stuck on 34% critics rating on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, which means that if audiences were tracking with the critics, the audience rating would be in the same range. But it’s not. Audience rating is a very healthy 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 7.2/10 on IMDB. How does that compare?

Legend of Tarzan: 34% Critics, 72% Fans, 7.2 IMDB Rating
Independence Day Resurgence:  32% Critics, 37% Fans, 5.6 IMDB Rating
Purge Election Day: 57% Critics, 69% Fans, 6.8 IMDB Rating
The BFG: 72% Critics, 68% Fans, 7.2 IMDB Rating
Central Intelligence: 67% Critics, 71% Fans, 6.9 IMDB Rating

Here’s how that looks on a graph:

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So what’s up with that?

I have a theory, but I need to sleep on it. I also want to see the Cinemascore audience ratings, which will come out tomorrow.

But yeah, critics and audiences don’t agree.

On other observation — LOT has garnered some very favorable reviews from some of the most important and influential publications — New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, Village Voice, to name a few. True, other influential pubs have jumped on the trash Tarzan bandwagon. But one New York Times is worth about ten Detroit Free Press reviews. (No offense to DFP, but you get my drift.)

Anyway, food for thought.


  • Dragged my mother-in-law with me to the 6:50 showing at my local Regal theater and I was thrilled with the size of the crowd. I’d say 3/4 full. The outside sections were filling up. I know this theater and that was really good for a Friday night. I’m feeling really positive right now. Oh, by the way, my mother-in-law loved LOT.

  • It’s at 33/73 as of now. Batman v Superman had a 27/68 similar gap by the way,but I don’t think there’s any comparison between the movies, Batman v Superman seemed to have very objective flaws as a movie. 36,999 votes for Tarzan, 25,895 for The Purge 3, 19,310 votes for The BFG.

  • I have just seen CinemaScore result for Tarzan and it is really great!!! They even extended congratulations to director and cast for the score.:)

  • We went to see BFG and it was sold out so we went to Tarzan (which was also on our list to see). I I thought this was a wonderfully made movie. I loved the animals, the people, the conflict…everything about it. I know I am a softie maybe, but my eyes filled with tears in a few places and I had to look away. I hope the audience doesn’t fail to see the underlying message (intended or not). For me, it gave a clear message about the vileness and evilness of colonialism, the lust for riches and power at the cost of human life, animal life and yes, throw in the environment. Even the near genocide of North American Indians was mentioned.

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