Well, it looks like my critics of the film Expelled need not be looked at because the critics have weighed in.
Epsilon Cue has a post showing the rating of Expelled compared to many other movies that are considered by most thinking people to be absolutely terrible. The ratings come from Rotten Tomatoes, which gauges a movie’s quality by the percentage of good and bad reviews from many critics. If a movie is 60% or better approved by critics, it is considered “fresh”, and less it is rotten. Sometimes you get something pretty messed-up, such as the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956) which is elevated more due to cult status than anything else. But here is some perspective given by Epsilon Cue:
Robot Monster (1953): 27%–this movie is simply terrible. I saw it through Mystery Science Theater 3000 which made it tolerable, but the level of thinking that went into the movie itself (especially the repetitive ending) must have been nonexistent. I can understand a low budget, but that is no excuse for a low movie-making I.Q.
Dude, Where’s My Car (2000): 18%–again, I have unfortunately seen much of this movie since my brother was somehow amused by it. Crap all the way through and it makes it difficult for me to give any credence to Ashton Kutcher’s acting abilities.
Crossroads (2002): 15%–before Britney was completely crazy, but when her acting skilled still sucked. I am glad I put a lot of distance between myself and this film.
Left Behind — The Movie (2001): 12%–it does well in church basements but it lacks much redeeming quality. However, I suspect it is still better than the video game based on the book series which every video game critic I have heard agrees it was terrible through and through.
Catwoman (2004): 10%–argh, stay away. (I can’t believe it’s already four years old.)
I skipped a few of the movies on the list to avoid boredom, especially since some I am less familiar with. But how about a few more?
Spice World (1997): 29%–wait, someone thought this movie was worth seeing? A movie about the pop group Spice Girls? And before Victoria was a Beckham?
Manos: Hands of Fate (1966): 6%–this movie SUCKED! It is the worst movie I have yet come across. Acting, lighting, film angles, editing, music quality, plot, meaning; any criteria you can name, this movie failed. The only thing that made it possible to see is (again) Mystery Science Theater 3000, and even the people there agree it was the world movie they ever had to deal with. (RT gives the MST3K episode of Manos a 82%, very respectable and deserved.)
Gigli (2003): 6%–everyone agrees this movie was a mistake. Ben is not the greatest actor and an excuse to see his chest is not worth a movie ticket, especially if you don’t have any attraction to him.
Battlefield Earth (2000): 3%–when Hollywood does a movie from the founder of Scientology, what should you expect? An A-List actor being brain-washed into selling out his career. John, Grease was great and all, and who can forget Pulp Fiction, but I can’t give any respect for this film.
And what about Ben Stein’s film:
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008): 9% (at the time of this blog entry).
Hence, based on the current number of reviews (23) and the percentages, this movie is on par with Manos, Battlefield Earth, and Catwoman.
It perhaps should be no surprise that on the of the only two positive reviews of the movie come from a writer at Christianity Today, Mark Moring. He seems to be aware of the fiasco that went into the screening of the movie and the like, but still tries to squeeze out some redeeming value. A very odd this is mentioned by Moring: “And filmmakers can’t be accused of denying Darwin proponents equal opportunity.” Um, no. Their opinions were gathered, and under false pretenses to get the canned answers they wanted (Michael Shermer makes that point about his interview by Stein), and none of the people that promote and use evolution in their disciplines that are religious are avoided, such as Ken Miller. How can equal time be said to be given if only a few are shown and not about the evidence for or against evolution? This statement by Moring sounds like a ID talking point to me.
All in all, the movie is agreed to be crap, not even counting the reviews by Richard Dawkins, Scientific American, or New Scientist just to name a few. And I suspect as more reviews come in, such as by Ebert and other film critics, the percentage will likely go down. I will update as I see fit.