The Social Network review scores cannot get more perfect. Already reviews are reaching historic heights, as rating remain perfect on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only is it still at 100 percent positive, it has an average 9.7 rating out of 10. Those numbers are unheard of outside of a Pixar movie, and if they hold until Friday, it will send a clear message to the Oscars. But if The Social Network review buzz stays this overwhelming, it might actually be more of a hindrance before long.
Even if movies get perfect scores and are declared masterpieces, it only means that they will fall faster when the backlash starts. When something gets this many raves and declarations of being a masterpiece, skeptics and nitpickers are bound to rise up before long. In fact, such high buzz can even make a 3 ½ star rating sound negative.
By The Social Network review standards thus far, a less than four or five star rating does qualify as a pan. The worship has been so unstoppable in the last few weeks that it has even become fashionable to make Citizen Kane comparisons. At the least, they are only comparing the movie’s structure to Kane, and not yet declaring that it’s better.
But when a movie is declared to be on par with Citizen Kane, it makes the risk of backlash even greater. After all, this film was first joked about as “The Facebook Movie,” so calling it the next Citizen Kane months later might seem odd. Yet, technically, The Social Network review scores are higher on Rotten Tomatoes, as it has a 9.7 average, while Kane just has a 9.4 — although it has over 20 more reviews.
Being so quick to declare a movie a masterpiece is a risky venture. Inception broke out with masterpiece buzz, but it only inspired more negative critics to come out and drive the scores down. Of course, it didn’t affect the overall standing of the film, as it still became a hit and is likely to get a Best Picture nomination. However, The Social Network raves are promising much more for this film.
Thanks to the early word, the film has become one of the two Oscar favorites, alongside The King’s Speech. If it’s going to win, it must keep the raves going for five more months, especially since The King’s Speech may be a more traditional Academy movie. Yet its supporters must walk a fine line between raving about it and ensuring that their hyperbole doesn’t turn off too many skeptics.
Over the next few days, more Social Network reviews will come in, and odds are that at least a few of them will be negative. If they aren’t, however, it may be something to celebrate in the short term, and something to be concerned with down the line.
Rotten Tomatoes- “The Social Network”
Awards Daily- “Of Citizen Kanes and Social Networks”