Critics Ignore New Faith-Friendly Film While Audiences Love It
'Because of Gracia' is a hit with moviegoers who have seen it — so why have no professional reviewers weighed in on Rotten Tomatoes?
“Because of Gracia,” a faith-friendly teenage drama, hit theaters last weekend with a strong box-office performance that made it the fourth-biggest new film in the country.
It also initially earned a perfect 100 percent score (it currently holds a 97 percent score) from filmgoers who saw it and registered their opinion at the popular film website Rotten Tomatoes — but you wouldn’t know it if you were paying attention to the critics.
Rotten Tomatoes gives films a chance to be reviewed by professional film critics and average moviegoers, side by side.
A near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes audience score is considered an achievement, as seldom does a movie get such high marks, even from many films that manage to universally impress critics. Fan favorites like “A Walk To Remember” scored a 78 percent, “The Notebook” scored 85 percent, and the top-grossing film of 2017, “Beauty and the Beast,” scored an 82 percent.
Rotten Tomatoes user Box Office Revolution observed that "Because of Gracia" had "excellent video quality to professional camera work to seamless audio quality."
Another user named BTSCelebs said, "'Because of Gracia' is well done. I guarantee you'll find yourself wanting to watch it over and over again. I watched it twice before writing this review!"
"Our team made the film available to all Rotten Tomatoes-approved critics, but so far they've chosen to ignore it," the film's director, Tom Simes, told LifeZette. "But the people are speaking loudly, and as the storyteller I'm thrilled with the response so far."
"Because of Gracia" is a faith-friendly film about a teen facing opposition from fellow students at her new school when she reveals she does not want to even kiss a boy before she marries. Former "American Idol" contestant Moriah Peters (pictured above left), Chris Massoglia (pictured above right), and "Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider are among the cast.
It's not often that critics choose to review faith-based movies. When they do review them, they are not nearly as receptive as audiences.
The 2014 blockbuster "God's Not Dead" only earned 15 percent positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but 76 percent of voting audience members said they approved of the movie.
Another faith-based hit film, 2015's "War Room," earned only 33 percent approval from critics, but 87 percent of audience members gave it positive marks.
With the success of these films with audiences both in reviews and at the box office, perhaps it's time critics at least started giving them a chance. To simply not review the week's fourth-biggest new release is lazy and unprofessional. And to be so dismissive of these movies when they are reviewed shows a very big gap between the industry's critics — and all those Americans customers who are paying to see these films.