Critic sent death threats over Dark Knight Rises review

Website suspends comments

Film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes has suspended reader comments after it was bombarded by threats from angry 'Batman' fans over bad reviews of 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

For the first time, the site had to stop the influx of 'threats and hate speech' aimed at two reviewers who criticised the final Christopher Nolan offering to the Batman series.

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Dark Knight... critics threatened (Copyright: Warner Bros)

One review, from critic Marshall Fine on the Hollywood and Fine site, called the film 'nonsensical', while the review by Christy Lemire of Associated Press said it was an 'epic letdown'.

Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Matt Atchity reportedly spent several hours removing offensive and threatening comments left by angry film fans.

One read that Fine should 'die in a fire', while another said that he should be beaten 'with a thick rubber hose into a coma'.

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“It's probably safe to say that The Dark Knight Rises is the most anticipated film of the year. More than The Hobbit. More than The Avengers,” said Atchity. “And my staff and I knew full well that when the first negative review came in, the reviewer would get pasted in the comments.

“Broadly speaking, threats and hate speech will get your commenting privileges revoked. But Marshall has the right to not like the movie, and people have the right to express their disagreement with him (although if you haven't seen the movie, your arguments may be on shaky ground).

“And we have the right to pull your comment down and ban you if we think you're acting inappropriately.”

It's thought the ability to comment on reviews will be restored by the end of the week.

Watch the trailer for 'The Dark Knight Rises'


Elsewhere, the site banned a critic after he posted a 'review' of the film without having seen it.

Eric D Snider of website Snide Remarks used a log-in to the site to link to a page on his own blog, where he then admitted he hadn't seen the film.

The post read: “The Dark Knight Rises is easily the most disappointing Batman film so far – and I'm including [Joel] Schumacher's Batman and Robin in that statement. Nolan has finally lost his touch.”

But on clicking through, it continued: “Just kidding! I haven't seen 'The Dark Knight Rises' yet. It's probably very good! I just wanted to post a negative quote on Rotten Tomatoes and see how many idiots would type angry words at me without actually clicking the link to read the review. 'You ruined this movie's RT score!' is a dumb complaint that is only made by dumb people.”

Snider later half apologised, saying: “I apologise to those I offended who like to respond angrily to reviews they've only read one sentence of, of movies they haven't seen.”

Still, the film currently retains an 87% 'fresh' approval rating from critics, and a 93% positive rating from fans.