News

90th Oscars Ceremony Scores Low Marks with Critics

Politics, host Jimmy Kimmel, and playing it safe all weighed on the event's Tomatometer score.

by | March 5, 2018 | Comments


The films and talent awarded Oscars on Sunday weren’t the only ones being weighed and measured – critics have reviewed the 90th Oscars ceremony itself, which is now Rotten at 50% on the Tomatometer with 24 reviews (updated).

The Academy Awards, broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on ABC, split critics, who generally felt the event played it safe, but ran long. (When does it not?)

Below are a few of the early reactions.


What Some Liked About the Oscars – Its Surefootedness …

“This was the best, most inspiring, and most sheerly likable Academy Awards telecast I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen ’em all.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture

“What fun we had at this year’s Oscars! Long show, sure, but where to cut it?” – Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

“There are probably a lot of people adjacent to the Oscars who just didn’t want any surprises Sunday night. And the biggest takeaway from the evening — the good news and the bad news — is that there weren’t any.” – Linda Holmes, NPR


…Was Also What Others Hated About It

“The Oscars telecast, clocking in at four hours and 50 minutes, was chock-full of carefully-produced moments. Yet it couldn’t live up to its own.” – Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast

“The unwieldy thing was a chore even for movie lovers who had seen the nominees.” – Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel

“Little about Sunday’s show is likely to make the cut of future greatest-hit Oscar tributes.” – Matt Roush, TV Insider

“At the end of the evening Dunaway and Beatty presented the Oscar, with no hiccups, to The Shape of Water, an undramatic end to an undramatic evening.” – Willa Paskin, Slate

“Was it respectful? Absolutely. Did it make for kind of a dull, earnest Oscars show. Yeah, kind of.” – Kristi Turnquist, Oregonian

“The 90th Annual Academy Awards was the most tepid, predictable one in recent memory, devoid of anything resembling a spontaneous or dramatic moment until it was nearly time to wrap it all up.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

“The jokes were funny, but, for the most part, the events of the evening were extraordinarily tame. The industry seems, above all, to be protecting itself — shielding itself from any sense that its corruption is built into the system.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker


Some Were Hoping for a Different Host

“[Jimmy] Kimmel didn’t appear to be trying to give a big home run performance; his goal was to serve as our dependable guide through rough waters, to celebrate Hollywood at a time when it is embattled. And he succeeded.” – Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

“With the exception of the theater stunt and two unnecessary tossed-off Matt Damon jokes — Kimmel really can’t resist — I thought he was good, probably even better than last year.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

“The best thing Kimmel could have done was announce he was stepping aside to let a woman host… He chose not to do that and ended up much like the statue of the Oscar he made fun of for having no reproductive organ: It was a eunuch’s performance.” – Ken Tucker, Yahoo! TV

“A new host behind the mic… would have delivered a more powerful show. One that wouldn’t have felt nearly four hours long (even though it was); one thoroughly unforgettable instead of sporadically memorable.” – Ben Travers, indieWire

“Kimmel has shown that the telecast needn’t be anything but sharp and sure, with a funny host whose bits are manageable, shareable and — best of all — forgotten. We’re not making showbiz history here.” – Hank Stuever, Washington Post


Politics Divide Critics

“The Oscars have a long history of self-congratulation…This Oscar ceremony brought home the fact that the changes have been a long time coming. It was also a potent reminder that they have a long, long way to go.” – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

“Both cloying and clever, gassy and game-faced, these Academy Awards did the best they could to address difficult things, short of canceling the whole thing and airing some kind of P.S.A…it was good to at least see the Academy thinking things through.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“No show can be apolitical. The Oscars as a ceremony basically tried to be, but its performers, presenters, and winners rejected it, and that’s to their credit.” – Daniel D’Addario, TIME Magazine

“The ceremony felt like a re-enactment of Hollywood’s progress on any number of fronts: Two steps forward, three steps back.” – Maureen Ryan, Variety

“Overall, it felt like the Oscars ceremony 2018 needed. Women were given a platform to talk that felt like more than just tokenism… [Frances] McDormand’s speech was a rallying cry to ensure equality isn’t just a buzzword.” – Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

“Much of Sunday’s broadcast, hosted for the second straight year by Jimmy Kimmel, seemed to point a way forward for the industry.” – Jake Coyle, Associated Press

“The whole ceremony was like this for me: halfway toward good. It dutifully mentioned #TimesUp and trotted out actresses to explain it…I didn’t want safe. Not this year. I wanted some anger, or at least passion.” – Johanna Schneller, Toronto Star

Tag Cloud

suspense cinemax TIFF cats monster movies cults Discovery Channel Superheroes Rocketman PaleyFest black The Witch Quiz Animation Year in Review Toys CMT target game show RT21 rotten movies we love politics psycho Emmy Nominations Best and Worst Schedule 71st Emmy Awards CW Seed halloween tv Captain marvel ViacomCBS thriller dramedy YA Sundance Now video 99% Mary Poppins Returns The Purge HBO Max Television Academy CNN First Look Pop TV best ratings 2020 dc composers Ellie Kemper BET DC Comics romance Pirates San Diego Comic-Con Marvel Television olympics Bravo PlayStation space NYCC trailers nature james bond TV One award winner Hulu SundanceTV cops Valentine's Day NBC 45 zombie game of thrones DirecTV Comic-Con@Home 2021 facebook zero dark thirty 72 Emmy Awards twilight diversity Spring TV Comics on TV Classic Film cancelled theme song what to watch Women's History Month independent richard e. Grant Thanksgiving Rocky Mary Tyler Moore dceu Super Bowl japan Lionsgate AMC boxoffice asian-american telelvision Apple TV Plus Paramount Opinion dogs Photos WGN psychological thriller Trivia MSNBC scary movies kaiju Sundance TV vampires comiccon halloween blockbusters golden globes Creative Arts Emmys docuseries 2019 anthology Image Comics Pet Sematary Funimation book adenture doctor who Disney Channel Winter TV Netflix Binge Guide Walt Disney Pictures Video Games Tumblr binge USA Podcast Emmys Teen BET Awards natural history war Vudu comics robots 2016 Comedy DC Universe king kong jamie lee curtis Interview docudrama chucky cartoon Superheroe Academy Awards GLAAD YouTube Watching Series Box Office worst movies stand-up comedy El Rey basketball documentaries football 93rd Oscars VH1 Nickelodeon animated criterion Adult Swim legend mockumentary Star Trek BBC One political drama Esquire anime dragons concert jurassic park The Walking Dead Cartoon Network Tomatazos American Society of Cinematographers streaming Disney Plus CBS All Access 2015 new york 4/20 Alien discovery Spike Broadway Nominations hidden camera Mindy Kaling cooking Sneak Peek Masterpiece Grammys Winners Kids & Family canceled TV shows crime documentary hollywood universal monsters Epix Amazon Prime Nat Geo Heroines Sundance FX on Hulu Pacific Islander Hallmark cars TCA Awards TCA high school OWN Awards Tour lord of the rings deadpool Character Guide Premiere Dates festivals Britbox ESPN Musicals canceled The CW police drama Film Festival indiana jones Legendary new star wars movies ABC Signature Crunchyroll Horror nfl TV Crackle stop motion series romantic comedy 1990s Disney+ Disney Plus international medical drama NBA green book VOD Cannes obituary Rock all-time Fox Searchlight harry potter Extras italian HBO Marathons spider-man Shondaland venice dark Country MTV Travel Channel Tarantino disaster Endgame 2018 mutant A&E kong Oscars Holidays A24 007 Syfy TruTV godzilla serial killer renewed TV shows DGA TNT biography fast and furious Elton John Brie Larson 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Universal Sci-Fi wonder woman Pride Month laika superman The Walt Disney Company Television Critics Association crime thriller TV Land golden globe awards FX 90s Film screen actors guild E3 Tokyo Olympics movies razzies Freeform FOX SDCC directors adaptation hist Spectrum Originals indie social media Sony Pictures historical drama Disney aliens french aapi television ITV Turner rotten Mudbound Trophy Talk FXX Shudder Star Wars ABC Family Mary poppins stoner casting werewolf SXSW Netflix Christmas movies sitcom Tubi BBC America APB die hard sag awards free movies Fantasy new zealand adventure films streaming movies unscripted Amazon Prime Video slashers crime drama elevated horror 20th Century Fox true crime reboot batman sequel Holiday tv talk GoT breaking bad Awards emmy awards Paramount Network rt archives witnail CBS franchise TLC Musical Summer WarnerMedia talk show cancelled TV series BAFTA marvel cinematic universe IFC Films Biopics festival President spinoff miniseries spy thriller Rom-Com live action remakes heist movie Ghostbusters children's TV pirates of the caribbean Infographic kids teaser Logo Ovation ghosts Writers Guild of America Columbia Pictures rom-coms See It Skip It scene in color comic books comic National Geographic book adaptation Starz Paramount Plus Reality satire movie IFC video on demand LGBT LGBTQ Red Carpet toronto toy story Fall TV PBS Baby Yoda women Western VICE First Reviews Food Network Lucasfilm Music ID zombies USA Network archives Action supernatural Comic Book saw Hallmark Christmas movies Peacock Avengers screenings christmas movies strong female leads scorecard Polls and Games superhero Showtime Hear Us Out Apple TV+ name the review Family Countdown mission: impossible versus fresh Warner Bros. Disney streaming service spain BBC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Acorn TV Lifetime a nightmare on elm street New York Comic Con sports RT History TV renewals E! TCM cancelled TV shows prank child's play Set visit The Academy spanish TBS ABC TV movies south america japanese Pop justice league based on movie Marvel Studios 2017 Calendar crossover X-Men popular OneApp Amazon science fiction Song of Ice and Fire blockbuster Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Certified Fresh Exclusive Video Marvel foreign Cosplay spanish language Martial Arts YouTube Premium Drama australia transformers Black History Month period drama Trailer Anna Paquin comedies MCU Election revenge Pixar Turner Classic Movies classics Dark Horse Comics Comedy Central boxing quibi latino Christmas GIFs TCA Winter 2020 finale Fox News 21st Century Fox Arrowverse news 24 frames nbcuniversal blaxploitation Wes Anderson travel Stephen King singing competition Lifetime Christmas movies The Arrangement parents History joker technology Chernobyl worst TCA 2017 sequels cancelled television Mystery hispanic know your critic Apple HBO Go reviews Reality Competition 2021 Amazon Studios YouTube Red DC streaming service Black Mirror critics