RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Cats

Is the critically reviled Cats about to enter the next of its nine lives, reborn as a cult classic worthy of repeat – and, er, influenced – viewings? We're getting jellicle in our latest pod... whatever that means.

by | June 10, 2021 | Comments

Cats

(Photo by © Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

With In the Heights dancing into theaters this week on a wave of incredible reviews – it’s currently Certified Fresh at 97% – we thought we’d cast our minds back to the last big movie musical to hit theaters… one that arrived on a wave of, shall we say, less positive press.


Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19


It was late 2019, a lifetime ago it seems, when Universal offered us the Christmas gift of their adaptation of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, his own adaptation of poems from T.S. Eliot. And for most critics, what lie beneath the heavily-CGI wrapping was a big old lump of coal. Folks who guffawed at the shiver-inducing trailer, with its small and bizarre humanoid cast of famous-faced felines, had their worst fears (or hopes in some cases) confirmed: Cats, the movie, was a disaster.

Scathing reviews drove its Tomatometer score down to a Rotten 19%; the movie would go on to dominate that year’s Razzies.

But lo, in the wake of its release, something “jellicle” started to develop around the movie. (No, we do not know if we are using that term correctly, as we still have no idea what it means let alone if it’s a verb, noun, or otherwise.) The star-studded laughing-stock began to develop a reputation – surprisingly quickly – as something weird, yes, but also wonderful, a film that could become a cult favorite. Midnight screenings started to pop up, the atmosphere akin to late nights with The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Room; when the pandemic hit, fans turned to online viewing parties at which, powered on by libations and edible treats, they were able to fully make peace and become one with the sights and sounds of a furry Rebel Wilson chomping on dancing cockroaches.



A gloriously messy fever dream? A cult classic in the making? Or just really, really bad? That’s what we’re asking in the latest episode of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong, and to help our hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley paw through it all, we enlisted the big guns: Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor at Mashable, film critic extraordinaire, and yes, one of the 19% of Tomatometer-approved critics who filed a positive review for Cats, a little red tomato she will defend to this day. But can she convince Mark and Jacqueline to love the film that, as she wrote in her review, “had broken me, and I’d never felt happier”?

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”


Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:


If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.


Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


Tag Cloud

TCM kids Disney Channel TV movies crossover 2020 debate Trivia criterion superman Trophy Talk Ghostbusters VH1 feel good The Purge Best and Worst ABC Signature YouTube Red TruTV Biopics HBO die hard streaming political drama San Diego Comic-Con CNN Turner 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2015 Crunchyroll Star Wars ITV spider-man psychological thriller renewed TV shows El Rey movies DC streaming service genre First Reviews target comics basketball Mudbound foreign japan Warner Bros. nfl Watching Series Heroines live event Neflix comiccon anthology Hallmark Christmas movies new york telelvision USA Network romantic comedy venice Academy Awards The Walking Dead Western directors The Arrangement Comic-Con@Home 2021 true crime Universal Set visit hispanic heritage month TCA Awards reviews diversity Broadway Tubi Sci-Fi BBC One Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt GoT award winner cancelled TV series Black History Month National Geographic boxoffice spider-verse The CW concert dceu olympics casting politics Captain marvel BET children's TV dragons 99% game of thrones See It Skip It stoner YouTube Premium robots remakes halloween tv Reality Amazon Prime Video nbcuniversal Binge Guide CBS All Access 2016 Showtime finale Arrowverse Rocky RT History DC Comics Masterpiece HBO Go Tarantino critics Cartoon Network Hulu Box Office batman First Look rotten movies we love halloween series teaser DirecTV romance stop motion Valentine's Day Food Network mockumentary elevated horror Netflix Mary poppins monster movies prank aapi Freeform YA rt labs critics edition History comic book movies 4/20 richard e. Grant live action singing competition SDCC dexter The Walt Disney Company crime Music MSNBC facebook stand-up comedy classics screen actors guild young adult football a nightmare on elm street sopranos Wes Anderson Pop cinemax Opinion 24 frames E! dramedy CW Seed 71st Emmy Awards TNT quibi travel scary movies sitcom Ovation adaptation international TCA Winter 2020 Britbox theme song movie king arthur festival christmas movies italian 73rd Emmy Awards Comedy Central spy thriller pirates of the caribbean nature Sundance Now toy story films Brie Larson VICE Sundance TV trophy satire Hollywood Foreign Press Association Tumblr DC Universe medical drama saw Rom-Com Fox Searchlight Prime Video Apple TV+ Extras 79th Golden Globes Awards fast and furious festivals cooking cats Universal Pictures APB war President scorecard Disney streaming service Paramount book adaptation toronto AMC Plus discovery Epix name the review Song of Ice and Fire blockbuster spanish Premiere Dates child's play mcc American Society of Cinematographers Marathons crime drama dogs Schedule Nickelodeon Comics on TV Superheroes binge talk show Action jurassic park Shudder streaming movies slashers OneApp Avengers Star Trek zero dark thirty based on movie IFC Films canceled TV shows marvel comics Super Bowl FXX emmy awards GLAAD posters Lifetime thriller USA Family TLC cars TV Awards Tour television indie A24 Martial Arts Fantasy Turner Classic Movies popular cults adenture technology Image Comics Stephen King hispanic hist vampires LGBT space DGA TIFF Comedy revenge Christmas SXSW Fall TV ESPN Endgame Pet Sematary Creative Arts Emmys news Year in Review universal monsters cops Bravo PaleyFest fresh Trailer Country HFPA franchise GIFs heist movie Ellie Kemper breaking bad adventure Esquire south america Paramount Network Travel Channel women doctor who BBC America Horror sports Teen Tokyo Olympics Oscars Lifetime Christmas movies latino Tomatazos Hallmark Lionsgate BET Awards parents Pride Month Acorn TV mob TV One VOD worst unscripted godzilla Countdown witnail A&E james bond Certified Fresh Rock boxing dc TCA TBS video on demand Marvel Studios Film Festival ABC Family hollywood Musical game show gangster critic resources hidden camera Baby Yoda Columbia Pictures Exclusive Video spanish language Marvel Amazon Studios Thanksgiving rom-coms TV Land Mystery werewolf all-time Winter TV Mindy Kaling documentary ratings japanese Disney+ Disney Plus strong female leads know your critic CBS Spectrum Originals reboot archives spain sequels Podcast Pop TV Interview Dark Horse Comics FOX Calendar Kids & Family The Academy 2021 New York Comic Con E3 australia Nominations Character Guide rt labs cancelled Spring TV superhero Legendary Apple composers Tags: Comedy zombies best comic books biography TV renewals mission: impossible Superheroe ABC blaxploitation Fox News video Disney TCA 2017 aliens Anna Paquin royal family 1990s slasher harry potter SundanceTV miniseries FX suspense Election Red Carpet Instagram Live historical drama Television Critics Association 21st Century Fox king kong vs. Alien YouTube HBO Max Fargo Grammys golden globes dark IFC Pacific Islander Animation Syfy indiana jones Disney Plus Discovery Channel justice league art house mutant tv talk comic book movie LGBTQ Infographic black Apple TV Plus WarnerMedia razzies BAFTA chucky MCU science fiction transformers independent french cancelled television X-Men 007 asian-american dreamworks Peacock Holidays CMT Mary Poppins Returns Nat Geo Awards Logo high school Classic Film twilight docudrama BBC spinoff Sundance period drama Reality Competition cartoon canceled NBC FX on Hulu lord of the rings WGN Emmy Nominations 90s supernatural Adult Swim Drama action-comedy new zealand The Witch Emmys IMDb TV Comic Book trailers sag awards cancelled TV shows new star wars movies legend deadpool jamie lee curtis Television Academy serial killer documentaries what to watch blockbusters Rocketman wonder woman Sony Pictures laika versus Video Games Cannes 2018 ID Chernobyl Funimation free movies Shondaland Crackle leaderboard ViacomCBS rt archives Marvel Television Walt Disney Pictures Film worst movies Paramount Plus Cosplay crime thriller 93rd Oscars Sneak Peek psycho Summer Lucasfilm ghosts Photos anime joker social media docuseries NBA Hear Us Out sequel AMC Elton John Polls and Games MTV Pixar 45 kong RT21 green book Pirates scene in color Vudu comedies police drama screenings Netflix Christmas movies Amazon kaiju biopic Spike Winners Women's History Month zombie Musicals Toys comic golden globe awards Writers Guild of America black comedy rotten NYCC Quiz OWN Mary Tyler Moore marvel cinematic universe Holiday book 2019 2017 obituary Amazon Prime 72 Emmy Awards disaster Black Mirror natural history scary PlayStation 20th Century Fox PBS animated Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Starz