RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Suicide Squad (2016)

It failed to enchant critics at the time of its release, but Suicide Squad's defenders still go to bat for it to this day. On the eve of its sequel, we're looking back at David Ayer's infamous take on DC's ultimate villain team-up.

by | August 5, 2021 | Comments

Suicide Squad

(Photo by © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

This week, everyone is talking about The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn’s gory, hilarious, and so-far very critically beloved take on DC’s bad-guys-turned-good(ish) group of world-savers. The movie hits theaters and HBO Max this Friday with a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score in the high 90s – which is very “nom, nom” indeed.


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


With the “squad” back in theaters, we thought we’d revisit the film that first introduced Amanda Waller and some of DC’s most beloved kinda-villains to moviegoers: 2016’s Suicide Squad. (What a difference a “the” makes.) Where Gunn’s film rides towards audiences buoyed by almost universal acclaim, director David Ayer’s original… well, it was something of a different story.

Expectations were high among fans for the 2016 movie off the back of a killer marketing campaign that included what might be one of the most effective trailers ever made, as well as swirling excitement about a new Joker and that killer cast (Will Smith! Viola Davis! Jared Leto! Margot Robbie!). But when the movie crash-landed into theaters – to the sound of so many rock hits – it failed to… erm, enchant.

Critics lauded some of the chemistry between cast members as well as the arrival of a “fantabulous” new DCEU character in Robbie’s Harley Quinn, but they also largely roasted the film for its muddy story and music-video feel. It stands with a current Rotten Tomatometer score of 26%. Fans were slightly more forgiving, but hardly blown away – the movie’s Audience Score is 59%, one point shy of Freshness. Even its most die-hard defenders took issue with a clunky final act and weak villain.



Recently, even the movie’s own director has come out against the version Warner Brothers’ released in theaters, recently going so far as saying studio interference resulted in something that was ”not my movie.” And for those who took issue with all those rock hits, he noted his movie had “not a single radio song in the whole thing.”

But is the original Suicide Squad deserving of its villainous reputation? Or, much like its surprisingly big-hearted lead characters, was this a film too harshly judged – by critics, fans, and now its creator? That’s what we’re asking in the latest episode of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes). And to take on such a mission, we had to recruit the deadliest group of bad guys (OK, insightful film buffs) we could find – and so it is that our regular hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley have been fitted with their explosive devices and are joined by movie and TV junkie, actress, host, and one third of YouTube’s Whirl Girls, Roxy Striar. Does she, like a certain pale-faced and pigtailed jail bird, have a soft spot for something others find so problematic? Tune in to find out.

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

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