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Ever get the sense some reviewers love almost everything? Here's proof

Jay Sherman (Jon Lovitz) and Roger Ebert (as himself), on The Critic.
Jay Sherman (Jon Lovitz) and Roger Ebert (as himself), on The Critic.
Photo courtesy of Columbia TriStar/Sony Pictures Television

One of the many great things about review aggregators like Rotten TomatoesMetacritic, and MRQE is that they enable us to stack reviewers up against each other and see whose taste matches our own; once you have that, tracking that critic's ratings can be a better guide than score averages, at least for determining what you personally want to watch (I find the gang at The Dissolve pretty solid, for example).

It can also tell you which critics love everything and which are perpetually disappointed, neither of which is a particularly helpful approach when you're just trying to find something to watch. Adam Raymond and Mitan Gilat at Vocativ crunched the numbers to determine which critics give more positive or more negative ratings than Metacritic as a whole. The Tampa Bay Times' Steve Persall and Owen Gleiberman (formerly of Entertainment Weekly) are the happy-go-luckiest of the bunch, while The New Yorker's Anthony Lane and Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern were the most negative:

Reviewingreviewers Obviously, what this means for your estimation of particular reviewers will depend on what kinds of movies cause them to deviate from the consensus, and how thoughtful they are in defending those deviations. Manohla Dargis is graded as a "hater" but she often has solid arguments to back up her harsher judgments; her critique of Blue is the Warmest Color was a much-needed corrective to the rapturous reception it got from most critics. But it's still useful for Metacritic users to have a baseline when considering how important a rave or pan from given reviewer is. If nothing else, the chart shows that a Steve Persall rave and a Anthony Lane rave mean very, very different things.

Hat-tip to Allison McCann.