Fun with Slate Magazine’s Hollywood Career-O-Matic

Slate Magazine recently created a really fun tool. They amassed every Rotten Tomato score for every actor and every director. They then used that info to create a chart-maker that plots the RT film scores for individual actors and directors. You can even compare and contrast the careers of multiple actors/directors. You can find the tool (and some of their own fun conclusions) here. The only caveat is that the charts will only plot scores from films made in the last 26 years. Hopefully, they’ll eventually fill out the data from previous years. For now, this is awesome enough. I gave the ol’ chart-maker a spin, comparing and contrasting a lot of actors and directors. Here are some of the charts I created:

The Battle of the Directing Andersons

Two Controversial Directors Who Debuted in the 1980’s

Which One was Tyler Durden?

A Slice of Fried Gold

A Pair of Iconic 1970’s Directors

Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid?

Battle of the Classic French Beauties

People Who Had Their Ass Kicked by Bruce Willis in the Die Hard Movies

The Turturro Siblings

Two Acclaimed Directors who Debuted in the ’90s

Asian Horror/Thriller Directors

Canadian Ckings of Chicanery

The Hobbits


Filed under Movies

24 responses to “Fun with Slate Magazine’s Hollywood Career-O-Matic

  1. HA Great find John (how does he do all this original stuff?)

    I love the Chevy Chase one, he had an awesome spurt in the 90s really going from strength to strength, then BOOM and off he went!!

    Great fun

    Thanks for putting it together

  2. These are great, but the colors are way too similar in some of them. That makes it a bit harder to follow.

    • Ah, I was a little bit stuck. They auto-generate colors for you.

      I wish I could get 5 year moving averages. With directors, it’s easy to go film by film, but with actors there are so many films/tick marks that patterns don’t really develop as easily.

  3. The guy who met Kevin Meany

    The most interesting chart to me was the Tyler Durden one–it looks like Brad Pitt and Ed Norton are going in the opposite directions. Strange.

    • It seems like Pitt’s sort of reached the point where he’s a brand name, and can pick and choose what he wants to do, and is making wise choices. Norton is still sort of in the cycle of doing one average/large budget movie to keep his name around, and then doing decent projects.

  4. Phil

    That’s really great. In the Slate article, you can see the upward trend over the last ten years. It isn’t that movies are getting better, it’s that the movie marketing is now gaming the RT score by giving more previews to “friendly” internet critics. Notice the astronomically high score (especially before the release) of mediocre movies like Thor and X-Men First Class.

    • That’s a really great, insightful comment. And stuff like Thor and X-Men is why I like to see where the RT scores wind up. They always start off like gangbusters but as more and more reviews come out, those great RT scores get diluted (or, in some cases, verified). Long story short, the more data points (reviews) grading a movie, the more accurate it’s going to be. And after week one and two, it’s still easy for the score to be diluted by the “friendly” critics.

  5. What was John Turturro in in 2010 that garnered what looks like a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes?

    /looks it up

    Huh, “Nutcracker in 3D,” a film I doubt anyone was aware existed. It grossed “$0.2 million” at the box office, which has to be hard to do. The reviews are hilarious. “Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness.”

    • $0.2 million?!?! How does a movie even do that?

      This sounds like something I’m going to have to watch and review. That should bump it up to $0.20000000000000000001 million.

      • Evidently, it’s a children’s movie retelling of the Nutcracker, with actors singing words written by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music writer, and Turturro playing some sort of Nazi rat overlord. IN 3D! And it’s total box office was less than Mark Hamilton will probably make this year! Please, do review this.

      • Vladdy

        Please review this. I don’t want to see it, but I would love to hear about how terrible it is!

  6. Awesome tool. I’ll have to try it. It looks fun. The only problem for me is that I often find myself disagreeing with the Tomatometer, and thus, the critics. I still use the site, though, because whether I agree or not, I love to read reviews.

  7. Nice – I was playing with this yesterday myself. Wait, that sounds wrong.

    Anyway, yes, it’s a neat toy. I think my favorite was just looking at the eerily similar arcs for Steve Buscemi and John Turturro. Whatever happened to those guys, man – they were legends (of character actors)!

    That Tarantino one had me worried; I’d forgotten about Four Room and was thinking I’d have to maim hundreds of people if Jackie Brown’s score was really that low.

    I was having fun trying to make out words from peoples’ lines. I’m sure someone’s career spells out “shit” if you look just right…

  8. Wes Anderson is definitely an acquired taste, one I haven’t acquired lol. I find all his movies to be dreadfully bland. Kinda fun infographics although I don’t quite see the point.

    • I wanted to make observations/draw conclusions but there’s really none to be made because it’s not a 5-year average type of thing. When you’re looking at every film (and doing so without knowing which is which), it’s awfully hard to draw any meaningful conclusions. After all, Tarantino’s ugliest mark comes from Four Rooms… which he was hardly responsible for. But in a five year average type of thing, it’d wash out a lot of those outliers.

      In a dream world, I’d like to see a movie/Rotten Tomato score equivalent of something like (a very nerdy but awesome baseball site that has similar chartmakers). Because you can definitely draw conclusions off of that.

  9. Kelly

    What a fun way to waste time at work. I agree that the colors are too similar on some of the charts. I was beginning to think I had become colorblind! It’s stupid that it choses them at random.

    And I’m sorry to nitpick, but John & Aida Turturro are cousins, even though they look more like siblings than John & Nick do.

  10. These are awesome!
    That one with Brad Pitt’s career is quite interesting, him doing hit and misses before and now he’s doing steadily better and better work. I’m not sure at what point I realised that he’s actually quite an actor, before he was just … Brad Pitt.

    • I think Se7en is when I started paying attention. But then, I’ve got a soft spot for the guy because he went to the University of Missouri.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s