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

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