Which do you rely on more to pick what to see, trailers or reviews? (Friday Question Fun)

I almost forgot that today was Friday – it seems like I just posted a Friday question! Previous questions can be found HERE.

This week’s question is:

If a movie looks good in the trailer but gets bad reviews, do you still see it?

Or the reverse – if it looks bad in the trailers but gets good reviews, do you see it?

I tend to rely on reviews more than trailers, but trailers are almost always the first point of contact that put a movie on my radar, so to speak. The most recent example of a movie I thought looked absolutely mind-numbingly stupid from the trailers was Ted, a movie I actually enjoyed quite a bit but would not have gone to see if it weren’t for the positive reviews. Another example was The Social Network. I couldn’t believe people were loving a movie about Facebook but after seeing the film for myself, I understood.

For the inverse, I really thought that The Village looked awesome and M. Night Shyamalan was involved, it had to be great, right! Wrong. So wrong, in fact, this was the last Shyamalan movie I think I’ve seen.

What about you?

83 responses to “Which do you rely on more to pick what to see, trailers or reviews? (Friday Question Fun)

  1. If the trailer looks good, I will still see the movie regardless of the reviews – my curiosity just gets the better of me! If the trailer looks bad but it’s been rated highly I will usually try to find time to see it. On the whole though, I think too much hype can be a bad thing as it raises my expectations too much and I often end up feeling disappointed. I prefer not to know too much about movies before I see them though, so I usually read more reviews after I’ve seen the film!

  2. Great question! Trailer are the very first exposure to the film but it’s never smart to judge the entire movie based on a trailer so I definitely am more influenced by reviews. If the trailer is terrible and the film is getting bad reviews… chances are the movie sucks!

  3. Trailers hook me, but I don’t really go and see a movie without checking the reviews. I’ll sometimes disregard bad reviews if a trailer looks good, which sometimes I regret. God, The Village was a bad movie.

  4. Hmmmm trailers mainly but if I have any doubts then I’ll refer to a review by someone I trust….but I tend to watch films on the basis of who is in it or directed it and trust in luck! Am I perhaps not discerning enough for this blog?!

  5. I usually start with trailers just to see if I’m interested. I still read reviews though. A lot of times, it just depends on how the reviews justify themselves. If its a good trailer and the review turns out bad, I’d like to know what was the problem.

    But if it looks bad in the trailers and gets good reviews, I may be inclined to see it eventually when it goes on sale in DVD/Blu-ray.

  6. That’s a good question – I think ultimately it’s the trailer which is most likely to get me excited for a film, although reviews are of course important as well. I tend to do most of my review reading after I’ve watched a film, but will normally scout a couple out if I have been intrigued enough, but not fully sold on a film from its trailer alone.

  7. It’s about time you got the Friday question up! C’mon you slacker! 😉

    I enjoy trailers but they usually don’t keep me from seeing a movie that I want to see. Some trailers do get me more jazzed for a movie but rarely do trailers alone have much negative impact on me.

  8. I think reviews matter more than trailers. I didn’t like the Drive trailers too much but I thought it was an amazing movie and if it weren’t for the positive reviews I probably wouldn’t have seen it. Like you I didn’t like the sound of The Social Network, even though it had David Fincher directing and Aaron Sorkin writing but once I read the reviews I immediately changed my mind and loved it as well.

  9. Trailer, Cast, DIrector, then Review is my order for whether I watch a film or not. But if a film gets a 1-star of D/F review, then I will usually wait for the DVD or forget about it. The opposite holds true if it gets a great review, but I was underwhelmed by the trailer.

  10. Sir, I must say trailers. I may be a critic, but I would rather refer to the source when deciding to see a movie. Others I decide against both.

      • lol well. After I have seen a movie, I can then go on to see what others had to say about it. I don’t want to be swayed to go see a movie. I am going to regardless, so I like to go in as blind as possible. Though I’m all for critics afterwards, cause we can have a grand old time talking about the movie lol

  11. A bad trailer will stop me from seeing the film (“Rat Race” is a good example–I loved the movie once I saw it, but the trailer was dreadful), and a good trailer will spark my interest. However, if the reviews give a different impression of the film (especially among critics I respect), then I may change my mind about seeing it.

  12. I often just read a bit of a review. If I haven’t seen the film – I often just look at the score given, zoom through the review, and just completely read the opening hook and concluding point of a review. If it got crappy reviews, I usually just wait to catch it on TV or something. Trailers are really fun too. I probably rely on reviews more, but sometimes I like to know very little of the flick.

  13. I try to avoid trailers whenever possible, so I rely more on who is involved in a movie before deciding whether to see it. Word of mouth also helps.

    • This was going to be a future question of mine, but I also tend to favor the people involved in the film before even seeing a trailer.

  14. If I like the trailer I’ll read a few reviews, and if they’re all bad I won’t watch the film until it comes out on DVD. If I don’t like the trailer but it gets really good reviews, I’d probably be more inclined to see it but still won’t because it’s probably a genre I don’t enjoy. So, I probably weigh reviews a little bit more, but the trailers are important too.

    • That’s a great way to approach it. I tend to enjoy all genres of film so universal praise almost always piques my interest.

  15. Mostly reviews. But sometimes I even find them untrustworthy or not totally dependable. I’ll read a review on a movie and a lot of times it seems each critic has a different sense and reaction of the movie. Which makes it hard to decipher which review I would agree with.

    So if that happens, I then rely on the trailer to decide if I’ll see it.

  16. Trailers are what hooks me in, and sometimes I’ll see a movie based on that even if the reviews aren’t solid — especially if it looks like one that I’ll enjoy but which I can tell the critics or the general public may not like. Mostly, though, I go by the reviews from trusted sources.

  17. good choices for the examples (I totally agree with Ted and the Village), I always hate it when a movie has a great looking trailer but bad reviews, but I usually go off of the reviews when it comes down to it

    • I hate that too – I also hate trailers that give away the entire premise of the film but I guess some films are so flimsy it’s unavoidable.

  18. it’s a catch 22 for me Andy since trailers can be made in order to entice audiences and it may depend on external factors like the popularity of the film in terms of characters, trending, adaptation from books, graphic novels, tv series etc. or how it was edited.

    On the other hand, reviews should be able to bear more weight since it has been given already an encompassing idea on how the film turned out…still it depends on a point of view of the person who watched it 😀

    Nice one! Cheers! 😀

  19. If I love a movie’s trailer, I only skip it if the reviews have been overwhelmingly negative. If a trailer sucks or the premise is a little strange (like The Social Network), it has to have exceptionally good reviews for me to see it.

    And oh man, I love The Village! hehe

  20. Trailers help, but can mislead. Reviews often come with baggage – a writer might hate a genre and provide flawed critical appraisal. My major source of information is often something like IMDB – if I know what the director has made before, or who the writer is, that’s going to be more of an influence on me than a flashy trailer with obligatory dub-step or one of those annoying tv ads for films with out-of-context lines from a review.

    • It definitely helps to know the background of the people involved – I can see how that would be the biggest influencer

  21. I usually don’t rely on trailers because I have been burned so many times. I have trusted reviewers who I know are pretty straight so I do listen to them, for the most part. A lot of it is just gut instinct these days or if it is in one of my favorite genres. I honestly go off of who made it, produced it or directed it more than anything else. Sometimes the actor alone will sell me.

    • I know what you mean! I can get amped for a film just because someone is starring in it, but I’ve been burned picking movies based on that too haha

  22. I usually don’t watch trailers (unless the film is a remake or is based on a book I’ve read) because I feel like they often give too much away. As much as I love to read reviews, I don’t usually rely on those either. I will watch a film if a blogger/critic who I’ve agreed with a lot in the past recommends it and I wasn’t already planning on seeing it, but typically I choose based on premise/cast & crew alone!

  23. I pay more attention to trailers because it’s the studio’s chance to lure me in. If they can’t find two interesting minutes, then they can’t possibly have 90 interesting minutes.

    • Hm, that’s a good way of looking at it – what if the only two interesting minutes of the movie are used in the trailer, though?

      • EXACTLY. Same way I found myself watching “Terror Toons” and “The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror” and “Trannies with Knives” and oh so many more. 😉

          • It works for me. 😉 Tonight it led me to “Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash”. Yes, it was exactly as it sounds. *giggles*

          • But that means they have to just wash the cars again without blood! Ineffective car washing methods…

          • One would think, right? In actuality, the movie is about a killer chef. A dead killer chef. I posted the review about an hour ago – reading it will explain it much better than I can here. Suffice it to say it’s entirely WTF? 😉

  24. I watch trailers and read reviews as I rarely see something opening night…most of all I rely on my gut. We have a couple cheap theaters here so I can see something even if I know it’s a stinker… Great question! Cheers 🙂

    • Our “dollar theater” is so run down I don’t even like going there, but I wish it was nicer. It’s always fun to see something for cheap even if you know it may be a stinker haha

  25. Since I never watch trailers it’s an easy question. Although I never read full reviews either and just look at the scores and general way people talk about it. It’s all part of me knowing as little as I can about a movie before I go out and see it 🙂

    • It’s a policy I think more people should adopt, it would have staved off some of the over-hyping for films like Prometheus.

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