Review Bombing

What does Review Bombing mean?

Overloading a movie or show with bad reviews

Review bombing is a term used when a large number of people intentionally post negative reviews about a movie, TV show, or any other content online to bring down its overall rating. This action can be carried out by a big group of users or a few users with multiple accounts.

The origin of this strategy dates back to the 2000s when websites that collected and averaged reviews such as IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic became popular on the internet. Even if the content is well made, some users may not agree with certain aspects of it (for example, political or religious themes, violation of established lore, or any other form of protest) and choose to review bomb it on an aggregator site, causing the overall score to drop.

Take, for instance, a group of traditionalist viewers of a series who feel that it has become overly progressive. They might decide to unite and review bomb the show on Rotten Tomatoes, resulting in a very low audience score. This is especially noticeable when there is a big difference between the audience and critics’ reviews.

Instances of review bombing can be seen in cases such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Spore, Grand Theft Auto V, and Ghostbusters (2016). It’s important to note that not only films or shows are subjected to this, but also apps, businesses, products, and even food can be review bombed.

Example for using ‘Review Bombing’ in a conversation

Hey, have you seen the new superhero movie?

Yeah, I watched it last night. Honestly, I didn’t like it.

Really? What didn’t you like about it?

The storyline felt weak, and the acting was subpar. I might review bomb it.