Image: Amazon Studios

Amazon’s ultra-pricey Lord of the Rings show appears to be the latest target of review bombers.

As discovered by The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon has halted reviews for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, an “unusual step” that was taken in order to prevent trolling. Reviews are being held for 72 hours to help weed out trolls and ensure that each review is legitimate, according to an Amazon source, who claimed that Prime Video actually started the policy this summer on all its shows.

Here’s a definition and some examples of what are clear instances of review bombing, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Review bombing” is when a group of online users post numerous negative reviews for a product or service due to its perceived cultural or political issues rather than its actual quality. Perusing Rotten Tomatoes’ audience reviews for Rings of Power, there are some one-star entries that meet the definition. “They wanted to involve such an important work with current politics and they have succeeded,” reads an example. “Nobody has a problem with seeing people of color in movies, series or stories … but this story was already written and should not have been sullied.” Opined another: “Reflecting world diversity in Middle Earth is an odd goal, albeit good for marketing maybe, but it was clearly more important then [sic] making a functional TV series.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has an 84% average Tomatometer score but 34% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this posting.

Image: Rotten Tomatoes

Amazon also owns IMDb, but while the score for the show isn’t that great on the popular database site either (6.2 stars at the time of this posting), audience ratings haven’t been suspended there.

One thing that everyone does seem to agree on is that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a beautiful show. One reviewer called its world “stunningly beautiful,” although they went on to say that they were “bored out of my mind.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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10 comments

  1. Don't forget imdb is also hiding unfavorable reviews. Which is even more dishonest. There is no way that the lowest rating would be 3, and only one of those at that.

    And if we are going to speak about review bombing then please acknowledge the existence of positive review bombing too. Where individuals give shows a 10/10 rating just because they agree with the politics represented by the creators and or the show.

    Not to mention 99% of the bad reviews are due to the quality of the show, so they are just running interference trying to imply that the majority of bad reviews are from various "bad people".
  2. Still on the fence if I wanna watch this or not, especially since football season is starting now. I'm sure I'll give it a chance at some point but I'm not holding out a lot of hope that it'll rank to high on my list.
  3. I did not know that they owned them, well dang.
    Yep. From what I understand of the IMBD situation, Amazon has taken the slippery slope of censoring reviews based on content that conforms to their subjective definition of "review bombing", such that even if the reviewer rated the show a 6/10, for example, and provided what they felt was a thoughtful analysis (i.e., not a "bomb"), they may suddenly find their review has gone "missing".

    In some ways I think it'd be less disturbing if they had applied a content-blind system based on numerical rating to temporarily suspend the reviews, though in my opinion the only reasonable solution is to leave all reviews and let the reader be the judge. Ideally, users could apply various dynamic filters to display/sort the reviews in more useful ways, but if you've ever tried to find a product on Amazon, you know how likely that is to happen.
  4. We watched both episodes and I'm surprised to say that we both enjoyed them even though we both expected not to. For us, the real test will be whether or not it keeps our interest throughout the whole season.

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