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Amazon-owned IMDB steps in to prop up audience rating of Fauci documentary

- JUST THE NEWS - Christian Toto - OCT 16, 2021 -

Citing "unusual voting activity," the film reference site says it's applying "alternate weighting calculation" to friendly portrait of polarizing COVID czar "to preserve the reliability of our rating system."

A documentary film tracking Dr. Anthony Fauci's medical career from the AIDS crisis to COVID-19, is creating controversy away from the big screen.

"Fauci," from NatGeo and Magnolia Pictures, hit select theaters Sept. 10 before getting a Disney+ release earlier this month. The documentary lets disparate figures like President George W. Bush, U2's Bono and Bill Gates praise the Infectious disease specialist.

The studios failed to make the documentary's box office figures available to film industry sites or The vast majority of studios, large and small, routinely share that data, as NatGeo and Magnolia have done on previous releases.

Movie fans then noticed, arguably the biggest review aggregator site on the web, didn't initially feature any "audience" reviews of the film.

Mainstream film critics saluted "Fauci," although most admitted the film served up a hagiography of the 80-year-old bureaucrat. Once audiences started weighing in on the film at Rotten Tomatoes, though, the results were withering. Professional critics gave "Fauci" a 92% "fresh" score, while audiences gave it just a 2% — or "rotten" — rating.

A similar pattern emerged at, a major film and TV reference destination. "Fauci's" audience rating, on a scale from 1-10, hovered around 1.8. This week, however, the site altered its review algorithm. Now, the audience review tally is a more robust 5.8.

A quick glimpse at the review breakdown, provided by the site, shows the overwhelming number of audience critics gave the film a one-star rating.

The site now features this explanation:

"NOTE: Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied." reached out to, owned by Amazon, to explain what triggered the reappraisal and whether it similarly updated other titles, and why.


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