At a moment when the indie film business is especially fragile, industry insiders are questioning the obstacles that are increasingly being put in the way of new releases, such as Rotten Tomatoes and similar services. Where distributors formerly relied on hopefully favorable reviews from a few top critics, the Tyranny of the Tomatoes today can pull the rug from under a release before it gains any traction, their ratings stemming from a maze of mostly unknown critics and bloggers.

While some defend these democratically voted assessments, indie distributors long for the days when a Pauline Kael would become a “rabbi” for a new film. By complaining about Tomatoes and similar services, my guest Mike Fleming Jr. and I agree that they studios acknowledge that they have supported them in the past and rely on them to drum up support for superhero pictures.

Listen here:

The Deadline Podcast runs weekly, with future guests including Robert Evans.