National Geographic’s new documentary about Dr. Anthony Fauci has been ignored by audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, despite overwhelmingly positive reviews from professional critics.
Directed by John Hoffman and Janet Tobias, “Fauci” has been in select theaters since Sept. 10 and started streaming Oct. 6 on Disney+. The film features interviews with Fauci as well as his wife Christine and daughter Jenny. Figures ranging from former President George W. Bush and Susan Rice to Bill Gates and Bono also weigh in.
Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from both professional critics and online users, was conspicuously lacking in audience reviews for “Fauci.” As of Sunday, the only audience review was from “Justin B.,” who gave the movie two and half stars out of five.
“While the film had some interesting back story regarding Fauci’s career and family history, as a documentary it is severely lacking. While it is a challenge to give a truly analytical and unbiased assessment, the producers here don’t even try,” the user wrote.
“They have some background noise of people saying mean things about Fauci and then make clear those are unfair and go about interviewing only people who fawn all over him. There are no interviews of anyone who question the quality of the job he has done. There is no real assessment of the quality his tenure during the pandemic,” the review continued.
Most professional critics, by contrast, lauded both the film and its subject.
“Fauci is a refreshing figure and a standard-bearer for the truth,” wrote the critic for The Guardian.
“The subject comes away smelling of roses, and it seems deserved this time,” wrote another.
Brian Lowry, the critic for CNN.com, wrote, “Fauci makes no pretense about where its sentiments lie, lauding a figure whose critics have seemingly twisted his image beyond recognition in their attempts to demonize him.”
Not all professional critics were complimentary, with one calling the Fauci film “a fawning no-warts paean to Fauci in which never is heard a discouraging word.”
“Ignored is any criticism from anyone about anything. No documentary, it’s biased agitprop,” the critic added.
User reactions for the “Fauci” trailer on YouTube were overwhelmingly negative.