RottenTomatoes Halts 'Dark Knight' Comments After Backlash

Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures

For the first time ever movie-review aggregation site has suspended user comments after fans erupted with anger to critics' negative reviews of the "The Dark Knight Rises."

"The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether," the site's editor-in-chief Matt Atchity said in an open letter. "It just got to be too much hate-based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn't even seen."

Atchity said comments will be disabled on "The Dark Knight" for a few days.

The site disabled user comments on reviews Tuesday after Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Hollywood & Fine's Marshall Fine attracted negative and threatening comments.

Fine wrote in his review that "anyone forecasting serious Oscar love for this lumpish, tedious film has been smoking too much of that potent, prescription California weed."

"Since the referral traffic seems to have crashed his server, we've temporarily removed the review link at Fine's request, so his site can go back up," said Atchity.

Lemire wrote the film lacked "the spark that gave 2008's 'The Dark Knight' such vibrancy."

The movie, starring Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Fans have been clamoring for director Christopher Nolan's finale to the trilogy, which is expected to dominate the summer box office. The film officially opens Friday.

In an interview with the New York Times, Atchity said he will probably restore the commenting system by Thursday or Friday. Atchity said this incident has made him rethink the commenting system. Readers are allowed to comment on reviews anonymously and that's something that could change.