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Rotten tomatoes hurled at new Batman

THE website RottenTomatoes.com suspended user comments on movie reviews of The Dark Knight Rises after commenters reacted harshly to negative reviews of the film and made threatening remarks about the critics who wrote them.

Matt Atchity, the site's editor-in-chief, said that it was the first time RottenTomatoes.com has suspended user comments, adding that postings about Dark Knight reviews would probably be restored by the end of the week.

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

Atchity said the site is considering a move to a Facebook commenting system, which might cut the glut of anonymous posts. Other film review sites either don't allow user comments or don't permit comments to be posted before a film opens.

"There are a lot of options," said Atchity, who is worried about a similar backlash when director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released later this year.

"We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens."

While The Dark Knight Rises is experiencing a glowing 84pc 'fresh' rating on RottenTomatoes, the film has been deemed 'rotten' by a few critics, including Christy Lemire of The Associated Press, who called it a "letdown".