Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more Criticwire Survey: Last-Minute Gifts for Movie Lovers Criticwire Survey: Last-Minute Gifts for Movie Lovers 'The Interview' Reviews: So How Is That Movie That We're Not Going to See? 'The Interview' Reviews: So How Is That Movie That We're Not Going to See? Star-Ledger's Stephen Whitty Loses His Staff Job Star-Ledger's Stephen Whitty Loses His Staff Job So Long, 'Stephen Colbert': How His Star-Studded Finale Sent Up and Outdid Talk-Show Schmaltz So Long, 'Stephen Colbert': How His Star-Studded Finale Sent Up and Outdid Talk-Show Schmaltz The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" Numerical Proof that 'Boyhood' and 'Transparent' Were Critics' Overwhelming 2014 Favorites Numerical Proof that 'Boyhood' and 'Transparent' Were Critics' Overwhelming 2014 Favorites Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange' Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Sleeper of the Week: 'Maidan' Sleeper of the Week: 'Maidan' Kevin B. Lee's 'Better Than Boyhood': 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Dear White People' and More Kevin B. Lee's 'Better Than Boyhood': 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Dear White People' and More It's Official: HBO Is Remastering 'The Wire' in the Wrong Aspect Ratio It's Official: HBO Is Remastering 'The Wire' in the Wrong Aspect Ratio Sony's Chair Sends Racist Emails, Also Greenlights More Movies Starring Black Actors Than Anyone in Hollywood Sony's Chair Sends Racist Emails, Also Greenlights More Movies Starring Black Actors Than Anyone in Hollywood Beyond 'The Interview': 6 Movies About North Korea You Can Watch Right Now Beyond 'The Interview': 6 Movies About North Korea You Can Watch Right Now 'Disney Deaths' and 'Big Hero 6': How Children's Stories Process Loss 'Disney Deaths' and 'Big Hero 6': How Children's Stories Process Loss Why 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Fills Me With Dread Why 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Fills Me With Dread Why 'Spring Breakers' Is the Movie of the Year Why 'Spring Breakers' Is the Movie of the Year Watch: David Ehrlich's Top 25 Movies of 2014, a Video Countdown as Good as the Movies Themselves Watch: David Ehrlich's Top 25 Movies of 2014, a Video Countdown as Good as the Movies Themselves Film Comment's Best Movies of 2014: 'Boyhood' Plus 'Birdman,' Plus a Cotillard Twofer Film Comment's Best Movies of 2014: 'Boyhood' Plus 'Birdman,' Plus a Cotillard Twofer Daily Reads: 'The Interview' and the End of Satire, Why 'Selma' Matters Today and More Daily Reads: 'The Interview' and the End of Satire, Why 'Selma' Matters Today and More

From the Wire: Times Editor Quotes Times Critics On Subject of Times Review

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire November 28, 2012 at 6:38PM

Some movies are "practically critic-proof," says the Times' Manohla Dargis.
1
Guy Fieri

Over the weekend, the New York Times officially addressed the reaction to Times food critic Pete Wells' brutal review of Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant, in a piece by public editor Margaret Sullivan. I tried reaching out to Wells to see if he'd do an interview with me the day after his review was published -- can you believe he didn't get back to me?!? -- so I was interested to see his comments in the piece, along with some quotes from Times film critic Manohla Dargis about her feelings on the subject of very negative reviews. Wells insists he didn't go to Guy's American Kitchen looking to pan the place ("I would have liked to write the ‘man-bites-dog’ review," he said) and added that negative reviews like his should be done "sparingly." Those comments were echoed by Dargis:

"'Most movies are middling,' she said. 'They’re fine, but they’re not transporting you.' Ms. Dargis is acutely aware of how a bad review can hurt -- not only feelings, but also commercial success. This is especially true for critics at The Times; a great deal rides on the judgment of the paper of record. Some blockbuster movies, though, are 'practically critic-proof,' she said. When the subject is vulnerable, one solution may be to not review at all. But sometimes that’s not practical. The Times can pass on reviewing, for example, an independent filmmaker’s fledgling effort or an art exhibit in a small gallery, but it is committed to reviewing major concerts, films and theater productions, whatever their quality."

That could get us into a whole discussion about whether certain movies really are "critic-proof," but that's a topic probably best saved another time. I'm still interested what readers think about this subject: was the original review going too far? Should negative reviews be used sparingly? Should critics feel responsible about how their reviews impact movies' box office receipts? Let me know what you think below.

Read more of "Reviews With 'All Guns Blazing.'"

This article is related to: From the Wire


E-Mail Updates