Taraji P. Henson in "No Good Deed"
Taraji P. Henson in "No Good Deed"

With fewer than 12 hours to go until it was to be shown to the press Wednesday night, Screen Gems this morning canceled all advance screenings of "No Good Deed," the home-invasion thriller starring Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba, allegedly to preserve the film's surprise plot twist.

No Good Deed

I haven't seen "No Good Deed" — no one has — but a colleague who did interviews for the film without being allowed to see it first had the plot described to him by Idris Elba, and the "twist" is exactly what I thought it would be, having seen only the trailer. So the inevitable conclusion is that Screen Gems is not protecting audiences from last-act spoilers — which no critic would divulge in the first place — so much as they're protecting the movie from what seems likely to be a barrage of withering reviews. That's certainly what critics are thinking, based on their reactions to the announcement: