The Big Picture: Don't Read This Column!

Critics are outmoded, says the movie industry. Here's why that opinion deserves a pan

Illustration for TIME by Marc Matcho

In the movie business, those who can, do. Those who can't, critique. And those who can't critique, critique the critics.

That's one explanation for last month's jeremiad by Peter Bart, editor of the trade paper Variety, against movie reviewers. He couldn't understand why so many critics lambasted hits like 300, Wild Hogs and Norbit. "The situation underscores yet again the disconnect between the cinematic appetites of critics vs. those of the popcorn crowd," Bart wrote. "If the established media want to stay relevant, should their critics make a passing attempt to tune in to pop culture?" He suggested we take "a...

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