While trying to decide which movie to go see this past weekend, my father called me up and asked my opinion on the latest flicks. Seeing as I've been knee-deep in Gen Art festival screenings (Behind the Mask was awesome!) and the last mainstream film I saw in the theater was Inside Man, I recommended that one.
However, when I told him to go read some critic reviews to help nudge him toward a decision, he scoffed, "Bah, what do they know -- they're always wrong anyway." After I hung up the phone, I decided to take a sample poll and call some of my friends to ask them if they ever look to a movie critic to help choose a film. I spoke with six people (I know, I didn't think I had that many friends either), all of whom consider themselves rather "artsy" and not one seeks out the critic's guidance. But why?
The consensus was that the critic gives too much of the film away. Oh, and the trailer doesn't? One of my friends felt that most critics remind him of that annoying kid from school who walked around with a very "I know everything and you know nothing" kind of attitude. He followed that up with, "Hey, at least I don't need a dictionary to watch a trailer." Seriously, why are we making a whole what-to-do over the fact that studios aren't screening certain films for critics when no one bothers to read their reviews anyway?
So, I ask: Do you read reviews? If not, why? Should movie critics dumb down their reviews, just like Hollywood dumbs down its films, in order to attract more people? Is that the answer?