On page 11 of the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, next to an article about the Oscar race, there is this brief item:

"Earning some of the harshest reviews of the year, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is officially the first Holocaust movie that won't have a shot at winning an Oscar."


First of all, it's not even true. There have been several Holocaust movies that never had a serious chance at an Oscar. Robin Williams' loathsome Jakob the Liar comes to mind. (Whoops, EWliked that one.) But I get that EW is exaggerating for the sake of a joke about how Holocaust movies "always" get Oscar attention. Fair enough.

The more baffling assertion is that The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is "earning some of the harshest reviews of the year." It has gotten a few very scathing reviews, that's true -- but they comprise a very small minority. The film has a 64% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 6.2 out of 10. Saying it's earning some of the harshest reviews of the year while failing to mention the overwhelming majority that aren't harsh is like saying "some people" hate ice cream. It might be true, but it's misleading when you're looking at the big picture.

And are the harsh ones really that harsh? I tend to think the fiery excoriations of Disaster Movie and Witless Protection were much harsher, though I guess that's a matter of opinion.