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Scientists conclude I am the most reliable and trustworthy movie critic in the entire universe

Scientists at NASA, in collaboration with research analysts at Miller-McCume, have crunched a decade's worth of stats and numbers and reached the following conclusion:

If you want to get a sense of the zeitgeist but can only read one review, you might prefer Rene Rodriguez, whose low standard deviation from the mean review score makes him very nearly a living critical average.

Thumbs-up  In other words, instead of combing the Internet for hours each Friday to get a consensus of what critics think about the week's new movies, just come here and read what I have to say, because I am never ever wrong about a film, ever. (Well, OK, I may have overrated Reality Bites just a tad. But I was young and impressionable then.)

The brainiac David Sparks, who conducted the study, took the 25 most prolific movie reviewers from Metacritic.com (and not Rottentomatoes,com, which treats crap like this as criticism) and created a chart based on two factors: The favorability with which the critics rate the films and the degree to which their reviews tend to agree with other critics.

Here is the chart detailing Sparks' findings (click on it to make it bigger and readable). Among other interesting tidbits: Michael Wilmington (formerly of the Chicago Tribune) is the easiest-to-please critic on the list, giving more positive reviews than anyone else (Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times was second). The Austin Chronicle's Marc Savlov was deemed the biggest grouch.


The San Francisco's Chronicle Mick LaSalle was the biggest contrarian, meaning if everybody likes it, he'll probably hate it. I wonder where the late, great Pauline Kael would have ranked on a chart like this one.

The study, which I first read about on the newly revived (and consistently great) Movieline.com, also revealed the films starring Elijah Wood have garnered the best reviews of any other actor from 1998-2008, although that may have something to do with the fact that he's only made five or so pictures, and three of them were Lord of the Rings movies. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Viggo Mortensen (there's that LOTR factor again) came in second and third.

Titanic_ver3  Reading this study for some reason reminded me of an encounter I had walking out of the former AMC Fashion Island after a screening of Saving Private Ryan. This seemingly sane and nice-looking woman came up to me and said "You were so wrong about Titanic. That movie was the biggest piece of s--t I have ever seen in my life!" This was, of course, after Titanic had already won 820 Oscars and grossed $9.5 trillion worldwide, so the backlash had kicked in.

Then the woman, who was growing increasingly agitated even though I was just nodding politely and not saying a word, proceeded to go on a rant about how she always made a point of not going to see any film that I liked, because she knew if I thought it was good, that could only mean it was bad.

 "Well, at least I'm consistent," I replied, which only seemed to make her angrier. "Also, you must have really hated the movie we just saw, because I thought it was pretty great." At this point, she called me a very bad word and stormed out of the theater.

From now on, I'm carrying a copy of this report everywhere I go, so I can whip it out the next time I get accosted by an angry reader.






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Adrian Ruhi



Wow, you really have your finger on the pulse, eh?

can't fight this feeling anymore

So you are the most average film critic in America???


I too think the Titanic sucked. I will let it slide.

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