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Long range reviews

Tuesday 3 July 2012, 15:54

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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After an advance screening of The Sweeney recently a national newspaper published their review early - which annoyed the distributors greatly. Do you think it's OK to report films months before they are out or should critics wait until release?

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    Comment number 1.

    I have no problem waiting for a review - it's frustrating to hear a full review without being able to see it myself. As you say, too early and it can also kill the hype. I'm a fan of the first response reviews, though!

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    Comment number 2.

    I think any review is useful, no matter when it's filed. On the one hand, long-range reviews can build up the buzz and the sense of anticipation for a movie - I hadn't heard of Killer Joe, for example, until you did you stumbled out of the screening and reviewed it on this site, but after that I was looking forward to it (and it didn't let me down).

    In a way, that's the whole reason that festivals like Cannes, Edniburgh etc exist at all - to drum up early buzz, and create a sense of anticipation. Early reviews do the same thing, and if anything, they should be encouraged.

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    Comment number 3.

    Since the mid 90s where movie sites, and movie fans have been able to express their opinions on certain movies on the internet, a critics opinion has become irrelevant.

    I'm still surprised film critics such as yourself still have jobs. Yes you're fun to listen too, but I don't take any notice of your opinion, because the most of the time you're wrong, even though you claim to be right.

    A lot of the times when you review a film, you say a certain element is unique, or new, we the audience have most likely have seen something similar on a US television series months, or years before. As you don't want US television shows, only movies, your reviews do come off as out of touch.

    Regardless of whether a movie is reviewed months in advanced, or a few days in advanced, really doesn't matter, because a critics opinion is yesterdays news, the audience will see it regardless, The Transformers series is a classic example, and the same will go for The Sweeney.

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    Comment number 4.

    Personally I don't read reviews until after I've seen the movie so generally it doesn't affect me. That being said...

    What's the point then in previewing the film so far in advance if its not for a festival? It's their own fault. Do the screening a couple of weeks before release or put an embargo on it if you are previewing it that early. If the studio don't do either of those things then don't be surprised when a film review comes out early. With film reviewing, especially for websites, it benefits sites as well and if your site has a review up first your likely to get more hits and stick out.

    In this case the studio has no right to be angry at all.

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    Comment number 5.

    Since I don't have easy access to the cinema all reviews are months before I see the film on DVD or even years before I see it on television. Those reviews are still interesting and alert me to films that are worth seeing when they become available. The reviews that matter most aren't the big releases but the smaller, often more interesting, films that might go unnoticed without a good review.

    I can see the distributor's point of view though the more it is mentioned in the days running up to release the more people will be thinking of it when deciding what to see.


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