David Denby Vs. Scott Rudin: Film Critics Take Sides

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stitches - H 2011
Sony Pictures

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stitches - H 2011

The New Yorker film reviewer was banned from any of Scott Rudin's film screenings after posting his "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" review early.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is living up to its dramatic reputation. Though, much of the drama isn't happening on the screen.

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The film was screened for members of the New York Film Critics Nov. 28, but they signed a waiver saying they would not post their reviews until Dec. 13. 

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However, New Yorker critic David Denby's review was printed in its current issue, a week before the embargo date. 

In response, the film's producer, Scott Rudin banned Denby from all future screenings of his films, writing in an email, "You've very badly damaged the movie by doing this, and I could not in good conscience invite you to see another movie of mine again."

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On Monday, many in the movie business took to Twitter to offer their thoughts on the situation, with most coming out starkly in favor of Rudin. 

The Hollywood Reporter's awards blogger Scott Feinberg said, "Rudin/Denby Emails Released (I'm with Rudin; Denby was out of line; whether embargos are cool is irrelevant; he signed)"

The Twitter for the New York Film Academy wrote, "Shame on You, David Denby."

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"It is adorable that Scott Rudin thinks movie reviews affect box office. Ever the utopian," writer/critic Sasha Frere-Jones said.

"So David Denby breaks Sony embargo and reviews The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Says it's a "bleak but mesmerizing piece of filmmaking." film critic Anupama Chopra said.

Movies.com and Box Office Magazine writer David Ehrlich, "i assume that this whole david denby disaster is making me very happy that i unfollowed Kevin Smith a few months ago."

"David Denby Does Something Relevant." I quite enjoyed@Choire's take on all of this Dragon Tattoo nonsense." said Moviefone's Mike Ryan while calling out former Gawker editor Choire Sicha's thoughts on the subject.

Film writer Guy Lodge, "Denby hasn't a leg to stand on in this email exchange with Rudin, but I don't see how he "very badly damaged" the film." He later added, "I still think Rudin's melodramatically overstating critics' influence with this particular film."

"Embargoes are dumbass, and even more so when they involve matters of no consequence like showbiz." YES. THAT," wrote the Portland Mercury's Erik Henricksen.

The Chicago Tribune reporter, Mark Caro, simply tweeteed "Rudin's right."

Public radio's Marketplace reporter David Gura said, "Scott Rudin calls David #Denby's embargo-breaking review "deeply destructive," but can this publicity be a bad thing?"

Scott Rudin-David Denby is the closest Hollywood has gotten to rap beef in a very long time. #nosubliminals," Wired senior editor Peter Rubin.

However, The Economist blogger, Glenn Fleishman seemed to side with Denby, saying, "Sony wants broken movie review embargo to stand for _all_ other reviews. Ridiculous." He added, "But movie review embargoes are ridiculous, as are most embargoes. Embargoes are a way to make sure stinkers aren’t sunk by too much knowledge on the part of customers/buyers/viewers."