From Variety — J.S.

. . . critics of critics question the need for thoughtful assessment of formulaic fare that moviegoers will gobble up regardless what their local paper says. Negative reviews didn’t dent “Cloverfield’s” early grosses, but bad word of mouth — and competish from pics targeted to the same demo — hit the followup frame.

Still, it’s hard for film fans — and entertainment journos — not to be taken aback by the pervasiveness of the trend and underlying message that one review fits all.

After all, auds in different regions of the country respond to certain subjects — like, say, teen pregnancy, religion and politics — differently than they might in other locales. A critic who lives in the community he or she is writing for would understand and reflect that.

On the other hand, with zillions of bloggers posting opinions great and small about movies and other matters cultural, moviegoers have plenty of places to seek guidance about a film before plunking down coin for a babysitter. Savvy studio marketers cultivate these bloggers to help spread the word on their films.

But smaller, more challenging, films frequently need championing to break through. And that’s where critics prove most effective.

Full story . . .