Big Shock: Critics Hate An American Carol

An American Carol, David Zucker's unabashedly pro-American, anti-left comedy, came out Friday without being screened for critics.

But movie critics pounced anyway, just a day later than normal.

Movie studios occasionally hold films back from critics. Typically, it's a sign the studio has little faith in the film or it knows the movie in question will be bombarded with negative reviews.

In Zucker's case, the lack of screenings could simply be an acknowledgment that the vast majority of film critics lean left and won't take kindly to their side being hit hard. The director himself said film critics wouldn't like the film's politics and therefore wouldn't give the film a fair shake.

The evidence bears that theory out, although even this critic found plenty at fault with the film. Some critics slammed the film fairly without attacking Zucker's politics -- or the conservative nature of the film. Others let their ideological flags flap in the breeze, professionalism be darned.

The Hollywood Reporter couldn't simply critique the movie for its purported failings. Its review played it mostly fair and balanced, but then it let loose with this doozy of a subhead: "Bottom Line: Proves once and for all that Democrats are simply funnier."

Hmmm. Hollywood has produced a grand total of one major conservative comedy and the magazine is ready to declare the debate over.

The New York Times checked in with a brief review, calling the film "mean spirited" and "lazy."

Some critics used turns of phrase they'd never utter in describing, say, a Michael Moore opus. Check out the Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez, who calls the film one of the worst movies of all time: "It is the movie's underlying tone -- its relentless hammering on its pro-war, anti-dissent, anti-liberal message -- that makes watching it such a sour experience."