AV Club film critic AA Dowd published an essay on the morning of August 25 explaining the publication’s decision not to see the film again, noting scientific experts who confirm that going to theaters remains one of the most dangerous activities to do during the pandemic.
« [Science experts] didn’t mince words: there’s a very good chance you’re sick. And that’s a risk the AV Club won’t take to see a movie again, no movie, ”Dowd wrote. “In fact, we adopt the official policy of only reviewing films that our writers can safely watch, whether in a social-distanced press screening or on a digital screen. And yes, that applies to all of our writers, even those who are willing to take the risk of an assignment, because we are also not willing to monetize that risk. “
RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief Brian Tallerico followed up with his own statement, writing on Twitter: “We won’t have a review of ‘The New Mutants’ either because there is no sure way to. do it. We’ll be reviewing theatrical releases when presented with a safe way to do so – screen or social distancing projection – but that’s not an option in this case. ”
Tallerico noted that RogerEbert.com may review the film once it is available on VOD platforms. Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr also took to Twitter to announce that the post will not be reviewing “The New Mutants” this week.
It is not unusual for movie studios not to screen films in advance for critics, especially titles that studios know are intended for bad reviews. Such appears to be the case with the much-delayed “The New Mutants,” an X-Men spinoff from writer-director Josh Boone that stars Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams. Before the coronavirus, movie publications would have had no problem sending critics to public screenings to review ‘The New Mutants’. As Dowd noted in his essay, “these are not normal times” and such a decision is not safe.
Unlike “The New Mutants,” Warner Bros. hosted social distance press screenings for “Tenet” in London and so a handful of reviews were posted online last week. Even so, however, publications such as The Los Angeles Times and IndieWire attached disclaimers to critics urging moviegoers to “follow safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities” before going. At the movie theater.
IndieWire has contacted Disney for further comment.
THE NEW MUTANTS is finally hitting theaters this week. We will not examine it. Here’s why. https://t.co/UhS31PAOTR
– AA Dowd (@AADowd) 25 août 2020
We’ll be reviewing theatrical releases when presented with a safe way to do it – screen or social distancing projection – but that’s not an option in this case.
– Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) 25 août 2020
– Ty Burr (@tyburr) August 25, 2020