05 May 2008

Iron Man may be the first $180 million comic book movie in history with a great curtain line—which means, of course, that the New Yorker spoiled it. I'm getting a little tired of Anthony Lane and David Denby's determination to reveal the ending of every movie that has ever been released. Denby is usually a little better about this, but if you look at his Iron Man review, you'll see that he blows the ending for absolutely no reason. You could delete the offending sentence entirely without detracting from the point he's trying to make, which (spoiler alert!) is that there may be a sequel in the works. Really?

For the record, A.O. Scott, who is probably the best movie critic working today, hints at the ending much more gracefully in his own review, and without detracting at all from its critical merit. Clearly, this is an institutional issue. The New Yorker's editorial policy on spoilers, if it exists, must be a joke. Well, no more. As of today, I'm no longer reading Lane or Denby reviews of movies that I haven't seen yet. It just isn't worth it.

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