Every semi-knowledgeable moviegoer and reader of movie criticism knows what the words “not screened for critics” means: The movie is a dog.
“Not screened for critics” means a movie is so terrible that the studio will take its chances, deprive itself of free publicity, and go without release-date reviews. Considering the garbage the studios will show us critics ahead of time (such as the gruesomely lurid “Street Kings” or the laughably stupid “10,000 B.C.”), to keep a movie away from critics is usually a sign that things are really, really bad.
This means Expelled will open with a big zero on the Tomatometer. This will have an effect. Another movie targeted at antebellum thinkers — Gods and Generals – scored eight percent and topped out at under thirteen million in box office. I’m just pessimistic enough to think Expelled might reach this level.
This means Expelled might be profitable in pre-DMCA lawsuit dollars. A sad commentary on American values, but I’m anchored to reality. A lot of people want to be told by a talk show host that they are not ignorant and intellectually dishonest.
The silver lining may be that this mocumentary will join its brothers in the Kent Hovind catalog of DVDs, assuming all prints are not ordered destroyed by a federal judge.