As we close out the first third of the year where studios hope for a surprise hit, we also close out a scattered dumping ground of rehashed product and the quote whores eager to continue offering praise to even the worst offerings of the season. For the uninitiated, the whores usually are the ones attaching their names to quotes at junkets after they have been flown, fed, sheltered and put in a room with a celebrity. Not all of these journalists qualify as easy lays ... just the loudest ones.

So here we are on the verge of the summer movie season where studios have a lot more invested in their product. Good reviews from respected critics would be preferred, but they usually need time to formalize their thoughts into an actual review after being shown the film a few days before opening. In the meantime, the studios will show these movies to the hos and begin building a buzz through a group of the most unreliable and untrustworthy opinion-makers out there. And they are using them to sell you a ticket. Well, that's why we have consumer guides don't we? And I think it is only fair to warn the average moviegoer what they might be getting into if the studio marketing gurus continue to insist on using these folks as the first resort instead of the last.



We offer to you ten names that you no doubt will see on at least one film ad this summer. Could be a great movie. Could be a disaster. But how can you tell when the same names will likely appear on one of each? This is your chance to make a difference; to tell the marketers HELL NO, we will not stoop to buy your product if you try to sell it with faint hyperbolic praise with reviewers on your de facto payroll or the critical insight of a blind rodent. Give us At The Movies. Give us critics who write. Agree or disagree, we promise to respect those who have enough respect of the cinema we love. Even if it's popcorn cinema respect. Make us believers.

Again -- ten names. Beware! Examine what they have said thus far in 2010 and see if it looks familiar at all. You can judge for yourself, based on your personal reaction to its viewing or from what the collective bodies of film critics offer in terms of fresh and rotten, to who is most deserving of scorn. Or just ignore the positive or negative connotations altogether and focus on the language. I think you will agree that it speaks volumes.

MARK S. ALLEN
Seven quotes on the year so far. Only one of them on a film with a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes (The Ghost Writer) and three of them under a 30% approval rating.

(2010) "The perfect movie for the season. Fun, funny and full of good cheer!" (Leap Year)

The perfect family film. The most loveable movie this season. (Marley and Me)
The best family film of the season! (Because of Winn-Dixie)
This season's best comedy. Funny and charismatic. (The Girl Next Door)
The best date movie of the season! (He's Just Not That Into You)
Fun and Hysterical! Zack and Miri is the best date movie of the season. (Zack and Miri Make a Porno)
The feel-good movie of the season! Your heart will be singing and your spirit will soar! (August Rush)
Funny, thoughtful and the most heart-felt movie you'll see this season! (P.S. I Love You)
Fun, funny and entertaining for everyone! (G-Force)
Royally entertaining! Funny, fun and fabulous! (The Princess Diaries 2)
Awesome, fun, funny with action sequences that will leave you breathless, but gasping for more. (The Rundown)

(2010) "Brilliant and mesmerizing every step of the journey." (The Book Of Eli) & "Mesmerizing. A nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat experience that you'll remember forever. Truly great in every way!" (The Ghost Writer)

This is The Alamo to remember! Oscar-worthy! (The Alamo)
Awesome. This is the Cinderella to remember. (A Cinderella Story)
Amazingly entertaining! Remarkable in every way! (Sin City)
Enchanting in every way! (Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events)
A masterpiece! Visually breathtaking and stunning in every way. (The Phantom of the Opera)
The most explosive cop drama in years. Brilliant in every way. (Pride and Glory)
One of the best movies in years! Remarkable and award-worthy in every way. Very funny and relentlessly suspenseful! (Matchstick Men)
Intelligent! Satisfying! Intense and relentlessly suspenseful! Awesome! Non-stop, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense! (Firewall)

(2010) "The most overwhelmingly romantic movie since The Notebook." (Dear John)

Fall on the floor funny and the most honest slice of high school since Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Mean Girls)
The best parent-daughter movie since The Parent Trap! (Which one, Mark?) (What a Girl Wants)
Not since Fatal Attraction has a movie delivered such surprising moments. (Orphan)
Not since Alien has a movie held an audience in such relentless suspense and shock (The Cave)

(2010) "Damon at his best!" (Green Zone)

Harrison Ford at his best. (Firewall)
Robin Williams is at his best. (The Night Listener)
Harrison Ford is at his best (Hollywood Homicide)
Eddie Murphy at his best! (The Haunted Mansion)
Bernie Mac is at his absolute best! (Soul Men)


JEFF CRAIG
The guy is a disembodied voice on the radio that has a tendency to read copy handed to him rather than form an actual opinion. Need we say more than this?

(2010) "A powerhouse thriller that throbs with action and suspense. Denzel is dynamite and Gary Oldman is in top form." (The Book Of Eli)

Four stars. It throbs with fierce action and suspense. (Firewall)
Intense! A relentless thriller. (Taken)
An electrifying thriller that will pin you to your seat. (The International)
...a pulse-pounding thriller that keeps springing surprises. (Angels & Demons)
The number one thriller this year. (Body of Lies)
Colin Firth is in top form! (Easy Virtue)
Ben Kingsley is absolutely chilling in a powerhouse performance. (Suspect Zero)


SHAWN EDWARDS
Eight quotes in 2010 so far on pace to match his total of 23 last year. Only one quote with a fresh rating (Youth In Revolt at 71%). The next highest rating on his quote list is 44%.

(2010) "The most outrageous and inspired comedy in years." (Youth In Revolt)


Outrageously funny! (I Think I Love My Wife)
Outrageously funny! The craziest comedy of the year! (Waiting)

(2010) "An absolute triumph. It hits hard with razor sharp intensity and powerhouse performances." (Brooklyn's Finest)

Sophisticated, intelligent, powerful. A razor-sharp thriller. (State of Play)
Razor-sharp! It will jolt you with its edginess & originality. (The Hunting Party)

(2010) "Smokin' hot. Ultra sexy. A winner." (The Losers)

A winner! (Fighting)
Insanely funny! Will Ferrell delivers another winner. (Semi-Pro)
Super hot. It sizzles with sexiness! (Into the Blue)

(2010) "It's Kill Bill meets ER in this brilliantly stylistic, ultra cool action thriller! (Repo Men)

An ultra-cool masterpiece! (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
An explosive masterpiece tailor-made for those who love ultra-cool high energy action! (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)


JIM FERGUSON
Board member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Five quotes for 2010. Not a fresh tomato among them. Two of them (Leap Year & When In Rome) are under a 20% approval rating.

(2010) "A charming love story. Chemistry galore!" (Leap Year)


An outstanding, real adult love story. (Shopgirl)
A magnificent love story. (The Time Traveler's Wife)
A love story for the ages. (Becoming Jane)
A rare and unique love story. (The Lake House)
Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. have great chemistry. (New In Town)

(2010) "Wild and fun!" (When In Rome)

Entertaining, wild fun! (Wild Hogs)

(2010) "Take this fantastic journey...A non-stop action adventure with state-of-the-art special effects." (Clash of the Titans)

Nonstop fun and laughs. (The In-Laws)
In a summer of sequels, finally a ride worth taking...the most original action-adventure of the summer. (The League of Extraordinary Gentleman)

(2010) "An action adventure for the entire family." (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief)

The perfect family film. Family animation comedy at its best. (Planet 51)
The best family film of the year. (Flicka)
A wonderful family film! (Beverly Hills Chihuahua)
Don't miss this wonderful holiday film. You'll enjoy this film right along with the kids. (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium)
Stripes is the Seabiscuit of all zebras! Inspirational fun and funny for all! (Racing Stripes)
Fun for all ages! (The Pacifier)
Fun, fun, fun for kids of all ages. (Johnny English)
The perfect summer comedy for the whole family. (A Cinderella Story)
A holiday treat for the whole family! (Fat Albert)
An action comedy for the entire family! (Kangaroo Jack)
Finally a great movie for the whole family. (What a Girl Wants)


PETE HAMMOND
Hoping to dethrone Peter Travers as the grand champion quote monkey, Hammond currently trails him 19-to-16 in 2010. Last year he had 18 quotes through April and finished with 47. Only 6 of his 16 quotes this year are for films with fresh tomatoes.

(2010) "A heartfelt, beautifully made film with wonderful actors at the top of their game." (The Yellow Handkerchief) & "A wonderful opportunity for memorable character studies by two fine actors at the top of their game." (The Good Heart)

Sidney Lumet proves he is still at the top of his game! (Find Me Guilty)
Kevin Costner is at the top of his game! (Mr. Brooks)
Ice Cube is at the top of his game. (The Longshots)

(2010) "Pure entertainment!" (City Island)

Pure entertainment with great music, wit and a dream cast! (A Prairie Home Companion)
Pure entertainment from start to finish. (High School Musical 3)

(2010) "Move over Iron Man..." (Kick-Ass)

The best action movie since The Bourne Ultimatum. Get ready for the ride of your life. Move over Bourne. (Taken)

(2010) "...will keep you on the edge of your seat." (Edge of Darkness)

A first-rate thriller! Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! (First Snow)
A relentless suspense thriller with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This year's Bourne Ultimatum. (Traitor)

(2010) "This shocker will have horror fans jumping out of their seats." (The Crazies)

An absolute shocker in every way imaginable. (Hannibal Rising)
A true shocker that will shatter your nerves and get you talking. (The Brave One)

(2010) "Magical. Madly inventive." (Alice In Wonderland)

The most purely entertaining and inventive animated comedy of the year. (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs)
A rare original. A truly inventive and totally wacky tale of love. A real find. (Eagle vs. Shark)
The most visually inventive, trailblazing film of its kind in light years. (Wanted)

- Yes, that's right, Pete Hammond thinks light years measures time and not distance.

JEFFREY & BEN LYONS
In the interest of clarity and sanity, all of the following quotes are from Lyons Sr. We already know the apple does not fall that far from the tree, but likely hit its head when he got to the ground.

(2010) "A fascinating and compelling look at a driven, passionate genius." (Creation) & "Compelling and chilling...it has bravura performances." (Stolen)

Compelling. (Home of the Brave)
Very compelling! (The Air I Breathe)
A sweet, compelling look at real friendships... (The Groomsmen)
Compelling and absorbing. (The Burning Plain)
One of the most abosrbing, compelling family dramas since Terms of Endearment. (The Upside of Anger)
A tense and compelling drama. (The Education of Charlie Banks)
A remarkable, lush, compelling film. (End of the Spear)
Intense, powerful, intelligent and compelling! (Into the Fire)
Stunning...shocking...powerful. Jon Voight gives a compelling performance. (September Dawn)
Powerful performances! A compelling drama. (Even Money)
The performances are on point and compelling. (The Hottest State)
Witty, sly, devilishly-funny, with bravura performances! (Keeping Mum)
One of Woody Allen's finest films with bravura performances from its incredible cast. (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
An astonishing, true-to-life crime-drama with bravura performances. (What Doesn't Kill You)
A stunning, powerful drama with bravura performances from two of the world's towering actresses! (Notes on a Scandal)

(2010) "A witty, fast-paced, intelligent comedy." (Date Night)

One of the wittiest, fast-paced animated films in years! (Teacher's Pet)
A wonderfully funny surprise...Witty, inventive, original. (Hoodwinked)
Sure to be this summer's family delight! It's warm, brilliantly animated, with a witty script sure to have children and especially parents in stitches. (Madagascar)
Delightful and surprisingly poignant. It's witty and yes guys, you'll love it too! (Sex and the City)
Humorous, witty and sophisticated. (Imagine Me & You)
Witty, sly, devilishly-funny, with bravura performances! (Keeping Mum)
Intelligent and witty. Joe Pantoliano's performance is so convincing, you'd think he wrote and directed it as well. (Second Best)
A witty, well-directed and acted story about a fascinating character. Luke Wilson should be proud! (The Wendell Baker Story)
It's funny, it's witty...This is headed to the best picture of the year list! Scarlett Johansson is one of the great actresses of her generation. Woody Allen's finest film in years. (Scoop)


GREG RUSSELL
Read his quote recommendations and weep: Death At A Funeral (38%), Dear John (28%), Remember Me (27%), Tooth Fairy (15%) and Furry Vengeance.

(2010) "A true-blue American love story." (Dear John)

A true modern day epic. (300)
A true cinematic experience. (Beowulf)
A picture of a true American family. (Spanglish)

(2010) "Dwayne Johnson is the champ of family movies!" (The Tooth Fairy)

The perfect family film. (The Game Plan)
A fun family film for all. (Fred Claus)
Fun the whole family can enjoy! (Herbie: Fully Loaded)
The must-see family film this holiday season! (Yours, Mine & Ours)
The Rock hits it big in the non-stop, 4x4 whirling... (Walking Tall)

(2010) "Death has never been funnier!" (Death At A Funeral) & "Don't miss the furriest, funniest film of the spring!" (Furry Vengeance)

Big time fun! (Big Momma's House 2)
Denzel sets the screen on fire in this action-packed adventure. (Man On Fire)
Ice cold thriller. (Whiteout)
Astro Boy is an out-of-this-world hit! (Astro Boy)
Make you feel young again. (17 Again)
Action, comedy and excitement...all in one package. (Next Day Air)
A white water ride with laughs! (Without a Paddle)
Spongebob is a big screen adventure that will absorb kids and adults alike! (Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie)
It's a home run! The Bad News Bears are the comedy hit of the summer! (Bad News Bears)
Meg Ryan and Omar Epps will knock you out in Against the Ropes (Against the Ropes)
Two balls up! (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)


MARIA SALAS
Only three quotes on the year so far, but they were for The Losers (43%), Clash of the Titans (30%) and The Bounty Hunter (8%)

(2010) ...a hilarious combination. (The Bounty Hunter)

Adam Sandler and Kevin James are a winning team. Perfectly hilarious! (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry)
Hilarious & irreverent! (Scary Movie 4)
Hilarious, the perfect summer movie! (Nacho Libre)
Hot. Hilarious. (John Tucker Must Die)
Hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny. (Rumor Has It)

(2010) "Action-packed." (The Losers)

The next big fantasy action adventure. (Eragon)
Action-filled and exciting. Harrison Ford captivates you. (Firewall)
An action-filled thriller! It will keep you on the edge of your seat. Riveting. (Knowing)
...an action-packed blood-and-metal thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. (The Hitcher)


PETER TRAVERS
He reclaimed the quote crown in 2008 from Pete Hammond when "the other Pete" rattled off
a record-breaking 88 quotes in 2007. Travers is still looking to undo his personal best of 74 (which he has done twice, including in '09). Those two years though, "the original Pete" only had 15 & 16 quotes through the month of April. This year he currently has 19.

(2010) "...a roaring blast of energy! It dares you to dive into its anarchy!" (Kick-Ass)

...defies you not to see yourself in its funhouse mirror. And then dares you to laugh it off. (Bruno)
...kicks off summer on a blazing high note and practically dares the competition to measure up. (Iron Man)
...dares you to explore the violence of the mind. Take the dare. It's something rare these days: untamed. (Down In The Valley)

(2010) "...takes a piece out of you!" (The Greatest)

Be ready: This movie will take a piece out of you. (The Boys Are Back)

(2010) "The Eclipse is a keeper." (The Eclipse)

It's a keeper. (Outrage)
It's a keeper! (I'm Not Scared)

(2010) "***1/2 An exhilarating gift." (Fish Tank)

***1/2 Heartfelt and hilarious! It's more than a movie, it's a gift. (Happy-Go-Lucky)
A gift from comedy heaven (A Mighty Wind)
A gift! (King of California)
A gift of a movie! (The Squid and the Whale)
A gift of a movie absolutely worth seeing more than once. (Once)
Fun this smart is a gift! (Kung Fu Hustle) (Actually wording in NY Times 4/10/05)

(2010) "A rowdy blast." (She's Out Of My League)

A blast! (Hot Fuzz)
It's a blast. (Poseidon)
A blast of pure movie oxygen. (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
A blast of fright and fun! (Shaun of the Dead)
...a blast of exuberant fun that stays rooted in humanity. (Camp)
A blast of good gory fun that just won't quit! (Cabin Fever)

(2010) "Funny and touching, it works miracles in 3-D." (How To Train Your Dragon)

Wonderfully funny and touching...Up works miracles. (Up)
Duncan Jones pulls off sci-fi miracles. (Moon)
A miracle of a movie! (An Education)
A hilarious and heartfelt wonder! A new miracle in animation from Pixar... (Ratatouille)

(2010) "This spellbinder will sneak up and floor you...Thunderously exciting!" (The Secret In Their Eyes)

...sneaks up and floors you. (Away We Go)
...a heartfelt human drama that sneaks up and floors you. (The Visitor)
...will sneak up and floor you. (Grace Is Gone)
It's power sneaks up and floors you. (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
Thunderously exciting. (Avatar)

Caveat emptor, ladies and gentlemen. Buy your summer movie tickets accordingly.