Madoona Illustration by Michael Witte
Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Why Madonna is better off-screen than on

Every week, one of Entertainment Weekly’s movie critics answers questions from readers. Read this week’s answers here, and send your own questions.

I think Madonna’s movies get unfairly beaten up by a lot of critics just because of who she is. What are your thoughts on Madonna’s acting career? — Lance
Can we agree, Lance, that Madonna’s greatest performance is as Madonna? And that keeping the role of Madonna fresh is more important to Madonna (and Madonna lovers) than her talent for acting — or, for that matter, singing? That said, I loved her in ”Desperately Seeking Susan” and Truth or Dare, rolled my eyes through ”Shanghai Surprise” and ”Swept Away,” and give her snaps, always, for her naked, rhino hide.

Does a movie series ever die with dignity? — David Andreas
Let me think — ”Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy,” ”The Road to Hong Kong,” ”Halloween: Resurrection,” ”Lethal Weapon 4” — I believe the answer is no. While TV allows shows like ”Hill Street Blues” or ”Seinfeld” to die with dignity and high Nielsen ratings, most movie series die slow deaths with bleeding box office sores.

Got a question you’d like the critics to consider in future weeks? Send it by e-mail. Or, if you want to talk about this week’s questions, post your thoughts below.

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