Movie Article

Match Point

An EW critic on how reviewing is the luck of the draw. Lisa Schwarzbaum swears she doesn't have it in for films like ''Fight Club'' -- it was just her turn to do the lead review that week

WRITE OF WAY Critics Gleiberman and Schwarzbaum's process for assigning reviews isn't as dramatic as many think
Image credit: Ask the Critic Illustration by Michael Witte
WRITE OF WAY Critics Gleiberman and Schwarzbaum's process for assigning reviews isn't as dramatic as many think

An EW critic on how reviewing is the luck of the draw

How do you decide which critic reviews which movies: Draw straws? Bargain? -- Nancy Stockford
The variant is ''Why does Owen Gleiberman review chick flicks and you get 'Fight Club,' which is obviously not for you?'' We generally alternate lead reviews and divide the rest equally. If we decide the most important movie is ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' and it's my week, then I get to write about ''Pirates,'' and you get to complain about me. We also vary the assignments so that neither of us corners the market on ''The Matrix,'' say, or the oeuvre of Adam Sandler.

Will there ever be another film as great as ''Lawrence of Arabia,'' ''Citizen Kane,'' or ''Some Like It Hot''? What recent films will stand the test of time? -- Hank Thompson
Oh Lordy, Hank, got any bigger challenges? Of course there are great modern films, and in 50 years they'll look even greater. To match your list, I'll suggest three huge and very different contenders: ''Groundhog Day'' (1993); ''Babe'' (1995); and ''L.A. Confidential'' (1997). Start arguing.

(Send questions to askthecritic.com, or post them below.)

Originally posted Jul 21, 2003 Published in issue #720 Jul 25, 2003 Order article reprints
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