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Film critic slammed for reviews

Dec. 27, 2008 at 12:43 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- "At the Movies" reviewer Ben Lyons puffs up Hollywood films of questionable quality just to make his quotes popular, his peers allege.

Chicago Film Critics Association Vice President Erik Childress said the 27-year-old E! Entertainment Network reviewer has struggled to gained respect in the industry since tabbing 2007's "I Am Legend" one of the best movies ever made, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

"His integrity's out the window. He has no taste," Childress said. "Everyone thinks he's a joke."

StopBenLyons.com blogger Scott Johnson agrees, saying the son of New York film critic Jeffrey Lyons uses his position to offer quotable reviews that studios can use to promote their movies.

"It crystallizes everything that's wrong with American pop culture right now," Johnson said of Lyons' efforts. "I don't expect to agree with a critic all the time. But his approach is to throw out blurbs just so he can get on a poster."

Meanwhile, Brian Frons of Disney-ABC Television Group told the Times that Lyons represents a new breed of cinema reviewers focused on movie fans rather than offering intense criticisms of cinematic efforts.

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