Critic Review - New York Press

District 9 represents the sloppiest and dopiest pop cinema -- the kind that comes from a second-rate film culture.

August 12, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press | Comments (578)
New York Press


Jason C.

Jason Crutchfield

RT, please don't get rid of Armond White, the guy is laughably terrible and entertaining. Gotta love his reviews, too. I dare you to try and find one that doesn't mention the words "liberal," "middle class," and "white" at least once. I also love how he'll reference some critically praised, popular movie he panned in nearly all his reviews. Almost as if to say "HEY, REMEMBER THAT TIME I PANNED THAT CRITICALLY PRAISED POPULAR MOVIE?? HUH? REMEMBER THAT?? YEAH THAT WAS GREAT!"

Really, he's a joke. He actually makes Ben Lyons look competent.

Aug 12 - 05:59 PM


samii y

I blame RT for letting this idiot's reviews effect the meter.

Aug 12 - 06:04 PM


Trent DeBautte


Aug 12 - 06:08 PM

Jay M.

Jay Michaels

If Rotten Tomatoes collected every review from every professional critic in the country then I would understand why Armond White's reviews are on the site. But since it is selective about what critics are posted, then I think we have every right to be upset when a critic is selected whose reviews lack any credibility or logic and are torturous to read. Almost nobody takes this guy seriously so what purpose is he as a reviewer? I may disagree quite a bit with Roger Ebert, but his reviews are well thought out and are always entertaining to read...the complete opposite of Mr White.

Aug 12 - 06:17 PM


Jeff Laufer

Not only is Armond the worst critic on this site, but possibly the worst human being to walk the earth.

Aug 12 - 06:22 PM


Andrew Mullen

Reply to post not workin for me.

@Jay L. - Are you coming on to me?

@RunAmok - Sticks and stones, baby. Especially since he's insulting the movies and the filmmakers' prowess, not you or me. And I don't see him having any more of an agenda than any other biased reviewer (of which there are many) he's just a lot MORE biased and vitriolic than the others.

@hinduchocolate - Held accountable? Wut? My point is that even though you or I (or all the racist fanboys) disagree with him or think he's an idiot, that doesn't mean he should be censured or lambasted or virtually lynched.

How come no one gets in this big of a tizzy over quote whores like Pete Hammond or Peter Travers? You think those guys don't have ulterior motives when crafting such phrases as "THE FEEL GOOD MOVIE OF THE SUMMER!" or "THE BEST MOVIE OF IT'S KIND!" They want to see their names in print, Armond wants to climb on his soapbox and ramble on about whatever bizarre mishmash of racial politics and rightwing foofery pops into his head.

Aug 12 - 06:27 PM


n/a n/a

A critic is supposed to talk about the movie, not ramble on about everything else in the world. Armond White is a well spoken moron.

Aug 12 - 06:30 PM


Sean Pak

And Mr. White wins again. And so has RT. Over 200 comments, and who knows how many more hits. Success.

Aug 12 - 06:36 PM

David T.

David T

RT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU THE READER. It couldn't be more obvious that the readers don't want this reviewer here. I would almost say it's unanimous. Yet they don't do anything about it. They come in here and say, "keep it civil", yet this is exactly the frenzy that they want. It sounds kind of hypocritical. It baffles me why a site that (you would think) values credibility would keep a racist like Armond White as a "critic." Basically this endorses his behavior, and I think that racism isn't something that should be endorsed (but that's just me). RT is selling themselves out to a racist just for hits and comments. And I (the reader) DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT appreciate this.

Aug 12 - 06:37 PM


Matt Atchity

"RT doesn't care about you the reader"

You're way off base David. First of all, no amount of vitriol on behalf of RT users, or anyone else, will change the fact that Armond is a respected film critic who has been writing reviews for decades. He was ELECTED (for the second time, I might add) to head up the NY film critics circle, which implies a certain level of respect (if not actual affection) by his peers.

Secondly, it's not our role to make sure every critic agrees with a film. Armond may be a contrarian, but he has a very specific take on film, and for the most part, it's consistent. Is he biased? Of course he is. So is every other reviewer on this site. Roger Ebert frequently brings his background up in his reviews, and it absolutely affects the reviews he writes. If Armond wants to let his own biases dictate the content of a review (and if the NY Press is okay with that), then that's his right.

To be clear, we are not going to censor someone just because they disagree with the majority. That's not our role. Our role is to measure what the critics across the country are saying. We're not going to stifle dissent just to pretend that there is universal agreement. That's called fascism.

Lastly, I should say that it's embarrassing to see the racially charged hate speech and violent threats being leveled at anyone, and so those comments are being deleted. If it's a choice between lots of pageviews with content that advocates hate and violence or no one commenting at all, I'd be happier with the latter.

Aug 12 - 07:07 PM


Doug Redway

Go ahead and denounce racist comments on this site. I'll back you up all the way. But, why are you defending Armand's racist biases in the same statement?

Aug 12 - 07:23 PM


lee brandt

I agree with your reply.

You may also want to remind Mr. White to not be condescending to other readers. Even if they are acting like little children, it does not mean that it is appropriate for him to belittle them by assuming he has more knowledge based on his education. He is assuming that he has studied film more than anyone, even though he hasn't met any reader. Plus, if according to his implications, 'experts' are the only ones qualified to critique a movie, then only 'experts' should be allowed to watch movies. His arrogance is unprofessional, and it is equally wrong as the childish comments many have posted against him.

Aug 12 - 07:26 PM


RT-Ryan .

Just to clarify further, the comments left within this "thread" by the "Armond W." persona, making claims about his education and film credentials, were not made by the real Armond White. Just an impostor.

Aug 12 - 07:35 PM

David p.

David potter

Armond White is clearly an idiot, as is the entire critics circle in New York apparently, but if you guys got such a problem with him, best to just ignore him. The fact he has the only negative review AND over 200 comments(when the average is what...maybe 10?), just brings more attention to him. Or you guys can just use metacritic, which I'm beginning to use more since it gets rid of the useless tomamoter and just gives the average rating, which is far more telling of the movie's quality rather than a black and white rating system.

Aug 12 - 07:36 PM

David T.

David T

Firstly, I'll admit I was not aware that White held such an esteemed position, wouldn't have guessed it in a million years XD. I'll begrudgingly concede that the position does give him the right to be on this site (whether I like it or not). However, that being said, I still hold no respect for him as a critic. It is quite obvious that he lets his racist views severely affect his reviews while barely talking about what makes a film good (such as acting, cinematography, and action).
As for your last point I would advocate disabling comments for his review. They are not going to change no matter what (unless he actually writes a good review), and it makes it seem that getting hits is your goal, even though you say it doesn't.

Aug 12 - 08:11 PM


Matt Atchity

Believe me David, that's been bandied about in the office. But that's only going to shift the hate over to the NY Press site, and doesn't really address the fact that some people seem to overreact towards opinions that differ from their own.

(For the record, anyone that doesn't agree with my own consistently brilliant, insightful opinions is dead wrong!)

And you're right, we do want higher traffic, but not this way, and we are considering disabling comments entirely if the hate speech doesn't stop (we do that all the time on the message boards).

Aug 12 - 08:53 PM

Justin P.

Justin P

...but yet you will allow Armond White's blatantly racist commenting to continue, and condone it as "valuable critical opinion." What fools you all are at Rotten Tomatoes for not realizing your own hypocrisy by telling us to temper OUR writings on your site while allowing HIS racist rantings to continue.

ps- Have you not noticed the tide of opinion AMONG RESPECTED MOVIE CRITICS against White's credibility? Your own critical masses disdain the man as a critic!! Wake up, RT!!

Aug 12 - 09:01 PM

Lance I.

Lance Isip

You guys think deleting comments will stop this madness?. Are you stupid or something? you think were scared?

Well.I guess im gonna have to quote Watchmen's Rorschach

"Well what are you waiting for? DO IT!"

Aug 12 - 09:02 PM

Justin P.

Justin P

I would gladly third the boycott, at least until White's review of District 9 is removed from the site.

ps- I am actually liking Metacritic a lot as I poke around their site today. Good stuff.

Aug 12 - 09:04 PM

Justin P.

Justin P

I would gladly third the boycott, at least until White's review of District 9 is removed from the site.

ps- I am actually liking Metacritic a lot as I poke around their site today. Good stuff.


"Metacritic compiles reviews from respected critics and publications for movies, DVDs, music, television and games.

Our unique Metascores show the critical consensus at a glance by taking a weighted average of critic grades."

Notice that they use only RESPECTED critics.

Aug 12 - 09:07 PM


M Cryderman

I for one, think this guys comments ar genius. He's single handlely risen above all other critics by pushing everyone's buttons. Dollars and cents, his reviews are likely generating revenue for his people. Good for him.

As for your comments about pulling the plug on commenting... You can't simultaneously defend his right to free opinion and look to squelch someone elses. If you feel its crossed some sort of boundry for the board, ok, but to shut all commenting off is just as off base as considering not posting Aromonds inflamatory reviews. Clearly he's not just OK with the backlash, he actually seems to be counting on it. $$$

Aug 13 - 05:55 AM


Anthony Filaseta

I strongly disagree with the "defense" that rotten tomatoes is using here. When such obviously trolling is made for the sake of controversy it is the hope of all rotten tomatoes reader that you guys see through this and not count White's reviews anymore. It is crystal clear that his reviews are written purposely against the grain to garner attention to his site and his papers sites - you rotten tomatoes are helping him do this.

And the racial angle is only being brought up because Armond White himself has come across as a racist - do you forget his blurb on 500 Days of Summer:

It is so annoyingly cute about the smartness of middle-class young white people in love that one quickly realizes it is only about that -- not love nor passion as everyone experiences it." %u2014 New York Press

That is clearly racist. I am disappointed with rotten tomatoes on this justification of this hack reviewer.

Aug 12 - 08:31 PM


ben cracknell

You are right, people really need to cut out the racial crap directed at White.

However, while White may have been reviewing movies for quite some time now it still doesn't make him a good reviewer. BUT he is still reviewing for a valid source (it's not as if he's reviewing for
If you want to get rid of Armond let New York Press know with a rational, well written letter (or email).
Hopefully some day NY Press clue in that White has horrible taste in movies and gives their movie reviews a bad name.

Aug 13 - 06:04 AM

bryan c.

bryan charlie

I hope u get fired, and i mean it. Ur black we understand, but u dont have to involve race in this.

Aug 12 - 06:37 PM

Dave P.

Dave Povich

You're all just butthurt because the movie, that you didn't even see yet, didn't get a perfect score.
Also, most of these comments are outright racist and you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Most of you can't even spell, yet you attack a known critic for his writing, even stating that he uses words you can't comprehend as something that his fault.
I'm sorry, but this stupidity needs to be remedies and a good half of these posters need to be banned on the spot.

Aug 12 - 06:38 PM


John Lusky

The reason everyone gets so upset about this is because everyone wants to see their generation make the perfect movie. Something like the next Godfather, with all positive reviews. And when this guy comes in with all of his political bias and rates down a movie critically acclaimed for being spectacular and original, it angers everyone.

Aug 12 - 06:45 PM

Ron P.

Ron Potty

Lol, Armond should lurk on 4chan and see where his trolling gets him.

He'd have fun there I bet.

Aug 12 - 07:00 PM

Eliot S.

Eliot Spitzer

Seriously, I love this guy. The louder you scifi/fantasy/comic-book nerds complain, the harder I laugh.

Aug 12 - 07:00 PM


John Lusky

I missed the part where all of these people were scifi nerds? Get over yourself. Most of the people who don't like this guy are normal people that are simply anticipating this film because of the reviews its getting.

Its the internet. People will say what they want and they don't care if its offensive. Look at any youtube comments.

Aug 12 - 07:10 PM


Michael Paolini

Thank God. I've gotta say, I wasn't sure if this movie was going to be good, until now. Thanks Armond, you always pull through for me.

Aug 12 - 07:07 PM


Shane Rogers

Isn't this the same clown that gave "The Wrestler" its first negative review?

Aug 12 - 07:10 PM


RT-Ryan .

And I'm just going to throw this out there, but for those unfamiliar with the New York Film Critics Circle, its membership consists of people such as David Ansen (Newsweek), Joe Morgenstern (The Wall Street Journal), David Denby (The New Yorker), David Edelstein (New York Magazine), Richard Corliss (TIME), Andrew Sarris (New York Observer), and more than a dozen other top tier critics who write for Esquire, The Village Voice, Entertaiment Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor, etc. This is not a small-time group.

Aug 12 - 07:12 PM

Sam D.

Sam Deutsch

I seriously can not belive that he was elected. Metacritic is better because it has smart, big time reviewers, writing for major publications. armond, if I flipped a coin, it would agree with the tomato meter as much as you. I haven't seen d-9 yet, but I can say without a doubt, contrary to armonds beliefs, that the hangover is better than dance flick, the dark night and star trek are better than gi Joe and transformers and that slumdog millionaire, the wrestler, up, wall-e, gran Torino, and 500 days of summer are betterthan next day air, confessions of a shopoholic, and land of the lost(seriously how could ANYONE think that land of the lost is better than the hangever and I love you, man. I'm not being racist or immature. I'm not cursing. I just don't understand how he reviews movies and why he's on the tomatometer. Thanks, Sam

Aug 12 - 07:47 PM


John Lusky

To clarify, I'm not implying that I think the random racist comments and hate is right. I'm just saying that people will say whatever comes into their heads online. Youtube is overrun with it.

I don't like the guy, but I'm not gonna throw racial slurs his way because he doesn't like a movie. He's annoying, but he's not going anywhere for a while.

Aug 12 - 07:16 PM


Hector Moran


Aug 12 - 07:24 PM

Red M.

Red Mundus

So if he is well respected critic why is he not a top reviewer in RT?

I'm being honest. It's been shown he has the respect of his peers by the admins.

Aug 12 - 07:25 PM


RT-Ryan .

Top Critic criteria is different from Tomatometer criteria, and with a few exceptions, is largely based on publication outlet, not the individual author. New York Press is not a Top Critic outlet at this time.

Aug 12 - 07:38 PM

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