New York Times Constrains Film Review Policy [Corrected]

Some VOD and independent releases are sure to be affected.

Next to the exit of a full-time newspaper film critic via scripted or surprise ending, this is arguably the most Rosebud-ian death knell for the era of print reviews. Per Variety’s Brent Lang, the New York Times is making a small but crucial change to the parameters of its film coverage:

‘Wow, I knew this day was coming…’ A.O. Scott, the Times’ chief film critic, wrote in an email [to distributors] obtained by Variety. ‘Because of the increasing volume of new films released each year, the Times is no longer able to guarantee reviews of all New York theatrical releases.’

Scott added that the paper would continue to review as many new films as it could, but noted decisions would be made on a ‘case-by-case basis.’

Lang got comment from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which requires a review in either the NYT or LA Times for its Documentary Feature category, and Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles. Read the rest of his report here.

Correction (May 21):
Having since spoken to Scott, Lang has modified and corrected his Variety item to note that the policy change was in fact instituted at the Times earlier this year.

[Pictured: The temporarily closed (for renovations) Quad Cinema]