Expelled Opens with a Bang

Movie reviewers across the nation are missing sleep following publication of this weekend's box office numbers.  Ben Stein's documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, enjoyed a successful opening despite the most uniformly hostile set of major media reviews CMI has ever seen. 

Rottentomatoes.com has listed 27 reviews of Expelled.  24 of the 27, including all 11 Top Critics, panned the film in spite of its provocative subject matter, saucy presentation and wit.

    New York Times:  “One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time”; “an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike.”

    Hollywood Reporter: “Many of the central ideas expressed are truly offensive, such as the attempt to link Darwinism and Nazism…” 

    Newsday: “Stein claims to denounce the tyranny of dogma, then browbeats us with his own.”

    TIME:  “The man made famous by Ferris Bueller, however, quickly wades into waters far too deep for him.”

    Chicago Sun-Times:  “As a lawyer, [Stein] should understand that freedom of speech also guarantees the freedom not to have to listen to mangled, manipulative, and disingenuous rhetoric like this.”

The public, however, didn't allow the liberal media's reviewers to torpedo the movie. Expelled finished tenth in total receipts and fifth among the top 10 in revenue per theater, according to Box Office Mojo. 

Why were the movie reviewers so angry about Expelled?  Perhaps they don't like hearing that many members of the scientific community, the high priests of secularism, are less interested in seeking truth than in blocking challenges to the tottering theory that forms the foundation of their worldview.  Perhaps they don't like being confronted with the links between Darwinism, Nazism, the eugenics movement and the apostle of abortion, Planned Parenthood heroine Margaret Sanger.  Or maybe they just can't handle conservatives doing Michael Moore better than Michael Moore.

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.