Why don't the movie studios let reviewers review? -- We tell you why we didn't get to screen ''The Wicker Man,'' ''Idiocracy,'' and ''Crank''

By EW Staff
Updated September 01, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

You’ll notice that this edition of the Movies review section is missing a few movies, all of which are opening on Sept. 1: The Wicker Man (starring Nicolas Cage, right), Idiocracy (starring Luke Wilson), and Crank (starring Jason Statham). This comes on the heels of a summer in which the movie studios have made a habit of not showing films to critics for review, from Snakes on a Plane and My Super Ex-Girlfriend to Little Man, Zoom, and Pulse. Perhaps they think these pictures will get savaged and want to shield them from harm. Or maybe, as was the case with Snakes, they think that these are films that will succeed without any critical support. Regardless, it seems the studios have forgotten that old maxim: There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Reviews are both a service to our readers and a function of a film’s marketing campaign. Reviews help build awareness. And you, our readers, are savvy enough to know that if you don’t see a review of a film when you should, it could very well mean there’s a problem with the film. And that speaks louder than any bad grade ever could. So look for reviews of Wicker Man, Idiocracy, and Crank in our next issue, and, in the meantime, head to EW.com starting Sept. 1 for our critical take — after we’ve gladly paid for our tickets.