occasionally hears from a reader bemoaning the fact that: a) we review movies at all; or b) we review certain types of movies.

Those “types” are generally R-rated movies or anything else the individual just doesn’t like for one reason or another.

Often these complaints will eventually get around to questioning the salvation of the staff and whether we really “know Him” or have walked the Romans Road.

Case in point: A recent e-mail expressed outrage that we covered “evil movies” like “Harry Potter” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.” It also said we were wrong to criticize “The Passion of the Christ.”

While we receive too many feedback e-mails to be able to respond to every one personally, they do influence our thinking and staff discussions.

First, we’re glad people are reading Whether folks bookmark us and read us each day or stumble upon our site, we believe we offer robust content (to use the phrase du jour), and every pair of eyeballs is valued.

Second, it’s OK for readers to disagree with us. Pride would tell us we’re always right. Humility should remind us we’re sometimes wrong. Dialogue in a free society is necessary in order to stay intellectually honest and healthy.

Third, comments from readers remind us that we’re not just writing articles and sending them off into cyberspace. Rather, we’re engaging real people about real issues, even when those issues are explored through movies. We hope the figurative tug-of-war in the end will result in positive social change. includes a movies page that sets forth our reviewing philosophy in more detail. We encourage readers to visit the page and learn a bit more about our methodology and reasoning.

Movies are popular all over the planet. They show us a reflection of ourselves, even as they sometimes distort that reflection.

The staff thinks they’re important, and we plan to cover them as much as we possibly can. Even if readers disapprove of our choices or opinions, we hope they value the vigorous exchange of ideas as much as we do.

Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for

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