New York Times’ Knee-Jerk Review of ‘Soraya’ is Dead Wrong


Ed Morrissey pointed me at the New York Times’ review of “The Stoning of Soraya M,” and I have to say, as predictable as it was, I’m still disappointed.  This is exactly the kind of unimaginative, knee-jerk, cover your ass reaction that John Ziegler warned me about when he told me about the film.  Let’s compare.  From my original review:

The film has some superficial things in common with “The Passion of the Christ,” such as the same production company (MPower Films), star (Jim Caviezel), and a graphic crucifixion.

And from the Times’ review:

Not since “The Passion of the Christ” has a film depicted a public execution in such graphic detail.

…The casting of Jim Caviezel as Freidoune Sahebjam, the Paris-based Iranian journalist whose 1994 best seller. “The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story,” recounted the incident, lends the movie a queasy connection to “The Passion of the Christ,” in which Mr. Caviezel played Jesus.

This is a stunning, awe-inspiring example of judging a book by its cover.  What a shame.

As Ed Morrissey points out, the Times’ reviewer doesn’t get his basic facts right, clocking the stoning at 20 minutes:

First, the stoning sequence lasts about eight minutes, not 20. It starts at the 1:31:30 mark, it’s over by 1:40, and it’s intercut with at least one flashback sequence.

This is a big problem, because lots of people are now going to stay away from this movie to avoid a 20 minute torture scene that isn’t there.  That’s a real shame.  The fact is, this scene, while bloody, is nothing at all like Passion of the Christ’s crucifixion scene.

The reviewer goes on to write the rest of the review from the Cynic’s Handbook. Continue reading

Update: ‘The Stoning of Soraya M’ Does Well in Limited Release

Update: The film has taken in $117,000 from 27 screens, for a good $4,333 per-screen average, according to studio estimates.  This is a film that deserves to be seen, and hopefully, it will see its numbers increase in future weeks, as word-of-mouth spreads and the film is shown in more theaters.

‘The Stoning of Soraya M’ is a Must-See


Several weeks ago, when my friend, John Ziegler, asked me to review the film “The Stoning of Soraya M,” he did so specifically because I’m a liberal, but also someone whom he trusts to be fair. Or at least fairer.  As he described the film to me, I didn’t really get why anyone would be concerned about liberal reaction to the movie.  He explained.
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