Manohla Dargis is a chief film critic for the New York Times, where you can read her Best Films of 2016 list. She talked to the Frame's John Horn about the review that generated the most backlash this year.
On her most controversial review of the year:
Hands down, it was the “Ghostbusters” review. It was ridiculous in a lot of ways. I try not to read anything about a movie before I review it because I just want to come at the movie as cold as possible, but it was really impossible to avoid “Ghostbusters” noise. I really did try to block out. I just wrote about it the best way that I could and I enjoyed the movie! It’s goofy and stupid, but I like goofy and stupid. But there was just so much negativity. I don’t like blocking people, but I had to block people on social media. Some of it was really just so incredibly offensive. It seemed to me that no matter what I was going to write, there were going to be people that were going to disagree. And that’s completely fine, but this was not a movie that we could actually ever talk about because everyone had already made up their minds.
On getting hate mail from readers:
I've always gotten a lot of hate mail. When I first started writing many years ago, I was told by various men that I worked with [that] women always get a lot more hate mail. So I'm really used to the hate mail... but people were telling me I was wrong and the movie actually hadn't even opened.
Why she thinks "Ghostbusters" upset so many fans:
There had been talk about making a "Ghostbusters" [that was] not all or partly female. But back when it was Alyssa Milano, it seems like the fanboys did not have a problem with that type of casting. It was really I think these specific women. I absolutely think that there was a difference between having some middle-aged women who were not supported also by a man in a mentoring position, because that had also been discussed early on when there was talk about resurrecting the franchise. I think it was these specific women that really upset people.