About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Madonna, Journalist

    By Kyle | July 29, 2009

    Madonna is writing for an Israeli daily? C’mon, Madge/Esther, it’s hard enough to hold onto our jobs as it is. She’s sharing her feelings about her religious conversion.

    Topics: Music, Religion | No Comments »

    Devilish Nolte Slams “Angels & Demons”

    By Kyle | May 15, 2009

    “There’s a lot of ‘It’s better than “The Da Vinci Code”‘ flying around. That’s like saying it’s smarter than Nancy Pelosi.” So says John Nolte at Big Hollywood. He also thinks it’s anti-Catholic (I don’t, particularly, but then again, as a Catholic, I take marching orders from the Vatican, which has no major problems with the film). I find the movie much less plodding than “TDVC” and I was really enjoying it at first. It gets increasingly silly as it goes along, saving some of the most ridiculous stuff you’ve ever seen for the end. I half-heartedly recommend it.

    Topics: Books, Movies, Religion | 3 Comments »

    “Slanderous & Anti-Christian Falsehoods”

    By Kyle | May 15, 2009

    So say these guys about “Angels & Demons.” They’re mainly upset about the movie’s (and the book’s) claim that the Catholic church persecuted Galileo for his scientific discoveries, a claim they attempt to debunk. (H/t to Big Hollywood).

    The movie is pretty different, from a Church point of view, from “The Da Vinci Code” in that it doesn’t really suggest today’s Catholic church is engaged in a conspiracy (although certain renegade Catholics in the movie do harm).

    Topics: Europe, History, Movies, Religion | No Comments »

    Vatican Wars!

    By Kyle | May 4, 2009

    Ron Howard says there’s been a secret campaign — no doubt clues to it are hidden in various artworks scattered around St. Peters — being conducted by the Vatican to interrupt his attempt to film “Angels & Demons.” Methinks there’s material here for a bestseller! Except, does the Vatican have to grant any filmmaker any rights? Why should the Vatican do him any favors? Oliver Stone filmed “World Trade Center” in Rome and it looked convincing. If Howard had to film “Angels & Demons” somewhere other than the actual locations, he shouldn’t be too surprised. I’m reading Dan Brown’s book, by the way, and it strikes me as more visual than “The Da Vinci Code,” which really was just about a guy solving puzzles, and hence more naturally suited to a movie adaptation. I found “TDC” dull and overwrought.

    Topics: Books, Movies, Politics, Religion | 2 Comments »

    Ron Howard Taking on Catholic Mouthpiece

    By Kyle | April 21, 2009

    Ron Howard is in a fighting mood, taking on “Wild” Bill Donohue, the Catholic League spokesman whom newspapermen (like myself) have long relied upon to provide an aggrieved quote and promises of a toothless boycott whenever anyone comes close to insulting the Church of Rome. Donohue’s total inability to maintain a dignified silence about any Catholic matter (which is in marked contrast to the Vatican itself, which is a lot more circumspect with its words) makes him the go-to-guy when, as they say in the business, it’s time to whip up a little outrage. Howard should himself probably maintain a dignified silence as Donohue publicizes/damns Howard’s upcoming “Angels & Demons” (which Donohue, of course, hasn’t seen). (Nor have I). Howard says the movie shows the hero working together with the Church to foil a sinister plot against the Vatican — so what’s anti-Catholic about that?

    Howard’s film of “The Da Vinci Code” brought in about a billion dollars, so I don’t think Donohue’s efforts are preventing people from seeing these movies. (“The Golden Compass” flopped because it was a muddled mess, not because of religious leaders’ ire.) Says Howard:

    I guess Mr. Donohue and I do have one thing in common: we both like to create fictional tales, as he has done with his silly and mean-spirited work of propaganda.

    Topics: Movies, Politics, Religion | 2 Comments »

    A Reading from the Book of Barack

    By Kyle | March 22, 2009

    A holy passage from the Book of Barack is my Sunday column this week.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Politics, Religion, TV | 3 Comments »

    Review: “Kings”

    By Kyle | March 13, 2009

    The Bible meets “Dynasty”? Sure, why not. With a touch of Shakespeare thrown in. I liked NBC’s new drama “Kings,” about an alternate reality where New York City is Shiloh, it’s the capital of a kingdom–and Ian McShane is our king. My review is up at

    Topics: New York City, Politics, Religion, TV | 1 Comment »

    Review: “Watchmen”

    By Kyle | March 4, 2009

    Kyle Smith review of “Watchmen” . . .
    In today’s Post I give “Watchmen” a four-star review — the first one I’ve published in the Post in about 15 months, I think. Superhero movies generally bore me but this one was dazzling. If history is any guide, readers will be as enraged by a positive review as they were by the negative ones I’ve written (on, for instance, “Cloverfield”).

    Topics: Comic Books, Movies, New York City, Philosophy, Politics, Religion | 5 Comments »

    Tom Hanks, Tasteless in Tinseltown

    By Kyle | January 24, 2009

    Tom Hanks seems to be learning what most celebrities intuitively understood 50 years ago: if you take any political position, even one that seems obviously correct to you and everyone you ever talk to (maybe especially that kind), you risk annoying large numbers of potential customers. So he’s backing off after slamming Mormons as “un-American.”

    Topics: Celebutards, Movies, Religion | 5 Comments »

    Rick Warren, “Vulgar Huckster”

    By Kyle | December 19, 2008

    So says Christopher Hitchens of the pastor Rick Warren, who is to officiate at the Obama inauguration (until he gets dropped. The media still have more than a month to beat him down.) Hitchens notes on Slate that Rick Warren has said Jews cannot expect to make it to heaven. (True-but no one else can either, since there is no such place/state of mind/dimension/cloud).

    Topics: Christopher Hitchens, News, Religion | 4 Comments »

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