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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  • Wells Attack!

    By Kyle | March 5, 2009

    Apparently my esteemed colleague Jeffrey Wells is attacking me for loving “Watchmen” because I allegedly “grew up on superhero comics.” I’m not sure if he has been reading what I’m writing. I hate comic books, never read them (although as a kid I read some comic books I read only the funny ones, not the action ones) and generally am bored by comic book movies, which I view as homework. All three “Spider-Man” movies bored me into submission. I fell asleep in the first two (I wasn’t a critic back then) and the third one, which I recently attempted to watch on cable, struck me as so inane that I couldn’t stand more than five minutes of it. I don’t own a single comic book/graphic novel/whatever with the exception of “Watchmen,” which I just bought. I am stupendously non-interested in the childish Harry Potter movies, which are just comic book movies with a Limey accent. Anti-comic book movies like “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen”: these interest me.

    Also: I do not dress like a 70s hairdresser. You will search my closet in vain for a silk scarf or a paisley shirt. I wear an exceedingly plain Brooks Brothers shirt pretty much every day. I do not possess velvet bell-bottoms. No ruffles adorn my chest.

    Topics: Comic Books, Movies | 22 Comments »

    “Watchmen” Sending Depravity Your Way

    By Kyle | March 5, 2009

    So says conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel, who calls the “Watchmen” film depraved garbage, “three hours of poison” that makes the latest “Friday the 13th” look like “Cinderella” and compares “Watchmen” fans to members of the Jim Jones church. I beg to differ (see below) but Debbie certainly has a strong point of view. I’m interested to see how people’s politics line up against this film, which has something to offend everyone on all sides but reserves its harshest attacks for liberals, I think. Over at, my anarcho-capitalist/libertarian friend Todd Seavey says the “Watchmen” villain has a slight Obama quality to him.

    Topics: Comic Books, Movies, New York City, Philosophy, Politics | 2 Comments »

    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 »

    Epic Watch: “Watchmen”

    By Kyle | February 17, 2009

    The critics’ screenings have just been set for “Watchmen,” a movie I’m fairly interested in, although I reserve genuine excitement for massive events like a Colts Super Bowl win. Warners says the movie is going to run two hours and 40 minutes. (And Fox adds: “An hour and twenty of that is working to earn profits for us! Mwoooh hoo haa haa!”)

    Topics: Books, Comic Books, Movies | 9 Comments »

    A Funny Politics/Culture Blog

    By Kyle | January 23, 2009

    Check out Jim Treacher’s sardonic take on all things Marvel Comics, “Lost” and Obama.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Blogs, Comic Books, TV | No Comments »

    What Schroeder Was Playing

    By Kyle | January 14, 2009

    A new exhibit delves into the music Schroeder played in the Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” strips. Possibly these guys are looking too deeply.

    Topics: Comic Books, Music | No Comments »

    Review: “The Spirit”

    By Kyle | December 24, 2008

    My review of the Frank Miller comic book movie “The Spirit,” starring Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson, is up.

    Topics: Comic Books, Movies | No Comments »

    If Charlie Brown Were Japanese

    By Kyle | December 19, 2008

    Peanuts goes all cool and manga-y in this spoof.

    Topics: Comedy, Comic Books | 3 Comments »

    “Iron Man” Arrives on DVD

    By Kyle | September 22, 2008

    Having watched “Iron Man” a second time, I wish I’d given it three and a half stars instead of three in my original review. The second half isn’t as strong as the first (the reverse is true of “The Dark Knight”) and the climactic fight scene leaves me cold. How am I supposed to care about what is in essence a gigantic game of Rock ‘Em Sock Em Robots? The two Iron Man suits drain all the character out of the battle.

    But the perfect first half, the interplay of Robert Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow and especially Downey’s deadpan irony make the film one of the year’s best. It’s available both as a single disc (right) and double disc. Question: do you ever watch the supplemental stuff on the DVD? I almost never do.

    Topics: Comic Books, DVD, Movies | 49 Comments »

    Johnny Depp as The Riddler, Cher As Catwoman?

    By Kyle | August 27, 2008

    So says the Daily Telegraph on the next Christopher Nolan Batman movie “The Caped Crusader.” I have no doubt that Johnny Depp can erase the memory of Jim Carrey, but Cher as Catwoman? Noooooooooo….

    Topics: Comic Books, Movies | 4 Comments »

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