Movie critics have condemned quite a few films in recent weeks, and their reviews came as no surprise. No one expected, for example, the Tim Allen sci-fi comedy Zoom to be anything but disposable entertainment. And the formulaic basketball flick Crossover was a failure—plain and simple.

But what has happened here? How could it be that All the King's Men is receiving almost unanimous rejections from film critics?

It could have been a contender. All the King's Men is based on Robert Penn Warren's fantastic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It was directed by Oscar winner Steve Zallian. It boasts a brilliant cast that includes Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, and Jude Law.

And yet, even though this story about the rise and fall of a crowd-pleasing Southern politician paints a profound picture of ambition, greed, and corruption, the film just isn't working for critics.

That goes for most of the Christian press critics too.

Peter T. Chattaway (Christianity Today Movies) writes, "Watching All the King's Men, it is hard to believe that … Zaillian is an Oscar-winning screenwriter (for Schindler's List). For that matter, it is hard to believe that this film was made by the same guy who previously directed Searching for Bobby Fischer and A Civil Action, two very fine films about, respectively, a young chess prodigy and a personal injury lawyer whose greed is thwarted by pride, obsessiveness and, ultimately, a sort of moral self-reflection."

Chattaway concludes: "All the King's Men is just murky and muddled throughout. This film was originally going to come out one year ago, but it was held back because those who saw it found it confusing and hard to follow. Zaillian spent months re-editing ...

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