Jewish World Review Nov. 23, 2004 / 10 Kislev, 5765

Michael Medved

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Consumer Reports

Surprise movie hit embarrasses the out-of-touch elite | "National Treasure," a surprise box office hit from Hollywood, demonstrates once again the embarrassing gap between cultural elite and the general public.

This splendid adventure movie starring Nicholas Cage drew overwhelmingly negative reviews, and leading critics even predicted its commercial failure. Ordinary moviegoers, however, have expressed gratitude for the film — a clever romp with a patriotic heart and a family friendly "PG-rating," spinning an enjoyable yarn about a treasure map left by the founding fathers on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

Despite the critical scoffing, audiences flocked to "National Treasure" — delivering $35 million in box office treasure, or nearly double the revenue predicted by Hollywood's top experts.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, "National Treasure" topped the national box office, and all three of runners up — "Sponge Bob Square Pants," "The Incredibles," and "The Polar Express," also happened to offer family fare with a "G" or "PG" rating.

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JWR contributor, author and film critic Michael Medved hosts a daily three-hour radio talk show broadcast in more than 120 cities throughout the United States. His latest book, written together with his wife, is Saving Childhood : Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence . You may contact him by clicking here.

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