|Born||Rex Taylor Reed
October 2, 1938
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Rex Taylor Reed (born October 2, 1938) is an American film critic and former co-host of the syndicated television show At the Movies. He currently writes the column "On the Town with Rex Reed" for The New York Observer.
In February 2000, Reed was arrested for shoplifting after leaving a Tower Records, in Manhattan, with CDs by Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, and Carmen McRae in his jacket pockets. Reed, who had just purchased two other CDs, says he forgot about the other three CDs and his offer to pay for them was refused. The charges were later dropped. According to Reed, several days after the arrest Peggy Lee sent him her entire catalog of CDs, because "she was so thrilled I wanted one of her CDs enough to put myself through so much hell."
Films and TV appearances
Reed has acted occasionally, such as in the movie version of Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge. Reed also appeared in the films Inchon! and Superman (as himself), and was a regular on the TV show The Gong Show in the late 1970s. Reed additionally served on the jury at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival in 1971, and guest voiced as himself on the animated series The Critic.
Rex Reed appears in the 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism explaining how important film critics were in the 1970s, and complaining about the proliferation of unqualified critical voices on the Internet.
Prior to his current job as film critic for The New York Observer, Reed has been a film critic for Vogue, GQ, The New York Times, and Women's Wear Daily. For thirteen years, he was an arts critic for the New York Daily News, and for five years was the film critic for the New York Post. He is a member of New York Film Critics Circle and, because his reviews appear on the Internet, he is a member of New York Film Critics Online. He is the author of eight books, four of which were best-selling profiles of celebrities: Do You Sleep in the Nude?, Conversations in the Raw, People Are Crazy Here, and Valentines & Vitriol. In the sixties and throughout the seventies, Reed was one of the highest-paid and most in-demand writers of celebrity profiles. His writing style was considered an exemplary example of The New Journalism and his profile of the aging Ava Gardner was included and praised in Tom Wolfe's anthology, The New Journalism.
Offensive comments in reviews
In a 2005 review of the South Korean movie Oldboy, Reed wrote: "What else can you expect from a nation weaned on kimchi, a mixture of raw garlic and cabbage buried underground until it rots, dug up from the grave and then served in earthenware pots sold at the Seoul airport as souvenirs?" The Village Voice, which stated that "online forums erupted in protest" at the review, then mocked Reed by imagining him applying similar logic to films from other countries.
In a 2013 review of Identity Thief, Reed made several references to Melissa McCarthy's weight, referring to her as "tractor-sized", "humongous", "obese", and a "hippo". Film critic Richard Roeper said, "This just smacks of mean-spirited name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism." On Twitter, Paul Feig, who directed McCarthy in Bridesmaids and The Heat, wrote, "I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself." The review was referenced at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 by the host, Seth MacFarlane, who joked that Reed would review Adele for singing "Skyfall" at the ceremony. In a column for The Huffington Post, Candy Spelling likened Reed's review to bullying.
Factual errors in reviews
Reed's 2012 review for The Cabin in the Woods attracted controversy, due to significant factual inaccuracies in his summary of the film, and his dismissive attitude towards anyone who disagreed with his negative opinion. The L Magazine's Henry Stewart noted "his review is literally about 50 percent inaccurate— factually, objectively wrong." His professionalism was called into question when, in addition to the factual inaccuracies, many felt he was needlessly insulting and mean-spirited towards those who enjoyed the film.
In 2013, Reed was the subject of controversy when he reviewed V/H/S/2, despite walking out of the film within its first 20 minutes. As a result, his review was incredibly brief and incorrectly summarized Jason Eisener's segment. Many felt that Reed was unprofessional, with journalist Sam Adams stating that Reed was "making a mockery of a noble profession while intelligent critics scramble for crumbs all around him."
- Reed, Rex (1968). Do you sleep in the nude?. London: Allen. ISBN 0-491-00043-X.
- Reed, Rex (1969). Conversations in the Raw. New York: World. ISBN 0-491-00043-X.
- Reed, Rex (1974). People are crazy here. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-440-07365-0.
- Reed, Rex (1977). Valentines & vitriol. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-440-09336-8.
- Reed, Rex (1986). Personal Effects. New York: Jove Books. ISBN 0-441-66220-X.
- Reed, Rex (1992). Rex Reed's Guide to Movies on TV and Video, 1992-1993. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-36206-9.
- Reed, Rex (2013). Do You Sleep in the Nude? (ebook edition). Memphis: Devault-Graves Digital Editions. ISBN 978-0-9882322-6-6.
- Reed, Rex (2013). People Are Crazy Here (ebook edition). Memphis: Devault-Graves Digital Editions. ISBN 978-0-9882322-8-0.
- Reed, Rex (2013). Valentines & Vitriol (ebook edition). Memphis: Devault-Graves Digital Editions. ISBN 978-0-9882322-9-7.
- Reed, Rex (2013). Conversations in the Raw (ebook edition). Memphis: Devault-Graves Digital Editions. ISBN 978-0-9882322-7-3.
- "Rex Reed Biography (1938-)". Filmreference.com. 1938-10-02. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Rex Reed". Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2006. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2006
- "Rex Reed blames his arrest on fever of forgetfulness", USA Today, February 17, 2000
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 26, 2000
- Tribune Media Services via Buffalo News, June 9, 2006
- "Berlinale 1971: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism at the TCM Movie Database
- "Rex is Comedy", Village Voice, April 19, 2005
- Reed, Rex. "Declined: In Identity Thief, Bateman’s Bankable Billing Can’t Lift This Flick out of the Red". New York Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Critic calls Melissa McCarthy 'tractor-sized', 'hippo' in review of new film", Today, February 7, 2013
- "Melissa McCarthy Identity Thief Review Is "Mean-Spirited," Says Film Critic Richard Roeper". Us Weekly. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- Grant, Drew (February 25, 2013). "Rex Reed Got a Shout-Out in Last Night’s Oscar Telecast". New York Observer. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Candy Spelling, 15 Minutes of Fame, The Huffington Post, February 19, 2013
- "The Cabin in the Woods Is a Pixelated Nightmare". observer.com.
- "How I lost my Respect for Rex Reed".
- "Unprofessional Inaccuracies in Rex Reed's Review of Cabin in the Woods".
- "Rex Reed 'V/H/S 2' Review: Controversial Critic Slams Movie He Didn't Finish". The Huffington Post. July 10, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Rex Reed, V/H/S/2, and Journalism 101 - Dread Central". Dread Central. July 10, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
- Rex Reed's New York Observer movie review archive
- New York Film Critics Circle biography[dead link]
- Rex Reed at the Internet Movie Database