Jonathan Rosenbaum is a snob, which might be OK if he at least had good taste [“The Year in Pictures,” January 2]. The two best movies of 2003 (according to Rosenbaum) are 25th Hour [tied with Crimson Gold] and Down With Love–both of which were decent but not great movies (although 25th Hour was actually released in 2002). Here’s my complaint: Mr. Rosenbaum says he didn’t consider The Lord of the Rings or Master and Commander because he didn’t see them. Can we assume he was too busy to see all of the new movies, so he just went to Blockbuster and rented some DVDs? What kind of a movie critic doesn’t bother to see the movies everyone else is seeing?

Although his logic is typically opaque, this smacks of the self-serving elitism that has always been Rosenbaum’s stock-in-trade (to the continuing disservice of your readership). I get the feeling Jonathan Rosenbaum thinks he is somehow raising the bar by refusing to support (or even view) any of Hollywood’s blockbuster product. What a cop-out. I’m sorry, I expect my movie critic to watch EVERYTHING and not only point out the good obscure films (which Rosenbaum does very well) but also evaluate the good (and bad) popular films. It is snobbery to equate popularity with poor quality, and if you don’t give Hollywood props when it does something right you’re not part of the solution.

Michael Carr

N. Noble