300 Gets One Boo, But Mostly Raves

Mixed messages are pouring out of Berlin this week after two screenings of the highly stylized Spartan epic “300” delivered wildly differing results and reports.

European film festivals are known for their vocal critics, last year’s Cannes screening of “Marie Antoinette” yielded a famous round of booing from attending critics – yet eventually went on to become one of the best reviewed films of last year and cropped up on many Top Ten lists.

Now the controversy erupted starting with Cinematical which reported on Wednesday that audience members left throughout the press screening and loudly booed as the end credits scrolled up the screen. Their review was far from glowing as well.

Yet long standing reliable critics like Todd McCarthy from Variety, Kirk Honeycutt at The Hollywood Reporter, the very picky Emanuel Levy and the always verbose but I trust his taste (there’s not many people I hand that compliment to) Todd Gilchrist at IGN have all heaped major praise on the film. Another report indicated that the press screening did have some booing, but it was limited to only a handful in one section.

The following day the premiere yielded a spectacular result with frequent applause throughout and a long standing ovation afterwards by the packed 1700 member audience. The film’s stars Gerard Butler and Rodrigo Santoro, two men one can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be spit roasted by, who were in attendance.

The movie is released States-side on March 9th.