“I have not read Dan Brown‘s ‘Angels & Demons,'” N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott confesses in his review of the film version. “I have come to believe that to do so would be a sin against my faith, not in the Church of Rome but in the English language, a noble and beleaguered institution against which Mr. Brown practices vile and unspeakable blasphemy.

“The movie, without being particularly good, is nonetheless far less hysterical than The Da Vinci Code. Its preposterous narrative, efficiently rendered by the blue-chip screenwriting team of Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp, unfolds with the locomotive elegance of a Tintin comic or an episode of Murder, She Wrote.” [Director Ron] Howard‘s direction combines the visual charm of mass-produced postcards with the mental stimulation of an easy Monday crossword puzzle. It could be worse.

“The utter silliness of Angels & Demons is either its fatal flaw or its saving grace, and in the spirit of compassion I suppose I’d be inclined to go with the second option. The movie all but begs for such treatment.”