I wrote a short riff a while back about the slightly varying lengths reported for Crash, from the N.Y. Times‘s 107 minutes to Variety‘s 112 minutes out of Toronto to the 122-minute running time on the DVD jacket. Now comes a note from a Variety guy asserting that the N.Y. Times “has long been notoriously unreliable in this area. I’m attentive to this stuff because we time films very carefully at Variety, never relying upon publicists, studios or film festival catalogues but timing films with stopwatches or ultra-reliable watches. Especially during the Janet Maslin years, the NYT was almost always wrong — I never could figure out where they got their timings. Elvis [Mitchell] was no better, and we frankly I haven’t been monitoring Tony [Scott] or Manohla [Dargis] much in this regard. But when you see critics leaving films before the end credits finish rolling, you know they’re not making their own independent timings of films. I’ve discussed this occasionally with Leonard Maltin, who is careful about these matters because of his Movie Guide, and we agree you can never trust the NYT on this.”