Usually, critics will get to see a film before it releases, either in private viewings or on DVD screeners. So when a movie releases without taking this step, it should set off a few warning bells...
Most commonly, film-makers do this to deny reviewers the chance of panning what they already know to be a poor piece of cinema, hoping to make as many ticket sales as they can before the movie flops. But sometimes there's another reason for keeping it under wraps before release. And sometimes the film-makers should have had a little more confidence in their work...
Here are some movies which bucked the trend.
10. Snakes On A Plane
Surely one of the most honest titles in movie history. There's a plane and there are snakes on it. The snakes have been released intentionally so that the plane will crash and kill a witness travelling to testify against a powerful mob boss. Thankfully, Samuel L Jackson is also on the plane and he thinks snakes are m_____f_____s.
Everything moves at a cracking pace with lots of inventive action, sparky dialogue and some eye-watering reptile encounters (you'll be checking the toilet bowl for days...). The sheer amount of fun the actors seem to be having is infectious. It didn't quite live up to the hype it generated on the internet before release, but it's a solid movie all the same.
If you're looking a for a simple, fun action flick that doesn't take itself too seriously, this one ticks all the boxes. But that generally isn't what critics are looking for, so they didn't get to see it beforehand. Probably a good choice since it did very well at the box office regardless.