Can movie critics be sued for a bad review?

A Belfast restaurant owner has successfully sued an Irish newspaper that gave his joint one star out of five—and criticised the food, drink, staff, and the cigarette smoke. Ciaran Convery has won 25,000 pounds after he charged the Irish News of defaming Goodfellas. Is this the shape of things to come? Is there no such thing as free speech? Can movie producers sue critics for a bad review, citing loss of business?


  1. Abhirr

    I agree that free speech should be respected but i have no issues if people could actually go and physically abuse some of these critics… i have just come from a theatre, 150 rupees poorer with only thought in my mind. Why the heck did i go and see ‘Guru’ believing what CNN-IBN’s Rajeev Masand had to say about it! 4 stars… that’s what he gave it, i wish i could make him see some stars

  2. A journalist-critic’s review of a restaurant or movie, if fair comment, should enjoy a qualified privilege. Such a review would NOT be libelous in any other demoracy, but of course Northern Ireland is struggling with fundamentals of expressive freedom.

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