This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Our policy at The Salt Lake Tribune is that we don't print movie reviews unless the film is having a regular run Friday through Thursday in a commercial movie theater in the Salt Lake City area.
This usually means movies that are here on a special engagement like a one-night event, or a limited run of a few days do not get reviewed. It also means we don't review movies that appear only on streaming services (which has allowed The Cricket, mercifully, to avoid the movies Adam Sandler made for Netflix).
When the makers of the anti-vaccine documentary "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Conspiracy" sent a press release last week, announcing the movie would be coming to Utah theaters, The Cricket dutifully watched the movie and wrote a review.
Then, as we were putting Friday's The Mix section together, he discovered that the "Vaxxed" people had overstated things a bit. The movie only was playing a limited run, starting today through Thursday, one screening a night, at two Megaplex Theatres locations: The Gateway in Salt Lake City, and Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. We pulled the review before it saw print.
However, the importance of the issue "Vaxxed" purports to cover is such that many moviegoers may seek it out. With that in mind, here is The Cricket's review:
'Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe'
Runs today through Thursday at the Megaplex Gateway and Megaplex Thanksgiving Point; not rated, but probably PG for mature thematic material; 91 minutes.
The press release for the reprehensible medical documentary "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe" declares "the film is not an anti-vaccine polemic," but it will do until one comes along.
The movie, which was pulled from this year's Tribeca Film Festival lineup, presents the case, popular among anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covered up data that proved a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism in small children. Propelling this theory is a study written by environmental engineer and anti-vaccine crusader Brian Hooker, based on data he learned from a CDC insider, William Thompson.
Director Andrew Wakefield (the defrocked British doctor whose discredited 1998 study launched the autism/vaccine nonsense) and producer Del Bigtree, a medical journalist, are two of the talking heads in a presentation whose dullness is interrupted by shamelessly manipulative use of tearful testimonials from parents of kids with autism. The parents' stories pile up, as Wakefield aims to blur correlation into causality and scare viewers into believing in a government/Big Pharma plot.
In building a case about missing data, however, Wakefield makes some omissions of his own, such as how the journal that published Hooker's study of Thompson's data retracted it months later. The Brits stripped Wakefield of the authority to practice medicine, but there is no license required to make irresponsible propaganda films.
Sean P. Means