Legend poster made the Guardian's two-star review look like a four-star review.

This Poster for Legend Is Evil, Brilliant

This Poster for Legend Is Evil, Brilliant

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 8 2015 7:56 PM

This Poster for Legend Is Evil, Brilliant


Benjamin Lee, a film writer for the Guardian’s website, did not like the Tom Hardy vehicle Legend. The historical drama about twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray suffers from “a major lack of atmosphere and an overwhelming stench of inauthenticity,” Lee wrote in his recent review, and “Hardy’s performance falls into broad ‘crazy eyes’ villainy.” Dismissing the biopic as “a disappointingly shallow take on a fascinating period of time,” Lee gave the film two stars out of a possible five.

So it comes as a surprise that a recent promotional image for Legend, which comes out this week in the U.K. and on Oct. 2 in the U.S., features the Guardian’s name in the midst of a flurry of four- and five-star reviews. How did the film’s marketers get away with citing a two-star review as a good thing? By sticking it between the ears of the two Tom Hardys, making it look as though there are more stars tucked away behind their heads.


Legend’s promoters deserve one star for media ethics but five stars for creative problem solving.

L.V. Anderson is a former Slate associate editor.