What happened
Actor, comedian, and commentator Ben Stein’s new film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which investigates the way intelligent design is handled in American schools, is opening this weekend and receiving the widest documentary release ever. However, the movie is not expected to pull in big numbers at the box office. But some critics think that it might beat expectations because it was marketed heavily to faith-based groups.

What the commentators said
If “even a fraction of the faith-based crowd” that turned out for the Passion of the Christ see Expelled this weekend, said Josh Friedman in the Los Angeles Times, it could “dwarf” box office predictions. The movie is certainly getting a strong push: The same company “that helped market The Passion” is behind Expelled. And “through its website,” the company’s “offering goodies to entice group sales in the Bible Belt and beyond.”

Hopefully, big crowds will turn out for this movie, said Brent Bozell in NewsBusters.org. “Everyone should take the opportunity to see Expelled—if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism.” But it’s also “a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.”

Expelled is nothing more than “a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they’re losing the ‘intelligent design’ debate because of academic ‘prejudice,’” said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. And “when academia, the courts, the opinions of the educated have all weighed in on this subject on that ‘other side,’” we’ll see who “the real monkey in this ‘debate’” is.