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Ben Lyons (born October 8, 1981) is an Americanmarker film critic and entertainment journalist. He is the son of the NBC film and theater critic Jeffrey Lyons and the grandson of the American newspaper columnnist Leonard Lyons.

Career

Lyons started his own production company in 2002, producing segments for Hip-Hop Nation. In 2004, MTV hired him to co-host Your Movie Show. In 2006, Lyons hosted entertainment segments on The Daily 10, covering red carpet events and festivals. In addition, he began to write the E! Online column "The Lyons Den", whose name refers to the old New York Post newspaper column by his grandfather, which his father has also used for his show on the New York City radio station WCBSmarker. He then became a regular contributor on "Daily 10" as their resident film critic and interviewer, appearing several times a week, in many instances. He also appears on the channel's red carpet coverage of the SAG, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice and Oscar telecasts. He has been on their red carpet coverage of the BAFTA awards as well from London.

Lyons has been featured on Access Hollywood and has worked as a segment producer on the nationally syndicated Hip-Hop Nation. His "Day in the Life of Russell Simmons" episode followed the music mogul as he prepared for the opening night of Def Poetry on Broadway. Lyons also hosts My Family's Got GUTS, on Nickelodeon, Lyons has also appeared in Disaster Movie and The House Bunny. He is a regular contributor to Good Morning America.

At the Movies and Criticism

In September 2008, in the Walt Disney Company's rebranding of the long-syndicated program At the Movies, Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz were named co-hosts. They replaced Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips, himself a temporary replacement who had joined the programme after Roeper's co-host Roger Ebert was left unable to speak following treatment for thyroid cancer. The intention was that Lyons and Mankiewicz would take the show in a new direction, hoping to widen the viewership and appeal to younger audiences as well. Coincidentally, Lyons competed with his father's show, Reel Talk, produced by NBC, until the cancellation of Reel Talk in May 2009.

During Lyons' tenure on At the Movies, he received criticism for his perceived lack of understanding of films and film history, use of positively phrased quotes in reviews which are subsequently used on movie posters , and for conflicts of interest in posing for photographs with actors whose movies he later reviews. Lyons and Mankiewicz were fired on August 5, 2009, and replaced by Phillips and New York Times critic A.O. Scott as the show's permanent hosts.

One other example of criticism of Lyons was in reference to his review description of I Am Legend as one of the "greatest movies ever made", a phrase which was subsequently incorporated into the film's promotional material. Likewise, the film critic and host of Filmspotting, Adam Kempenaar, criticized Lyons for his negative review of Synecdoche, New York, saying Lyons had not actually engaged in what the film was trying to say, rather only offered that the movie was "difficult to understand." Erik Childess, the Vice President of the Chicago Film Critics Association said:

"His integrity's out the window.
He has no taste.
Everyone thinks he's a joke."


Whilst not specifically mentioning Ben Lyons by name, Roger Ebert has written a general commentary on ethical standards for film critics, which other commentators have interpreted as implicitly critical of Lyons and responding to comparisons of Ebert with Lyons. Ebert later acknowledged that Lyons was indeed the subject of the commentary.

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