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Media Ignores Big Opening and Critical Acclaim for 'Gosnell' Movie

The new movie about Kermit Gosnell, the notorious Philadelphia late-term abortionist eventually convicted in the deaths of three infants, made it into the Top 10 films at the box office this past weekend--an impressive feat for a crowd-funded film.


But you won’t hear the mainstream media talking about it.

“We were [No. 10] on Friday and Saturday, but slipped back to 12 on Sunday,” Phelim McAleer, who co-produced the film with his wife, Ann McElhinney, told The Daily Signal. “We are the No. 1 independent movie of the weekend and [No. 5] per screen average across the U.S.”

“This has been achieved despite the mainstream media virtually refusing to review the film, despite it opening nationally,” McAleer added.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, directed by and starring Nick Searcy, is a true crime drama that details what amounted to a 30-year killing spree of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Far from being just a typical screed against abortion, the film explores the investigation and trial of Gosnell, along with efforts by both the political and media establishments to cover it up.

The independently-produced film opened to a limited release nationwide--approximately 650 theaters--on Friday, October 12. According to Gosnell’swebsite, the movie “was one of the most successfully crowdfunded films in history.” Producers raised $2.3 million in 45 days from nearly 30,000 contributors.


Critics and audience members alike have responded quite favorably to the film so far. It received a fresh critic score of 67% on the popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, and a 99% score when it came to general audience approval, for example.

Yet in the days leading up to (and since) Gosnell’srelease, both mainstream and entertainment media have largely ignoredthe film--in spite of its’ opening weekend earnings of $1.2 million, an impressive amount considering that most movies open to an audience five times the size of Gosnell’s.

The team behind Gosnell told the entertainment website HiT that they made the film available for review to “every newspaper and mainstream blogger out there,” yet those efforts apparently only netted two reviews – one at, and the other appearing in The Los Angeles Times. (It is also worth noting that while critics gave overwhelmingly positive reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website, there are only six reviews from critics. Most films receive hundreds.)

And when Gosnellproducers attempted to purchase National Public Radio (NPR) airtime sponsorship in hopes of promoting the film, NPR insisted that the terms “abortionist” and “abortion doctor” be prohibited from being used in reference to Kermit Gosnell. He would only be referred to as “Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell.”


TheGosnell producers refused, and walked away from the deal.

“Our movie isn’t about a podiatrist or a cardiologist or a proctologist,” producer Phelim McAleer said. “It’s specifically about a doctor who performs abortions.”

It seems to have been partly prophetic, then, when co-producer Ann McElhinney stated that “The movie is as much expose of the media as it is of abortion.”

Showtimes and locations for Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killerare available here.

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