It remains to be seen whether Hollywood's "The Da Vinci Code" turns out to be one of those films panned by critics but embraced by the public.

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The film making its world debut at France's Cannes Film Film Festival Wednesday was basically trashed by critics who attended a special screening Tuesday night.

Daily Variety called Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's bestseller "stodgy" and "grim" and "oppressively talky."

"At the high point, there was laughter among the journalists. Not loud laughs, but a snicker and I think that says it all," a reviewer for The Times of India wrote.

The Hollywood Reporter wasn't all negative, saying while film exposed the "flaws and nightmares of logic" in Brown's novel, "the movie version heightens Brown's mischievous interweaving of genre action, historical facts and utter fictions."

The Boston Herald cited the film's lack of suspense, romance or fun, bemoaning "nothing really works."

The Times of London broke from the majority, however, with its critic heralding Howard's thriller as "rip-roaring" entertainment.

"The Da Vinci Code" opens in theaters worldwide Thursday.