I have been a reader of the Style section and the Weekend section for years. The new format for Weekend section movie reviews is another terrible example of the dumbing down of America.

Instead of the old reviews -- which were independent of the Style reviews and which were complete in and of themselves -- the Weekend section now prints condensed versions of the same reviews that run in Style, and even those that are unique to Weekend have been reduced almost completely to summary. These reviews are worthless to the reader who wants more than a plot synopsis. In the Oct. 7 Weekend, for example, the Ann Hornaday review of "Separate Lies" was so lightweight that it was impossible to tell whether she recommended the movie or not.

While I understand that The Post may think that the two sections have different readership, my experience is that at least the movie buffs read both. I have always valued the fact that I received two different opinions of the movies, geared to two different types of viewers. To condense and reprint the same review in two places is sloppy and not useful, and if the shorter length of the reviews is irremediable, at least make them reviews, not plot synopses.

-- Heather McHale

Silver Spring