Eli Roth is standing strong in the wake of criticism over his new movie, "Death Wish" ... in fact, he views the controversy as something of a blessing.
Eli was leaving M Cafe in Bev Hills Friday when our photog asked about the criticism -- that a rogue white man, played by Bruce Willis, seeks revenge for a brutal crime against his family and goes on a killing spree in Chicago.
Some of the critics say this is an Alt Right film in which a white guy takes to the streets and kills black people, although in the trailer not all of the revenge is targeted against blacks.
Eli says the criticism is BS and you need to see the full film to get context. He also says this is a classic issue of freedom of choice ... you don't have to see it.
By the way, Roth's a smart dude ... he knows the controversy sells tickets.