Posts Tagged ‘how to read a movie review’

The Skinny On How Movie Critics Con Us Into Seeing Stuff


THEY SAY…                                                                   THEY MEAN…

Beautiful                                                                              Mawkish

Epic                                                                                        Long

Classic                                                                                   Derivative

Lyrical                                                                                 Set between 1900 and 1950

Brave                                                                                    Has a gay couple in it

Tender                                                                                 Sickening

Heartfelt                                                                              Up itself

Searing                                                                                 Entirely humourless

Romantic                                                                             Unrealistic

Moving                                                                                 One of the leads dies

Heartbreaking                                                                   A child dies

Uplifting                                                                               Has an implausibly happy ending

Dazzling                                                                                Over-saturated with an insanely loud                                                                                                                         soundtrack

Bold                                                                                       Extremely violent

Tough                                                                                   Torture porn

Challenging                                                                         Misogynistic

Fast-paced                                                                          More money than sense

Turbo-charged                                                                 Significantly more money than sense

High-octane                                                                       Massively more money than sense

Laddish                                                                                Girls in their underwear

Artistic                                                                                 Girls without their underwear

Terrifying                                                                            Schlocky

Chilling                                                                                 Promises schlock but doesn’t deliver

Loveable                                                                             Hateful

Sweeping                                                                            Contains shots of mountains

Lush                                                                                      Contains shots of cornfields

Kooky                                                                                   Infuriating

Quirky                                                                                  Inexplicable

Heart-warming                                                                 Nauseating

Witty                                                                                     British

Intelligent                                                                          Foreign

High-concept                                                                    Contains a maximum of one idea

Romp                                                                                    Average men doing beautiful women

Bigger and better                                                             Dumber and more expensive

Stunning special effects                                                We could find absolutely nothing else positive to                                                                                                  say about this movie

From the director of…                                                   Not nearly as good as…

In the tradition of…                                                        Shameless rip-off of…

A re-imagining of…                                                         Copied from…

All-star cast                                                                       Cast is a collection of famous has-beens

This holiday season…                                                    …you’ll only come to see this because the walls                                                                                                    are closing in

Family fun                                                                          You’ll all hate it equally

Surprise hit                                                                        Seventeen studios are now kicking themselves

British                                                                                  Not as good as you think it’s going to be

Bafta-award-winning                                                     Passed over for the Oscar

“[This actor] is at his peak”                                         This actor is past his sell-by date

“[This actor] keeps getting better and better”    This actor’s continuing bankability is a total                                                                                                           mystery

“[This actor] is a revelation”                                     Holy shit, this actor can actually act. Who knew?

“[Actor A] is the new [Actor B]”                              Actor A was considerably cheaper than Actor B

“…as you’ve never seen him before!”                   This actor has been hopelessly miscast

“The [genre film] of the year!”                                Will sink without trace within six weeks of release

“Redefines the genre”                                                 For people who don’t really like this genre

“A must-see movie”                                                    A heavily-promoted movie

“An undiscovered classic”                                       A not-very-heavily-promoted movie

“Franchise”                                                                     Done to death

“The surprise hit of the year”                                   The film that, despite the best efforts of everyone                                                                                                 involved, accidentally turned out to be quite                                                                                                         good


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