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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

what she said: Monkey See’s Linda Holmes…

…on dissenting reviews of critically acclaimed movies (and in particular, Inception)

Aggregations of reviews (and the resulting “scores” at a place like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic) are useful as rough approximations of critical reception, but not only is there no reason to prize perfect scores, there is every reason to be suspicious of them. There is every reason to believe that a robust and thoughtful critical response overall will necessarily include those for whom something didn’t work as intended.

You’d think this would go without saying, but obviously for some fans, criticism is a way of thoughtlessly keeping score, not a springboard for thoughtful discussion.

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