The Attention That Must be Paid to Movie Critics or Rating When Going to the Theater

Besides the obvious amount of people that go to the cinema to watch a movie that is top from the commercial ones, like super-heroes movies, comedies, action and horror movies, most people watch the movie trailer or sometimes even read the synopsis when they have no idea what the movie is about but are in a way curious about it. A considerable quantity of people goes to the theater because someone recommended that particular movie. The ones who know what they want for sure just check the film director, screenwriter or maybe the cast and they proceed to watch the film. But some of those people look for movie reviews from critics.

First of all, a critic is a man or a woman who is dedicated – and an expert – to watching films and to critiquing for a newspaper, magazine, or specialized film web page (e.g. IMDB, Filmaffinity). These individuals are considered prominent figures of the cinema analysis and knowledge. Therefore, a massive wave of people repeats their lines and ideas about a certain film when they don’t have the slightest idea how to give their opinion about the artwork. It cannot be stated that these people are making or giving “a more knowledgeable” judgment of the movie than the reviews made by the ones who judge the movie according to the trailer – for example -, it is disinformation as well.

What an ideal cinephile must do when watching a movie is doing that in the first place, and then analyzing it on their own regardless of any review written before, especially when they have seen that author’s previous work before. The reason of this is because if you have appreciated that particular style before and you enjoyed it, then you probably don’t need any guide to watch the other new movie (this is more accurate for complex film directing). Reading movie reviews or other director’s idea of one author’s work can preconceive notions for you as a spectator blocking your authentic perception and point of view.

Personally, I once had a teacher who used to critique every movie deconstructing it. His reputation as a cinephile and film critic was (actually it still is) so vast that every time he destroyed a movie, the body of it rested in the quiet but smelly atmosphere. And it was stated and a “fact” that the movie was bad or good. But critiquing a movie is not a completely inappropriate thing to do. It can also help when you have no idea of what you are watching but the content of it is highly deep, also when the movie refers to specific periods of time of which you have no clue, knowledge or criteria. The important and essential aspect to clearly understand here is that you must not take the –sometimes- radical judgment of a critic to define your opinion of a movie by yourself.

Additional to this, there is the movie rating. Webpages like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Film Affinity are two of the most important ones that provide movie scores. The main problem here is that these scores depend mostly on the Hollywood standards. Big productions usually get the best rating (see John Wick’s rate in IMDB) and independent productions get the lowest ones. This is not mandatory, of course, but when you observe carefully you can see the pattern in it. Once again, it is neither mandatory nor obvious.

Movie critics can also be taken as well not only to understand a movie better but to provide to your notions or thoughts a wider view and more perspective to appreciate the art work. Besides, when you don’t have enough tools to dare yourself to make your own point of view, critics – also watching more movies, filmmaking books – can help a lot to build your foundation as a movie analyst.

So, as a conclusion, should I read movie reviews to understand them better or to know if a movie is good or bad? The answer, from my judgment, would be no. One thing you do need to know is the movie historic and social context when it has a particular one. Sure! you can watch a movie without a clear sense of the historical facts, but you are probably going to miss some relevant details that the author wants you to notice. To comprehend the context aspects, you don’t necessarily have to read any movie review. You can always check historical information from the certified internet sources so you can be informed of the key elements and facts that the movie covers.

This essay is from film critic and cinephile Daniel Patiño

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