Film Critics and Why They’re Opinion Shouldn’t Matter

Ryan Fredrick, Reporter

Remember when film critics were obsolete? When it seemed like the entire world had gone critic-proof because they just did not matter anymore? It is hard to pinpoint when, exactly, film critics attained peak irrelevance, but it’s starting to seem like an eon ago, because this summer a chorus of people — moviegoers, film-industry executives, critics themselves — have been singing a very different tune. Critics have emerged from the dark cave of obsolescence and are once again pushing political agendas instead of critiquing a film. 

“Joker” released in October, garnered much success from the general public. With an 88 percent audience score and a 69 percent from critics, it is clear that this film separated audiences and critics with a line in the sand. Critics did not review the film, “Joker,” rather, they reviewed the political outcome and “violence” that the film could induce. Saying that “Joker” is a straight white male’s fantasy and that it supports violence. 

“Is this movie really just the biggest-budget Ben Shapiro video? To what extent will misogynistic creeps “feel seen” in this film?” according to the article “Joker – the incels, the incitement, the ending: discuss with spoilers,” from The Guardian. 

This quote shows critics attempts to squeeze their leftist politics into any movie they can get their hands on. “Joker” is not an “alt-right” movie based on misogyny and hate. It’s a movie that explores the effects of mental illness on people and how classism divides communities. Even if it was an “alt-right” movie, (which it is not), why does it matter? Is America getting to a point where people are not allowed to have opinions? Art is a way to express opinions and ideas creatively, and this notion that if a conservative film-maker makes a movie it is going to be hated is damaging to the industry as a whole. 

Furthermore, critics tend to use pedantic wording to convolute their message. Instead of being straight to the point, they use language that is cryptic and confusing to sound more intelligent. It makes their point, well, pointless, and it is unclear as to what they are trying to say. 

How good or bad a film is remains spectacularly subjective. Having critics be the be-all and end-all of whether a film is worth it damages the entire industry as a whole. So, next time you are looking at Rotten Tomatoes to see if a movie is good, let it go and go watch the movie. As you are watching the movie, formulate your own opinion, and not some stranger who claims to be a “master” film critic.