I always find it interesting to analyze critics’ views and reviews on old films from let’s say for example two decades ago. At that time we as movie viewers relied more on what they had to say. Today we can share our own opinion with fellow fans and share our own judgment. You see the difference almost immediately from someone who knows the genre and someone who is just watching it as an obligation.
Today we expect more from everyone in the film industry including critics and the way they review the film. If they continue the way they used to do it in the past they will become irrelevant because today any random person can perform a proper research online to obtain at least the basic information about the film which includes details about the plot and how it was made. When a critic knows about the genre and is able to give an objective review which gives you both the pros and the cons, it is appreciated more than someone who doesn’t like the genre and reviews the movie unfavorable just because he doesn’t like the genre.
Critics have a difficult job because they should have knowledge about the different film genres in order to judge them. Sounds logical right? A podiatrist wouldn’t perform an open heart operation because that’s not his/her specialty. Using this example the critics should have the knowledge of both the podiatrist and the surgeon. As you see there is no categorization for critics. Everyone can review everything. And not everyone knows everything. In some cases, they don’t even make the effort to understand the genre.
Let’s take the science fiction genre, for example, it is a popular and difficult genre to review because there are so many sub-genres and styles of film-making. There are critics that have their Sci-Fi knowledge limited to Star Wars and Star Trek and don’t see anything beyond that. Or you have the group that has absolutely no clue about science fiction or simply don’t like the genre. It would be okay if we were talking about regular people who have the right to like whatever they want but we’re not. Watching movies as a critic shouldn’t be a joyful ride. If you happen to enjoy the movie that is a bonus but even if you didn’t you should be able to follow the story and give an objective view of the story.
Critics should be able to give an honest judgment but in reality, many have their own agenda. Therefore it is better to make your own judgment. The movie you watch may have a different impact on you compared to someone else. If it is a genre you are unfamiliar with seeing it with an open mind and low expectation (regardless of the premise or actors in the film). This approach helped me enjoyed movies I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did.
One of the benefits we are enjoying today is the benefit of having online access to many films from different countries through streaming platforms. They give you the opportunity to experience a new film on your own at home. Take a few hours from watching reruns and browse through the new titles. You may discover a gem that was overlooked or underrated. What do you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments in the comment section below.