10 ways the Internet has changed the language of film reviews

Or: how film reviews got cut down from hundreds of words to just two or three....

Before the Internet, there was a pretentiousness to some film reviews that meant that those of us who were just trying to find out how good Back To The Future Part II was would have to battle through the words of a snooty critic just to try and find out. Fortunately, there’s been progress in that regard, and with the world and his wife now able to upload their thoughts on a movie to a global audience, it’s possible now to find a film reviewer who is more in line with your own taste.

Sadly, with such power comes the requisite responsibility, and as such, a new lexicon of film reviewing has emerged. No longer do you need to spend 100 words extolling the virtues of a given film: for instead, meet the new language of the modern day movie reviewer…

Used to be:The film falls below expectations, lacking suitable quality in its script, performances and direction. The very texture of the flick is lacking, and there’s a feel of a real lack of commitment from all concerned.

Is now:It sucks.

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Used to be:The film is a remarkable achievement, blessed with a screenplay that carefully balances, yet fleshes out its characters, but never forgetting to give them plenty to do.

Is now:It rocks.

Used to be: With no coherent plot, paper-thin characters and a directorial style that favours noise over substance, it’s left to the admittedly impressive special effects to carry the weight of the film. It’s a fairground ride, certainly, but ultimately an empty one.


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Used to be:The film itself is a solid drama, but inevitably the main focal point of its marketing campaign is around the two female leads, who share some intimate scenes in an otherwise run-of-the-mill period piece.

Is now:Gurlz. Yes.

Used to be:To call the film unambitious would be demonstrating a generosity it ill deserves. For while there are one or two jumps and chills that work, it’s both derivative and, ultimately, quite a nasty piece of work that deserves no space on a cinema screen.

Is now:I crapped my pants.

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Used to be:The first film in the series was genuinely funny, adding a warm and tender heart to some effective gross-out humour. But that heart is long gone here, and even the usually reliable slapstick, crude comedy is more miss than hit.

Is now:I crapped my pants.

Used to be:What’s funny about two grown men embarrassing themselves in such a way remains a mystery to this reviewer, and will do for some time to come.


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Used to be:A searing drama that succeeds on an abundance of levels. The film takes it time to get going, and continues to measure its pace to genuine effect, meaning that by the time the three hours are up, you’ve been treated to a nuanced, quite brilliant piece of work. Oscars all round.

Is now:Zzzzzzz.

Used to be:Having now seen the film, I can’t help but conclude that it’s a staggering failure, failing to rectify earlier problems, and paradoxically also missing the opportunity to add new elements to the pot, and genuinely reboot the franchise.

Is now:This film is AWESOME, FFS!!!! Can’t wait to see it!

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Used to be:To genuinely appreciate the film, you need to give it your full attention. Failure to do so will leave its intricacies in tatters, and deny you one of the most densely plotted, ambitious and flat-out brilliant pieces of cinema of the past decade.

Is now:WTF?!?

Have we missed any off? Leave them in the comments…!


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