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Rex Reed’s “Pure Terror: Denis Villeneuve’s Nail-Biting…” Plot Spoiler

In response to Rex Reed’s 725‑word review of Prisoners on New York Observer

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Rex Reed’s “Pure Terror: Denis Villeneuve’s Nail-Biting Police Procedural Is an Artistic Triumph from Start to Finish” reads like the relentless voice-over of a movie trailer desperately trying to get people to go see the film right now—hurry!

Reed’s pace is quick and well-written, but only for the purpose of creating a lengthy, over-drawn advertisement. The reader of Reed can’t help but wonder if he was paid directly by the director to promote the film’s status as a must-see electric sensation with unbearable intensity that’s just too exhilarating to miss.

While Reed does a great job of sharing the basic character line-up and plot, he sky-dives into the entire plot without safety equipment. He gives away key plot movements, interactions, and even some of the most intricate details of specific scenes. This over-disclosure device makes the reader feel as though the film has already been watched.

Reed has an excellent command of language, but his attempt to create a review that’s worthy of readership utterly crashes to the ground with his plot spoilers—and the reader crashes with him. The presentation of the review is clean, but unfortunately, for the reader who may actually want to watch Prisoners: this review should be locked away somewhere and left unread forever.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation