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Peter Rainer’s “‘Prisoners’ Is Too Obvious” Has Obvious Flaws

In response to Peter Rainer’s 770‑word review of Prisoners on Christian Science Monitor

By ,

In “‘Prisoners’ is too obvious with its message”, Peter Rainer ends up ironically guilty of the same lack of subtlety he accuses the film Prisoners of suffering from.

He suggests that the movie has undercurrents of Christian fundamentalism, a pretty significant claim, without providing any evidence to back it up. He throws around the word “crazies” like it’s going out of style, failing to understand that characters can be flawed or pushed to extremes without necessarily being deserving of that derogatory label.

At one point Rainer hedges his bets on one opinion he gives on the film by qualifying it with the phrase “at least to me.” It’s understood that the opinion being given of the movie belongs to the critic writing the review. That fact doesn’t need to  be stated. One would think that that lesson is taught in Film Criticism 101, but perhaps Rainer fell asleep during that class.

In an egregious lapse in political correctness, Rainer refers to a mentally challenged character in the movie as “half-witted.” That unfortunate epithet could also be applied to this review.  Too obvious is a clumsy affair, engaging in the very obviousness it accuses its subject of. Obviously, you should avoid reading it.    

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