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Dan Callahan’s “The Counselor” Obsesses on Dialogue and Lacks Depth

In response to Dan Callahan’s 693‑word review of The Counselor on RogerEbert.com 

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-counselor-2013

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Dan Callahan obsesses on dialogue in “The Counselor,” and there is severe lack of depth to the work. The critic refuses to expand on the characters, and says little about the direction or plot of the film.

Callahan’s The Counselor has a strong open in which Callahan tells a devastating tale of a failed Penelope Cruz sex scene. The outstanding writing immediately conveys the flaws of Cormac McCarthy’s script, and builds on his opening statement.

Callahan clearly did not enjoy the film, which has given him an unfortunate case of Critique-itis. Side effects include negation of character analysis, refusal to discuss plot devices and the tendency to deliver brief statements on specific scenes without expanding. Callahan states “This is a movie that does not seem overly interested in its own plot,” but is unwilling to discuss the plot himself.

Callahan makes his case about the poor dialogue in The Counselor. It’s just that he addresses it in almost each of the eight paragraphs. The critic delivers good points on specific performances and the direction of Ridley Scott, but nothing more than the average review. Callahan observes and describes without expanding.

Callahan’s The Counselor is well written, but Callahan focuses on taking down the dialogue rather than delivering a thorough critique.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation