Justin Craig’s “Disturbing Tale” Is Perfect for the Lover of Film Critique
By Eugenius Antonius, Senior Critic
Justin Craig’s “‘The Counselor’ review: Cameron Diaz steals show in Cormac McCarthy’s latest disturbing tale” is fresh and invigorating. Intelligent and always interesting, Craig’s work is a masterstroke of perception.
Right from the beginning, the critic wraps his arm around the shoulders of the audience, as if to bring them into his confidence. And it isn’t long before they are all enraptured, happily under the control of a skilled wordsmith. He does this without once talking down to the gathering. This is the kind of work that people talk about for a long time afterwards.
Craig is honest here. Whether he is pointing out that “the first half of the film is convoluted and dialogue heavy” or takes note of the film’s “nail-biting final hour,” he is always forthright and clear about what he has to say. He is not afraid to explore the bleakness inherent in his story or to explode with praise if he thinks it’s deserved. This is especially true when talking about the performers in the film who truly stand out, though he is more than generous when praising other elements of the film as well.
By the time the audience is finished, it is clear where this wonderful storyteller stands, and for lovers of real film critique it has been a perfect journey. If you’re only planning to read a few critiques this review season, make sure this one is on your list.