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A. O. Scott’s “After Two Children Vanish” Is Vague but Worth It

In response to A.O. Scott’s 941‑word review of Prisoners on New York Times

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A. O. Scott’s “After Two Children Vanish, Agony Begets Recklessness” provides the reader with a clear understanding of the film triumphing over its lack of a recommendation. Scott opens up with his unabashed bias toward movies with similar storylines to that of Prisoners’.

Through a series of multi-syllabic words, Scott takes the reader on a journey through his vocabulary and Prisoners. What one might call “pedantic” works, as Scott keeps the reader glued to his seat.  Scott uses long descriptive paragraphs that put the reader in the movie theater: the feel, the themes. It is almost as if one is viewing it. This is the strong point of the piece.

Unfortunately, while the treatment does a good job of telling the reader what the film is about, it does not say whether it was good or not. It is almost as if he were saying, “This is the film. Take it or leave it.” This lack of commitment is the major downfall of Scott’s work.  

Tipping the scale in his favor, Scott does not reveal too much about the film. Also, the website is free from tacky advertisements. Consequently, After Two Children Vanish is worth a read despite the critic’s missing recommendation.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation