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Ethan Alter’s “Furnace” Is Must-Read Reviewing

In response to Ethan Alter’s 678‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Television Without Pity

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For a site that prides itself on supreme snarkiness (or snarx, as they lovingly refer to it), Ethan Alter’s “OUT OF THE FURNACE: HOT IN HERRE” is surprisingly free from biting sarcasm.

That’s not an insult. Despite the lack of snide (or snidez, as Exisitimatum lovingly calls it), Alter’s piece is one of the deepest and most incisive reviews yet written on this revenge thriller from Crazy Heart Director Scott Cooper.

The prose employed here sears with a caustic edge that gives the piece a deliciously easy flow. This is writing with a wink and a sneer; whenever the abrasive tone threatens to overwhelm the work, Alter charms it back into submission, forging a piece whose tone hits just the right notes throughout.

The critique is where Alter’s work really shines. This is profound, cutting stuff; Woody Harrelson is “the most authentic thing “in a movie that tries “to be the antidote to glossy revenge pictures, but becomes that very thing; it may not romanticize these individuals, but it sure as hell romanticizes their suffering. “ 

Hot in Herre doesn’t offer the laugh out loud hilarity the website strives for, but thank god for that. It’s instead one of the most truthful reviews you’ll read on this film.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation