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Chris Tilly’s “Does the Ender Justify the Means?” Is Unjustifiably Long

In response to Chris Tilly’s 1278‑word review of Ender’s Game on IGN Movies

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There’s no rule as to how long a movie review should be, but there are certainly limitations to readers’ patience. If a reviewer is going to demand a reader’s attention for the span of over 1,200 words, those words had better be put to good use.

Chris Tilly never justifies his word count in “DOES THE ENDER JUSTIFY THE MEANS,” a review that is long on words but short on ideas. Much of the review is given over to a detailed explanation of the movie’s plot. Cut that part out, and the review would at least be leaner, if not meaner.

What makes matters worse is how squeezed together the text of the review is. It occupies a thin strip in the middle of the web page, and with as long as the review is the reader ends up scrolling for what seems like an eternity before reaching the end.

And readers will be anxious to reach the end, as there is little wit or insight to be found in JUSTIFY THE MEANS. It’s as dry as the Arizona desert, only without the heat.

Tilly might have done better under more constraints, where he would have been forced to be concise. Instead, so much of his writing seems to merely be padding. It makes for a tedious slog, where the end means sweet relief.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation