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Matt Pais’s “‘Nebraska’ Review: Hit the Road” Is Short & Clumsy

In response to Matt Pais’s 329‑word review of Nebraska on RedEye,0,4867707.column

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Matt Pais’s “‘Nebraska’ review: Hit the road,” though sometimes informative, is a gray review that offers extremely scarce goods. Pais’s words are few, with minimal insight, botched flow, and even less entertainment.

Pais begins the review with several acceptable sentences that almost (but not quite) engage the reader, but he quickly moves on to a writing style that, stops. Or, goes on and on to stop, grind, go, stop, go, which creates a reading experience that could easily be likened to being in a car with someone who is learning how to drive a stick-shift for the very first time.

Pais’s plot summary is clumsy in both content and style. It’s clear that if he had taken the time to write full, grammatically aware sentences without the stick-shift mentality, then the review would’ve been longer, more informative, and just maybe its quality would have been better too. Pais fails to deliver humor, insight, or any sense of engagement with Nebraska, which may cause the reader to think he is a stranger to movie review writing.

At one point in Hit the Road, Pais claims that the director of the film judges the characters and places as being unappealing, yet his lack of supporting evidence makes his own claim read as the judgment, especially given his passionless writing. Pais conveys an undertone of utter boredom with Nebraska, a perspective that could have been presented in an entertaining way to the reading audience, but instead, it serves only to disengage the reader from his point of view.

Ultimately, Hit the Road attempts to paste together a review that should have been fleshed and edited prior to publication, yet due to its untimely appearance on the web, it fails to demonstrate content or style that warrants reading. In other words, it’s not worth the read. Really.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation