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Josh Larsen’s “Furnace” Lazily Pokes at the Embers

In response to Josh Larsen’s 310‑word review of Out of the Furnace on LarsenOnFilm

By ,

As is his wont, for the lion’s share of “OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013),“ Josh Larsen winds up describing scenes from the film rather than reviewing it.

This style is a disturbing trend in the world of film critique, but it’s not the only one in which Larsen indulges. He also falls prey here to the “I didn’t like it” approach, and, in a perfect demonstration of what make this technique so insidious, he offers no credible reasons why.

Both of these choices illustrate the biggest problem that plagues film criticism of late: laziness. It takes no mental effort to say “I like the early scenes between Rodney and Russell,” just like it doesn’t take much creativity or originality to describe the scenes you enjoyed. These are both things that every Joe Schmoe on the street can do with relative ease.

What Joe Schmoe can’t do is bring to bear his knowledge of the production and history of the filmmaking process to illuminate for readers why they’ll like or dislike certain aspects of a given film. This is the realm of the all-important critic and it’s something Larsen has completely failed at here.

Leave this one be and reward a critic who’s actually put in the work.    

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