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“Silly Story” by Michael Phillips Reminds One of Better Days of Critique

In response to Michael Phillips’s 419‑word review of The Counselor on Chicago Tribune,0,2943257.column

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“Director Scott lends The Counselor a solid, shiny level of craftsmanship.”

The statement above is a perfect example of the vague writing in Michael Phillips’ frustrating work “Shiny cast, silly story in The Counselor.” The audience will find the critique a bit silly as Phillips takes the anti-critique approach halfway through.

Silly Story opens strong with a complete paragraph that brings the reader into the world of writer Cormac McCarthy. It’s the beginning of what appears to be a legitimately worthwhile read, but Phillips loses steam fast. One may be reminded of an old west character who slyly sneaks away while the townsfolk say “Where’s that Phillips?”

The critic slowly builds to analysis in Silly Story, but Phillips only uses the middle paragraph to break down dialogue of the film before moving on to the obligatory cast mentions. There is no opinion or examination to be found, but rather the typical descriptions found in mediocre reviews.

The conclusion of Silly Story ends on a bright note, but the content is still as vague as the rest of the review. The audience of Phillips will be disappointed by the lack of critique from the critic. It’s a forgettable experience that is better left unexperienced.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation