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Clint O’Connor’s “Out of the Furnace” Comes Out Bit Lumpy

In response to Clint O'Connor’s 444‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Clint O’Connor’s “‘Out of the Furnace’: Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson turn up the heat in brutal drama (review)” is a difficult one to figure out.  

In part, this is because it suffers from a structure that’s difficult to suss out. There’s an initial five paragraphs in which O’Connor recaps the plot and reviews the film. Then, there’s a separate section called “Review,” that gives more deets and then offers two more paragraphs of unrelated (to the first chunk) criticism.

Perhaps this is a new avant-garde approach by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Who knows.

Whatever it is, Turn Up the Heat is O’Connor’s take on director Scott Cooper’s sophomore effort, and it’s a middling effort all around.  

The prose tries for a straightforward, simple approach, but it only ends up feeling dull as declarative sentence after declarative sentence pile up to create a piece that washes over you with little or no lasting effect.  

The critique isn’t much better. O’Connor’s criticisms ape every other critic in the land, and even the most prominently displays set piece of analysis have been done ad nauseam. It all feels rather perfunctory, as if O’Connor’s just there for a paycheck.

In all fairness, there’s enough here to be a pleasant read, but don’t expect anything of real substance.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation