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James Berardinelli’s “Counselor, The” Rambles, but Scores Points

In response to James Berardinelli’s 737‑word review of The Counselor on ReelViews

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James Berardenelli is one of the better online film critics working today. While this could be taken as an insult (these one critic websites are a dime a dozen and a real mixed bag), it’s not meant as one.

Berardenelli has a wonderful movie mind that’s steeped in an obvious love and appreciation for the art of film. He proves that passion again with “Counselor, The;” it’s a review full of raw intensity and pertinent observations. Berardinelli had high hopes for The Counselor, and his indignation and disappointment with it reveals a critic who cares deeply about his subject matter.

Berardinelli is crestfallen; the film is “a disappointing one” and “ends abruptly, making us wonder if director Ridley Scott lost the final few pages of the screenplay.” He is astute enough to trace all the film’s problems back to one source: “the Cormac McCarthy screenplay.”

Berardinelli thankfully does away with any needless rehashing of the plot, leaving plenty of space for his studied analysis. However, the problem here isn’t the critiquing. It’s that Berardinelli’s writing can’t seem to unite the criticisms into a satisfying whole. The work rambles aimlessly, never connecting the pieces or establishing a good flow.

There’s a good collection of thoughts here, they just aren’t organized enough to make for a solid read.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation