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Lori Hoffman’s “Out of the Furnace” Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

In response to Lori Hoffman’s 549‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Atlantic City Weekly

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Almost all the reviews are out now on this Rust Belt revenge flick, so it’s safe to say at this point that no other review let the toothpaste out of the tube like Hoffman’s “Sizzling Ensemble in ‘Furnace’.”

Yes, there’s only one spoiler here, but it’s a doozy and one which every other critic on the planet had the sense to avoid—namely, what happens to the characters at the end of the film.

One could argue it’s an obvious denouement, but a spoiler is a spoiler and Hoffman’s gaffe is no less egregious because the film is a by-the-book genre piece.  

If Hoffman’s work here were gloriously written or contained critique that made your head spin, this transgression might be overlooked. Alas, the review is neither—it’s merely average on both counts.

The writing works well at times (when the critic lets things get loose), but sags at others when Hoffman lazily drops some of the most overused, hackneyed adjectives (was it ahhhmazing or just amazing?). The prose also struggles with clarity at times, especially in the plot recapping.

The critique is useful in a sense; Hoffman is very methodical and her coverage is thorough, but this is the same analysis you can find on any street corner.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation