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James Berardinelli’s “Furnace” Serves Up Delicious Critique

In response to James Berardinelli’s 826‑word review of Out of the Furnace on ReelViews

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James Berardinelli does what most critics are afraid to do: fill a review to the bursting point with critique—this accounts for all those reviews that are 90% plot rehashes and 10% criticism.

“Out of the Furnace,“ Berardinelli’s take on the new Scott Cooper film set in a depressed factory town, (kudos to him for getting through an entire review without using the new buzzword for this film—“Rust Belt”) does all the hard work and it shows.

The piece opens by providing some context for readers on the film’s locale, which the critic later uses to elucidate further points.

This is the point at which most critics would drop massive amounts of plot recapping on unsuspecting readers, but here Berardinelli has resisted the Sirens’ call.

He devotes just 139 words of this 826 word opus to plot summary and the rest is dedicated to offering critique on nearly every aspect of the film. Each actor’s performance is given its own paragraph to marinate, the pacing is turned over to satisfaction, and the direction is analyzed with a fine-toothed comb.

Despite a website that fails in the visual department and reeks of “amateur critic lives here,” Berardinelli delivers a top tier review worthy of your attention.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation