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Kurt Loder’s “Out of the Furnace” Offers Reasoned Response

In response to Kurt Loder’s 545‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Reason Online

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Kurt Loder—he of the MTV—offers another thoughtful, well-reasoned review (what else would you expect from Reason Magazine?) with “Inside Llewyn Davis and Out of the Furnace.”

Loder is a surprisingly good writer and a shockingly good critic (only surprising if you’re old enough to remember Loder only as the MTV Veejay).  In fact, Loder’s been at this long enough to have published a book of reviews—whew!

He opens the piece with a beautifully succinct one-liner that underscores the entire review: the film “begins with a bang. . but ends with a shrug.” Instead of unfolding that statement, though, Loder proceeds to offer a plot synopsis that, while well written and composed, goes on for far too long. Readers just don’t need this much detail, especially when it eats into time that could be spent offering analysis.

In all fairness, Loder does get to some intense criticism in the last two paragraphs, hitting all the requisite points: Harrelson is “unforgettable” and “ really commands the picture,” but the film is “strikingly pointless” and Loder wonders “why anyone thought this was a tale worth telling.”

Loder’s work, on the other hand, is a tale worth telling and a tale worth reading.    

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