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Jon Niccum’s “Bleak and Murky” Has More Description Than Critique

In response to Jon Niccum’s 744‑word review of The Counselor on Kansas City Star

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Jon Niccum puts together a decent piece of  work in “The Counselor: Bleak and murky, but memorable,” however the critic is unable to reach the next level.

Bleak and Murky is an enjoyable read. One will certainly be pleased by the substantial amount of information, however the fans of Niccum will undoubtedly dream of a better review  - one that explores characters, teases out the deeper meanings of plot devices and stimulates the mind in doing so.

The opening of Bleak and Murky is not Niccum’s best work. There is a lack of a clear statement on the film for the audience, and instead a vague description of a scene is substituted in its place. To make matters worse, Niccum has fallen into the “Gravity-Clooney” trap of refusing to address the performance of the lead actor, Michael Fassbender, who is The Counselor. It’s always a strange experience when a character is introduced at the beginning of a review, and then left out completely (other than learning about Fassbender’s concealed accent).

Niccum is successful in conveying the essential themes of the film, and communicating what stands out, however there is little for one to think about once Bleak and Murky is over. The critic states “The cast is stellar with the exception of Diaz,” and then offers two sentences on the leads, which is simply not enough.

Bleak and Murky reads well but seems focused more on description than critique.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation