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Daniel M. Kimmel’s “Furnace” Needed a Little More Time in the Fire

In response to Daniel M. Kimmel’s 592‑word review of Out of the Furnace on New England Movies Weekly

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Often, critics will use cultural touchstones (usually other films) as a way to speak in a sort of shorthand with their audience. Why use an entire paragraph describing something when there’s  already an example out there that everyone instantly recognizes?

Daniel M. Kimmel uses this form of comparative criticism on the new Christian Bale film in his review, “Review – Out of the Furnace.” And it works—with varying degrees of success.  

Right out of the gate, Kimmel introduces his premise: “Out of the Furnace” is the other side of the coin of last week’s ‘Homefront. ‘” He carries this premise throughout, and while it does result in a few keen observations here and there, Kimmel goes back to the well a few too many times and the comparisons start to wear thin and/or become irrelevant.

To be fair, he does offer critique independent of comparison, and some of them stick, but many are of the very superficial variety: Out of the Furnace “is not a bad movie, but it’s not a great one either.”

The piece also suffers from some uneven prose. There are times when Kimmel’s writing flows effortlessly, but there are others where an awkwardly formed sentence disrupts the fluidity.  

In all, this one ends up somewhere in the second or third tier on the scale.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation