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Hickman’s “Review: THE COUNSELOR” Isn’t the Review It Should Have Been

In response to Jonathan W. Hickman’s 487‑word review of The Counselor on Daily Film Fix

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Jonathan W. Hickman’s “Review: THE COUNSELOR” is a tedious slog through a subject that should be exciting and action-packed. Hickman is covering a movie that is full of sex, violence, and philosophical pondering, and he treats it as if he’s writing a review of the school lunch menu. That is to say, with as little joie de vivre as he could have possibly mustered.

Sure, it’s easier to be enthusiastic about a movie one is truly excited about, and Hickman certainly does not give any illusion that he was excited about The Counselor, but even reviews of bad movies can be full of exciting, energetic prose. It doesn’t have to be this way.

There is little to no excess fat in Hickman’s review, which is usually welcome. But it’s the lack of fat that comes from a tedious diet of wheatgrass and organic soy products. There’s no fun in it. This is film criticism that would be far more attractive if Hickman let go a bit and gave himself permission to indulge.

Review: THE could use a bit more structure, too. In the third paragraph, Hickman goes from discussing Fassbender’s character, to Bardem’s and Diaz’s (whom he describes as “shapely”) and then inexplicably back to Fassbender’s with no transition and seemingly no reason for not splitting the sentences up into discreet paragraphs.

One gets the sense in reading Hickman’s “Review: THE COUNSELOR” that he just didn’t care. It’s unfocused, uninteresting, and should have been so much better.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation