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Don’t put your entertainment in hands of strangers

Every time a big-budget movie hits cinema, it raises questions about the role of reviews, particularly whether they matter and if they do more harm than good. Some argue that all reviews are biased, and you can understand where that opinion comes from.

Remember The Continental, the TV show spin-off from the John Wick universe? Fans of the Keanu Reeves franchise lost their minds when some critics trashed the show simply because it featured Mel Gibson.

Many people use reviews to determine whether or not they should watch a TV show. After all, you can’t see everything. A review from a critic you trust will tell you where you should spend your precious time.

So naturally, many viewers thought it was disingenuous for a small section of critics to allow their bias to taint their reviews for The Continental. Why would they punish an entire show simply because they have beef with one actor? What about all the other innocent people who worked on the show? Why would you de-campaign a project they worked so hard to make because Mel Gibson offends you?

If you can’t keep your biases out of a movie or show, don’t review it. Mind you, the same viewers who complained about those untrustworthy critics fell into the same trap when The Marvels came out. Many of them bombarded the film with negative reviews without even seeing it because they hate Brie Larson for comments she made years ago.

They also think The Marvels is part of some feminist agenda. Somehow, they can’t see the hypocrisy in their actions. Check YouTube. The people who attacked The Marvels before it came out did not stop at one video. They have continued to flood the internet with their vitriol; they are more interested in attacking the people in front of and behind the camera than actually critiquing the movie.

Did I enjoy The Marvels? No. But any criticism I throw at it is always directed at the film itself, not the cast and crew, because I don’t have any negative biases in that arena.

That goes back to a question many viewers have raised over the years. Should we do away with critic reviews altogether? After all, they always create conflict online. Then again, would that change anything?

The critics who wrote negative reviews for The Continental because of Mel Gibson said their piece, and then they moved on. The viewers raging about The Marvels are not critics.

These are ordinary human beings using projects like The Marvels to express their frustration over political and social matters they can’t control.

And removing critics from the equation won’t stop those individuals from ranting and raving. But how many of you actually listen to critics?

The number is probably smaller than we realize. You are more interested in knowing what your fellow moviegoer thinks. Audience reviews are doing more to elevate or sink movies than critic scores. If you can’t extinguish the ravings of obsessive viewers, let the critics stay.

Allow them to speak their minds. But you should give both sides a fair shot. Rather than permitting one side to hold more sway, listen to both critics and audiences and use the information they provide to make up your own mind.


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