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Reviews: the radicalisation of views

Written by Film

The reviews for a movie are usually one of the, if not the biggest, factor when influencing your decision to go watch that movie. If the movie has bad reviews chances are you won’t go watch it. But that might not be the only influence a review has on you…

Let’s say you read a review for the latest MCU movie; you are planning on seeing it anyway but you just want to get a feel for what you are exactly getting yourself into. This can go one of two ways most of the time with bad reviews preparing you for a bad film or if the reviews are good preparing you for a good film. Simple enough right?

You could even say that it is the reviews peer pressuring you into making a decision prematurely

But chances are you reading those reviews will have already wildly influenced your decision about the film before you have even sat down with your popcorn. It’s all to do with the concept of herd mentality where people can be influenced by their peers to making a decision (usually emotional rather than rational). It’s basically saying that if all these film journalists who do critique films for a living say a film is bad then surely it will be bad. You could even say that it is the reviews peer pressuring you into making a decision prematurely.

Image Credit: NeedPix.com

While a review could give you an initial opinion on a film, even if you don’t want it that by no means you’ll have the same feelings as the credits roll. In fact, reading a review before a film could end up catalysing your opinion of the film. Let me explain. A review could make you go into a film expecting the worst but when it ends you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you watched so much so that you might hold it to a higher standard than most people would. This can happen in the opposite way as well when a movie you expected to be the best thing since sliced bread turns out to be a crushing disappointment. You end up having a much more negative opinion than maybe the film deserves. So, at what point do you say no to reviews?

If you aren’t sure whether you want to go and see a film, rather than looking at the reviews, try looking at the trailers first.

Personally, I think if you are already planning on watching a film, avoid reviews like the plague (or COVID) so that you can go in as blind as possible with no real opinions. This should hopefully mean by the time you leave the cinema, your opinion is yours and yours alone. If you aren’t sure whether you want to go and see a film, rather than looking at the reviews, try looking at the trailers first. Hopefully, that’ll convince you to either save money or go watch it but also not influence your opinion too much.

So, to summarise, try to avoid reviews until after you have watched it, especially if you are intending on watching it. Unless they are, of course, my reviews.

Last modified: 23rd June 2020

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