Do Reviews Really Matter?

It’s easy to get lost in the whole argument about reviewing and art criticism, and their relevance in modern society. Some still appreciate the value of hearing someone else’s perspective, while others believe it’s just a bunch of douches getting paid for their opinions. I guess I’m one of those lucky douches bathing in the pennies for my reviews, then.

Regardless of your standpoint, there’s something important to remember here: a review will always be an opinion. By its definition, this means “a view or judgement formed about something”. It’ll be subjective by nature and based on the person’s interpretation of the art form. In other words, it’s neither right nor wrong. If there’s anything you take away from this piece, please let it be this paragraph.

Unfortunately, in the age of social media and self-important personalities, differing opinions result in flame wars between fans and critics. We’ll see Rotten Tomatoes scores used to formulate narratives and people degenerating into the “you’re part of the problem” diatribe. It’s all quite silly when you think about it, because everyone’s allowed to like what they want – and it would be boring otherwise. The issue is when people are contrary for the sake of controversy and views, which I covered briefly in my previous column.

Considering it’s all just opinion, maybe we’re looking at reviews all wrong. Do we really need to read every review to formulate our own opinion on something? Matt Donato, a fellow colleague and film journalist from We Got This Covered, summed up the best way to filter for reviewers you admire in this article, and I think he’s onto something here. Rather than argue with someone who obviously doesn’t share your interests, find people whose opinions you do value.

At the end of the day, this world has more than enough problems. Fighting with people over reviews seems pointless when you think about it. As stupid as it sounds to read this back to myself: let’s keep it classy, Internet – or at least try to.

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