Criticism of critics is in the air again. It's the usual old arguments rehashed for a new year; What good are critics? etc. Below is my main issue with the argument that critics are just failed screenwriters / filmmakers / artists. Along with some other thoughts.
1) Critics are artists. They are writers. Writers are artists.
2) The argument that critics are failed screenwriters [etc] ends up making the false assumption that screenwriters are not themselves critical of movies, which is absurd.
3) Everyone is a critic. So even if we somehow got rid of critics many more would pop up. So eliminating them is essentially eliminating people.
4) The more critics that get eliminated [or marginalized] the bigger, stronger or more authoritative the movie marketing machine gets. Do we really want that?
5) Critics love movies. They are drawn to criticism because they find that they have a particular gift for imparting their love of movies to others.
6) The idea that critics are only reviewing to let people know whether they should plop down $12.00 for a movie and therefore if they are critical it is because they want to ruin the experience of the common man is really absurd.
7) There is a difference between critics and reviewers. If you've been around long enough you know the difference.
8) People hate critics when they don't agree with them. People love critics when they agree with them.
9) If someone criticizes the way a bridge is built would it be fair for someone else to say the criticism is invalid unless you are a bridge engineer or an architect?
10) Anyone with a brain will realize that ultimately it all comes down to opinion. Why should opinions really bother us? [I guess some opinions bother me too so voilà].