In this extract from his forthcoming book, the Observer's new film critic, Mark Kermode, examines how the internet has changed the role of the professional reviewer. When everyone has an opinion, what value does the critic retain?
"Forrest Gump on a tractor." Those five words are probably my favourite film review ever. More importantly, they constitute the most damaging hatchet job I ever encountered, managing to do something I had often argued was impossible – to kill a movie stone dead. I didn't read them in a newspaper or on a blog, I didn't hear them on the radio or television; rather, they were whispered in my ear by a trusted friend and colleague, David Cox, as the house lights went down on a screening of David Lynch's The Straight Story.
I'd been really looking forward to that movie. I've been a huge Lynch fan ever since being blindsided by »
- Mark Kermode
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