Color Me Intrigued

The Ringer’s movie reviews for ‘The Lost City of Z’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ are more lively and tangible than any other and serve as a proper tease for the movies

Universal Pictures/Marvel Studios/Amazon Studios/Sebastian Vogl illustration

Do you ever wonder what a movie feels like before you’ve seen it? Wonder no more. Instead enjoy one of The Ringer’s movie reviews — they give you just that. For the authors, each movie is a painting — and they are going at it from the artist’s POV.

It’s a movie about discovery that’s full of its own spectral, dream-like wonders, a big, old-fashioned, robustly imagined yarn of the kind Hollywood no longer really makes.

It’s statements like this, that evoke an immediate sense of wonder in me, even if I’ve never heard of the movie (The Lost City of Z) before reading the review. And this does not only apply to The Lost City of Z. Other reviews are quite similar.

Who wouldn’t want to watch an unceasing group hug that lasts for more than two hours? I know I would. And after having watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I know I did. Reviews such as this one, written in a way that gives you more of an insight into the pace and the intricacies of a movie are — at least for me — far more enjoyable than run-of-the-mill movie reviews that offer nothing more than, “it’s traditional, in a very good way” and a dry rehashing of the plot.

This brings me to another feat I think The Ringer does better than other reviews: The way they address spoilers and tease the movie’s story. A lot of other articles read more like a synopsis of the plot and less like an evaluation of the movies’ potential likeableness — in fact they feel like written out trailers, minus the emotions. This is not necessarily a bad thing (and if you insist on knowing a movie’s storyline before you watch it, it may indeed be a good thing), yet it is noteworthy nonetheless. But let’s be honest: most movies nowadays don’t even need a review article to spoil their premise — their trailer does that quite nicely for them. I mean there wasn’t much else to the plot of Passengers than the trailer suggested (and what’s up with that trailer for the trailer anyway?). Or did the trailer for Superman v Batman really need to reveal that Superwoman saves their asses and they eventually team up to fight Doomsday? Why not leave some suspense for the actual movie? One would expect a multi-billion dollar company such as Warner Bros. to do a better job than a quick fan edit.

But I am not here to rant about movie trailers failing to excite us properly. I am here to tell you about movie reviews done right, and what The Ringer’s differentiates from others. And part of that is also something I noticed fairly often reading reviews on other sites: A certain kind of negativity towards the movie at hand (I’m looking at you, Slate!). For me, these reviews tend to bias the reader and detract from their ability to judge the movie for themselves. Of course, The Ringer might not be free of subjectivity (I guess no one really is), but at least they don’t rob your excitement for a movie — even if it has flaws.

Because even if critical, the reviews on The Ringer read more unbiased and comprehensive. They achieve this by using colorful language that fits the setting and the theme of the movie, and thereby enthralls the reader in it and makes them want to experience the movie themselves. In the end, I was intrigued enough by the ringer’s reviews to give the Fast and the Furious franchise a shot — something I never considered up to this point. (Tough guys racing in fast cars? That’s gotta be as cliché as they come!)