Critic-speak deciphered

“You dare threaten Thor with your puny credibility?”

“You dare threaten Thor with your puny credibility?”

Film critics have their own unique form of language, mostly synonyms either for “execrable” or “Kubrickian” (or both, as with 1972’s “poo-brickian” Silent Running). Critic-speak can be hopelessly muddled and difficult to decipher, but if you read between the lines, you’ll find out more about the life and mind of a film critic than you ever wanted to know. These are rough translations of some common Critic-speak phrases:

Critic-speak: “The narrative lags considerably in the second act.”
Translation: “I ducked out to play Guitar Hero for half an hour.”

Critic-speak: “This is the kind of picture where you take off your critics’ hat, grab your box of popcorn, and enjoy some dumb summer fun.”
Translation: “Anything that keeps me from having to read subtitles.”

Critic-speak: “I’m starting to get really excited about The Avengers.”
Translation: “I was thrown in the trash can a lot in junior high.”

Critic-speak: “Rachel Bilson gives an Oscar-worthy performance.”
Translation: “My name will wind up next to Mark S. Allen’s in a ‘quote whores’ lawsuit someday.”

Critic-speak: “Cinnamon Toast Crunch … it’s Cinn-sational!”
Translation: “I’m Richard Roeper, I need work.”

Critic-speak: “The rare remake that surpasses the original.”
Translation: “I never saw the original, how was it?”

Critic-speak:Thor is the greatest superhero movie ever made!”
Translation: “I’m willing to trade in my credibility for a free trip to Comic-Con.”

Critic-speak: “It’s the slam-bang, wham-bam, punch-kick roller-coaster ride of the summer!”
Translation: “They never tested for learning disorders in my school.”