On not reviewing movies.

I won’t be writing a review of “Noah”. Or of “Son of God” or “God’s Not Dead.” Just like I won’t be writing a review of “300: Rise of an Empire.” Although I am thinking about what it would be like to see myself on the big screen: “He started with 300 words a day and created a spiritual social media empire.”

I won’t write those reviews because I won’t see those movies, and it hardly makes sense to review what you haven’t watched. And I won’t watch them because I watch about one movie a year. This year we watched “Saving Mr. Banks.”

  • I don’t watch many movies because I have a vivid imagination. I watch and I get deeply involved and am affected. I carry the images with me. And I need to steward what I see.
  • I don’t watch many movies because the experience is consuming. I like to sit close to the screen in the middle of the room. I want to be immersed.
  • I don’t watch many movies because I think that movies are about more than fun (or terrifying) stories. I think about the underlying worldview assumptions. I point them out. That’s annoying to people who want to enjoy the movie.
  • I don’t watch many movies because I grew up not watching movies.
  • I don’t watch many movies because I ruin the surprise and eliminate options by reading read reviews and plot summaries. That’s because I have the vivid imagination and commitment to immersion.
  • I don’t watch many movies because I don’t like to be trapped into taking sides in the “This is the best movie ever” “This is horrible” battles.  And because I like to be contrary, identifying reasons why “the best movie ever” has these six major flaws.
  • I don’t watch many movies because I don’t “have” to watch that movie.

I’m not saying that others shouldn’t write reviews, and love or hate “Noah” or “300.” But if you do, please think well for the people who read your review. And don’t tell me that I have to hate or love them. Because, after all, I won’t be watching them.


About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “On not reviewing movies.

  1. Jon knows himself well enough that he can introduce us to something we may not know about him . . . in this case in regard to viewing/reviewing movies . . . Why do I see/talk-about movies? . . . I am prompted to think about that . . .


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