A couple weeks ago I ended up spending the day at the movies where I saw Patriots Day and Collateral Beauty back to back. I was pretty excited to see Patriots Day, but much less enthused over Collateral Beauty. The trailer looked OK but didn’t really spark my interest. I knew it wasn’t up for any awards and wasn’t getting much attention so I never gave it much thought. Well I walked out of that theater stunned at how much I liked it. I think it probably helped that I was already in a “sad movie” mood after seeing Patriots Day, but still. I wouldn’t say it was amazing or anything, just a pretty good movie.  So you can imagine my surprise when I went to start researching the reviews and found these numbers..

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Rotten Tomatoes- 12%   Metacritic- 24

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Those are some outrageously bad numbers… Like pack your shit and stop making movies bad. So what does that say about me? As an amateur critic am I really that far out of touch? Do I have any business doing this? Should I quit and save myself the trouble?

I refuse to believe that. According to my brain, which I happen to trust, I’m pretty good at what I do. I needed to figure out what I was missing. What could possibly be the reason this movie, which I would have rated mid 70’s, ended up getting 12% and 24 on the top two critic sites. I couldn’t let this go. So I grabbed my best reporter’s hat, picked up a fancy notepad & pen, and I launched the first ever official Random Crits Investigation Into Wrongful Critiquing. I buckled up for a long process of tirelessly googling and opening dozens of tabs on my browser only to google some more. This was going to be a some deep internet stuff. I’d tirelessly work to find the truth and I was prepared to spend weeks, maybe months on this……  whoops it took 5 minutes.

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Yeah it’s pretty clear what happened. The movie never had a chance because the two lead actors are among the most toxic in Hollywood. I had forgotten all about that #OscarsSoWhite boycott which was spearheaded by Will Smith & his wife Jada. That really pissed off the academy and critics…. Calling someone racist usually has that effect. It sucks for him because he’s done some pretty great acting the past two years between Collateral Beauty and Concussion. I truly believe the NFL had something to do with Concussion getting snubbed entirely, it was some great work by the Fresh Prince.

Ed Norton is no prize either. He has a well documented past of being extremely difficult to work with, changing scripts and characters to better suit him, neglecting to promote or do interviews despite it being a very basic requirement in most contracts, and practically being held at gunpoint by a studio to honor his 3 movie contract (The Italian Job).  He’s a weird bird who resents fame yet loves to act. Sorry for your success Mr. Norton… Finally there’s an interesting fact about Michael Pena. It’s not likely this had an impact on the movie reviews but its worth noting he’s a heavy believer in Scientology and he credits the religion for improving his acting ability… Coo-coo.

So there you have it. The first ever Random Crits Investigation Into Wrongful Critiquing is officially closed. Collateral Beauty has nobody to blame but themselves for making a pretty good movie but casting two people the critics hate. They should have included Mel Gibson somehow to really complete the package.