These are my biggest pet peeve words or phrases in film writing and criticism.
They are words that are either overused to the point where the word or phrase has no real meaning, or so vague that they never had any meaning, or are just words that rely on a bunch of false assumptions, which are the anathema of strong criticism.
Without further ado, here is my personal Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the official list of condemned Words I Never Want to See in a Review* At Least Until We Figure Out What They TRULY Mean:
“This could have been 20 minutes shorter” (without revealing which 20 minutes should be cut)
Also, the following words are on-notice: “Noiresque” and “pulpy”. Nothing wrong with those words when used correctly, but its clear that more people have used those terms than are actually familiar with film noir or the pulps.
What are your personal choices for Words You Don’t Want to Ever See In A Review? Tell us (or just tell me I’m wrong) in the comments.