The Movie Critic Critic
|The Onion AV Club|
|Reviewers|| Nathan Rabin
|Web Site||The Onion||Rating System||NA|
|Other|| An archive of back reviews is available.
Don't forget to check out the rest of The Onion while you're there.
|Type||Serious Film Critics|
The best thing about The Onion's film reviews is the great mix of movies that they review. The worst thing about The Onion's film reviews is that half of the movies that they review are only ever shown at that little art house in your city's version of The Village and even there, they probably only run for about 3.6 days before being replaced by some other small and/or subtitled film. All of which means that even when they say wonderful things about the film, by the time you read the review, its time in the theatre has probably come and gone.
Don't get me wrong, they do still review a lot of what comes out of Hollywood - and most of the time they even remember that some movies are about entertainment and not art. Sometimes they even seem to remember that not all indie and foreign films are wonderful - and that is a truly rare critic indeed. The usual equation is that the number of stars is directly proportional to the number of subtitles and The Onion reviewers don't fall for that.
Speaking of stars, they don't actually give them out. There was a point when they gave out Onions to their recommended films but even that rating has stopped.
Stylistically, the reviews are surprising. From The Onion one would expect something a little more, oh, I don't know, humourous. The only funny stuff here is the Photoshopped pic that goes with the feature review of the week. The reviews can tend a little to the snobby side of things but they are generally clear and relatively short.
From a formatting perspective, the page could use a little work. The current reviews are all on the main page, which is nice. There is an archive that is indexed by first letter of the title only. Perhaps the addition of an index of the films for each letter with links into the page of reviews would allow you to find back reviews faster. The AVCLUB section of The Onion, fortunately, doesn't suffer from the same annoying (and apparently pointless) frames as the rest of the site.
Overall, The Onion's review site is well done and professional (as you'd expect from The Onion). It's a little on the arty side for my personal taste in movies but for someone who wants a quick overview of what's making the rounds in terms of quality indie/foreign films, it's a good start.