Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2020
In his last chapter, Thomson admits that the book has nothing to do with how to watch a movie (p.226). Irritating but not a deal breaker. What it is instead is stream of consciousness musings on movies and different aspects he is interested in. Fair enough. Unfortunately, while often engaging, little of it is particularly profound or revelatory and the insights are mostly superficial and forgettable. It reads smoothly and pulls together his thoughts on mostly classic Hollywood films, how we watch movies nowadays, the use of sound and how it changed the experience of watching film, fictionality in film, all ostensibly interesting topics. But I found myself either nodding in obvious agreement or nodding off most of the time. Not a bad book, just not a necessary one.