In the context of my essay on Batman Begins, my wife has asked me to deal with the issue of spoilers. Here then, is my Spoiler’s Creed, my final words on the subject:
I believe that it’s difficult to discuss movies fully and intelligently without dealing with crucial plot points.
I believe that plot is but one element of each movie, and that, almost always, foreknowledge of the full story detracts little from the overall experience of watching the film.
I believe the art is mostly in the telling, not in the content.
I believe that although I have sometimes wished that I hadn’t known the “big secret” going in, those instances have been rare.
I believe that good movies survive reviewers’ revelations of key plot points.
I believe that great movies get even better once you know their secrets.
I believe that some filmmakers use plot twists as sucker punches — calculated, manipulative, and cynical &mdash to mask the core deficiencies of their work.
I believe those filmmakers operate knowing that such surprises gag critics and neuter their reviews, making them vague, inscrutable, and feckless.
I believe that plot surprises often force people to watch a movie multiple times to evaluate whether the twist is consistent with the rest of the film and properly set-up.
I believe shit should only be watched once, if at all.
I believe that viewers should have the opportunity to meaningfully judge and evaluate a film in a single viewing.
Therefore, all writing on Culture Snob might deliberately — and without notice or apology — give away plot details and twists in the interest of straightforwardly assessing movies.