Summary

  • Mike Flanagan’s review of Madame Web on Letterboxd mimics an iconic AMC ad campaign, showing his disappointment with the film.
  • Flanagan’s tags on the post reveal his true criticisms of Madame Web, touching on issues like akward exposition and overly convenient set pieces.
  • Despite not explicitly stating his thoughts in the body of the review, Flanagan’s clever tags give insight into his negative view of the movie.



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There have been a lot of negative fan reviews of Madame Web following the Sony and Marvel film’s release, but none stand out quite so much as one by filmmaker Mike Flanagan. Flanagan, best known for directing horror films like Hush and creating Netflix series like Midnight Mass, shared his thoughts on Madame Web in a brief review. Strangely, the entire body of the review is a reference to AMC’s infamous ad campaign starring Nicole Kidman. However, the tags on the review tell the real story of Flanagan’s thoughts on the movie.


Flangan’s review can be found on Letterboxd. The main body of the post, a word-for-word recreation of AMC’s ad, may not give Flanagan’s thoughts on the film but is indicative of the amount of effort he believes Madame Web deserves from him. Flanagan’s full post can be read below:

We come to this place… for magic. We come to the theater to laugh, to cry, to care. Because we need that, all of us: that indescribable feeling we get when the lights begin to dim, and we go somewhere we’ve never been before; not just entertained, but somehow reborn…. together. Dazzling images, on a huge silver screen. Sound that I can feel. Somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this. Our heroes feel like the best part of us, and stories feel perfect and powerful. Because here… They are.


Much more telling than this gag are Flanagan’s tags on the post, which include exposition to cats, convenient explosives, ADR, terrible nurses, and others alluding to some of the movie’s biggest flaws. It says a lot about Madame Webs quality that all it takes is a few words in the tags section for those who saw the movie to immediately know what issues Flanagan is critiquing.

For comparison, the AMC ad can be viewed below:

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Mike Flanagan Nails The Biggest Issues With Madame Web

A cutom image of Dakota Johnson and the Madame Web Cast


Though some are just jokes, many of the tags Mike Flanagan added to his review of Madame Web touch on the movie’s major issues. For example, “exposition to cats” refers to a scene in the movie where Cassie info-dumps out loud to a cat. This is indicative of a major issue the movie has with not trusting its audience to follow along unless dialogue specifically says what’s happening. Tags like “fireworks because” are references to more minor plot conveniences, like a fireworks factory blowing up two different times for no reason other than visual splendor.

Flanagan also devotes three separate tags to the film’s poor use of ADR and looping, an issue that is pretty unforgivable for a big-budget superhero movie. ADR and looping refer to dialogue that is recorded after production. While this is common practice for most films, it isn’t commonly done as poorly as in Madame Web. Often a character will be speaking while their lips aren’t even moving, other times an unnecessary line of exposition has been added. These production issues are so glaring in Madame Web that Flanagan only needs to say “ADR” and multiple scenes come to mind.


Source: Letterboxd

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