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Have you heard enough of the critic mumbo jumbo in movie commercials to ask yourself what you can expect from a "spellbinding" thriller or a "winning" comedy?  Check out some real definitons for words that movie critics, myself included, use all too often. 

Captivate (critic derivitive: captivating):  to influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait and with an irresistible appeal I found the writing and performances to be quite captivating.
Gem (critic derivitive: {genre} gem): 1 a : JEWEL b : a precious or sometimes semiprecious stone cut and polished for ornament
2 a : something prized especially for great beauty or perfection b : a highly prized or well-beloved person  Writer/director Burr Steers offers up a rare sarcastic gem.
Win (critic derivitive: winning comedy):a : to get possession of by effort or fortune b : to obtain by work : EARN <striving to win a living from the sterile soil c : to make friendly or favorable to oneself or to one's cause  Michael Douglas proves himself again to be one of the best actors working today with another winning performance.  
Spellbind (critic derivitive: spellbinding):to bind or hold by or as if by a spell When you get right down to it, the visuals cinematographer Conrad L. Hall captures are spellbinding.
Tour de force (critic derivitive: tour de force):a feat of strength, skill, or ingenuity Like many of his roles before Wonder Boys, Tobey Maguire once agains gives a tour de force performance as James Leer.
Rivet (critic derivitive: riveting):to attract and hold (as the attention) completely The action sequences set up by the Wachowski brothers ended up being some of the most riveting of recent memory.
Camp (critic derivitive: campy):a. something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing b. something self-consciously exaggerated or theatrical  While campy dialogue tends to test my nerves, I found Colin Farrell's command of his character's over-the-top theatrics to be fun. 
Sensational (critic derivitive: sensational): 1.arousing or tending to arouse (as by lurid details) a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction 2.exceedingly or unexpectedly excellent or great Seemingly unfazed by the failure of his previous films, the director hands the audience a sensational effort.
Amaze (critic derivitive: amaze, amazing): to fill with wonder Some sci-fi films can leave the viewer with a bad taste in his or her mouth, but I thought "Solaris" was actually amazing.
Ham-handed (critic derivitive: ham-handed, ham-fisted): lacking dexterity or grace The ham-handed directing from Mcdirector McG left me longing for the days of originality and relative ingenuity.
Top-notch (critic derivitive: top-notch, top-drawer): of the highest quality When's the last time Hollywood delivered a top-notch thriller?
Bad (critic derivitive: bad): 1 a : failing to reach an acceptable standard : POOR b : UNFAVORABLE <make a bad impression> c : not fresh : SPOILED <bad fish> d : not sound : DILAPIDATED <the house was in bad condition>
2 a : morally objectionable b : MISCHIEVOUS, DISOBEDIENT
3 : inadequate or unsuited to a purpose <a bad plan> <bad lighting>
5 a : INJURIOUS, HARMFUL b : SERIOUS, SEVERE <in bad trouble> <a bad cough>
6 : INCORRECT, FAULTY <bad grammar>
7 a : suffering pain or distress <felt generally bad> b : UNHEALTHY, DISEASED <bad teeth>
Glitter is a bad film in the strictest sense of the word.
Epic (critic derivitive: epic):  extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope "Four Feathers" beckons back to the years when Hollywood still made old fashioned epics.

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