Yesterday Jason Reitman‘s Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony, 11.19) was screened at New York Comic Con. Naturally the fanboy tweeters and reviewers love it. In line with this, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sheri Linden has posted a favorable sounding review, running 15 paragraphs.

Seasoned reviewers who want to be briefly candid but don’t want the candid stuff to color the tone of their review rely on a standard ruse, which is to insert an honest paragraph somewhere around the two-thirds mark. This is exactly what Linden has done. Consider the content of paragraph #11:

“The logic here doesn’t bear the slightest scrutiny“? “The supernatural stakes never feel high,” and “the fate of the world never seems in the balance”? “The hauntings [are] neither eerie nor frightening, but a weird mix of pseudoscience, nonsense and f/x overkill“?

Linden knew what she was doing. Her review started out in a very positive, close-to-euphoric vein, and was thus likely to placate most readers. And then in paragraph #11…truth bombs!

Critics just starting out should take note — this is how to be honest and “political” at the same time.