American Gangster is looking at a huge opening weekend and is running 90% positive on Rotten Tomatoes and 79% positive on Metacritic. And yet many of the critics giving it a thumbs-up are saying “yes but…” Plus the rumble around town is that Academy members are feeling the same way. Support is positive but a bit soft. Enjoyment and admiration, but hats aren’t being thown into the air.

If I were running Gangster‘s Oscar campaign, I’d be worried about those lack of hats. The word “but” is so often a decisive factor in life. I love my wife but oh, you kid! Watch out for those “buts.” Those “buts” can sneak up in the middle of the night and kill you.