About Me

I'm Michael, a recovering lit major, freelance writer, pop-culture junkie, and—as of 2011—lay critic. (In my mild-mannered secret identity, I also have a real job, but that's not important.) I live in Chicago, with my wise-assed, longtime girlfriend “N,” who is known in these parts as The Unenthusiastic Critic.

I exist on Twitter as @freerangecritic, and on Facebook at You can email me here.

About the Website

With very rare exceptions, every post on this site is a review of a movie or television show, and all content is written by me: I don't (so far) do guest posts, and I don't (and will never) repost stories from other websites.

The website is also designed and maintained by me (using the Spacious Pro template for WordPress), and I really don't know what I'm doing: if you run into any problems, please let me know about them.

About the Reviews

There’s no schedule: I celebrate the joys of being unaffiliated, which means I review what I want when I am able.  I tend to write long reviews, and sometimes they take a while.

As of August 2014, I have stopped reviewing movies, so I can focus exclusively on television. (Frankly, I find it the more interesting art form to write about. There, I said it.)

About Spoilers

My TV reviews assume that you have already watched the episode and are anxious to discuss it in full, obsessive detail. On the other hand, unless otherwise noted, my movie reviews were all written for people who have not yet seen the movie, with a minimum of spoilers.

About My Special Series

In addition to my regular reviews, there are a few pet projects underway here at The Unaffiliated Critic:

First Look/Last Look is an occasional series of stand-alone reviews in which I check out a new television show to see if it’s any good. (It usually isn’t, and you will usually never hear me say another word about it.) These reviews tend to be brief and light on spoilers, in case you might want to check out a show yourself.

Binge Watch is a series in which I watch TV shows the way many of us do these days: in large, gluttonous marathons.

The Unenthusiastic Critic is an occasional series in which my long-suffering girlfriend N. sits down with me—reluctantly, and with a great deal of hostility—to watch a famous movie that she has somehow never seen. Though she has enjoyed a tiny percentage of these movies, most people agree that the pleasure of this series is in hearing N. shit all over some sacred cinematic cows. These reviews tend to be long, in-depth, completely spoiler-laden, and incredibly profane.

(To answer the closest thing I have to a Frequently Asked Question: No, N. is not fictional, segments are not rehearsed, and I don’t write her dialogue: she really does talk like that.)

Independent Study in World Cinema was an occasional series in which I was watching some classic foreign films that I had never seen. These reviews are very long, very wonky, and completely spoiler-filled. This series is now discontinued.

About Money Stuff

The Unaffiliated Critic is a labor of love (and sometimes loathing): I currently have no advertising, and don't expect to have any in the near future (though all offers to sell out to evil, deep-pocketed corporate interests will be entertained on their merits).

If you would like to support The Unaffiliated Critic, you can do so by donating through PayPal on the "Donate" page. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Additional Questions?

Leave a comment anywhere on the site, or email me. I'll get back to you.