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.
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 Pilcrow 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. Reviews of new movies usually go up a couple of days after they open, and I strive to get reviews of TV episodes up within 24 hours of airing—though if networks would stop putting all the good shows on opposite each other on Sunday night, that would be considerably easier. I can't review every movie, and I occasionally abandon a TV show mid-stream if I get overextended, fall too far behind, or just get sick of watching/writing about it.
Unless otherwise noted, my movie reviews are written for people who have not yet seen the movie, with a minimum of spoilers. My TV reviews, on the other hand, assume that you have already watched the episode and are anxious to discuss it in full, obsessive detail.
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.
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 is a weekly series in which I’m watching some classic foreign films that I have never seen (or saw so long ago that it amounts to the same thing). I’ve assembled a completely arbitrary list of cinematic greats from around the world, and I’m working through them in chronological order. These reviews are very long, very wonky, and completely spoiler-filled.
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). I do link to things that you might want to buy—DVDs, tickets to movies, and books about movies, mostly—and if you make a purchase through these links a tiny percentage of that purchase will help support this site.
You can also support The Unaffiliated Critic by donating through PayPal on the "Donate" page, or through the button that says "Buy Me a Ticket." All donations are greatly appreciated.
Leave a comment anywhere on the site, or email me at michael AT unaffiliatedcritic.com. I'll get back to you.