Other opinions are also available

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"Opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one, and everyone thinks theirs is the only one that doesn't stink" - Mark Kermode, The Good, The Bad And The Multiplex

Sometimes the opinion of one of the Good Doctors may not be those of the show / BBC in general, and as such you may want to consider seeking out alternative point of view. The phrase is inspired by a voiceover that used to follow advertisements for the Radio Times on BBC, saying that "other listings magazines are available".

Sometimes listeners will write in with reviews that differ from Dr Kermode's opinion. They are welcome to these opinions. They are, of course, wrong. (Especially if they are from so-called "showbiz writers and gossip gurus" like Neil Sean, and saying things like "At last! The comedy of the year! Simply perfect" about Run, Fatboy, Run).

It is occasionally noted by Mark that there are other movie critics - some of them stand-in for Mark while he is on the Wittertainment Cruise - though Simon insists there are not. Mark respects a number of them, and indeed formed a pharisaic cadre with the likes of Alan Jones and Kim Newman back in the 1980s - a cadre that still gathers on occasion, not least when films like Underwhelmed: Rise Of The Lychees refuse to make themselves available for press screenings, meaning they all have to meet up and pay to get in.

There are others, who are not in the cadre. Sometimes they have silly ratings systems. Sometimes they even review films they have not seen.

Never review a film you haven't seen.

Mark is sometimes taken with other critics' views to the extent that he quotes them in his own reviews. Such occasions have included:

  • "Post-Apocalyptic Pat" - John Naughton (Q) on The Postman (1995)
  • "You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Lee" - Alan Frank (Daily Star) on Hulk (2003)
  • "At the end of it, I really did feel like someone needed to be fully throttled" - Nigel Floyd (Time Out) on Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
  • "It has wonderful highlights, but most of them are in Colin Farrell's hair" - New York Times on Alexander (2004)
  • "All the allure of fishnet stockings, and with just as many holes" - Philip French (The Observer) on Deception (2008)
  • "Joe Wright loves the proscenium, but it does have to be so arch?" - Tim Robey (Telegraph) on Anna Karenina (2012)
  • "First World Problems: The Movie" - Nicholas Barber (Guardian) on Knight Of Cups (2016)

Mark's third book, Hatchet Job, is an in-depth discussion about the role of film critics in the modern world, and has much more detail on the history of great film reviews.