Cinema Sins is not film criticism (and I mean that in the nicest possible way)

The Cinema Sins YouTube channel has over two and half million subscribers, of which I myself can be counted as a member. Over the years, I’ve seen people chatting/tweeting/blogging about Cinema Sins (CinemaSins? One word? I have no idea.) and it’s influence on Film Criticism. I’m aware of at least two articles on the topic, both specifically stating that their brand of criticism is ‘the very worst’ and things to that effect. (Here’s one from 2013 and another one from this year.) As a prolific (though incomplete) watcher of these videos, I can tell you for certain that Cinema Sins is not film criticism. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

You see, the problem you’re running into here is that Cinema Sins is comedy. Now that’s not to say that you can’t deliver a movie review in a comedic way, because that certainly can be and has been done, but that’s not what’s happening here. Cinema Sins is nitpicking movies for the purposes of comedy, not for the purposes of evaluating a movie based on it’s content. Calling Cinema Sins film criticism is like calling an Eddie Izzard show a course in history. When you do either, you sound kinda not smart.

See what I’m saying? Eddie Izzard is trying to entertain the audience via comedy, not necessarily educate. If people absorb the message "Hitler was a mass murdering f*ck head," well, that’s fine – but people don’t go to see Eddie Izzard to learn such things. Odds are, people already have a view on Hitler before they sit down to watch him. And this is the case with the movies Cinema Sins covers as they’re not new movies – it’s about comedy shared experience. If you want film criticism, watch What the Flick?!

Cinema Sins is the same experience you get from a stand up comedian, but on a finite level. The videos aren’t much fun when you haven’t seen the movie because you don’t have any context. If you have seen, for example, The Fantastic Four, it’s fun to digress over the often used Wilhelm scream. If you’ve seen The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, it’s fun to think about the prospect that if Legolas can be in the movie, maybe adding Batman and James Bond is satirically feasible, too.

What I’m saying is, these are all supposed to be jokes. Jokes are meant to be FUNNY. Humor is generally the exact opposite of a serious point – it’s not like we’re all Mark Twain or something. Keep that in mind when you’re watching Cinema Sins.

Rebuttal over.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on July 17, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Insightful humor is insightful. But most humor hits insights at oblique angles — at best, out of a comedy routine, you may be getting “Tropes Exist, and some are Overused, or used inappropriately.”

  2. Is it just me or have recent cinemasins videos been more snarky and less joke driven? It’s not as much fun as it used to be.

  3. At this point, I haven’t watched a Cinema sins video in years. I lost interest when they started exceeding ten minutes

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