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How to Know If You're a 'Cinebro'

We get it, bro, you REALLY LIKED "Inception."
Illustration by Dini Lestari

Chances are you know a Cinebro. Or maybe you are one. These are the guys who believe they are the gatekeepers of cinema. Notice I didn't write "movies" there. No, this is about fine cinema, or at least the kinds of films masculine enough to attract the attention—and praise—of the Cinebro. What's that, the Cinebro says, you never heard of Andrzej Żuławski? You can't name the entire Wes Anderson filmography (commercials included)? Do you even like films, bro?


Here's how to figure out if you're a Cinebro, but didn't know it.

You think every rising director should make a superhero movie
Superhero films are the pinnacle of filmmaking. The Dark Knight is a cinematic
revelation. Christopher Nolan can and will do no wrong. The circle shot in The Avengers turned us into Marvel diehard fans five years ago, and now we’re 100 percent behind the idea of Greta Gerwig, who made the critically-acclaimed Lady Bird, directing a Marvel film. That makes all the sense in the world. You read online how some hot new director is winning all the critic's accolades and you immediately think that they are destined for great things—meaning big-budget superhero movies. There are only four kinds of movies you’re not embarrassed to like, max
Certain genres are just so central to the Cinebro that their personality is constructed by liking and talking about these films, and these films only. In our very correct opinion, these are the most-common types of films that leave every Cinebro salivating with superlatives:

  • The Fuck Yeah! Mind-Fuck Movie ( Inception, Oldboy, Mulholland Drive, Primer, Fight Club)
  • The Yeah, It's Disturbingly Violent But We’ll Still Call It Art Movie ( The Raid, I Saw the Devil, The Revenant, maybe A Serbian Film, any Quentin Tarantino film)
  • The Extremely Average Guy Gets to Be With Extremely Beautiful Women Movie ( Scott Pilgrim vs The World, 500 Days of Summer, and almost every Judd Apatow film)
  • The Enough Display of Vulnerability, but Not Too Much Movie ( Lost in Translation, Annie Hall, and Boyhood)


Don't believe us? Just try to bring up a movie outside of these four genres with a Cinebro and then watch them tell you it was "too soft," or "totally unrelatable."

You only read reviews from A.O. Scott and Scott Weinberg
You definitely have a type. You like your protagonists straight, white, and male. And you like your celebrated film critics the same. To you, A.O. Scott and Scott Weinberg are totally objective, because everyone knows that only CIS-gendered white men are actually "objective," with their reviews.

What about critics of color? Or women? Nah. Anyone else is too concerned with "political correctness" to objectively critique art, because, you know, sometimes art is offensive and all of that. And these other critics ask too much from films, like inclusive representations that don't contribute to a culture that continually marginalizes minorities. Who has time for stuff like that when you've got cinema to watch?

You just have to give your opinion on every tweet you see about a movie
You lurk on Twitter just hoping that someone watched one of your favorite films, but didn't like it. Then you pounce, and immediately ask why they didn't like it at all. If they don't respond it only makes you more determined. It's just not right, you complain. Someone doesn't like something you think is great, so, of course, you are now entitled to a portion their time.

They have to explain their reasons to you so you can then get all passive-aggressive, imply that they are stupid, and that they just don't understand "art." That or they are just a hater. Because every opinion that isn't you own is a direct attack on you and everything you love, right?

You think good creators don’t have to be good people because their art is the only thing that matters
You probably have every Woody Allen film on Blu-ray because Manhattan was the very first film that sparked your love for cinema. You're an avid fan of a director who, despite making good films, is a tremendously flawed human being. Not that you care at all. You have no time for civil discussions about the multitude of fucked-up things your favorite director has done. Nope. Not one second.

But what about when they turn out to be total monsters? Maybe they are accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. Well, then you hit a crossroad. You either call them out and show your support for the victims who were brave enough to come forward. Or you double-down on your support of the director and call all the victims liars or money-hungry.

You complain that no one else understands art. That they're trying to limit freedom of expression by championing "political correctness," instead. You ask everyone if it makes them feel better to be offended by everything. (The answer is, of course, because everyone thinks getting mad about a complete lack of justice or culture of impunity is the definition of "fun.") You seem to think that people can just choose to not feel offended, because that's how the world works. You pretend problems don't exist until they finally disappear.