‘The Fabelmans’ Was Really, Really Bad

Steven Spielberg’s newest autobiography is painfully overdone.

Tom Mitchelhill


Steven Spielberg’s new film ‘The Fabelmans’ is really bad.

There’s simply no other way to put it.

When I left my seat and searched reviews on the film to find that it had scored a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7 on IMDB, I was baffled.

I stood in the foyer of my local cinema open-mouthed.

Have our brains been so addled by the torrent of Marvel “movies” and the recent covid-induced stretch of detestable streaming platform-ready filmmaking that we honestly believe this to be a good film?

I realise that I’m being elitist to the point of inducing nausea here, but as a life-long Spielberg fan I wasn’t just disappointed by this movie, I was actually stunned that something so contrived and amateurish could have ever left the cutting room floor. With a repertoire of movies like Indiana Jones, ET, and Jurassic Park, how did this abomination ever come to exist?

In fact, the sheer scale of ineptitude that was put on display in this movie kept me awake for so long that was forced I was to sit up and write this short, contemptible essay on everything that rubbed me the wrong way.

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of everything I despised most about Spielbergs’ disastrous attempt at autobiography.

The Fabelmans: an exercise in regret

The Fabelmans was supposed to be a cinematic journey into the life of Steven Spielberg. It was supposed to whisk viewers away on an bildungsroman expedition and trace the steps that led Spielberg to become the once-in-a-lifetime cinematic genius he is celebrated as today.

And so, I found it potently ironic that this film — which is centred around the love and relentless pursuit of great cinema — was essentially a handbook of how not to make a film.

First and foremost it repeatedly and carelessly violated the sacred rule that every good storyteller first learns in an elementary school English classroom:

“Show. Don’t tell”