Third act, inciting incident, deus ex machina: seven phrases bellends use when describing films

FILMS are either ‘cool’ or ‘shit’, yet morons insist on describing them using these types of irritating phrases.

In medias res

This is stuck-up film critic speak for ‘in the middle of things’. Although why they can’t express that they liked Saving Private Ryan’s epic beach landing scene in plain old English remains a mystery. Just say you thought the beginning was f**king amazing, you tosser.

Inciting incident

Otherwise known as the bit in the film where the plot finally takes off. It usually happens a few minutes after all the film studio logos have done their fancy animations and the characters have been established. Best not to pop out for a piss at this point or you’ll have no idea what’s going on.


Nope, not something you’d find on a McDonald’s menu, although it’s amazing they haven’t done a tie-in McGuffin burger yet. Instead, this refers to an object or device that is only there to further the plot. In a similar way, the word ‘MacGuffin’ only exists to make you think ‘what a twat’ about whoever says it.

Rising action

Whereas mouth-breathing peasants only see movies in terms of special effects and celebrities, galaxy brain dickheads perceive them as a series of predictable events that can be plotted on a graph. ‘Rising action’ is one such event, usually used to describe a dramatic escalation of the stakes. You call it ‘the awesome bit with the guns’ or ‘that f**king sick car chase’, which is less pretentious but just as accurate.

Third act

Bellends love to notice the different acts in a film, even though doing so contributes nothing in terms of enjoying them. Nobody fondly remembers the climactic act of The Matrix because it follows a set scriptwriting formula, they love it because Neo stops bullets in mid-air then explodes Agent Smith. That Rage Against The Machine song is really cool, too.

Deus ex machina

Yes, you know this means ‘gods from the machine’ and that it comes from ancient Greek theatre. Mainly because whichever prick uses this phrase when talking about films explains it to you every time they say it. Ask them how to say ‘condescending wanker’ in Latin and see if they take the hint.


Everything is a trope to film critic bores. Love triangles are a trope. The direction is a trope. Characters talking to each other via dialogue or walking through doors with their legs are probably tropes with a stupid name. Coincidentally, people who refer to tropes are examples of the insufferable douchebag trope.

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David Bowie, and other artists whose main muse was lots and lots of cocaine

SOME musicians are inspired by love or politics or injustice. Others, meanwhile, were motivated entirely by mountains of cocaine, like these:

Ozzy Osbourne

Given that his most famous record is called Paranoid, it checks out that Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath were fuelled almost entirely by cocaine. Probably the most effective anti-drug campaign that could ever be produced would be to show children footage of Ozzy Osbourne, high as a kite, biting off the head of a live bat.

David Bowie

Bowie found international success pretending to be Ziggy Stardust, a sort of androgynous space wizard sent to earth to become a rockstar. Amazingly, this was before he’d really gotten into drugs. But things went downhill because, before long, he was living in LA, surviving off cocaine and milk, and referring to himself as the Thin White Duke.

Elton John

In the mid-1970s Elton John got so massively into cocaine that he probably single-handedly made a significant contribution to Colombia’s GDP. Coincidentally, the quality of his music also fell off a cliff. Anyone who’s tried to sit through the entirety of his double album Blue Moves would be similarly driven to drug dependence to endure it.

Axl Rose

The Guns n’ Roses frontman is known for his shrill vocal style as much as for his troubling wardrobe choices. As someone with absolutely no connection to Scotland the decision to wear a kilt sparks several questions. However, thinking pairing it with a bandana and a leather waistcoat is a good idea could only be down to copious cocaine use.

Fleetwood Mac

This hard-partying band allegedly snorted so much cocaine in their time that if you laid it all out in one long line it would stretch seven miles. Probably not great for their health, and certainly bad for their relationships, but it did motivate them to spend enough fraught, angry hours in the studio to create Rumours, lauded as one of the best albums of all time.