Failed Critics Podcast

New LogoThe Failed Critics Podcast was our slightly shambolic weekly entertainment podcast chatting about the films that we’d seen recently.

After more than 200 episodes across nearly a decade, the podcast was finally laid to rest.

Each week, hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes would invite a variety of guests onto the show to review the latest cinema releases, talk about what else they’ve been watching in the past seven days, and mull over any exciting or interesting news from the film world (if it happens to have crossed their Twitter feeds prior to recording… Maximum Effort). Occasionally we produced themed episodes, such as our Triple Bill podcasts, quiz-centric Quizcasts, or we would induct folks into our Corridor of Praise.

If you want in depth reviews of the key components that make an individual movie objectively “good” or “bad”, then you’re looking in the wrong place. But if you want to go back and listen to a group of people chatting about film just like mates do and being occasionally humorous with it, then feel free to work your way through our back catalogue of published podcasts. They’re all still available until Acast bins us off.

Think of it as a podcast about people who watch films, rather than a film podcast.


Created by James Diamond

Produced and edited by Owen Hughes

Contributions from: Steve Norman, Gerry McAuley, Carole Petts, Matt Lambourne, Callum Petch, Andrew Brooker, Paul Field, Brian Plank, Tony Black, James Diamond and loads more.

Special guest appearances by other podcasts: Black Hole Cinema (Tony Black), The Bottle Episode (Matt Latham), Wikishuffle (Jack Stewart, Chris Wallace and Phil Sharman), The Punch Up (Nicholas Lay), Underground Nights (Paul Field and James Mullinger), Character Unlock (Andrew Brooker and John Miller)

All music by Kevin MacLeod of (remixed by James Yuill from episode 150 onwards)

“The Bandit” Kevin MacLeod – Direct Link:
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

All podcasts hosted with Acast:

RSS Feed:  (copy into your podcast management software or RSS reader, but there’ll never be any new episodes, just so you know)

If you’re new to the Failed Critics Podcast and want somewhere to start, right-click to download our ‘best of’ episode from 2016, or listen to the episode on YouTube:

Alternatively, you can try some of these classic ‘new-release review’ or ‘triple bill’ podcasts that always proved quite popular for some reason unbeknownst to us:


  • Episode 250 – The Human CinematipedeThe Lego Batman Movie, Hearts of Darkness, Brent: Life on the Road, Unbroken, Rick and Morty (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, James Diamond and Gerry McAuley) – 14 Feb 2017
  • Failed Critics Unplugged: The Old ContemptiblesLive episode recorded at the Old Contemptibles pub in Birmingham (Tony Black, Owen Hughes and Andrew Brooker) – 10 Feb 2017
  • T2: TrainspottingT2: Trainspotting, Essex Spacebin, Sadako vs Kayako, Hidden Figures, A Man Called Ove, Shin Godzilla (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Paul Field and Matt Lambourne) – 31 Jan 2017


  • Rogue Three: A Star Wars PodcastSteve kicks Owen off the podcast to talk about Star Wars: Rogue One (Steve Norman, Paul Field and Dave Valentine) – 17 Dec 2016
  • ArrivalReviews of Arrival, Green Inferno, The Danish Girl and Max, plus our most intentionally offensive episode to date (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Andrew Brooker and Tony Black) – 18 Nov 2016
  • Halloween Necromancing Triple Bill – Resurrecting dead actors and casting them in new movies triple bill + The Comedian’s Guide to Survival review (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Tony Black) – 25 Oct 2016
  • London Film Festival 2016 SpecialThe latest films from Ben Wheatley, Denis Villeneuve, Paul Verhoeven, Park Chan-wook and more (Owen Hughes and Callum Petch) – 22 Oct 2016
  • Blair Witch or Killer BitchSimon Barrett and Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch plus a special quiz (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Paul Field and Tony Black) – 21 Sep 2016
  • Pod HandedMob Handed, Nerve, Pete’s Dragon, The Shallows, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Swamp Thing, The Lobster and Highlander (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Callum Petch) – 16 Aug 2016
  • 3 Critics, 1 BathtubHardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Absent One, Keeper of the Lost Causes, Future Shock!, Absolutely Anything (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Paul Field) – 12 Apr 2016
  • World Cinema Special 2Three favourite films from three different countries triple bill (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Andy Alcock and Liam) – 26 Jan 2016


  • Winterval Special 2015Christmas past, present and future triple bill (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Brian Plank and Andrew Brooker) – 22 Dec 2015
  • Legend, The Visit and Award Winning ComedyLegend, The Visit, Man on Wire, Vile Pervert: The Musical, Sons of Ben (Jack Stewart, Owen Hughes, Phil Sharman and Andrew Brooker) – 16 Sep 2016
  • The Failedastic FourFantastic Four, Inside Out & Diary of a Teenage Girl (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Carole Petts and Brian Plank) – 11 Aug 2015
  • TV Special (S3, Ep2)After discussing the forthcoming Emmy Awards in part one, part two focusses on current TV shows (Owen Hughes, James Diamond and Matt Latham) – 31 Jul 2015
  • Spooks, Britishness and Bad ImpressionsBritishness in film triple bill + listener questions (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Matt Lambourne) – 13 May 2015
  • Age of Ultron and our Avengers MinisodesAge of Ultron review + ten additional short individual podcast reviews of each of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Matt Lambourne and Carole Petts) – 29 Apr 2015
  • The Failed Black Wikishuffle Hole QuizcastA fun quiz-only episode (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Matt Lambourne, Wikishuffle (Jack Stewart, Chris Wallace, Phil Sharman), Black Hole Cinema (Tony Black, Matt Latham)) – 20 Apr 2015
  • Episode 150 And As Shambolic As EverAn extra long (5 hours to be precise) triple-triple bill podcast (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Matt Lambourne, Paul Field and Andrew Brooker) – 3 Apr 2015
  • Your Unconventional Desire Predestination, Focus & 50 Shades of Grey (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Matt Lambourne and Paul Field) – 19 Feb 2015
  • The Pod in the MachineA.I. triple bill, Ex Machina (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Matt Lambourne) – 30 Jan 2015




  • Skyfall and our Bond Triple Bill specialSkyfall + other Bond movies (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and James Diamond) – 30 Oct & 4 Nov 2012
  • Paranormal Activity 4Paranormal Activity 4, Safety Not Guaranteed, Speed Racer, Holy Motors (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 25 Oct 2012
  • The Dark Knight Rises BATMAN SPECIALThe Dark Knight Rises + other Batman movies (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 22 Jul 2012
  • Episode 1The very first episode of the podcast, Cabin in the Woods (Steve Norman, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 25 Apr 2012

If you’re looking for something a little more specific, you could try one of our Corridor of Praise episodes, where we induct actors, directors, characters and even studios who have been cruelly overlooked by the Academy into the highly coveted Failed Critics echelons of prestige:

  • 1. Harrison Ford (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 4 Dec 2012
  • 2. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 29 Jan 2013
  • 3. Stanley Kubrick (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Gerry McAuley and James Diamond) – 28 Mar 2013
  • 4. Studio Ghibli (James Diamond, Owen Hughes and Gerry McAuley) – 13 Oct 2013
  • 5. Paul Verhoeven (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Matt Lambourne) – 4 May 2014
  • 6. Jean-Claude Van Damme (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Hollie and Richard Trondsen) – 16 Apr 2015
  • 7. Danny Dyer (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Paul Field, James Mullinger and Jonathan Sothcott) – 26 Aug 2015
  • 8. James Bond (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, Tony Black and Brian Plank) – 29 Oct 2015
  • 9. John Carpenter (Steve Norman, Owen Hughes, James Diamond) – 2 Feb 2016


13 thoughts on “Failed Critics Podcast”

  1. Hellowww…my fucking ears!!!

    Please, please, please and please do something about your lack of “Wikihowing” the general usage of standard microphone usage. In this day and age it is not impossible to recreate and broadcast the human voice on a smoother level. The last episode sounded like you might have been speaking through fucking kazoos.

    Enjoy the chat; fix the sound!

    All the merry best,

    Andy Mac 😉

    1. Hi Andy,

      First of all… apologies for the terrible sound quality of our recent podcasts. It’s really, really annoying because we can’t identify what seems to be causing the issue. Without going into too much boring detail about our set up, the audio issues seem to come about between the final edit (of which the sound quality is publishable) and actually publishing (at which point something is being compressed and results in the horrendous screeching/distortion you’ve experienced).

      Secondly, we’re a bit fed up with it too! We’re on a hiatus this week, we have some ideas to try out for our next pod and so hopefully that’ll be the end of it and everything will be back to normal from then on. 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback though and glad to hear you enjoy the chat at least (when you can actually hear it of course!)


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Home of the Failed Critics Film Podcast and blog, gaming podcast Character Unlock, and cult film podcast Underground Nights

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