I very much appreciate that nobody spoiled Star Wars: A New Hope, or Star Trek Beyond. But even after we learn for the first time what happens to Ebeneezer Scrooge, or Bilbo, or Alice, or Jesus, the good stories still retain their cultural power. Stories are much more than plot.
[A]rtistic appreciation, which reviewers are tasked with cultivating, should mean more than stoking anticipation for a surprise ending. As reviewer Adam Sternburgh argues, “[a]nticipation is certainly one of the pleasures fine films and TV can offer us, but it’s not the only one, and frankly, it’s probably the cheapest.” Actually, people’s enjoyment of entertainment increases when they know the ending before it happens, according to research done at the University of California, San Diego: knowing the conclusion of a story while you watch opens new critical avenues, increasing your appreciation of acting, dialogue, characterization, staging. —Big Think