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Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are gen ...

film
s and the film medium. In general, film criticism can be divided into two categories: journalistic criticism which appears regularly in
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most ...

newspaper
s,
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media ...

magazine
s and other popular mass-media outlets; and academic criticism by
film scholar Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various film theory, theoretical, history of film, historical, and film criticism, critical approaches to film, cinema as an art form and a medium. It is sometimes subsumed within media studie ...
s who are informed by
film theory Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic discipline of film or cinema studies that began in the 1920s by questioning the formal essential attributes of motion pictures; and that now provides conceptual frameworks for under ...
and are published in academic journals. Academic film criticism rarely takes the form of a review; instead it is more likely to analyse the film and its place within the history of its genre, or the whole of
film history Although the advent of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the ...
.


History

Film was introduced in the late 19th century. The earliest artistic criticism of film emerged in the early 1900s. The first paper to serve as a critique of film came out of ''The Optical Lantern and Cinematograph Journal'', followed by the ''Bioscope'' in 1908. Film is a relatively new form of art, in comparison to
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...

music
,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expan ...

literature
and
painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, ...

painting
which have existed since ancient times. Early writing on film sought to argue that films could also be considered a form of art. In 1911,
Ricciotto Canudo Ricciotto Canudo (; 2 January 1877, Gioia del Colle – 10 November 1923, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of ...

Ricciotto Canudo
wrote a manifesto proclaiming cinema to be the "Sixth Art" (later "Seventh Art"). For many decades after, film was still being treated with less prestige than longer-established art forms. In Sweden, serious film criticism was spearheaded by Bengt Idestam-Almquist, to the point of the
Swedish Film Institute The Swedish Film Institute ( sv, Svenska Filminstitutet) was founded in 1963 to support and develop the Swedish film industry. The institute is housed in the ''Filmhuset'' building located in Gärdet, Östermalm in Stockholm. The building, complet ...

Swedish Film Institute
calling him the ''father of Swedish film criticism''. By the 1920s,
critic A critic is a person who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as Art criticism, art, Literary criticism, literature, Music journalism, music, Film criticism, cinema, Theater criticism, theater, Fash ...
s were analyzing film for its merit and value as more than just entertainment. The growing popularity of the medium caused major newspapers to start hiring film critics. In the 1930s, the film industry saw audiences grow increasingly silent as films were now accompanied by sound. However, in the late 1930s audiences became influenced by print news sources reporting on movies and criticism became largely centered around audience reactions within the theaters. It was in the 1940s that new forms of criticism emerged. Essays analyzing films with a distinctive charm and style sought to persuade the reader of the critic's argument. It was the emergence of these styles that brought film criticism to the mainstream, gaining the attention of many popular magazines; this made film reviews and critiques an eventual staple among most print media. As the decades passed, the fame for critics grew and gave rise to household names among the craft like
James Agee James Rufus Agee ( ; November 27, 1909 – May 16, 1955) was an American novelist, journalist, poet, screenwriter and film critic. In the 1940s, he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S. His autobiographical novel, ''A Death in ...
,
Andrew Sarris Andrew Sarris (October 31, 1928 – June 20, 2012) was an American film criticism, film critic, a leading proponent of the auteur theory of film criticism. Early life Sarris was born in Brooklyn, New York (state), New York, to Greek immigrant pa ...
,
Pauline Kael Pauline Kael (; June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for '' The New Yorker'' magazine from 1968 to 1991. Kael was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated and sharply focused" reviews, her opinio ...
and in modern times
Roger Ebert Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The ...

Roger Ebert
and
Peter Travers Peter Travers is an American film critic, journalist, and television presenter. He currently reviews films for ABC News ABC News is the journalism, news division of Walt Disney Television's American Broadcasting Company, ABC broadcast netw ...

Peter Travers
.


Journalistic criticism

Film
critic A critic is a person who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as Art criticism, art, Literary criticism, literature, Music journalism, music, Film criticism, cinema, Theater criticism, theater, Fash ...
s working for
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most ...

newspaper
s,
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media ...

magazine
s,
broadcast media Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencie ...
, and online publications, mainly review new releases, although also review older films. An important task for these reviews is to inform readers on whether or not they would want to see the film. A film review will typically explain the
premise A premise or premiss is a true or false statement that helps form the body of an argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, apply ...
of the film before discussing its merits or flaws. The verdict is often summarized with a form of rating. Numerous rating systems exist, such as 5- or 4-star scales, academic-style grades and pictograms (such as in the ''
San Francisco Chronicle The ''San Francisco Chronicle'' is a newspaper serving primarily the of . It was founded in 1865 as ''The Daily Dramatic Chronicle'' by teenage brothers and . The paper is owned by the , which bought it from the de Young family in 2000. It is ...
''). Some well-known journalistic critics have included:
James Agee James Rufus Agee ( ; November 27, 1909 – May 16, 1955) was an American novelist, journalist, poet, screenwriter and film critic. In the 1940s, he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S. His autobiographical novel, ''A Death in ...
(''Time'', ''The Nation'');
Vincent Canby Vincent Canby (July 27, 1924 – October 15, 2000) was an American film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, fee ...
(''The New York Times'');
Roger Ebert Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The ...

Roger Ebert
(''Chicago Sun-Times'');
Mark Kermode Mark James Patrick Kermode (, ; ; born 2 July 1963) is an English film criticism, film critic and musician. He is the chief film critic for ''The Observer'', contributes to the magazine ''Sight & Sound'', presents the BBC Four documentary series ...

Mark Kermode
(BBC, ''The Observer'');
James Berardinelli James Berardinelli (born September 25, 1967) is an American film critic and former engineer. His criticism is based on the Web, where he produces the blog ''ReelThoughts.'' Approved as a critic by the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes ...
;
Philip French Philip Neville French Order of the British Empire, OBE (28 August 1933 – 27 October 2015) was an English film criticism, film critic and radio producer. French began his career in journalism in the late 1950s, before eventually becoming a ...
(''The Observer'');
Pauline Kael Pauline Kael (; June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for '' The New Yorker'' magazine from 1968 to 1991. Kael was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated and sharply focused" reviews, her opinio ...
(''The New Yorker'');
Manny Farber Emanuel "Manny" Farber (February 20, 1917 – 18 August 2008) was an American painter, film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual ...
(''The New Republic'', ''Time'', ''The Nation'');
Peter Bradshaw Peter Bradshaw (born 19 June 1962) is an English writer and film critic. He has been chief film critic at ''The Guardian'' since 1999, and is a contributing editor at ''Esquire (magazine), Esquire''. Early life and education Bradshaw was educ ...

Peter Bradshaw
(''The Guardian''); Michael Phillips (''Chicago Tribune'');
Andrew Sarris Andrew Sarris (October 31, 1928 – June 20, 2012) was an American film criticism, film critic, a leading proponent of the auteur theory of film criticism. Early life Sarris was born in Brooklyn, New York (state), New York, to Greek immigrant pa ...
(''The Village Voice'');
Joel Siegel Joel Steven Siegel (July 7, 1943 – June 29, 2007) was an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulat ...
(''Good Morning America'');
Jonathan Rosenbaum Jonathan Rosenbaum (born February 27, 1943) is an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate exp ...
(''Chicago Reader''); and
Christy Lemire Christy A. Lemire (née Nemetz; born August 30, 1972) is an American film critic and host of the movie review podcast ''Breakfast All Day''. She previously wrote for the Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American Nonprofit organiz ...
(''What The Flick?!'').
Roger Ebert Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The ...

Roger Ebert
and
Gene Siskel Eugene Kal Siskel (January 26, 1946 – February 20, 1999) was an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art ...
popularised the concept of reviewing films in a television format in the show '' Siskel & Ebert At the Movies'' which became syndicated in the 1980s. Both critics had established their careers in print media, and continued to write written reviews for their newspapers alongside their television show.


Online film criticism


Aggregators

Websites such as
Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (U ...

Rotten Tomatoes
and
Metacritic Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services (such as films, books, video games, software, hardware, and cars). This system stores the reviews and uses them for ...

Metacritic
seek to improve the usefulness of film reviews by compiling them and assigning a score to each in order to gauge the general reception a film receives. Other less well known aggregators such as the
Movie Review Query Engine The Movie Review Query Engine also known as MRQE, is an online index of movie reviews. Registered users are able to access movie-specific forums and provide their own reviews. The site aggregates reviews, news, interviews, and other material associ ...
(MRQE) are also available.


Online film critics

Blogging A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and floor function Truncation of positive real numbers can be done using the floo ...

Blogging
also introduced opportunities for a new wave of amateur film critics to have their opinions heard. These review blogs may focus on one genre, director or actor, or encompass a much wider variety of films. Friends, friends of friends, or strangers are able to visit these blogsites, and can often leave their own comments about the movie and/or the author's review. Although much less frequented than their professional counterparts, these sites can gather a following of like-minded people who look to specific bloggers for reviews, as they have found that the critic consistently exhibits an outlook very similar to their own.
YouTube YouTube is an American and owned by . It was launched on February 14, 2005 by , , and . It is the website, right after Google itself. YouTube has more than one billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of vi ...

YouTube
has also served as a platform for amateur film critics. Some websites specialize in narrow aspects of film reviewing. For instance, there are sites that focus on specific content advisories for parents to judge a film's suitability for children. Others focus on a religious perspective (e.g. CAP Alert). Still others highlight more esoteric subjects such as the depiction of
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...

science
in fiction films. One such example is ''Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics'' by
Intuitor Intuitor is a website promoting creative learning as both a method of enlightenment and a cultural theme in its own right. Created in 1996, two of its earliest features were instructions for the founder's own four-handed chess variant Forchess an ...
. Some online niche websites provide comprehensive coverage of the independent sector; usually adopting a style closer to print journalism. They tend to prohibit advertisement and offer uncompromising opinions free of any commercial interest. Their film critics normally have an academic film background. The
Online Film Critics Society The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) is an international professional association of online film journalists, historians and scholars who publish their work on the World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries i ...
, an international professional association of Internet-based cinema reviewers, consists of writers from all over the world, while
New York Film Critics Online The New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) is an organization founded by Harvey Karten in 2000 composed of Internet Film criticism, film critics based in New York City. The group meets once a year, in December, for voting on its annual :New York Film ...
members handle reviews in the New York tri-state area.


User-submitted reviews

Community-driven review sites, that allow internet users to submit personal movie reviews, have allowed the common movie goer to express their opinion on films. Many of these sites allow users to rate films on a 0 to 10 scale, while some rely on the star rating system of 1–5, 0–5 or 0–4 stars. The votes are then converted into an overall rating and ranking for any particular film. Some of these community driven review sites include
Letterboxd Letterboxd is an online social networking service co-founded by Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow in 2011.Flixster Flixster was an American social-networking movie website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Notable example ...
, FilmCrave, Flickchart and Everyone's a Critic.
Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (U ...

Rotten Tomatoes
and
Metacritic Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services (such as films, books, video games, software, hardware, and cars). This system stores the reviews and uses them for ...

Metacritic
aggregate both scores from accredited critics and those submitted by users. On these online review sites, users generally only have to register with the site in order to submit reviews. This means that they are a form of
open access poll An open-access poll is a type of opinion poll in which a nonprobability sampling, nonprobability sample of participants self-selection, self-select into participation. The term includes call-in, mail-in, and some online polls. The most common exam ...
, and have the same advantages and disadvantages; notably, there is no guarantee that they will be a representative sample of the film's audience. In some cases, online review sites have produced wildly differing results to scientific polling of audiences. Likewise, reviews and ratings for many movies can greatly differ between the different review sites, even though there are certain movies that are well-rated (or poorly-rated) across the board.


Academic film criticism

More often known as
film theory Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic discipline of film or cinema studies that began in the 1920s by questioning the formal essential attributes of motion pictures; and that now provides conceptual frameworks for under ...
or
film studies Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before ...
, academic critique explores cinema beyond journalistic film reviews. These film critics try to examine why film works, how it works aesthetically or politically, what it means, and what effects it has on people. Rather than write for mass-market publications their articles are usually published in scholarly journals and texts which tend to be affiliated with university presses; or sometimes in up-market magazines. Most academic criticism of film often follows a similar format. They usually include summaries of the plot of the film to either refresh the plot to the reader or reinforce an idea of repetition in the film's genre. After this, there tends to be discussions about the cultural context, major themes and repetitions, and details about the legacy of the film. Academic film criticism, or film studies can also be taught in academia, and is featured in many California colleges in the United States due to its established home of film:
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English, Hiberno-English, Hibernian English, Australian English and Canadian English) or neighborhood (American English; American and British English spelling differences, see spelling ...

Hollywood
. Some of these colleges include
University of California, Davis The University of California, Davis (UC Davis, UCD, or Davis) is a Public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university near Davis, California. Named a Public Ivy, it is the northernmost of the ten campuses of the Univ ...
,
University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the University of California ...

University of California, Berkeley
,
University of California, Los Angeles The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known ...
,
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Stan ...

Stanford University
, as well as many other colleges across the world. Academic criticism is typically divided and taught in the form of many different disciplines that tackle critique in different manors. These can include: * Formalism, that analyzes the way that things are done and the appearance of their form or shape. * Structuralism, that examines the way that movies are sequenced, have a dedicated style, and the way that language and art itself can create meaning. * Historical, a form of criticism that doesn't look at the direct things being said, but the culture and surrounding environments of a given film. The historical critic will create meaning from something that is not explicitly stated or shown in the film. * Psychoanalysis, that breaks down the unconscious that one can experience while observing a given film. * Political and economic, which not only looks into how economics and politics are depicted directly inside the film, but also how it effects the films creation, marketing, screening, and sale. Academic film criticism tackles many aspects of film making and production as well as distribution. These disciplines include camera work, digitalization, lighting, and sound. Narratives, dialogues, themes, and genres are among maty other things that academic film critics take into consideration and evaluate when engaging in critique. Some notable academic film critics include
André Bazin André Bazin (; 18 April 1918 – 11 November 1958) was a renowned and influential French film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visua ...

André Bazin
,
Jean-Luc Godard Jean-Luc Godard ( , ; ; born 3 December 1930) is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter, and film critic. He rose to prominence as a pioneer of the 1960s French New Wave film movement, and is arguably the most influential French filmmaker ...

Jean-Luc Godard
and
François Truffaut François Roland Truffaut ( , ; ; 6 February 1932 – 21 October 1984) was a French film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and Film criticism, film critic. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a career ...
(all writers for ''
Cahiers du Cinéma ''Cahiers du Cinéma'' (, ) is a French film magazine co-founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca.Itzkoff, Dave (9 February 2009''Cahiers Du Cinéma Will Continue to Publish''The New York TimesMacnab, ...
'');
Kristin Thompson Kristin Thompson (born 1950) is an American film theorist and author whose research interests include the close formal analysis of films, the history of film styles, and " quality television," a genre akin to art film. She wrote two scholarly book ...
,
David Bordwell David Jay Bordwell (; born July 23, 1947) is an American film theory, film theorist and film historian. Since receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa in 1974, he has written more than fifteen volumes on the subject of cinema including ''Nar ...

David Bordwell
, and
Sergei Eisenstein Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein ( rus, Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн, p=sʲɪrˈɡʲej mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ ɪjzʲɪnˈʂtʲejn, 2=Sergey Mikhaylovich Eizenshteyn; 11 February 1948) was a Soviet The Soviet ...
. Godard, Truffaut and Eisenstein were also film directors.


Issues and controversies


Influence

In the 2000s, the effect that reviews have on a film's
box office A box office or ticket office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop A stainless steel countertop A countertop (also counter top, counter, benchtop, (Briti ...

box office
performance and DVD rentals/sales have become a matter for debate. Some analysts argue that modern movie marketing, using pop culture convention appearances (e.g.,
Comicon A comic book convention or comic con is an event with a primary focus on comic books and comic book culture, in which comic book Fan (person), fans gather to meet creators, experts, and each other. Commonly, comic conventions are multi-day events ...
) and
social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
along with traditional means of advertising, has led, in part, to a decline in the readership of many reviewers for newspapers and other print publications. There are fewer critics on television and radio in the last thirty years. However, in recent years, there has been a growing belief in the film industry that critic aggregators (especially
Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (U ...

Rotten Tomatoes
) are increasing the collective influence of film critics. The underperformance of several films in 2017 was blamed on their low scores on Rotten Tomatoes. This has led to studies such as one commissioned by
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a maj ...
claiming that younger viewers give the website more credibility than the major studio
marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adv ...
, which undercuts its effectiveness. Today, fan-run film analysis websites like Box Office Prophets, CineBee and Box Office Guru routinely factor more into the opinions of the general public on films produced.


The "undulating curve of shifting expectations"

The "undulating curve of shifting expectations" (UCoSE) refers to both the title of a recurring entertainment industry feature in ''
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
'' magazine by cultural critic Adam Sternbergh and also to a concept of media analysis co-developed by writer Emily Nussbaum. UCoSE refers to the dynamic tension between pre-release promotional efforts and subsequent audience reactions to entertainment media. The UCoSE provides a way of analyzing the trajectory of entertainment products as they metamorphize their way through his theorized seven-stage growth chart: Pre-Buzz, Buzz, Rave Reviews, Saturation Point, Overhyped, Backlash, and finally, Backlash To The Backlash.


Female representation

There have been many complaints against the film-criticism industry for its underrepresentation of women. A study of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes shows that 91 per cent of writers for movie or entertainment magazines and websites are men, as are 90 per cent of those for trade publications, 80 per cent of critics for general interest magazines like ''
Time Time is the continued of and that occurs in an apparently succession from the , through the , into the . It is a component quantity of various s used to events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to of ...
'', and 70 per cent of reviewers for radio formats such as
NPR National Public Radio (NPR, stylized in all lowercase, npr) is an American privately and publicly funded non-profit media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR is based in two locations: main NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (often re ...

NPR
. Writing for ''
The Atlantic ''The Atlantic'' is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. It was founded in 1857 in Boston, as ''The Atlantic Monthly'', a literary and cultural magazine that published leading writers' commentary on education, the , and other maj ...

The Atlantic
'', Kate Kilkenny argued that women were better represented in film criticism before the rise of the Internet. In the past, when film was considered less prestigious than visual art and literature, it was easier for women to break into film criticism.
Judith Crist Judith Crist (; May 22, 1922 – August 7, 2012) was an American film critic and academic. She appeared regularly on the ''Today (NBC program), Today'' show from 1964 to 1973 Martin, Douglas (August 8, 2012)"Judith Crist, Zinging and Influe ...
and
Pauline Kael Pauline Kael (; June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for '' The New Yorker'' magazine from 1968 to 1991. Kael was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated and sharply focused" reviews, her opinio ...
were two of the most influential film critics of the 1960s and 1970s. The Internet led to a decline in jobs at small newspapers where women were more likely to review films, whereas the more male-dominated jobs at major newspapers survived better. The Internet also encouraged a growth in niche review websites that were even more male-dominated than older media. Kilkenny also suggested that the shortage of female critics was related to the shortage of female opinion columnists. Clem Bastow, culture writer at ''
The Guardian Australia ''Guardian Australia'' is the Australian website of the British global online and print newspaper, ''The Guardian''. Available solely in an online format, the newspaper's launch was led by Katharine Viner in time for the 2013 Australian federa ...
'', discussed the possible effects of this on the critical response to the 2015 film '' The Intern'', which received mixed reviews from critics:
The critical response to ''The Intern'' was fascinating. There's a subset of male critics that clearly see Nancy Meyers as code for chick flick and react with according bile. What's very interesting, though, is that I think female critics, working in an industry that is coded as very male, if not macho, often feel the need to go hard on certain films for women, presumably because they worry that they'll be dismissed, critically speaking, if they praise a film like ''The Intern'' as though they're only reviewing it favorably because they're women.
Matt Reynolds of ''
Wired ''Wired'' (stylized as ''WIRED'') is a monthly American magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally pub ...
'' pointed out that "men tend to look much more favorably on films with more masculine themes, or male leading actors." On online review sites such as
IMDb IMDb (an abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for ...

IMDb
, this leads to skewed, imbalanced review results as 70 per cent of reviewers on the site are men. A study using Johanson analysis was used evaluate the representation of women in 270 films. Johanson complied statistics for the year 2015 on how having a female protagonist affected a movie, with the following results: # 22% of 2015's movies had female protagonists. # Critics are slightly more likely to rate a film highly if it represents women well. # Mainstream moviegoers are not turned off by films with female protagonists. # Movies that represent women well are just as likely to be profitable as movies that don't, and are less risky as business propositions.


Salary

As of 2021 movie critics earned a yearly average salary of $63,474. As of 2013, American film critics earn about US$82,000 a year. Newspaper and magazine critics would make $27,364-$49,574. Online movie critics would make $2-$200 per review. TV critics would make up to $40,000-$60,000 per month.


See also

* Prestige picture *
List of film critics Film critics analyze and evaluate film. They can be divided into journalistic critics who write for newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic critics who are informed by film theory and publish in journals. Notable journalist ...
*
List of film journals and magazinesFilm periodicals combine discussion of individual films, genres and directors with in-depth considerations of the medium and the conditions of its production and reception. Their articles contrast with film reviewing in newspapers and magazines which ...
*
List of films considered the best This is a list of films considered the best in national and international surveys Survey may refer to: Statistics and human research * Statistical survey, a method for collecting quantitative information about items in a population * Survey ...
*
List of films considered the worst The film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving image ...
* '' For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism'', a 2009 documentary film


References


Further reading


Peter Bradshaw gives advice
to young, aspiring, would-be film critics (''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ' and ', ''The Guardian'' is part of the , owned by the . The trust was created ...

The Guardian
'', 8 July 2008) * Haberski, Raymond J. Jr. ''It's Only a Movie!: Film and Critics in American Culture'',
University Press of Kentucky The University Press of Kentucky (UPK) is the scholarly publisher Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to ...
, 2001. * Jonathan Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum, Jonathan. ''Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See'', A Cappella Books, 2000. {{Authority control Film criticism