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Waidner-Spahr Library

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Film & Media Studies: Film Criticism

Film Criticism in Databases

Film criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of films.

There are two different types of publications that offer opinions about films: academic criticism by film scholars that appear in scholarly journals, and journalistic film reviews that appear in newspapers and other popular media. The film critic tries to understand why film works, how it works, and what effects it has on people; while the film reviewer looks a film's production values and general appeal.

Leading film critics include André Bazin, Rudolf Arnheim, Siegfried Kracauer, Sergei Eisenstein, Christian Metz, Robin Wood, François Truffaut, Laura Mulvey, David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Kaja Silverman, Susan Sontag, bell hooks, Mary Ann Doane, B. Ruby Rich, Jack Halberstam, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Andrew Sarris, Janet Staiger, Béla Balázs, Miriam Hansen, Peter Bogdanovich, Serge Daney, Jane Gaines, and Janet Walker.

Influential film reviewers include Janet Maslin, Richard Roeper, Emily Nussbaum, Joel Siegel, Manohla Dargis, Peter Travers, ​Jen Yamato, Karina Longworth, Claudia Puig, Judith Crist, Amy Taubin, Manny Farber, J. Hoberman, Molly Haskell, Justin Chang, Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael, Àlex Gorina, John Ivan Simon, and Barry Norman.

When searching for film criticism online, it may help to use “criticism” as a subject term along with the title of the work or author.