Film Reviews & Criticism

Differences between film reviews and criticism

Reviews and criticism are not synonymous. Many media organizations and Web sites do not make any distinction between the two terms (reviewers are often referred to as “critics”), but academic researchers do. Below are some criteria to guide you in critically evaluating film commentary to determine whether you are reading a review or criticism.

General plot summary May focus on a specific aspect of a film
Rates or ranks films from an entertainment, cultural, or artistic perspective Discusses films within a historical, social, political, or theoretical context
Usually short to medium length Substantive length
Written by journalist or staff Written by a scholar, or other expert in the field of film studies

Use the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) to find basic information about films and television programs, including writer, director, cast, crew, plot summary, release dates, and more.

Use the resources below to find reviews. Note that some resources provide historical coverage, while others are oriented to contemporary films and reviews.