- Film criticism
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and published in journals.
Film critics working for newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and online publications, mainly review new releases. The plot summary and description of a film that makes up the majority of any film review can have an important impact on whether people decide to see a film. Poor reviews can doom a film to obscurity and financial loss.
Reviews and film marketing
Traditionally, film reviews have been seen as a way to assess the artistic merit and public appeal of a movie. Filmgoers use reviews to help them determine whether to view a particular film. As the number of film fans following the advice of reviewers grew, film companies saw profits diminish across a broader number of films. In order to counter this development, film studios increased marketing budgets and avenues of marketing to create more interest in a movie prior to the opening.
In recent times, the impact reviews have on a film's box office performance and DVD rentals/sales have become a matter for debate. There are those who think modern movie marketing, using pop culture convention appearances and social media along with traditional means of advertising, have become so invasive and well financed that established reviewers with legitimate criticism cannot be heard over the din of popular support. Moreover, this has led, in part, to a decline in the readership of many reviewers for newspapers and other print publications. The vast majority of film critics on television and radio have all but disappeared over the last thirty years, as well. It can be observed that most of the discussion of film on television is focused on the amount of box office business a film does, as if financial success were the only criterion needed to define artistic success. Today arts criticism in general does not hold the same place it once held with the general public.
Conversely, it's been claimed positive film reviews have been known to spark interest in little-known films. For example, independent films with smaller marketing budgets, such as The Hurt Locker, are promoted more widely thanks to the positive reviews they received. There are those who believe critics are biased towards art-house films (examples: The Hurt Locker, Blue Valentine) and against commercial blockbusters (examples: Pirates of the Caribbean, Cowboys and Aliens). However, many critics analyze a film by its inexhaustibility, or the range of its impact and appeal on to generations of fans beyond its original release date.
Today, fan-run film analysis websites like Box Office Prophets and Box Office Guru routinely factor in general public film review opinion with those of more experienced reviewers in their projections of a film. Other websites, such as Rotten Tomatoes, combines all reviews on a specific film published online and in print to come up with an aggregated rating known as a "freshness rate."
Online film reviews
Some websites, such as Rotten Tomatoes and 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 sites such as Spill.com review sites with ratings such as "rent it" or "matinée" to tell the viewer in what setting to watch the film rather than a numerical score. The Online Film Critics Society, an international professional association of Internet-based cinema reviewers, consists of writers from all over the world.
A number of websites allow internet users to submit movie reviews and scores to allow a broad consensus review of a movie. 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 (e.g. Screen it!). Others focus on a religious perspective (e.g. CAP Alert). Still others highlight more esoteric subjects such as the depiction of science in fiction films. One such example is Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics by Intuitor. One website, Everyone's a Critic, allows anyone to publish film reviews and comment on them. There are even websites for special interest groups such as the Christian review site, Movieguide.
Blogging has 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 complete strangers are able to visit these sites, 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.
Community driven review sites 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 0-5 or 0-4 four stars. The votes are then culled into an overall rating and ranking for any particular film. Some of these community driven review sites include Flixster, FilmCrave, Flickchart, and RottenTomatoes.
It has been claimed[by whom?] that journalist film critics should only be known as film reviewers, and that true film critics are those who take an academic approach to films. This work is more often known as film theory or film studies. These film critics try to come to understand why film works, how it works, what it means, and what effects it has on people. Rather than write for mass-market publications their articles are published in scholarly journals that tend to be affiliated with university presses; or sometimes in up-market magazines.
- Film canon
- List of film critics
- List of film journals and magazines
- List of films considered the worst
- At the Movies, a TV series for reviews of movies, originally hosted by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert
- Further reading
- Haberski, Raymond J. Jr. It's Only A Movie!: Film and Critics in American Culture, University Press of Kentucky, 2001.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan. Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See, A Cappella Books, 2000.
- The Online Film Critics Society
- New York Film Critics Circle
- Kansas City Film Critics Circle
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association
- National Board of Review
- Peter Bradshaw gives advice to young, aspiring, would-be film critics (The Guardian, 8 July 2008)
- Independent Red Film Reviews, reviewing and indexing independent films and web series
- Plugged In Online, a service of Focus on the Family
- London Film Critics' Circle site
- Online Film Criticism, Part One and Part Two, by Paul Brunick, Film Comment, July/August 2010 and September/October 2010, supplemented at The House Next Door with The Top Film Criticism Sites: An Annotated Blog Roll, Part One and Part Two
Hubs for film journalism
- Movies at The New York Times
- Movies at The Washington Post
- Film reviews at The Independent
- Film at The Times
- Film reviews at The Daily Telegraph
- Film at The Guardian
- Film Reviews at Critics Choice
Arts criticism Topics See also
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
film criticism — Since 1979, film criticism in China has developed in two distinct ways. The first began with introduction of Western film theory and methodology which offered alternatives to the Soviet style socialist realism that had dominated intellectual… … Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture
feminist film criticism — феминистская кинокритика … Термины гендерных исследований
Film canon — is the limited group of movies that serve as the measuring stick for the highest quality in the genre of film. Criticism of canonsThe idea of a film canon has been attacked as elitist. Thus some movie fans and critics prefer to simply compile… … Wikipedia
Criticism — is the judgement of the merits and faults of the work or actions of an individual or group by another (the critic). To criticize does not necessarily imply to find fault, but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of an objection… … Wikipedia
Film theory — is an academic discipline, closely allied with Marxist critical theory, that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film s relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and… … Wikipedia
Film Ireland — is a cultural cinema magazine published on a bimonthly basis by Filmbase (aka Film Base) Centre for Film and Video in Dublin, Ireland. It is Ireland s longest running film publication [Flynn, Roderick and Patrick Brereton. Film Base , Historical… … Wikipedia
Film Art — was written by David Bordwell, a professor of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madision. Other books includes Narration in the Fiction film (university Wisconsin Press, 1985) and The Cinema of Eisenstein (Harvard University Press,… … Wikipedia
Film — This article is about motion pictures or movies. For still photography film, see Photographic film. For motion picture film, see Film stock. Movie and Moving picture redirect here. For other uses, see Movie (disambiguation), Moving Pictures… … Wikipedia
Criticism of Akira Kurosawa — Despite the extraordinary acclaim that Akira Kurosawa s work has received both in Japan and abroad, his films, as well as Kurosawa as an individual, have also been subject to considerable criticism, much of it harsh. The majority of these… … Wikipedia
film, feminist — Feminist film is situated in ideological opposition to the patriarchal codes and conventions of dominant (or mainstream) cinema. It engages with issues of female identity, subjectivity, desire, sexuality, history and spectatorship, challenging … Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture