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Film Studies: Criticism & reviews

Finding criticism
Finding reviews
  1. Find the release date of your film using IMDB or the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. choose a database, from the list below, that includes your date
Main online resources for reviews
Film and Media Studies @ EBSCOhost For reviews, limit search to Document Type: "Entertainment Review." Includes full-text reviews from Variety, back to 1920. Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive 1880-2000 For reviews, limit search to Document Type: "Review." Canadian Periodical Index (CPI.Q) 1988 to present Reviews Canadian and other films. Select Document Type: “Movie review.“ For reviews back to 1948, see "Movie reviews" in the print volumes of Canadian Periodical Index. American Film Institute Catalog 1893 to present Search for the film title, note the release date, and see the source citations at the end of the film record. New York Times 1851 to three years ago Search for reviews, profiles, advertisements, and movie listings. For reviews, limit search to month and year of release. Movie Review Query Engine Freely available database. Select “Critic reviews.“ Includes New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times (Ebert).
Main print resources for reviews
Film Review Index volumes 1-2. Volume one covers 1882 to 1949; volume two covers 1950 to 1985. Print location: Z 5784 M9F513 Selected Film Criticism. Includes full text from sources such as Photoplay and The Film Spectator. Print location: PN 1995 S426
Reviews vs Criticism

Reviews vs. Criticism

Criteria Film Reviews Film Criticism
Audience general public scholars and students
  • journalists or general public
  • articles may be unsigned
  • affiliation not usually given
  • academics and film scholars
  • affiliation usually given
Accountability may be reviewed by an editor usually peer reviewed or refereed
  • gives the opinion of the writer
  • usually short and focused on a single film
  • often includes recommendations
  • compares the film with others by the director, within the genre, etc.
  • puts the film into a larger context: historical, social, political, theoretical
Documentation may have no references to other sources, and no bibliographies or footnotes always contains references to other sources, given in a bibliography or footnotes
Publications magazines, newspapers academic journals, books
When published when film is released months or years after release
Examples Crowther, Bosley. "Screen: Sordid View of French Life: Breathless' in Debut." New York Times 8 February 1961. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times. Web. 12 Sept. 2012. Hayes, Kevin. "The Newspaper and the Novel in À bout de souffle." Studies in French Cinema 1.3 (2001): 249-251. Film and Television Literature Index. Web. 12 Sept. 2012.

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Last Updated: August 21, 2023 2:54pm