A movie critic is someone who writes about and shares opinions about movies and everything related to the making of the movie. A movie critic evaluates and analyzes movies from all angles and viewpoints. Broadly, film criticism can be categorized into two streams: journalistic critique, often found in newspapers, magazines, and mainstream media, and academic analysis, crafted by cinema experts and featured in scholarly publications. Another form of criticism is academic film criticism, which does not review the movie but analyzes the whole history of the movie and its place in the genre the movie belongs in. Let us look into the movie critics and how they relate to the movie industry. Discover the role of a movie critic and how they influence the film industry.
What is Movie Criticism?
Film criticism is all about studying, interpreting, and evaluating a movie and where it stands in the history of the film industry. A movie critic often provides an interpretation of a film’s confilm’s analysis of its structure and style, a judgment of how valuable a film is in relation to other films, and an evaluation of the impact that the film will likely have. The subject of the criticism can be a specific movie, a collection of movies in the same genre, or the body of work of a filmmaker or performer. Film criticism sets itself apart from movie reviews through its analytical and evaluative nature, the potential for publication long after a film’s debut, and its characteristic depth and extended discourse. The reaction to a movie and the reception it receives at the time of its theater or OTT release is documented in a movie review. A movie review is more consumer-focused, emphasizing recommendations, while movie criticism focuses on analysis.
What Do Movie Critics Do?
Movie critics analyze films and produce reviews and articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, social media channels, and websites. A movie critic sees and assesses films according to their artistic and technical merit. We can even say that the future of cinema is significantly influenced by their analysis, which serves as a record of the time’s cultural norms and professional standards. A movie critic doesn’t need any specific degree or certification from a university. Not all film critics earn a degree in their specialty, even though many institutions and colleges offer courses. While some people don’t study at all, others study subjects like journalism, English literature, and psychology. However, a critic needs a thorough understanding and an eye for both movies and movie criticism.
How Do Movie Critics Differ from Each Other?
In the present digital world, everyone can access the Internet and express their ideas, and anyone can submit a review of a movie they’ve seen with a recommendation. Everyone and anyone can be an amateur critic in today’s world. The catch is that only a few people can analyze movies in depth and explain why they succeed or fail. After all, a critic’s well beyond simply making recommendations. First, a professional movie critic will evaluate every area of a movie’s movies, from the acting to the sound editing. After that, they will talk about big mainstream movies and focus on smaller movies unknown to most people.
What Should a Movie Critic Possess?
Movie critics have the power to influence the growth of cinema and what is regarded as art through their deep analysis that an untrained eye would quickly overlook. They may elevate an unknown filmmaker to the forefront and bring down industry heavyweights. A film critic’s main task is guiding the audience to the movie’s components and teaching them how to enjoy them in a way that only they can. A movie critic should analyze and assess the many aspects of the film, along with the comments, and offer fresh and original levels of insight into the below.
- The movie and its body of content.
- The actors and their performance.
- How the movie impacts the whole industry
- The director and their career graph.
History of Movie Criticism
Motion pictures and theatre plays introduced movies to the world in the 19th century. Eventually, movies have evolved hugely and contribute a major part to the countries’ economy today. Movie criticism also existed and evolved along with the movies, and so did the various critics across the past centuries. Let us have a brief look at the history and how it evolved.
Although there are early examples of film criticism, it wasn’t wasn’t the 1900s that journals like The Optical Lantern, Cinematograph Journal, and the Bioscope started regularly publishing full-text film reviews. Movies represent a relatively modern form of art compared to music, writing, and painting, which have roots dating back to ancient times. Early film writing attempted to make the case that movies might be considered art. During the 1920s, critics began delving deeper into movies than just entertainment, evaluating them for their merit and worth. At this point, due to the popularity, prominent newspapers began employing cinema critics.
Growth of Movie Critics
Several film critics achieved national fame over the 20th century for their insightful writing and occasionally bold critique. The 1940s saw the emergence of new types of critique. Articles on cinema criticism were written in a specific appeal and style to convince the reader to agree with the critic’s critic. Notable critics from the century are Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael, Manny Farber, Peter Travers, Gene Siskel, and Roger Ebert.
Academia is connected with formalism, which focuses on visual elements and the guidelines for arranging them. Structuralism, which aims to make a situation coherent by influencing it, is also connected to academic cinema criticism. In structuralism, all of the situations are predetermined. There are several elements of filmmaking, production, and dissemination that academic film criticism examines. These disciplines include camera work, digitization, lighting, and sound. Academic film reviewers consider and examine various factors when providing their analysis, including narratives, dialogue, themes, and genres. Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, André Bazin, Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell, and others are famous academic cinema reviewers.
What is the Purpose of a Movie Criticism?
In both academic and professional contexts, movie criticism has a variety of uses.
Data and Related Content
The content and perceived quality of a movie are revealed through criticism, which can assist potential viewers in deciding whether or not to go for it.
The press plays a wider role. The published story can travel across the globe and reach demographics and thus influence the audience.
The study and the analysis the movie critics make remain a record for future studies and research.
What Does a Movie Critic Cover?
Professional critics are the ones who commit their careers to film analysis and typically write the most widely-read film criticism. Several of these critics work with magazines and watch hundreds of films each year, though they might not choose to give each one a review. The average length of a movie review is 600 to 1,200 words. The task of film criticism typically falls to academics who have devoted their careers to the study of cinema. Academic film critics can work in departments of English, journalism, sociology, or anthropology; they are only sometimes professionals who teach in the film production field. In addition, there can be a separate film studies department in a college humanities program devoted solely to the study of film.
Online Movie Critics
Blogs are a fantastic example of how the Internet has developed to the point where social networks and live conversations exist alongside websites like YouTube, where users may post their material. Thanks to blogging, people may now actively engage with cinematic films in new and innovative ways. For example, individuals who enjoy watching movies often choose to participate in different types of film criticism by using YouTube videos or DVD clips that are intercut with scenes from other movies to critique the sound effects or visual elements of the YouTube clips being criticized. On websites like IMDb, amateur reviewers are also considered film critics.
Movie Critics and Confirmation Bias
Any criticism refers to debate and careful consideration rather than negativity or ridicule. People tend to forget that the constructive criticism of critics is equally as important as positive reviews. When someone has confirmation bias, they look for or interpret information that confirms their ideas while rejecting or ignoring anything that presents different viewpoints. Movie critics aggressively fight confirmation bias by offering a variety of viewpoints through an unbiased lens. A critic showcases the flaws yet tells the ways for growth and improvement. Thus, a critic breaks the audience’s bias with their alternate viewpoint and analysis of the movie. The audience is neither catered to nor rejected outright by film critics out of a desire to be the opposite. Instead, they only provide a frank assessment of what they observe, both good and poor.
Role of Movie Critics in the Future
Movie critics will exist and evolve in cinema until movies exist. Therefore, it only adds a sense that as movies become more easily produced and widely available year after year, the number of film critics will increase simultaneously. Despite this, there are more and more amateur critics who only offer superficial criticism, making it more difficult for consumers to distinguish between a professional, knowledgeable review and a substandard one. Whatever the case, every viewpoint and criticism has a place in the digital era, and with more people accessing the Internet, the viewpoints only keep rising.
Importance of Movie Critics in the Industry
Since new works of art are constantly being produced, the world requires expert critics to better explain specific aspects of the art world. For example, a brand-new blockbuster movie is released every weekend, and millions spend good money to see it. Today, blockbuster movies are continuously being published, and people need to understand what is worth viewing and what they can put off for now. Weekly movie attendance could be cheaper, which is where film critics come in. It is possible to earn a living wage and view movies while working as a film critic. There are drawbacks to working as well, online harassment from the fans of a movie with a poor review. Movie critics also face the risk of stopping enjoying movies because they constantly view them through the lens of a critic. However, the world still requires film critics to understand movies and the film industry.
Why Are Movie Critics Unbiased?
Movie critics strive for objectivity to provide fair evaluations, considering elements like plot, acting, and cinematography, and to avoid personal biases that may affect their reviews.
Few Famous Movie Critics of Hollywood
Some of the famous movie critics who play a vital role are:
- Roger Ebert
- Pauline Kael
- Leonard Maltin
- A.O. Scott
- Gene Siskel
- Leonard Maltin
- Kenneth Turan
- Peter Travers
- Richard Brody
- Stephen Holden
- Vincent Canby
- David Thompson
- Christie Lemire
- Mick LaSalle
- David Edelstein