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Film Criticism

Definition of Movie Review

"Film reviews are assessments of the aesthetic, entertainment, social and cultural merits and significance of a current film or video. Reviews tend to be short to medium length articles, often written by a single staff writer for a particular publication. Although reviews are usually fairly "quick takes" on a movie, they can, in some instances, be lengthy, substantive, and very insightful." (Source:

Online Film Review Sources

Print Sources of Reviews (Useful for Older Films)

The New York Times Film Reviews
Birnbaum Ref PN1995 .A43   
A one volume work covering films reviewed in the New York Times from 1913-1970; arranged by date of publication.

Magill's Cinema Annual
Birnbaum Ref PN1993.3 .M34   

Covers 1982-present. Sections within each film include the plot, credits, reviews, and awards. Includes list of citations to reviews covered in major magazines and newspaper publications; arranged alphabetically by title of the film.

Film Review Annual
Birnbaum Ref PN1995 .F463   

The annual covers 1981-2002. It contains full-length film reviews from major publications as well as citations to more reviews.

Magill's Survey of Cinema
Birnbaum Ref PN1993.45 
Mortola Ref PN1993.45

This series contains English Language Films, First Series (covering over 500 films from 1927-1980), English Language Films, Second Series (covering over 700 films from 1928-1981), and Magill's Survey of Cinema, Foreign Language Films.

General Information about Films and Filmmakers

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers by Tom Pendergast (Editor)  Publication Date: 2000

Provides thorough coverage of films and filmmakers, including legendary films, actors and actresses, directors,   writers and other production artists. Entries include a detailed essay written by an expert; biographies; filmographies; comprehensive credits; major awards; and updated bibliographies, as well as photographs.


Fifty Contemporary Film Directors by Yvonne Tasker (Editor) Publication Date: 2010-10-04

Fifty Contemporary Film Directors examines the work of some of today's most popular and influential cinematic  figures.  It provides an accessible overview of each director's contribution to cinema, incorporating a discussion of their career,   major works and impact.