What critics do you read/respect?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lew Crippen, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I often read references to professional critics in various threads. So I’m curious as to which critics you read and which ones you respect. And why?

    As for me, I read Rodger Ebert, Elvis Mitchell, Kenneth Turan, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. I like Ebert, because he so clearly loves movies and its clear that he has seen and considered everything from the silent era to the latest Harry Potter. He also reviews some (semi) art-house movies. I sometimes think that he gushes a bit too much and his love of movies gets in the way of hard criticism.

    I read Turan on an infrequent basis to get a view a bit closer to an industry, mainstream perspective. And I read Mitchell (I think that best of the NYT reviewers) to get the big city perspective.

    I read Rosenbaum to get a non-mainstream view. He is very likely to bring to my attention movies that I would not otherwise have seen (or even heard of). He is also the best writer of any reviewer with whom I am familiar and the most literate. And carries the sharpest pencil.

    What are your views?
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Read and Respect:
    Ebert
    Rosenbaum
    Desson Howe (Washington Post)

    Read
    J.Hoberman (Village Voice is what I read for the NY perspective, but I'm both attracted and repulsed by the VV style and slant, and yet I keep reading)

    Eleanor Ringol Gillespie (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I subscribe so I read but remain unimpressed. Even when I agree with her, she's superficial in her writing)

    Bob Longino (AJC, 2nd critic and somehow editor of the movie section so most articles/interviews are by him. I have no idea how he got the job. I could learn as much about a movie by polling any random member of the audience.)
     
  3. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I read Roger Ebert's reviews only AFTER I've seen the film. He just tells WAY too much in his reviews. I think a critic should be able to convey the basic premise of a film without crossing into spoiler territory. However, I do enjoy his writing and his opinions.

    Recently, I've found myself noticing that Kevin Thomas loves everything! So a positive review from him is not particularly noteworthy.

    I always read Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, and Mike Clark when I get USA Today.

    As a whole, I don't like to read reviews prior to seeing the film. I might quickly scan metacritic or rotten tomatoes for an overall rating. If the film is a definite "must see", I'll avoid reviews until after I see it.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I tend to read Ebert, James Berardinelli, the local guys in the Boston Globe and Phoenix, and the occasional review that looks interesting on Rotten Tomatoes. I've reached the point where I see most everything in the first week or so of release, so it's not like what a critic says is going to be much of a factor in whether or not I see the movie - it's about whether the review itself is entertaining, or finding out about movies I've never even heard of.

    The ones in the Phoenix are good for that; they'll generally do a nice overview of local art-house programs/festivals. Of course, being an alternarag, once you get to mainstream stuff they're annoying as hell. They never miss an opportunity to be "hipper-than-thou", plus they have no compunctions about spoiling the last scenes. I got a pretty good anger buzz from their Vanilla Sky review, for instance.
     
  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I read Ebert, Scott Weinberg, the crew from Entertainment Weekly, and Mike Clark occasionally from USA Today. I don't always agree with what these folks have to say, but I definitely say I respect they way they present their criticisms.

    On a related note, I hate Pauline Kael with a passion.
     
  6. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    Roger Ebert is the only critic that I regularly read. While I rarely agree with him anymore, I have a great deal of respect for him and his love of film.
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Roger Ebert is the only one I read regularly. Other than that, I don't pay much attention to critics as I like to make up my own mind. [​IMG]
     
  8. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    I now tend to just look for various opinions from certian members on this forum.

    I like Ebert's essays and Q&A , but he seems to be giving out 4 star ratings to anything he likes at all these days.

    I also used to read The Pheonix but like Jason said, once you get to their mainstream reviews thay are very annoying. They come across as being very snooty and biased against anything that is playing on more than 100 screens nationwide. Peter Keough in particular has always struck me as being overly smug and at times can go on a long-winded rant about the "message" of a film that does not even exist outside of his own imagination.
     
  9. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Ebert is the only one I read regularly. I usually glance over his reviews when trying to decide whether or not I should see a film (usually talking about older films here) and then read the full review after I've seen it. I think he's slipping a little bit though. I mean, four stars for Signs and not for LOTR:FOTR? C'mon.
     
  10. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I can only name 4 critics off the top of my head.
    Roger Ebert I read and like a lot even when I disagree with him.
    I don't really read Leonard Maltin, although I tend to agree with him when I see his reviews.
    Richard Roeper is a putz. [​IMG]
    Pauline Kael has never written a positive review about a movie (that I've ever run across), so while I find her writing interesting, I find what she says to be pretty worthless in terms of watching movies.
     
  11. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Serious film critics that I read & respect - Ebert, Berardinelli & Rosenbaum. I also read Glenn Erickson (DVDSavant) for his take on obscure/cult/genre titles on DVD.

    Most others that I've sampled aren't worth my time.
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’m somewhat like Elizabeth, in that I scan reviews before having seen a movie. I’ll read them in depth later. I don’t like to know anything beforehand (I actually avoid trailers beforehand for the same reason).

    I read afterwards to see what I missed—though sometimes I’m in agreement with Brian on a critic’s seeing more than is really there.

    BTW, Elizabeth, I had you pegged as a Rosenbaum reader.
     
  13. JenB

    JenB Screenwriter

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    Read and/or watch and respect:

    Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
    Roger Ebert (although I used to watch more when Gene Siskel was still alive and hosting with him)
    Leonard Maltin

    Read:

    Richard Corliss, Time
    Richard Schickel, Time
    Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
    Lisa Schwartzbaum (sp?), Entertainment Weekly
     
  14. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Anthony Lane of The New Yorker is the most fun to read.
    James Berardinelli, I'm growing to enjoy and respect.
    Roger Ebert, since he and I go w-a-a-a-a-y back.
    Terry Lawson, a local guy, whose tastes pretty much mirror my own.
    I avoid at all costs: Richard Roeper, Gene Shalit, Larry King [​IMG] , and Rex Reed.
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    At this point, it looks as though Ebert is a consensus read, while Pauline is a consensus hate. BTW, Dome, I’ve already noted your desire to use PK’s picture as a dartboard elsewhere. [​IMG]
    In a bit of a Kael defense, she has written what many consider the definitive book on CK: The Citizen Kane Book. There are editions that include the shooting script.
    Even so I consider her a sourpuss, though a very educated and articulate one.
     
  16. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Ebert is the only one I really pay close attention to. This is due to the fact that I love the way he writes his reviews, his knowledge of film, and the fact that I agree with him about 75% of the time (which isn't too bad!).
     

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