Movie Mom

Movie Mom


What Are Movie Critics For?

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to the Online Film Critics Society for including my thoughts in their round-up of commentaries about what movie critics are for. The question was “Do critics do anything nowadays except give out awards? What is the purpose of a film critic in today’s entertainment industry?” Here is what I said:

The film critic is not a part of the entertainment industry. The film critic is a part of the journalism industry. We are there to report on, assess, and illuminate the entertainment industry and its products. We are there to guide audiences away from the over-marketed and under-produced products of that industry and to encourage them to try movies they might not have heard of, even those without big stars and in other languages. We are there to challenge their thinking, provide context, and provoke discussion. And we are there to set an example with the diligence of our study and the excellence of our writing to engage them in our passionate attention to stories, characters, meaning, and even entertainment.

All of the entries are provocative, well-written, and worth reading. Take a look.



  • Julie

    By your own criteria, you are an excellent critic, Nell. Thankyou very much for your illumiation, guidance, and excellent writing. My family and I rarely will go to a show you don’t give at least a B+, but I read your reviews on all the other movies because I love your writing so much. Do you know anyone who does as good a job for books?

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Julie, you made my day! Thank you very, very much.
    Common Sense Media has book reviews. But there are so many books published every week it is hard for anyone to keep up.
    Thanks again. Your kind words mean the world to me.

  • iorek

    I agree you are an excellent critic.
    Movie critics don’t seem to me to be much different from art critics or book critics. They provide factual background and history about the artist; they provide a broader context for appreciation of the work by comparing it with other work by the artist, or work by different artists; they point out things to watch for, so that someone who is coming to the work harried from a day at the office and with no background can get a head start; they serve a consumer advisory function, increasing the chances that you won’t waste time and money on something that is likely to disappoint you; but most of all, good movie criticism, like good art criticism or good literary criticism, is an art in itself. A film critic responding to a movie is similar to an artist responding to a landscape of a bowl of fruit. It is a subjective reaction based on taste and judgment and talent.

Previous Posts

Joy to the World
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLT9dSt8cwg[/youtube]

posted 12:00:46pm Dec. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Merry Christmas 2014!
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/8DeAClYGjQc?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 5:00:29am Dec. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Selma
"Selma," director Ava DuVernay's film about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital at Montgomery, to make the case for the right to vote, is superb as

posted 5:55:52pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Into the Woods
This is not a Disney movie. Oh, well, yes, it is a Disney movie in the sense that it is produced by Disney, which is the only possible explanation for the PG rating (and the slightly sweet

posted 5:55:31pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Unbroken
Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie breaks into the top ranks of American directors with "Unbroken," showing an exceptional understanding not just of actors, but of tone, scale, and letting the

posted 5:49:18pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.