Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Ebert on Why Today is the Golden Age of Film Criticism

posted by Nell Minow

There have been many articles about the end of the era of the movie critic as print media cuts have led to the departure of many of the best-established and most widely-read commentators on film. But Roger Ebert says this is the golden age of film criticism.

Never before have more critics written more or better words for more readers about more films. But already you are ahead of me, and know this is because of the internet.

Twenty years ago a good-sized city might have contained a dozen people making a living from writing about films, and for half of them the salary might have been adequate to raise a family. Today that city might contain hundreds, although (the Catch-22) not more than one or two are making a living.

Film criticism is still a profession, but it’s no longer an occupation. You can’t make any money at it. This provides an opportunity for those who care about movies and enjoy expressing themselves.

I am honored to have my photo included among the critics he discusses. When people ask me how to become a movie critic I say, “I just waved my magic wand. You’re a movie critic! All you have to do is write reviews.” And if they ask me how to become a good movie critic, I say, “It takes more than loving movies. It takes more than having opinions. It takes more than knowing a lot about movies, though all of those things are important. You have to be a person with a full life, a vitally engaged head, and a heart that is open to experience and learning. I can’t bear talking to people who think they know movies because they can keep all the IMBD data in their heads.
A movie critic is first and foremost a writer. And if you ever want anyone to read your reviews they had better be lively, informative, and vivid. Most of the movies you see won’t be very entertaining or filled with insight, but your reviews have to be both, every time.” Watch a lot of movies, yes, but read a lot of books and live a lot of life because you will need all of that. The readers deserve it, and you know what? The movies and the people who make them do, too.



  • Alicia

    This is great advice, Nell. I started a film club with a couple of friends ten years ago, and I’ve been writing “blurbs” promoting the movies ever since. It’s led me to consider getting a degree in Film, even though I have no desire to “write screenplays” or “direct.” I’d love to write about movies. And Washington, D.C. is a great town for film buffs.

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

    Alicia, you should write about movies! You are very knowledgeable and you write beautifully. If you do, let me know and I’ll post a link.

  • Alicia

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, Nell. I may just give this a try some day soon.

Previous Posts

Joss Whedon's New Film is a Surprise VOD Release: In Your Eyes
Writer/director Joss Whedon made a surprise announcement after the premiere of his new film, "In Your Eyes" at the Tribeca Film Festival. Instead of a theatrical release, it is immediately available through Video on Demand. Here's the synopsis: In the frozen East Coast winter, Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) is

posted 8:01:27am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Ultimate Book About "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Fifty years after Stanley Kubrick began work on "2001: A Space Odyssey," the ultimate behind-the-scenes story will be out next month in a limited edition $750 four-volume history by Piers Bizony, an expert on both Kubrick and space exploration. Made in exclusive collaboration with the Kubrick esta

posted 8:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Classic: Funny Little Bunnies
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYwHUbD422A[/youtube]

posted 3:43:11pm Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Hurricane Carter
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter died at home at age 76.  A prize fighter who was wrongly convicted of murder and released after serving 19 years in prison, he devoted the rest of his life to helping others. Denzel Washington portrayed Carter in the movie The Hurricane. [youtube]https://www.youtube.c

posted 11:28:53am Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Celebrate Easter!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0RhLJYKi-4[/youtube]

posted 7:00:48am Apr. 20, 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.