Who is your go-to movie critic?

I love Roger Ebert’s writing, but I’m finding I disagree with him more and more lately.

I love Anthony Lane’s (The New Yorker) writing, but sometimes it’s hard to sort out whether he is recommending a movie, and he reviews relatively few films.

So right now, my go-to guy is James Berardinelli of ReelViews. He is an outstanding writer and I usually agree with his ratings.

I feel like I need another one or two critics to regularly check in on, though, so I am asking for suggestions; preferably, someone who is typically accessible through RottenTomatoes.



Funny, my two go to’s are Ebert and Bernadelli.

Honestly, I don’t rely on critics; they’re just too subjective. I may skim a review, but I prefer to go to IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes for an overview, and I often read comments about movies on Gawker and Jezebel (although I won’t be going there much with their revamp). I also listen to what friends say. I’m fairly picky about movies and find that I sometimes go against the tide, so I can’t say I “rely” on anything but my own opinion. Some movies I’ve seen recently that I loved are The King’s Speech and Blue Valentine. Rabbit Hole was fair but forgettable, and I thought Black Swan, which many critics loved, was absolutely atrocious, and that includes Natalie Portman’s acting.

I will almost always give a movie a chance if Ebert approved of it. Sure, sometimes he has been WAY off, but I can probably count them on one hand… our tastes run to the same stuff. He truly, madly, deeply loves film, and it shows (and hates bad films with the heat of a thousand suns, which also shows).

He used to chair a panel at my college every year, and it was packed to the rafters.

Ebert for me as well; everything Moirai said except the part about the movie panel in college.

My second is Peter Sobczynski. He’s a friend of mine from school and is a HUGE movie geek. He’s very passionate about movies as well.

I came to say this.

Also, and this may be somewhat local, every Friday afternoon on Sandy Beach radio show, Sandy has his sidekick of sorts (I think?) provide short review, often witty and lots of times according to my tastes. In fact, their whole exchange is very funny.

Well, he’s only reviewed ONE movie so far this year. And that is one ugly website.

He’s had some recent health problems which would explain the lack of current reviews.

The site, however, I can’t comment on much more than “gosh you’re right.”

I like James Berardinelli too. I’ve been reading his reviews since the pre-web days, when he used to post them on rec.arts.movies.reviews.

I usually pay attention to what Roger has to say. I also like Rex Reed’s skewed and slightly burnt out opinions. Hit or miss he is damn opinionated and a long time pro.

You guys, basically. The critics are just that, and I dislike all of them more and more each passing year.

The Filthy Critic

It’s a few guys (and a “robot”) :wink: giving movie reviews. The animated reviews can be hilarious. Highly recommended for lighthearted movie reviews.

It’s still Ebert for me. I also read Anthony Lane, but I usually read reviews after seeing the movie, so it doesn’t matter to me whether the reviewer recommends it.

In general I prefer Rotten Tomatoes and the imdb rankings. I like Ebert but he will always give 4 stars to Synechdoche, New York and other obnoxious absurdist crap and he doesn’t seem to take into account what a movie is going for (i.e. if it’s mindless action-adventure or low budget light comedy don’t judge it by the same set of standards you’d judge a big budget drama).


The only responses so far that seem to even understand my question have concurred with me on Ebert, Berardinelli & Lane.

So I shall re-phrase. I am looking for:

A serious critic
A serious critic who provides thoughtful reviews
A serious critic who provides thoughtful reviews and can be accessed through RT
A serious critic who provides thoughtful reviews and can be accessed through RT on whom I can rely to be consistent and insightful

Okay, here’s another suggestion for you:

Mark R. Leeper.

He’s another one who’s been posting since the rec.arts.movies.reviews days, and he fits all your criteria. I didn’t realize he was on RT, but he is. (The formatting is rather annoying, though–you might have better luck looking him up on r.a.m.r.–he really does know how to use paragraphs. :slight_smile: )

Unfortunately it is only a podcast with a website with only minimal “reading” material, but the guys at Filmspotting usually have a great back-and-forth discussion of the merits of a movie. It is obviously just a hobby for them so they only do interesting movies (no transformers or horror-for-horror sake), but they also do reviews of film classics. It helps that they are my age and grew up loving the same movies as I, but I have learned a lot and really look for different things in movies than I used to. They do not rank a movie simply on its enjoyability, they look for interesting and engaging directorial, acting, scene decisions that add to the movie.

One drawback for them, is that one thing that they don’t focus on much is the script and dialogue other than to note when someone says an important line but it doesn’t fit their character.

But their reviews of the current movie only takes the first ~15 minutes of the show if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing.

Count me as another who failed to read the question, but wants to respond anyway… :stuck_out_tongue:

The most used “critic” for my wife and I is www.kids-in-mind.com, which reviews movies and tells what would be considered objectional based upon 4 criteria: sex, violence, language, and something else (drugs/alcohol?). They list EVERY instance where the above things happen, so you can check out these lists to see whether or not you wish your kid to see the film.

As for movie reviewers go, we like Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal.

Ebert and I’m liking the two younger critics on his new show.