As long as there has been a film industry, there have been film critics. At what point in the history of Hollywood did being a film critic become a profession? That’s an interesting questions, and we think it would make a great post for a later day.
But the whole idea of movie reviews is fascinating. At some point, we decided that we wanted someone trustworthy to be a movie-watching guinea pig—or perhaps pioneer is a better word. We wanted them to watch the film first and tell us what they thought and if it was worth spending or money on to go see.
Before the age of the Internet, there were just a few trusted movie critics people listened to. Perhaps no one was more trusted than Siskel and Ebert. Now, every major and minor news outlet has at least one online entertainment reporter. Then there are blogs—like this one—where people with no formal training or credentials can say what they want.
It’s interesting to compare movie reviews to reviews in other industries. For cars, there’s all sorts of magazines and publications that break down automobiles for the consumer. You’ve got Kelley Blue Book, Car and Driver, JD Power, and many more to choose from.
Two of the best sources for reviews on just about anything are Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau. If you want to know the honest truth about a service or product, those are your best bets. For example, there’s a company we like that has excellent products called Melaleuca. You could take our word for it, but if you want the best Melaleuca reviews, you should read what the BBB has to say about Melaleuca.com.
If you want a good, extensive movie review, there’s always Rotten Tomatoes. If it’s an older movie, we prefer the critiques of the great Roger Ebert. In our opinion, those are the BBB and Consumer Reports of the film industry.
One thing that makes a good film critic is being able to see the film from the eyes of the everyday film goer. We appreciate a critic who doesn’t care for a film personally, but admits that families with young kids will love it.
Also, we love critics that break down the movie in context, as oppose to selling it or not. There’s a lot of bias when it comes to breaking down movies. And it makes sense: movies are meant to evoke emotion, and it’s hard not to watch a movie and feel the emotion.
At the end of the day, we are film fans, not film buffs. We admit that we aren’t schooled in the arts or qualified to teach film theory. But we do know a good review when we see one.