The history of American film criticism.


Gerald Peary


Gerald Peary



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Credited cast:
Roger Ebert ... Self
Andrew Sarris ... Self
Pauline Kael ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jami Bernard Jami Bernard ... Self
Ernest Borgnine ... Self (archive footage)
Kevin Carragee Kevin Carragee ... (voice)
Jason Carter ... (voice)
Patricia Clarkson ... Narrator (voice)
Richard Corliss ... Self
David D'Arcy David D'Arcy ... Self
Otis Ferguson Otis Ferguson ... Self
Owen Gleiberman Owen Gleiberman ... Self
Molly Haskell ... Self
J. Hoberman J. Hoberman ... Self
William Holden ... Self (archive footage)


Relied upon by some moviegoers and reviled by others, film critics for over 100 years have represented a form of journalism that sought to find and judge film as an art in a way others might want to heed. This film presents a comprehensive history of this form of writing as it developed with the film medium itself. With historical profiles on major contributors like Pauline Kael along with interview with contemporary figures like Roger Ebert, the nature of the profession is explored both for its illustrious past and its uncertain future. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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Lisa Schwarzbaum: My advice to kids who are coming through, when you know, journalism kids who come up to me and say, "How do I get to be you?", is say do everything else first. See the world, write about other stuff, have some life, wander around, take the wrong direction, keep going to the movies, have some experience, read books, watch television, go hiking, do all of that so that when you finally do get to write about films, if that's what you still really, really want to do, you have a perspective of which ...
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User Reviews

Critics and the Movies
3 April 2014 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009)

*** (out of 4)

Somewhat uneven but entertaining documentary taking a look at film critics from the past to the present. The documentary from director Gerald Perry actually features plenty of interviews with actual critics, which is a major plus as they get to comment on various subjects including the history of film criticism, how they got into doing it, their relationship with studios and directors and there's even some nice talk about the theory that everyone is a critic. As someone who loves movies, loves writing about movies and loves reading other's opinions on movies, this documentary kept me entertained from start to finish. I really liked the knowledge of how film criticism first started back around 1907 and it was fascinating to learn about the few critics who were out there at the time. It was also fascinating being able to see how the profession has changed throughout time and during which eras were critics most important when it came to people listening to them. The likes of Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris are discussed as well as what Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert brought to the table. Other critics like Rex Reed, Owen Gleiberman, Elvis Mitchell, Janet Maslin and even Harry Knowles are interviews as well. FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES certainly has some faults including how it jumps around on its subjects too much. I'm not sure if this was originally much longer and then edited down but it just seems like several subjects are brought up and not fully discussed. Either way, if you're a fan of film then this here should keep you entertained and especially if you like discussing and debating movies.

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Release Date:

31 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism See more »

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AG Flims See more »
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