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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

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Brian Tallerico

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Simon Abrams

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Orlando, My Political Biography

Matt zoller seitz.

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Dream Scenario

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Albert Brooks: Defending My Life

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It's a Wonderful Knife

Robert daniels.

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Youth (Spring)

Glenn kenny.

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Stamped from the Beginning

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A Still Small Voice

Monica castillo.

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Your Lucky Day

Sheila o'malley.

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Common Ground

Marya e. gates, from the blog.

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As The Crown's Final Season Begins, the Netflix Hit Slips Fully into Melodrama

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Jackie Chan: Emergence of a Superstar is Essential For Fans of the Legendary Star

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Black Harvest Film Festival 2023 Interview: Monica Sorelle on Her Richly Personal Mountains

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Black Harvest Film Festival 2023: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes, Black Barbie: A Documentary, We Were Meant To, Burnt Milk

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Nathan Fielder, Emma Stone Want You to Suffer Through the Hysterical, Cringe-Inducing The Curse

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Max's Rap Sh!t Returns for a Moody Second Season

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Apple TV+'s The Buccaneers Shakes Up High Society

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Comedy is No Joke: An Interview with Comedy Book Author Jesse David Fox

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Short Films in Focus: Troy

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Bright Wall/Dark Room October 2023: Killing Time: 3:10 to Yuma & the Lonesome West by Nicholas Russell

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FX Delivers a Lackluster Thriller With A Murder at the End of the World

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Inside My Head: Kristoffer Borgli on Dream Scenario

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Paramount+'s Western Expanse Broadens With the Riveting Lawmen: Bass Reeves

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The History of Marvel Movies

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The Best Musicals of the 2010s

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The Best Comedies of 2022

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Christy Lemire

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This Much We Know

Peyton robinson.

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The Marvels

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All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt

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What Happens Later

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Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

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Top Critic is a designation created to distinguish Tomatometer-approved critics who excel at their craft. Critics selected are well-established, influential, and prolific; they are, in a sense, the cream of the crop. Top Critic status is granted by a set of criteria and a selection panel and cannot be applied for.

Reviews published by Top Critics feature in-depth analysis, supported by a breakdown of formal and thematic elements. Top Critics exhibit a deep knowledge of film/TV history, and their reviews may also provide valuable cultural context. While their reviews incorporate the lens of their own experience, they also exhibit the ability to remove any biases that may prevent them from serving the audience at-large. Overall, reviews from Top Critics are compelling, provide a sense of the viewing experience, exhibit a recognizable voice, and may influence the larger cultural conversation around a film or TV series.

Top Critics demonstrate commitment to criticism beyond reviewing and create impact in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

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Peer evaluation and external expertise is also taken into consideration in selecting candidates for this designation. We have collaborated with an advisory group of critics and industry professionals chosen for their diverse backgrounds and prominence in the field in order to ensure and maintain quality for the designation.

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Critics who contribute to approved publications that reach underrepresented groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis. An active and dynamic social presence is also evaluated for all critics.

List of individually-designated Top Critics

Top Critic-Designated Publications

Similar to individual recipients, Top Critic outlets are making distinct and lasting impacts on the field of film/TV criticism. By reaching broad and/or underrepresented audiences, these outlets influence conversations surrounding the films and/or TV series they cover.

Eligible outlets often review lesser-covered and/or niche films and/or TV shows, and do so from perspectives and angles that speak directly to their communities. Overall, these publications have established themselves as distinctive platforms that provide nuanced and unique coverage both by and for underrepresented audiences.

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List of publications that receive the Top Critic designation

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History of Top Critics

Established in 2008, Top Critic is a designation that elevates Tomatometer critics who excel at their craft, are well-established, influential and prolific; they are, in a sense, the cream of the crop.

The Top Critic designation was originally intended to spotlight critics whose reviews were primarily published at traditional print outlets. These publications were selected for their editorial oversight, longevity, journalistic reputation and elevated reach, demonstrated by high circulation (e.g., print outlets holding rank in the top 10% of circulation). As media formats evolved, the designation was eventually expanded to wide-reaching web magazines and news sites.

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From LAist 89.3

FilmWeek on AirTalk, hosted by Larry Mantle, is a one-hour weekly segment offering reviews of the week's new movies, interviews with filmmakers, and discussion.

  • Apple Podcasts

Most Recent Episodes

November 10, 2023, filmweek feature: larry mantle's interview with scott eyman on his new book 'charlie chapl....

November 10, 2023 • In the aftermath of World War Two, Charlie Chaplin was criticized for being politically liberal and internationalist in outlook. Chaplin also had other problems: his numerous affairs with young women. His sexuality became a convenient way for those who opposed his politics to condemn him – eventually being refused entry into the US while on a trip abroad. Having settled in Switzerland, he made his last two films in London. Bestselling Hollywood biographer and film historian Scott Eyman tells the story of Charlie Chaplin's fall from grace in his new book "Charlie Chaplin Vs. America: When Art, Sex, And Politics Collided."

FilmWeek: 'The Marvels' 'Your Lucky Day,' 'Bella' And More

November 10, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Andy Klein and Manuel Betancourt review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "The Marvels" Wide Release "It's A Wonderful Knife" In Select Theaters "Jazebel" Available on VOD "Albert Brooks: Defending My Life" Streaming on Max "Who I Am Not" Laemmle NoHo 7 [North Hollywood] "Your Lucky Day" Alamo Drafthouse [DTLA] "Bella" Laemmle Royal [West LA] "This Much We Know" Laemmle Monica Film Center [Santa Monica] Nov. 15th "As We Know It" Laemmle Monica Film Center [Santa Monica] Nov. 15th "Adventures of the Naked Umbrella" Laemmle Glendale [Glendale] + VOD

November 3, 2023

Filmweek feature: the depiction of girls and young women in anime with charles solomom; th....

November 3, 2023 • In the first half of this week's FilmWeek Feature, Larry sits down with LAist film critic and animation expert Charles Solomon to examine how Japanese animation portrays girls and young women — and how that might differ from Western animation. Afterwards, Larry speaks with Variety's Executive Editor of Film & Media Tatiana Siegel about the ongoing complications both on the screen and behind the scenes for Marvel Studios.

FilmWeek: 'Fingernails,' 'Four Daughters,' 'Going to Mars The Nikki Giovanni Project' And More

November 3, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Christy Lemire, Andy Klein, and Charles Solomon review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "The Marsh King's Daughter" Wide Release "Fingernails" Select Theaters & Streaming on AppleTV+ "Rustin" In Select Theaters & Streaming on Netflix Nov. 17th "The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes" Multiple AMC Locations "Four Daughters" Laemmle Royal [West LA] "What Happens Later" Select Theaters "Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning" Select Theaters Nov. 8th & 9th "Quiz Lady" Streaming on Hulu "Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project" Laemmle Royal [West LA] "The Stones and Brian Jones" One Night Only, Laemmle Theaters Nov. 7th

October 27, 2023

Filmweek feature: larry mantle talks to director alexander payne about the holdovers.

October 27, 2023 • Alexander Payne has directed a new film, a comedic drama called "The Holdovers," starring Paul Giamatti. Payne has made eight feature films, including Election, Sideways, The Descendants, About Schmidt and Nebraska. His movies have been nominated for a total of nineteen Oscars, including three times each for Best Picture and Best Director. He has won two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay, and two of his films have won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. Joining Larry on FilmWeek, Payne discusses his new feature, how he cast one of the standout stars of the film Dominic Sessa who had no prior professional acting experience, and why the topic of the film resonated with him.

FilmWeek: 'The Holdovers,' 'Five Nights at Freddy's,' 'Priscilla' And More

October 27, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Peter Rainer and Tim Cogshell review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "The Holdovers" Select Theaters | Wide Nov. 10th "The Killer" Select Theaters | Netflix Nov. 10th "The Delinquents" Laemmle Royal [West LA] "Five Nights at Freddy's" Wide Release | Streaming on Peacock "Sly" Alamo Drafthouse "Priscilla" AMC The Grove & AMC Century City 15 | Wide Nov. 3rd "Yellow Door: '90s Lo-fi Film Club" Streaming on Netflix "To Kill a Tiger" Laemmle Royal [West LA] & Laemmle Monica Film Center [Santa Monica] "Sister Death" Streaming on Netflix "Waikiki" Laemmle NoHo [North Hollywood] "Suitable Flesh" Alamo Drafthouse

October 20, 2023

Filmweek: 'killers of the flower moon,' 'the persian version,' 'beyond utopia' and more.

October 20, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Claudia Puig and Manuel Betancourt review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "Killers of the Flower Moon" Wide Release "The Pigeon Tunnel" Laemmle NoHo & Apple TV+ "More Than Ever" Laemmle Monica Film Center "Beyond Utopia" Select Theaters Oct. 23th & Oct. 24th | Expands Nov. 3rd "A.K.A. Mr. Chow" Laemmle Royal | Streaming on Max Oct. 22th "Pain Hustlers" Laemmle NoHo + Town Center 5 | Streaming on Netflix Oct. 27th "Nyad" Landmark Theaters Sunset + Pasadena Playhouse | Streaming on Netflix Nov. 3rd "The Persian Version" AMC The Grove + Century City, Laemmle Royal "Milli Vanilli" Paramount+ October 24th

October 13, 2023

Filmweek: 'taylor swift: the eras tour,' 'anatomy of a fall,' 'the mission,' 'story ave' and more.

October 13, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Amy Nicholson, Wade Major, and Charles Solomon review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Wide Release "Anatomy of a Fall" Select Theaters "The Mission" Select Theaters "Story Ave" Select Theaters "My Love Affair With Marriage" Select Theaters "Dear David" Select Theaters and Video on Demand "Joan Baez: I Am Noise" Select Theaters "Mister Organ" Select Theaters Animation is Film Festival October 18th - 22nd

October 6, 2023

Filmweek: 'the exorcist: believer,' 'the royal hotel,' "dicks: the musical,' 'strange way ....

October 6, 2023 • Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Christy Lemire and Andy Klein review this weekend's new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms: "The Exorcist: Believer" Wide Release "The Royal Hotel" Select Theaters "Foe" Select Theaters "She Came To Me" Select Theaters "Dicks: The Musical" Select Theaters|Expands to Wide Release Oct. 20th "The Burial" Select Theaters "Strange Way Of Life" Select Theaters "Totally Killer" Amazon Prime Video "Cat Person" Laemmle Royal [West LA], Laemmle Glendale & Laemmle Town Center [Encino] "Miranda's Victim" Laemmle Town Center [Encino]|Available On Demand "Aberrance" Laemmle Royal [West LA] "Dr. Cheon And The Lost Talisman" Select Theaters

FilmWeek: 'The Exorcist: Believer,' 'The Royal Hotel,' "Dicks: The Musical,' 'Strange Way ...

Filmweek feature: larry mantle interviews "the mission" directors amanda mcbaine and jesse moss.

October 6, 2023 • In 2018, a shocking event made headlines around the world: a young American missionary, John Chau, was killed by arrows while attempting to contact one of the world's most isolated Indigenous peoples on the remote North Sentinel Island. National Geographic Documentary Films' "The Mission" uncovers the story beyond the headlines. Through exclusive interviews and with unprecedented access to Chau's secret plans, personal diaries and video archives.

FilmWeek Feature: Larry Mantle Interviews "The Mission" Directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss

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Times Insider

A Film Critic Who Embraces His Role as a Guide

Rescuing movie viewers from endless browsing — and introducing them to hidden gems — is satisfying to a Times critic.

film critics today

By Jason Bailey

Jason Bailey, who writes about films and TV for The Times, watched 651 movies last year.

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.

The phrase “service journalism” is a loaded one, particularly among arts critics, who are constantly worrying that their thoughtful and nuanced criticism is being reduced to a yes or no binary — fresh or rotten fruit, if you will. Am I contributing to the cultural conversation , we worry, or merely serving as a consumer guide ? But as the writer who curates the New York Times lists of the best movies to watch on Netflix and on Amazon Prime Video , and the best movies and TV shows to see on Hulu , I’ve come not only to accept the label of service journalism, but to embrace it.

These lists of recommendations, which The Times has published for several years, are the very definition of service journalism — an attempt to weed through a seemingly limitless library of content and direct readers to movies and TV shows that are worthy of their precious time and attention. I’ve written deeply researched books, assembled narrative storytelling podcasts, gathered oral histories and labored over think pieces. None of that will prompt as many old friends and new introductions to exclaim, “Oh, I use that all the time!” And it’s satisfying, thrilling even, to me as both a journalist and a movie lover to hear that I’ve shined a light on a film that might not have caught their attention otherwise.

It wasn’t always like this. In 2012, when I started working as a professional film critic — that is, paid in American currency, rather than in free DVDs or movie tickets — the theatrical release was still considered the be-all and end-all of cinematic consumption. Amazon had only made its Instant Video service available to Prime members the previous year. Netflix’s streaming platform was five years old and not exactly bursting with options. “Straight-to-video” was still bandied about as a pejorative, indicating that if a movie didn’t play in theaters, it must be suspect.

That has, to put it mildly, changed considerably over the past decade. The theatrical release is often just a stop on the marketing campaign behind the film en route to its final home: video on demand or a streaming service, where most of its audience will see it. Oscar winners, including “Nomadland” and “CODA,” were released immediately to streaming platforms. Audiences increasingly prefer watching films, even for the first time, at home. Today’s film critic needs a keen understanding of how the streaming landscape affects viewership habits and exposure to films new and old — and the role we play as streaming libraries grow larger and more difficult to navigate.

With that in mind, The Times launched a guide to the 50 best movies on Netflix in the United States in 2017; its quick success prompted our Amazon Prime Video guide the next year, and they were joined by a Hulu guide in 2020. These lists are updated about once a week. (The interest in streaming coverage was, as you might expect, greatly escalated by the coronavirus pandemic — particularly during the early days of stay-at-home orders, when readers were hungry for bingeing suggestions.)

Curating and maintaining the lists, which can include 300 recommendations all together, is a big job. Keeping the lists accurate as various titles come and go from the streaming services ( sometimes with warning , sometimes without) requires the upkeep of multiple spreadsheets, subscriptions and browser plug-ins, as well as copious use of the Just Watch aggregator, which tracks where movies are streaming and renting, as well as new arrivals and popular titles on each platform.

I never recommend a movie I haven’t seen. That’s where the traditional film critic model comes back into play. My regular assignments — which include reviewing new theatrical releases , covering film festivals , rounding up new Blu-ray titles and seeking out less-celebrated streaming gems — often provide a first look at movies that eventually make their way onto these lists. And since any movie may eventually land on a streaming platform, every one I see, for work or for pleasure, may be included in one of these guides, I’m always taking notes or even writing advance capsule reviews.

It amounts to a lot of work, yes. But I’m not exactly spending my days in the coal mines; I get to make a living watching movies and writing about them in a way that piques the curiosity of readers and hopefully prompts further investigation. It’s a delightful duty to perform, and a service that I count myself lucky to provide.

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(Photo by Disney/Courtesy Everett Collection)

30 Most Popular Movies Right Now: What to Watch In Theaters and Streaming

Discover the top, most popular movies available now! Across theaters, streaming, and on-demand, these are the movies Rotten Tomatoes users are checking out at this very moment, including The Marvels (see all MCU movies ranked ), Five Nights at Freddy’s (see 2023’s horror movies ranked , and video game movies ranked ) and The Killer from director David Fincher .

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The Marvels (2023) 62%

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The Killer (2023) 86%

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Five Nights at Freddy's (2023) 30%

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Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) 93%

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The Holdovers (2023) 96%

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Priscilla (2023) 82%

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When Evil Lurks (2023) 99%

' sborder=

Dumb Money (2023) 84%

' sborder=

Dream Scenario (2023) 91%

' sborder=

Nyad (2023) 85%

' sborder=

A Haunting in Venice (2023) 75%

' sborder=

Talk to Me (2023) 94%

' sborder=

Quiz Lady (2023) 79%

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Locked In (2023) 33%

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Journey to Bethlehem (2023) 78%

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Pain Hustlers (2023) 24%

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Butcher's Crossing (2022) 73%

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What Happens Later (2023) 52%

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No Hard Feelings (2023) 71%

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Anatomy of a Fall (2023) 96%

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Fingernails (2023) 62%

' sborder=

Oppenheimer (2023) 93%

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Polaris (2022) 100%

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Ghosts of the Void (2023) 100%

' sborder=

Old Dads (2023) 28%

' sborder=

Radical (2023) 93%

' sborder=

The Marsh King's Daughter (2023) 35%

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The Burial (2023) 91%

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Captain Marvel (2019) 79%

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'Napoleon' cast, release date: What to know about Ridley Scott epic starring Joaquin Phoenix

film critics today

This story may contain spoilers for "Napoleon."

The controversial life of one of the world's most infamous military leaders will unfold on the big screen when Ridley Scott's " Napoleon " hits theaters next week.

Scott, the 85-year-old renowned director, is no stranger to the historical epic and has reportedly long wanted to make a film about Napoleon Bonaparte's rise and fall from power.  Financed and produced  by Apple Studios , the film will see Scott reunited with Joaquin Phoenix after the pair last collaborated on the 2000 Oscar-winning film " Gladiator ."

Here's everything you need to know about "Napoleon," including the cast, its release date and what the critics are saying.

New 'Hunger Games' movie: What to know about 'The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes'

Release date

"Napoleon" will hit theaters Nov. 22 in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

The film, which clocks in at two hours and 38 minutes, will also be available to stream exclusively on Apple TV+ at a later date.

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix stars alongside Vanessa Kirby

Phoenix , 49, stars as the infamous French military commander alongside Vanessa Kirby , 35, who portrays Napoleon's wife Joséphine.

The film's large supporting cast includes  Tahar Rahim  as a French politician;  Ben Miles  as a French diplomat and Bonaparte's adviser; and  Ludivine Sagnier  as a socialite.

'The Crown' Season 6: Release date, cast, trailer, how to watch Part 1 of new season

See the most recent trailer for 'Napoleon'

Sony Pictures gave moviegoers the first glimpse of "Napoleon" in July with the release of the first trailer.

Scored to a haunting cover of Radiohead's " The National Anthem ," the trailer showcased sweeping battle scenes, as well as Bonaparte's volatile relationship with his wife, Josephine.

A second trailer released on Oct. 18 reveals more of Phoenix's wickedly cunning portrayal of Bonaparte. This time scored to a remix of another rock song (Black Sabbath's "War Pigs,") the trailer shows flashes of Bonaparte's meteoric rise from the ranks of a simple French soldier as he claims France's throne for himself.

"Whose country are we in?" Phoenix asks rhetorically in the trailer. "Mine."

See the trailer here:

Who was Napoleon Bonaparte?

Born in 1769,  Bonaparte rose through the military ranks  by leading successful military campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars.

A successful coup d’état in 1799 led Bonaparte to seize political power for himself before he crowned himself emperor in 1804. But after years of expanding his empire, his fall from grace was swift when Bonaparte was exiled to the island of Elba.

When he returned to power in 1815, it was only to experience another crushing defeat at the famous Battle of Waterloo. Exiled by the British to the remote island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic, Bonaparte died in 1821 at the age of 51.

'Garfield Movie:' Watch Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson as cartoon cats in first trailer

What is the movie about?

With a script from David Scarpa, the movie will tell the story of Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power amid the fall of the French monarchy and the birth of the French revolution.

As Bonaparte's military conquests pave the way for his rise to power, the film also depicts his relationship with Empress Joséphine.

What are the critics saying?

Reviews of "Napoleon" have so farm been mostly positive, though some critics were mixed about what they said was a visually stunning, if flawed, film.

With 33 reviews, the film holds a 76% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics largely praised the powerful performances and action sequences, but were left questioning the film's lengthy runtime. In a mostly positive review for Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson called "Napoleon"  "a wry survey of dangerous male ego."

David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter was less impressed. Though he praised the performance of Phoenix and Kirby, Rooney said the overall scope was "too sprawling to remain compelling, particularly when its focus veers away from the central couple."

In a positive review for the Guardian , Peter Bradshaw said Scot created "an outrageously enjoyable cavalry charge of a movie."

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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The audience at the Los Angeles premiere of Barbie, that all-important opening weekend.

Who needs film critics when studios can be sure influencers will praise their films?

A shift from knowledgable writers to those simply in search of free tickets devalues cinema – and audience experience

“F eel free to share your positive feelings about the film on Twitter after the screening,” said the usher introducing the London press preview screening of Barbie , Greta Gerwig’s Mattel-produced film. The embargo for reviews, however, would not be lifted until two days later, closer to the film’s release. The audience generally didn’t bat an eyelid and it wasn’t the first time my colleagues and I had heard such directives, yet we were left feeling censored: if they won’t allow for our negative reactions, why should they get our positive ones?

The purpose of this strategy barely needs specifying: in addition to the film’s omnipresent marketing campaign, positive reactions on social media were to seal the deal and ensure that the most dubious potential spectators would be persuaded to turn up to the cinema on the opening weekend, the most crucial days for a film’s box office success. The fact that the audience at this preview screening consisted mostly of influencers was another blatant marketing strategy, which would not have been as insulting were it not for the fact that it meant many film critics were unable to see the film before its release. The phenomenon occurred in other cities as well. A few days before the film’s release, Parisian writers were dumbfounded to see some colleagues sharing glowing takes on the film on Twitter, after being told there would be no advance screenings for any of the press. Moreover, what were presented as exclusive interviews with the cast turned out to be prerecorded and pre-approved by the studio. Ahead of its release, the film was to be seen only through pink-tinted glasses.

The studio was keen to control the pre-release narrative for Barbie.

While it is customary for film studios to try to control the narrative by organising advance screenings if they believe in a film or avoiding them if they don’t, the methods employed for the release of Barbie were more extreme. They are symptomatic of a trend that has been evolving over the past few years and that concerns not only the film criticism profession, but culture at large. If all discussion of a film’s merits before release is left to influencers, whose driving ambition is to receive free merchandise by speaking well of the studio’s products, what can we expect the film landscape to look like? Where will engaging, challenging and, if not completely unbiased then at least impartial conversation about cinema take place, and how is the audience to think critically of what is being sold to it?

It isn’t news that many people perceive critics as pessimistic writers and frustrated artists who never like anything – thanks, Ratatouille . If critics can seem harsh, however, it is because they love cinema and want what is best for it. They want it to be as artful and life-changing as it can be, rather than a purely commercial enterprise meant to make us buy more things. But even that cliche has changed lately. As the writers and actors’ strike began – in an attempt to get streamers and studios to remunerate workers properly – and cast and crew found themselves unable to promote their work, many wondered whether film critics continuing to write reviews would be crossing the picket line, further evidence that the difference between critics and PRs is blurring in the public consciousness. Somehow, we have gone to the other end of the spectrum: a critic is now perceived as someone who loves every film, automatically and uncritically.

More worrying still, some critics see themselves that way, avoiding ruffling any feathers (internet backlash against unpopular opinions doesn’t help) and instead choosing to generate bloated excitement for any new release. The studios are partly responsible, inundating young, broke writers with extravagant film merchandise that they otherwise could never afford and taking off their mailing lists those who review their films negatively. But the problem runs deeper still: in a climate in which the film industry is already struggling and streamers (yes, them again) have worked hard to make films appear about as worthwhile as a YouTube or a TikTok video, letting you watch thousands of them for a small subscription fee rather than paying the price of a cinema ticket for each one, it is tempting for film lovers to want to promote cinema at all cost. Why discourage more people from going to the movie theatre with an unfavourable review?

Christopher Nolan’s three-hour biopic, Oppenheimer, seems the polar opposite of Barbie.

If the internet has paved the way for the devaluation of cinema via streaming platforms, it has also done the same for film criticism. The democratising effect is undeniable, but so is the cheapening one, literally and figuratively. With so many more people writing about cinema online, fees for reviews have fallen to shockingly low levels and the expertise supposedly required of film critics has been forgotten – knowledge of the film history and good writing skills are less and less valued. From typos and poor grammar to evident misunderstandings about what certain words mean (the Cambridge Dictionary defines “bombastic” as “forceful and confident in a way that is intended to be very powerful and impressive, but may not have much real meaning or effect”, which would mean that Barbie is pompous rather than remarkable) and superficial readings of complex films, the quality of film writing has dwindled. It is hard to recommend people read more criticism when it so often makes for a tedious or actively infuriating experience.

This low quality, mass availability and low interest has in turn hurt publications and encourages editors to pay their writers ever less – and the vicious cycle continues. Recently, a fellow critic tweeted their review of a film newly released in US theatres, but rather than letting their words speak for themselves, they also attached a clip from that film – a clip they had illegally recorded off the online screener with which the studio had provided them (the tweet has since been taken down). They did so to encourage people to see the film because, they said: “No one was going to read my review anyway, regardless of how well I think it’s written.” When I asked why bother writing a review at all, their answer was brutal and simple: for $50. If critics themselves perceive their work as worthless and pointless and fall into marketing strategies to draw people towards films they love, what place does film criticism hold in today’s culture?

Whether a fact or a myth, we used to believe that critics could make or break a film: Pauline Kael is said to have rescued the now-classic Bonnie and Clyde and thus encouraged Hollywood to reinvent itself. The support of critics meant a lot to young Quentin Tarantino, and the French critics (and film-makers) at the Cahiers du Cinéma contributed to Alfred Hitchcock being taken seriously in his homeland and in Hollywood. It is difficult to imagine such impactful film criticism today, which doesn’t mean that good writing doesn’t exist, coming from established and newer voices. Rather than hype machines, these writers are craftspeople, bringing together their personal experience, film knowledge, critical thinking and enthusiasm to write articles that challenge perspectives and reflect on today’s world.

In a recent interview with Sight and Sound, the film-maker Paul Schrader (himself a former film critic) said : “There was a period when film criticism blossomed, but that was because audiences wanted better films.” This article won’t open this other can of worms, but in the weeks after one of the biggest box office weekends in a long time , it is worth wondering what film audiences want today. Oppenheimer , a three-hour long biopic directed by the beloved and bankable Christopher Nolan, seems the polar opposite of Barbie, which despite its creativity remains fundamentally an ad for a toy. It is precisely in such complex and seemingly paradoxical circumstances that film critics can help us understand what the film industry is going through – leaving it to Twitter can make for baffling and absurd takes . This critic would say that at least one thing seems clear: spectators want films that their makers take seriously, rather than those that are unceremoniously dumped online and copied from a previous version. It doesn’t seem a coincidence that neither Barbie nor Oppenheimer is a franchise film or a sequel, and that they both feature countless actors whose talents are put front and centre (and in the case of Barbie, who were treated like children attending the best summer camp ever ) – and, finally, that both films have made for some of the best film writing this year. Perhaps the strikes will result in greater fairness for film-makers and, therefore, in greater films – and greater film criticism.

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‘barbie’ set for gotham awards’ inaugural global icon & creator tribute, ‘still: a michael j. fox movie’ leads critics choice documentary awards with five wins.

By Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond

Awards Columnist/Chief Film Critic

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Still A Michael J. Fox Movie

It was a very good night Sunday for Apple TV+’s Davis Guggenheim-directed documentary Still: A Michael J Fox Movie , about Fox’s life and battle with Parkinson’s disease. The movie won in all five categories for which it was nominated at the eighth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards , taking wins for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Editing for Michael Harte, Narration for Fox himself, and Biographical Documentary.

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"Origin" And "American Symphony" Win Top Awards At Virginia Film Festival

Jon Batiste docu American Symphony leads Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations

Jon Batiste, Michael J. Fox Films Among Nomination Leaders Of 8th Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards; Taylor Swift In Contention For Eras Tour Concert Movie

Jon Batiste was the subject of American Symphony, which had a leading six nominations and won a prize as Best Music Documentary as well as for Batiste’s score. The Deepest Breath prevailed as Best Sports Documentary and for its Cinematography.

HBO scored a major win with its Being Mary Tyler Moore named as Best Archival Documentary.

Here is the full list of winners:


Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


Davis Guggenheim – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


Mstyslav Chernov – 20 Days in Mariupol


Tim Cragg – The Deepest Breath


Michael Harte – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Jon Batiste – American Symphony


Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie – Written and Performed by Michael J. Fox


Being Mary Tyler Moore


JFK: One Day in America



American Symphony


20 Days in Mariupol


Secrets of the Elephants


The Deepest Breath


Lennon: Murder Without a Trial


The Last Repair Shop


The 1619 Project


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Critics choice documentary awards: ‘still: a michael j. fox movie’ named best doc feature.

The film won a total of five awards; 'American Symphony' and '20 Days in Mariupol' also were multiple winners Sunday night.

By Kimberly Nordyke

Kimberly Nordyke

Managing Editor, Digital

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Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie was the top winner at the 2023 Critics Choice Documentary Awards , which were handed out Sunday night.

Among the other prizes the film collected was the best narration award for Michael J. Fox. It also won best biographical documentary, best direction for Davis Guggenheim and best editing for Michael Harte for a total of five awards overall.

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20 Days in Mariupol won two awards, for best first documentary feature and best political doc.

The eighth annual edition of the awards show, hosted by Wyatt Cenac, took place at New York’s Edison Ballroom.

Winners were announced in 18 categories spanning theatrical film, TV and digital platforms. Also this year, the Critics Choice Association honored Ross McElwee with its Pennebaker Award, formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award and named for late lifetime achievement honoree D.A. Pennebaker

This year’s ceremony was live-streamed via YouTube, Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter).

A complete list of this year’s Critics Choice Documentary Awards winners follows.


20 Days in Mariupol (PBS) American Symphony (Netflix) Beyond Utopia (Roadside Attractions) The Deepest Breath (Netflix) The Eternal Memory (MTV Documentary Films) Judy Blume Forever (Amazon Studios) Kokomo City (Magnolia Pictures) The Mission (National Geographic) Stamped From the Beginning (Netflix) Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+) (WINNER)


Maite Alberdi – The Eternal Memory (MTV Documentary Films) Madeleine Gavin – Beyond Utopia (Roadside Attractions) Davis Guggenheim – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+) (WINNER) Matthew Heineman – American Symphony (Netflix) Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss – The Mission (National Geographic) Steve McQueen – Occupied City (A24)


Best cinematography.

Tim Cragg – The Deepest Breath (Netflix) (WINNER) Tony Hardmon, Matthew Heineman, Thorsten Thielow – American Symphony (Netflix) Lennert Hillege – Occupied City (A24) Franz Lustig – Anselm (Sideshow) D. Smith – Kokomo City (Magnolia Pictures) Toby Strong, James Boon, Bob Poole, Neil Fairlie, Wim Vorster, Joshua Tarr, Pete Allibone, Neil Harvey, Andreas Knausenberger – Secrets of the Elephants (National Geographic)


Sammy Dane, Jim Hession, Matthew Heineman, Fernando Villegas – American Symphony (Netflix) Madeleine Gavin – Beyond Utopia (Roadside Attractions) Michael Harte – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+) (WINNER) Michelle Mizner – 2 0 Days in Mariupol (PBS) D. Smith – Kokomo City (Magnolia Pictures) Aaron Wickenden – The Mission (National Geographic)

Jon Batiste – American Symphony (Netflix) (WINNER) Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans – The Mission (National Geographic) Nainita Desai – The Deepest Breath (Netflix) Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan – The Pigeon Tunnel (Apple TV+) Katya Richardson and Kris Bowers – The Last Repair Shop (Breakwater Studios) D. Smith – Kokomo City (Magnolia Pictures)


20 Days in Mariupol (PBS) Written and Performed by Mstyslav Chernov

32 Sounds (Abramorama) Written and Performed by Sam Green

The Disappearance of Shere Hite (IFC Films) Written by Nicole Newnham Performed by Dakota Johnson

Secrets of the Elephants (National Geographic) Written by Martin Williams Performed by Natalie Portman

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+) (WINNER) Written and Performed by Michael J. Fox


Being Mary Tyler Moore (HBO | Max) (WINNER) The Disappearance of Shere Hite (IFC Films) It Ain’t Over (Sony Pictures Classics) JFK: One Day in America (National Geographic) The Lady Bird Diaries (Hulu) The League (Magnolia Pictures)


The 1619 Project (Hulu/Onyx Collective) JFK: One Day in America (National Geographic) (WINNER) The Lady Bird Diaries (Hulu) Lakota Nation vs. United States (IFC Films) The League (Magnolia Pictures) Occupied City (A24) Stamped From the Beginning (Netflix)


Being Mary Tyler Moore (HBO | Max) The Disappearance of Shere Hite (IFC Films) Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (HBO Documentary Films) Judy Blume Forever (Amazon Studios) Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields (Hulu) Sly (Netflix) Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+) (WINNER)


American Symphony (Netflix) (WINNER) Carlos (Sony Pictures Classics) Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop (Netflix) Little Richard: I Am Everything (Magnolia Pictures/CNN Films) Love to Love You, Donna Summer (HBO | Max) Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (AMC Theatres) What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears? (Abramorama/Freestyle Digital Media)


Best science/nature documentary.

32 Sounds (Abramorama) Between Earth and Sky (PBS) Life on Our Planet (Netflix) Path of the Panther (National Geographic) Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food (Netflix) Secrets of the Elephants (National Geographic) (WINNER) Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West (Gravitas Ventures)


Black Ice (Roadside Attractions) BS High (HBO | Max) The Deepest Breath (Netflix) (WINNER) It Ain’t Over (Sony Pictures Classics) The League (Magnolia Pictures) Reggie (Amazon Studios) Stephen Curry: Underrated (Apple TV+) Welcome to Wrexham (FX)


Burden of Proof (HBO) The Jewel Thief (Hulu) John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial (Apple TV+) (WINNER) Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal (Netflix) Telemarketers (HBO | Max) (WINNER) The Thief Collector (FilmRise) Victim/Suspect (Netflix)


The ABCs of Book Banning (MTV Documentary Films) The Barber of Little Rock (Story Syndicate) Between Earth and Sky (PBS) Keys to the City (New Yorker) The Last Repair Shop (Breakwater Studios) (WINNER) Last Song From Kabul (MTV Documentary Films)


Best ongoing documentary series.

30 for 30 (ESPN) (WINNER) Frontline (PBS) Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal (Netflix) POV (PBS) Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller (National Geographic) Welcome to Wrexham (FX)

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‘Next Goal Wins’ — and who loses?

Taika waititi’s sports comedy tells the story of the hapless american samoa soccer team that infamously lost a match 31-0.

Michael Fassbender, center, with the cast, in a scene from "Next Goal Wins."

I attended the world premiere of “Next Goal Wins” at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Introducing the film, director Taika Waititi talked about colonialism and repeatedly punched his microphone until it broke. After getting another mic, he told us, “I’m going to twist the truth” with this movie, which is perfectly within his rights as a filmmaker.

If we wanted to know more about the true story that inspired his movie, Waititi said, we could watch the 2014 documentary “Next Goal Wins,” which follows the story of the American Samoa soccer team that, in 2001, infamously lost a game against Australia 31-0 .


I second that notion: Watch the documentary instead, and not because of any truth-twisting Waititi employs. You should watch the other film because “Next Goal Wins” is abysmal. This film’s comic antics are relentless, exhausting, and devastatingly unfunny. Waititi’s script (co-written with Iain Morris) can’t go 30 seconds without attempting a laugh — and failing most of the time. It often feels as though the players are being cruelly mocked for their failure, which probably wasn’t the film’s intention.

Kaimana and the cast of "Next Goal Wins."

Though the movie avoids the pitfall of otherizing its characters, it has little redeeming value. It gives us sports cliché after sports cliché, and as expected the primary focus is on the white protagonist’s problems and redemption.

The Samoans have only a single personality trait that distinguishes them from each other. The one fleshed-out player is Jaiyah (Kaimana), who is faʻafafine (a Samoan term for someone who is nonbinary, or has a third gender). Though treated with dignity, Jaiyah is ultimately reduced to a series of teachable moments for the film’s protagonist, Dutch-American soccer coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender).

“Next Goal Wins” opens with Waititi onscreen as the film’s narrator. He’s here to tell us the story of American Samoa’s FIFA defeat at the 2001 World Cup qualifying match and the team’s attempt at redemption during the 2014 World Cup qualifier. Like Quentin Tarantino in his early films, Waititi can’t resist inserting himself into his material. Remember, he played Hitler in 2019′s “Jojo Rabbit.”

Tarantino is known for his trademark dialogue, but you buy it when it comes out of his characters’ mouths. Waititi’s characters in this film just seem like puppets. Maybe he should have played every single part.

After the director’s cameo, we’re introduced to Tavita (Oscar Kightley), leader of the American Samoa soccer federation. Tavita has just lost a bet and as a result must appear in public with his face covered in marker — scrawled drawings of breasts, and the word “BOOBS” written on his forehead.

The bet he lost was regarding how bad his team is, so now he needs help — someone who will make the team competitive enough to score one goal at the next qualifier.

Enter Coach Rongen, who has become so unemployable that taking this gig is his only option (it’s a story line you’ve seen before — in this year’s “ Champions ,” for example). He’s a drunk who has anger issues related to his estranged wife, Gail (Elisabeth Moss, wasted), who’s shacking up with her new boyfriend, Alex (Will Arnett). So let’s send him halfway across the globe to berate a bunch of lovable losers, right?

Someday, a sports movie will surprise me by sending in a coach who isn’t an emotional trainwreck, and who’s actually capable of doing the job without drowning in personal issues.

But not today! Rongen’s introduction to the American Samoan public involves him reciting a variation on Liam Neeson’s famous “very particular set of skills” speech from 2008’s “Taken.” Fassbender is horribly miscast. The actor has absolutely no comedic abilities whatsoever, and this is a movie that attempts more jokes per minute than “Airplane!.”

Michael Fassbender and Kaimana in "Next Goal Wins."

“Next Goal Wins” needed someone like the late John Candy, who coincidentally filled the coach role in the film it most reminded me of, 1993′s “Cool Runnings.” That movie, which told the story of the first Jamaican Olympic bobsled team, was funny and bittersweet, with memorable characters. Kightley and Kaimana, who provide the few moments of pleasure to be had here, deserved a movie like that one.

Full disclosure: The TIFF audience adored “Next Goal Wins,” so much so that I incorrectly predicted it would take the Audience Award (the prize went to “American Fiction”). But after sitting through this punishing comic misfire, I felt as beaten up as Waititi’s microphone.


Directed by Taika Waititi. Written by Waititi and Iain Morris. Starring Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, Elisabeth Moss, Will Arnett. At AMC Boston Common, suburbs. 103 minutes. PG-13 (rude humor)

Odie Henderson is the Boston Globe's film critic.

film critics today

List of Famous Film Critics


List of famous film critics , with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top film critics in the world? This includes the most prominent film critics, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable film critics is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic film critics were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned film critics.

This list of famous movie critics and reviewers features Roger Ebert, Mark Kermode and more.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel

Pauline Kael

Pauline Kael

Leonard Maltin

Leonard Maltin

A. O. Scott

A. O. Scott

Richard Schickel

Richard Schickel

Jonathan Ross

Jonathan Ross

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Bosley Crowther

Bosley Crowther

Peter Travers

Peter Travers

Vincent Canby

Vincent Canby

Kenneth turan.

Michael Medved

Michael Medved

Richard corliss, glenn kenny, bob mondello.

Janet Maslin

Janet Maslin

Gene Shalit

Gene Shalit

Mark Kermode

Mark Kermode

Claudia Winkleman

Claudia Winkleman

Éric Rohmer

Éric Rohmer

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J. Hoberman

Manohla dargis.

Joe Bob Briggs

Joe Bob Briggs

Michael phillips.

Armond White

Armond White

Christy lemire.

Alonso Duralde

Alonso Duralde

David Edelstein

David Edelstein

James Agee

Paul Schrader

  • # 214 of 313 The Greatest Directors In Movie History
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New York Film Critics Circle Gets the TÁR Love S TÁR ted

Portrait of Jason P. Frank

If your favorite season is awards season, then you’re officially in your element. Following the Gotham Awards , New York’s next awards show is keeping the hungry folks over at the Vulture Movie Fantasy League satiated. The New York Film Critics Circle Awards on December 2 helped set the tone for the award season. So, when NYFCC answers questions like “Is Marcel the Shell with Shoes On really an animated picture?” with a resounding “Yes, and it was the best animated picture of the year,” it matters. The awards can also spell success for indie and foreign contenders like Aftersun , starring Paul Mescal, which took home Best First Film, or the much-beloved RRR , which won Best Director. The film that really won critics over is biopic TÁR , which won both Best Film and Best Actress for Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of the very real conductor. Below, find all the wins from the 2022 NYFCC Awards.

Best Film: TÁR Best Director: S. S. Rajamouli, RRR Best Non-Fiction Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed Best International Film: EO Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, TÁR Best Actor: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin and After Yang Best Supporting Actress: Keke Palmer, Nope Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once Best First Film: Aftersun Best Animated Feature: Marcel the Shell With Shoes On Best Screenplay: Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin Best Cinematography : Claudio Miranda, Top Gun: Maverick Special Awards: Jake Perlin, dGenerate Films, Jafar Panahi

This post has been updated.

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The 12 Best Movie Critics of All Time, Ranked 

Many thumbs up.

Film critics are tasked with honesty, — and they are often seen as responsible for informing moviegoers of whether they should part with their hard-earned money or not. This has been the case from the prime of TV's Siskel & Ebert to the rise of Rotten Tomatoes.

Through the decades, there have been many movie critics who have made a particularly significant impact in the world of film, and each of these are worthy of mention. Each of these critics have left a lasting impression on moviegoers across the world, and an influence on film itself.

12 Joe Morgenstern

Writing as a film critic for almost twenty years at Newsweek, Joe Morgenstern made a name for himself as an authority in film. He went on to write for The Wall Street Journal for almost another thirty years. Morgenstern won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2005 for his work in film and television criticism.

RELATED: 10 Underrated Movies Recommended by Gene Siskel One of his claims to fame during his tenure at Newsweek is that he wrote a negative opinion of the film Bonnie and Clyde , but after careful consideration, published a retraction in a subsequent issue of the magazine. Which served to work as a great marketing opportunity for the film, noting that it caused a renowned film critic to change his opinion on the quality of the film.

11 Mark Kermode

An widely published critic, musician, radio and podcast host, Mark Kermode is a name many film buffs are familiar with. Kermode began his film critic writing career in Manchester's City Life magazine, then moving on to Time Out and NME in London. He has also written for The Independent , Vox , Empire , Flicks among others.

RELATED: 12 of Gene Siskel's Favorite Movies Ever In addition to his truly prolific career in writing, Kermode is also a double bass player and has played in various rockabilly bands. Kermode became chief film critic for The Observer in 2013. In 2014, he named The Babadook the best film of the year. His favorite film is The Exorcist .

10 Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris was a lover of film. Writing for the magazine, Film Culture , and then eventually moving to write for The Village Voice . Some regarded his writing as elitist, but was undeniably one of the most impactful and respected in his field. Eventually, he wrote for The New York Observer and then taught as a professor of film at Columbia University until he retired in 2011, a year before his death.

Sarris was married to fellow film critic Molly Haskell . Sarris claimed that for thirty years, if anyone were to ask what his favorite film was, his answer was unvaried: The Earrings of Madame de... , by Max Ophuls . Sarris consistently referred to this film as the most perfect film ever made.

9 James Agee

James Agee was an accomplished novelist, journalist, as well as a poet, screenwriter, and film critic. In the 1940s, he became one of the most widely known film critics as he wrote for Time Magazine . He wrote for Fortune , The Nation , and Life Magazine , as well.

RELATED: Behind the Scenes: 10 Great Films About Filmmaking That Aren't ENTOURAGE In 1958, he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family . Additionally, he is well-known as the screenwriter for such revered film classics as The African Queen and The Night of the Hunter .

8 André Bazin

In his unseasonably short life, André Bazin was nevertheless a prolific critic and theorist of film. As the co-founder of the film magazine Cahiers du cinema , he regularly would provide criticism and feedback on films of that era.

Bazin's passion for realism often conflicted with other film theorists of his time. The influential voice was silenced to soon, when Bazin died of leukemia at age 40 in 1958.

7 Molly Haskell

Author and feminist film critic, Molly Haskell has been active in the field since the 1960s. Writing for publications such as The New York Times , The Guardian, Esquire, and many others, she has established a legacy as one of the most influential of all critics. Her most famous book is the searing, incisive From Reverance to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies .

On top of reviewing film and stage for decades, she is also an accomplished author with over a half dozen books written on the topic of film and film criticism. In 2019, she was the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow of the Year.

6 François Truffaut

Not only was François Truffaut an esteemed and influential film critic, but he also was, of course, a director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He is regarded as one of the founders of the French New Wave, and remains to this day one of the greatest icons in the French film industry.

RELATED: 'The 400 Blows' and 9 More of the Best French New Wave Movies, According to IMDb His career in film speaks for itself. He served as a director to over twenty films, an actor in over fifteen films, and a producer to at least five. He has over a dozen written books credited to his name ( Hitchcock/Truffaut is an essential read for all fans of film).

5 Vincent Canby

Vincent Canby was an accomplished writer who served as the premier film critic for The New York Times from the late 1960s until the early 1990s, moving only then to be their main theater critic from 1994 until 2000, when he passed away. Before the Times , he wrote briefly for the Chicago Journal of Commerce , then another brief stint at Variety .

Canby was known to be a supporter of filmmakers with a specific style, such as Stanley Kubrick , Spike Lee , and Woody Allen . Additionally, he was known to have a highly negative view of films that were generally well received, such as Blazing Saddles , Rocky , Rain Man , among others. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, Canby was truly a master with words, and will forever remembered in the world of film and theater.

4 Leonard Maltin

Film critic, published author and editor, podcast guest and host, noted television host... and Guinness World Record Holder?! Yes, Leonard Maltin holds the world record for the shortest movie review, which consists of his review of the 1948 film Isn’t It Romantic in which he merely stated: “No”.

RELATED: 9 Movies Roger Ebert Hated, But Audiences Loved

Voicing himself in South Park and The Simpsons (he also played himself in Gremlins 2 ) and writing or editing over 20 books, Maltin is not only accomplished, but he is beloved by all, being honored by the National Board of Review, the Telluride Film Festival, the Los Angeles City Council, and many others.

3 Gene Siskel

Most famous for being half of the duo of Siskel & Ebert , Gene Siskel has a very long history of providing the world with his opinion on film. He began his career writing for the Chicago Tribune in 1969. From there, he hosted a review program with Roger Ebert until his death in 1999.

In 1998, Siskel was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent immediate surgery to remedy the issue. Despite briefly returning to the show, in February 1999, he decided to take a leave of absence to allow himself to recover, only to pass away from complications 3 days later. His legacy will forever and always get two thumbs way up from friends and fans alike.

2 Pauline Kael

A critic from an earlier era than some of these others, Pauline Kael was one of the most influential film critics of her era. She was known as witty, biting, and being overtly opinionated, but still focused on getting her voice heard. She was known for regularly disagreeing with her contemporaries.

RELATED: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Movie Critic’ Is Set in 1977, But It’s Not About Pauline Kael

Writing for The New Yorker for over twenty years, Kael created a lasting impression with critics of several generations. Despite a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s, she continued to write for New Yorker until 1991, when she announced her retirement.

1 Roger Ebert

When it comes to movie critics, the one name that is recognizable above all else is the truly unforgettable and inspirational Roger Ebert . His career lasted nearly a half-century, and his impact has lasted long after his death in 2013. He paved the way for virtually every critic who's followed.

Whether he was writing for the Chicago Sun-Times or hosting his widely beloved television series sharing his thoughts on film, Ebert was a worldwide treasure. He was the first film critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, in 1975. While he may be gone, he will never be forgotten and will always be loved for what he brought to the world of film criticism.

NEXT: 15 Great Underrated Movies Recommended by Roger Ebert


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