Reviews vs. Criticism?

Film REVIEWS are assessments of the aesthetic, entertainment, social and cultural merits and significance of a current film or video. Reviews tend to be short to medium length articles, often written by a single staff writer for a particular publication. In most cases, the chief aim of a review is to tell the reader whether the film is worth going to see (or buying on DVD).

  • Film reviews can be found in indexes used for popular press and/or newspapers, as well as aggregator sites such as MetaCritic and MRQE.

Film CRITICISM or ANALYSIS is scholarly or focused critical writing about particular films--both current and historical--can be found in an amazingly wide variety of sources, including film journals, and publications devoted to theater, history, literature, women's studies, ethnic studies, and other disciplines. Critical/analytic film articles tend to be more academic and substantive than reviews. These articles often discuss particular films in broad social, political, and historical context. Many times the focus of these articles is on a fairly specific aspect of a film, a director's work, or a film genre.

Source: Film Reviews and Film Criticism: an Introduction (Media Resources Center, Univ. of California-Berkeley)