How to Find Film Criticism

How to Find Film Criticism

Finding Journal Articles Online

Finding Books

Selected Reference Titles

Internet Resources


To Find Journal and Magazine Articles Online

You can search various databases and occasionally get the full-text of the article online. In other cases, you will have a citation for an article and then need to find the actual article (how do I do this?). The following indexes for film criticism can be found via the Find Journal Articles & Research Tools section of the library homepage:

Film and Television Literature Index

To find reviews, enter keywords. You can also use the index to specify "Reviews & Products" to limit to only reviews.

Historical Newspapers

While not scholarly in nature, movie reviews are a feature of many newspapers. You can either narrow your reviews down by publication (e.g. The New York Times only) or search several historical newspapers at once. See also our Newspapers webpage for a more complete listing of the newspapers (print and online) available at Leddy.

MLA International Bibliography (1884-present)

To find reviews, enter keywords. You can also use the various thesauri/lists to focus your search on specific individuals or subjects.


Finding Books

  • Search in the library catalogue by entering the name of a director or actor, last name first. For example, hitchcock alfred and select to search by subject.
  • Use the phrase "motion pictures" (include the quotation marks) instead of film - you'll get more results.
  • Search in the library catalogue by entering the name of the genre or film style in quotation marks. For example, "silent film".
  • To expand your search, think about issues or themes relevant to the body of work you are examining. For example, if you were looking for books on Spike Lee, it might be helpful to do a Boolean search such as "motion pictures" and (race or black or "african american").

Selected Film Criticism Reference Titles

Epic films : casts, credits, and commentary on over 350 historical spectacle movies

Reference(1st floor, main building) PN1995.9.H5 S55 2004

Film Literature Index (1973-present)

Reference Z5784.M9 F45. Reviews in this annual paper index are listed by film type, director name and reviewer name. To be comprehensive, search the volume for citations from the year the film was released as well as in the subsequent volumes. There is often a time lag between the film's release date and the publishing of scholarly articles about the film.

5001 Nights at the movies: a guide from A to Z

Reference PN1995.K19 1991

New York Times Film Reviews (1913-1968; 1970-present)

Reference PN1995.N4 Please note that electronic access is available here.


Internet Resources

Think critically about Web reviews as many reviews found online are unlikely to be scholarly; consult with your professor if you are unsure as to whether scholarly/academic resources are required for your research.

  • Internet Movie Database - biggest and most comprehensive film site; offers cast and crew lists, box office information and more
  • Movie Review Query - features reviews of over 45,000 films from newspapers, web sites and entertainment magazines
  • All Movie Guide - searchable guide with plot synopsis, actors, reviews, credits
  • The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made - as selected by the New York Times; free registration required to read reviews
  • The Greatest Films - extensive resource featuring special lists, e.g. Oscar Winners, greatest films, quotes, posters and more
  • Reel Classics - comprehensive site dedicated to classic films; includes clips, downloads, articles
  • Silent Era - dedicated to silent films; features news, profiles of silent film stars, reviews
  • Asian Film Connections - dedicated to give exposure to Asian films; features lists of all films made since 1998 in China, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan
  • Black Film Center/Archive - while the archive must be visited, this site offers useful information on films by title or director, including plot summaries
  • EarlyCinema - focus on the first decade of cinema and the developments that shaped the development of today's cinema; features timeline, biographical information on early pioneers, essays and an overview on film technology
  • Filmmaking.com: the filmmaking portal - offers news, articles on filmmaking basics from shooting, directing, scripts and more
  • Screensite - designed for educators and students, it offers articles on the film industry, information on film studies programs, festivals, and discussion boards