Film Critics

by phbasketball6 | created - 26 Dec 2012 | updated - 25 Apr 2015 | Public

1. Roger Ebert

Actor | Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

Roger Joseph Ebert was the all-time best-known, most successful movie critic in cinema history, when one thinks of his establishing a rapport with both serious cineastes and the movie-going public and reaching more movie fans via television and print than any other critic. He became the first and ...

"reviews went far deeper than simply thumbs up or thumbs down. He wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history, and in doing so, helped many movies find their audiences... [he] put television criticism on the map." ~ Steven Spielberg

Influenced: A.O. Scott; Richard Corliss; James Berardinelli; Michael Phillips; Will Leitch; Harry Knowles; David Bordwell; Doug Walker; Jackson "Lights Camera Jackson" Murphy; Dan Schneider

2. Gene Siskel

Writer | Sneak Previews

Gene Siskel was born on January 26, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Eugene Kal Siskel. He was married to Marlene Siskel. He died on February 20, 1999 in Evanston, Illinois.

3. Andrew Sarris

Writer | Billy Baxter Presents Diary of the Cannes Film Festival with Rex Reed

Andrew Sarris was born on October 31, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was married to Molly Haskell. He died on June 20, 2012 in Manhattan, New York City.

Influenced: J. Hoberman; Kenneth Turan; Armond White; Michael Phillips; A.O. Scott

4. J. Hoberman

Actor | Trigon Fire

J. Hoberman was born as James Hoberman. He is an actor, known for Trigon Fire (1989), Breaking Good (2012) and Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005).

5. Pauline Kael

Self | The Magical Eye

Pauline Kael was born in Petaluma, CA, in 1919, and attended the University of California at Berkeley in the 1930s. She tried and failed to work as a playwright in her 20s, and began writing film reviews as a freelance writer for film journals in the 1950s. After success with national magazines in ...

"had a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades." ~ Roger Ebert

"was more than a great critic. She re-invented the form, and pioneered an entire aesthetic of writing. She was like the Elvis or the Beatles of film criticism." ~ Owen Gleiberman

Influenced: Paul Schrader, Wes Anderson, David Denby, David Edelstein, Anthony Lane, Greil Marcus, Elvis Mitchell, A. O. Scott, Michael Sragow, Quentin Tarantino, Armond White, Stephen Hunter, Tom Shales, Dr. Joseph Heiter, Jordi Costa, James Wolcott

6. Leonard Maltin

Actor | Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Leonard Maltin is one of the most recognized and respected film critics of our time. He recently completed his 30th season with the long-running television show, Entertainment Tonight (1981).

Maltin was born on Friday, December 18th, 1950, in New York City and grew up in suburban Teaneck, New Jersey...

7. Peter Travers

Writer | US Magazine Looks at the '70s

Peter Travers is a writer, known for US Magazine Looks at the '70s (1980), Showbiz Today (1984) and Popcorn with Peter Travers (2009).

8. Joel Siegel

Actor | Deathtrap

Joel Siegel was born on July 7, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Joel Steven Siegel. He was an actor, known for Deathtrap (1982), Hotel (1983) and Kids' Court (1988). He was married to Ena Swansea, Melissa DeMayo, Jane Kessler and Karen Oshman. He died on June 29, 2007 in New York City, New ...

9. A.O. Scott

Self | The Robert MacNeil Report

A.O. Scott was born on July 10, 1966 in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA as Anthony Oliver Scott.

10. Maitland McDonagh

Self | Dead Man Working

Maitland McDonagh was TV Guide Online's Senior Movie Editor from 1998-2008 and in 2012 founded 120 Days Books to republish forgotten gay adult genre novels of the 1970s. Born and raised in New York City, McDonagh received her undergraduate education at Hunter College, CUNY, and earned her MFA in ...

11. Jonathan Rosenbaum

The Other Side of the Wind

Jonathan Rosenbaum was born on February 27, 1943 in Alabama, USA.

"I think there is a very good film critic in the United States today, a successor of James Agee, and that is Jonathan Rosenbaum. He's one of the best; we don't have writers like him in France today. He's like André Bazin." ~ Jean-Luc Godard

13. Todd McCarthy

Writer | Visions of Light

Todd McCarthy is a writer and director, known for Visions of Light (1992), Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema (2007) and Claudia Jennings (1995).

14. Richard Corliss

Self | Life Itself

Richard Corliss was born on March 6, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Richard Nelson Corliss. He was married to Mary Corliss. He died on April 23, 2015 in New York City, New York, USA.

15. Dave Kehr

Writer | American Masters

He served as a film critic for the Chicago Reader (from 1974 until 1985), and then for the Chicago Tribune, before relocating to New York to become a critic and columnist for the Daily News and The New York Times.

"one of the most gifted film critics to come out of America, the peer of James Agee and Pauline Kael." ~ Philip French

"one of the most gifted film critics in America." ~ Roger Ebert

16. Richard Roeper

Writer | Something to Live For

Richard Roeper was born on October 17, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Something to Live For, At the Movies (1986) and Entourage (2004).

17. Owen Gleiberman

Self | The '80s: The Decade That Made Us

Owen Gleiberman was born on February 24, 1959 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

18. Robert Osborne

Actor | One Step Beyond

Robert Osborne was the host on Turner Classic Movies from its inception in 1994, in large part due to his deep and abiding love and knowledge of film. Osborne got his start working for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The ever-perspicacious Ball suggested that Osborne combine his interest in classic ...

19. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

20. Judith Crist

Actress | Stardust Memories

Judith Crist was born on May 22, 1922 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as Judith Klein. She was an actress, known for Stardust Memories (1980), Bert Stern: Original Madman (2011) and Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age (2018). She was married to William B. Crist. She died on August 7, 2012 in...

21. Peter Bogdanovich

Director | The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in Kingston, New York. He is the son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, Herma (Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich, a painter and pianist. His father was a Serbian Orthodox Christian, and his mother was from a rich Austrian Jewish family. Peter ...

22. Éric Rohmer

Director | Conte d'automne

Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, ...

23. Jacques Rivette

Director | La belle noiseuse

Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...

24. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Pierrot le fou

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

25. Michael Phillips

Self | Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

Michael Phillips was born on March 11, 1961 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA. He has been married to Heidi Stevens since 2013. He was previously married to Andrea Lenaburg and Ann Jarmusch.

28. Philip French

Self | Sabu: The Elephant Boy

Philip French was born in Liverpool on 28 August 1933 to John and Bessie French and originally studied Law at Exeter College, Oxford. However after National Service he went into journalism, particularly writing about film. In 1978 he became the cinema critic for the Observer newspaper and remained ...

29. Lisa Schwarzbaum

Self | Showbiz Today

Lisa Schwarzbaum was born in New York City, New York, USA.

30. Peter Bradshaw

Actor | Baddiel's Syndrome

Peter Bradshaw is an actor and writer, known for Baddiel's Syndrome (2001), Coffee and Cake (2014) and Comedy from Merton to Enfield (2003).

31. Armond White

Self | Red Eye

Armond White was born on April 24, 1953 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as Armond Allen White.

33. Ben Mankiewicz

Actor | White House Down

Ben Mankiewicz was born on March 25, 1967 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for White House Down (2013), The Practice (1997) and Extra Points (2018). He has been married to Lee Russo since December 12, 2013. They have one child. He was previously married ...

34. Geoff Andrew

Self | The True Story of the Electric Cinema Club

Film editor, Time Out magazine

37. Richard Rayner

Writer | Knightfall

Richard Rayner is a writer and producer, known for Knightfall (2017), L.A. Without a Map (1998) and Crash Unit.

38. Geoff Brown

Writer | Vibe

Geoff Brown is a writer, known for Vibe (1997) and Zo What? Morning Show (2014).

39. Rex Reed

Actor | Superman

Rex was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Louisiana. He became one of the most prolific movie critics in the country, and for decades has written entertainment columns for The New York Observer.

In 1970, Rex made his movie debut, playing Myron in Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Myron was the ...

40. Elvis Mitchell

Producer | Black Lightning

Elvis Mitchell was born in 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is a producer, known for Black Lightning (2018), The Black List: Volume One (2008) and The Black List: Volume Three (2010).

41. Molly Haskell

Writer | Billy Baxter Presents Diary of the Cannes Film Festival with Rex Reed

Molly Haskell was born on September 29, 1939 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Molly Clark Haskell. She is known for her work on Billy Baxter Presents Diary of the Cannes Film Festival with Rex Reed (1980), Tough Baby: Torch Song (2008) and What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018). She was ...

42. Eddie Muller

Writer | Mau Mau Sex Sex

Eddie Muller is a writer, known for Mau Mau Sex Sex (2001), The Grand Inquisitor (2008) and Tab Hunter Confidential (2015).

43. Jami Bernard

Self | The 100 Scariest Movie Moments

Jami Bernard is an award-winning film critic, media consultant, and author. Her books include "Quentin Tarantino: The Man and His Movies," Chick Flicks," "First Films," "Total Exposure," "The Incredible Shrinking Critic," and "Breast Cancer: There & Back." She is a former chair of the New York Film...

44. Rudy Behlmer

Director | The Ray Anthony Show

Rudy Behlmer was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He has had a strong interest in the history and evolution of motion pictures since childhood when he began filming his own miniature dramas. He served two years in the Naval Air Corps, then was a Theatre Arts major at Los Angeles City ...

45. Richard Schickel

Producer | The Big Red One

Richard Schickel was born on February 10, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA as Richard Warren Schickel. He was a writer and director, known for The Big Red One (1980), Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente (1987) and The World of Willa Cather (1977). He was married to Carol Rubenstein and ...

46. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

47. Ben Lyons

Actor | The House Bunny

Ben Lyons is a Television, Radio, and Online host and producer from New York City, who covers pop culture and sports like nobody else. Based in Los Angeles, Ben is a special correspondent on EXTRA!, a regular contributor for ESPN LA radio and was just named Chief Content Officer for Derek Jeter's ...

48. Bosley Crowther

Self | Toast of the Town

Bosley Crowther was born on July 13, 1905 in Lutherville, Maryland, USA as Francis Bosley Crowther Jr. He was married to Florence Marks. He died on March 7, 1981 in Mount Kisco, New York, USA.

49. Joe Morgenstern

Writer | Law & Order

Joe Morgenstern was born on October 3, 1932 in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, USA as Joseph N. Morgenstern. He is a writer and producer, known for Law & Order (1990), American Playhouse (1981) and The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976). He was previously married to Piper Laurie.

52. Rod Lurie

Writer | Nothing But the Truth

Talented film critic-turned-director who burst onto the scene in late 2000 with his hotly debated political thriller The Contender (2000). That film launched Lurie into the spot of filmmakers-to-watch and stood out amongst a year's worth of mindless and politically empty films. Born in Israel, ...

53. Jay Cocks

Writer | Silence

Jay Cocks was born on December 1, 1944 in New York City, New York, USA as John Curran Cocks Jr. He is a writer, known for Silence (2016), Strange Days (1995) and Gangs of New York (2002). He was previously married to Verna Bloom.

54. Thom Andersen

Director | Los Angeles Plays Itself

Thom Andersen was born in 1943 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

55. James Agee

Writer | The African Queen

James Agee, Pulitzer Prize winning author, was born in Knoxville in 1909. The intense writer was to enjoy little real success in his lifetime, but after death won accolades. In 1958 he won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his uncompleted biographical novel A Death in the Family. Agee also wrote ...

56. Steven Rea

Actor | Angry Boards

Steven Rea is an actor, known for Angry Boards (2012).

57. Emanuel Levy

Actor | Somewhere

Emanuel Levy is an actor and composer, known for Somewhere (2010), The Reunion (2015) and The Long Shadow of Dirty Harry (2008).

58. Kenneth Turan

Writer | Call Me Anna

Kenneth Turan was born on October 27, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

59. Chan-wook Park

Director | Ah-ga-ssi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for The Handmaiden (2016), Thirst (2009) and Oldboy (2003).

60. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Director | Kairo

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born on July 19, 1955 in Kobe, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Pulse (2001), Tokyo Sonata (2008) and Journey to the Shore (2015).

61. Jay Scott

Actor | The Cut-Throats

Jay Scott is known for his work on The Cut-Throats (1969).

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