From the first published movie review in the late 1800s to the 21st-century era of the 'great movie critics' wake', this chronicle reviews the nature, scope and controversies in American film criticism. Moving through the Silent Era, the pre- and postwar years, the golden age of the 1970s and the eventual decline in the 1980s and 1990s, this exhaustive overview includes biographical information on some of the most influential film critics - including Leonard Maltin, Roger Ebert and Pauline Kael - along with historical records and critical assessments of their work.
Jerry Roberts is an acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing. He was a film critic and columnist for Copley Los Angeles Newspapers, Copley News Service, and the former Cinemania Web site, and has contributed to Daily Variety, DGA Magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter. He is a past coordinator of film programs for the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and is the author of the Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors, The Great American Playwrights on the Screen, Mitchum: In His Own Words, and Movie Talk from the Front Lines. He lives in Carson, California.