Billing itself as a source for intelligent movie reviews and buzz-worthy trailers, Film.com critiques movies on a 10-point scale that is determined solely by the the review’s writer. Luckily, the website’s writers are all well informed on both filmmaking and pop culture. While each staff writer has his own individual style and opinion, the reviews all contain elements of wit and educated information.
4 Common Sense Media
Just because a film gets glowing reviews doesn’t mean you want to view it alongside your in-laws or the kiddos. Back in the day, the MPAA rating system was the only guide discerning parents had to help them determine what films were family-friendly. Today, Common Sense Media offers reviews that note the amount of sex, violence, foul language and substance abuse on a 5-point scale. CSM even ranks appropriateness for specific ages from 2 through 17 and points out movies with positive messages and role models.
3 Film Comment
For moviegoers who long to sound as informed on films as an auteur, Film Comment’s reviews are chock full of in-depth analysis and insider information. Hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City, the Film Comment website began as the organization’s print magazine. Today, Film Comment is the premier website to find professional critiques of indie and art-house films, as well as intelligent reviews of Hollywood blockbusters.
2 Roger Ebert
Legendary film critic Roger Ebert may now be attending his own premiere in that great movie theater in the sky, but his reviews haven’t been lost to the ages just yet. The Roger Ebert website has four decades’ worth of Ebert’s own reviews written before his demise in April 2013. Hosted by the “Chicago Sun-Times,” the site continues to update with reviews of new releases, too. No, not via divine intervention—current films are critiqued by the website’s staff of writers who were handpicked by Ebert himself.
1 Rotten Tomatoes
The best place to go when you’d rather not rely on just one writer’s opinion, the Rotten Tomatoes website features a percentage-based rating system that averages ratings given by professional critics and ordinary moviegoers. At a glance, you can determine a film’s standing via the logos of ripe tomatoes denoting positive professional critiques and a rotten green blob marking the negative ones, with corresponding fresh popcorn and spilled popcorn logos for the moviegoer reviews. Along with the easy-to-understand logos, Rotten Tomatoes also provides basic movie facts, a film synopsis and quick links to the full reviews written by the professionals.