Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Film Studies

Reader 1

James Morrison

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© 2018 Asher L Weiss


Film criticism has changed since its inception and will continue to change moving forward. The evolution of film criticism has largely been a story of the shift from an elite field of intellectual exploration by a few knowledgeable experts to a democratic phenomenon where expert analysis is aggregated and averaged, and the lines are blurred between true expertise and the random opinions of the masses. This paper will address the transition from the birth of film criticism to its popularization through the 90s, to what it has become today. By exploring the nature of film criticism historically and reviewing the key elements of its growth from Victorian times through its emergence as an established field in the 1930s, 40s and 50s and its heyday in the 60s and 70s, we can understand the context of its evolution. This will provide a perspective to view today’s approach to film criticism with a clearer eye and a thorough analysis of film criticism in the digital age. It will demonstrate that more is not always a good thing, and the democratization of film criticism has not necessarily been all good.