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COMM 3500: American Cinema: Finding Articles and Reviews

How to find reviews and criticism of films

Reviews of film are usually published in newspapers and magazines. To find them you need to search in databases that index these publications. Below this box you will see the names of databases that will be helpful in searching  for this type of material. You can also use these databases to search for general articles on topics of interest to you.


Search the name of the film as a subject. If your results are very large you can add a word like review or reviews. The results of your search will be a list of articles that include the keywords you entered (the movie title). In these databases sometimes the full text will be included. That means the whole article is there. In other cases you will just get a citation telling you where to find the article. Follow the link in the database to determine if we have the article in our library. Also, pay attention to the date that a movie came out. Reviews appear during the first year a movie comes out. The reviews you will find cited in these databases will be in a variety of periodicals. For example: Time, Nation, Sight and Sound, Variety, etc.


Film criticism could appear anytime after the movie has been released. Don’t limit your search with words like review or reviews. Criticism might be more likely to appear in journals like Literature/Film Quarterly or American Film. If the film title you are searching is a common word you may need to add a word like film or movie to narrow your results.

General databases

More specialized databases

You will find more critical writing and discussion of films in the articles found in these databases.

For Older films

If you want reviews on older films that came out before the online coverage starts, then you may need to consult some older print indexes. Look under "Motion pictures" or "Motion picture reviews" in these sources.

Bound Periodicals    AI 3 R28             Readers Guide to Periodical Literature

Bound Periodicals   AI 21 N44           New York Times Index