Latest Issue

Film as film

What's the point of movie criticism?

By Malcolm Thorndike Nicholson  

Why do critics insist on interpreting even masterpieces like Rear Window as if they were little different to plays that simply happen to be screened in cinemas? 

Popular film criticism, a stalwart of newspapers and weekly magazines for nearly a century, is a difficult art. Stray too far into film theory and one risks losing all but a niche audience. Err too closely towards the predictable and the critic begins to sound like any other opinionated member of the audience. We want reviews which tell…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect