16 posts categorized "Film Criticism "

February 25, 2024

Oscar Nominees 2024: Full List


Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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Actor in a Leading Role


Bradley Cooper


Colman Domingo


Paul Giamatti


Cillian Murphy


Jeffrey Wright


Actor in a Supporting Role


Sterling K. Brown


Robert De Niro


Robert Downey Jr.


Ryan Gosling


Mark Ruffalo


Actress in a Leading Role


Annette Bening


Lily Gladstone


Sandra Hüller


Carey Mulligan


Emma Stone


Actress in a Supporting Role


Emily Blunt


Danielle Brooks

The Color Purple

America Ferrera


Jodie Foster


Da'Vine Joy Randolph


Animated Feature Film


The Boy and the Heron

Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki


Peter Sohn and Denise Ream


Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Karen Ryan and Julie Zackary

Robot Dreams

Pablo Berger, Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé and Sandra Tapia Díaz

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Amy Pascal



El Conde

Edward Lachman

Killers of the Flower Moon





Hoyte van Hoytema

Poor Things


Costume Design


Killers of the Flower Moon



Janty Yates and Dave Crossman



Poor Things




Anatomy of a Fall


Killers of the Flower Moon




Poor Things


The Zone of Interest

Jonathan Glazer

Documentary Feature Film


Bobi Wine: The People's President

Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp and John Battsek

The Eternal Memory

Maite Alberdi

Four Daughters

Kaouther Ben Hania and Nadim Cheikhrouha

To Kill a Tiger

Nisha Pahuja, Cornelia Principe and David Oppenheim

20 Days in Mariupol

Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner and Raney Aronson-Rath

Documentary Short Film


The ABCs of Book Banning

Sheila Nevins and Trish Adlesic

The Barber of Little Rock

John Hoffman and Christine Turner

Island in Between

S. Leo Chiang and Jean Tsien

The Last Repair Shop

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers

Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

Sean Wang and Sam Davis

Film Editing


Anatomy of a Fall


The Holdovers


Killers of the Flower Moon




Poor Things


International Feature Film


Io Capitano


Perfect Days


Society of the Snow


The Teachers' Lounge


The Zone of Interest

United Kingdom

Makeup and Hairstyling



Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby and Ashra Kelly-Blue



Society of the Snow

Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí and Montse Ribé

Music (Original Score)


American Fiction


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

John Williams

Killers of the Flower Moon




Poor Things


Music (Original Song)


The Fire Inside

from Flamin' Hot; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

It Never Went Away

from American Symphony; Music and Lyric by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson
from Barbie; Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

Animated Short Film


Letter to a Pig

Tal Kantor and Amit R. Gicelter

Ninety-Five Senses

Jerusha Hess and Jared Hess

Our Uniform

Yegane Moghaddam


Stéphanie Clément and Marc Rius

WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko

Dave Mullins and Brad Booker

Live Action Short Film


The After

Misan Harriman and Nicky Bentham


Vincent René-Lortie and Samuel Caron

Knight of Fortune

Lasse Lyskjær Noer and Christian Norlyk

Red, White and Blue

Nazrin Choudhury and Sara McFarlane

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Wes Anderson and Steven Rales



The Creator

Ian Voigt, Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn, Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Chris Munro, James H. Mather, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

The Zone of Interest

Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn

Visual Effects


The Creator

Jay Cooper, Ian Comley, Andrew Roberts and Neil Corbould

Godzilla Minus One

Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams and Theo Bialek

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland and Neil Corbould


Charley Henley, Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, Simone Coco and Neil Corbould

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)


The Zone of Interest

Written by Jonathan Glazer

Writing (Original Screenplay)

August 08, 2023



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!






It's not called film praise; it's called film criticism for a reason. There's an art to it.

There are plenty of ego-stroking bottom feeders who call themselves film critics, or better yet, reviewers. These reprobates can easily be discovered by noticing the usual suspects whose names constantly show up in movie ads.

In NYC we call them quote whores.

Frequently, these poseurs hide behind a media entity that masks their identity by usurping it with their brand. Nevertheless, if you get a gig writing for the New York Times, you'll automatically earn "Top Critic" status on RottenTomatoes. Corporate is as corporate does.

Roger Ebert has been dead for years, yet somehow RogerEbert.com is still getting credit for reviews being written in 2023. Weird, I know. What a load of bullshit.

A film critic is not a brand; the art of film criticism is much more than that.


I've been a published film critic for 30 years now. Over that time I've written for dozens and dozens of outlets. I've written well over four million words across 4000 film reviews. So what. Note the lack of a question mark.

Now that oxymoronic Social Media has driven the final nail of clickbait into the coffin of any editorial oversight anywhere, I don't write for the same reasons that I once did. Nonetheless, I still write because I am a writer.

The death of the alt weeklies was a canary in the coalmine for more than just honest film criticism, it marked a degradation of American culture and communication.

I have my reasons for doing my job. It's my passion.


Film criticism is a job.

Professional is as the professional does.

Film criticism is not publicity.

Film criticism is not "content;" it is editorial fact.

You have to be a serious person in order to be a film critic, not that you have to take yourself too seriously; don't do that.

There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" review, only good or bad movies.

Critical thought cannot be swayed by money. You can pay for a review; you cannot pay for the outcome of the critical analyses that it entails.

Film criticism exists to analyze its subject as a work of art, not commerce.


Film criticism is an individual pursuit, not a group activity. If you care what other people think about a specific movie or film, you're fucked.

Filmmakers Jean-Luc Goddard, Francoise Truffault, and Paul Schrader were each film critics before becoming filmmakers. They worked out their initial film theories by writing criticism. There are rich rewards if you're willing to put in the time. Children without siblings are naturals for becoming critics — less distraction.


Social media is a natural enemy to film criticism, and to rational thought for that matter.

The study and analyses of film/movies requires deep focus and concentration, the exact thing that social media rejects.

The value of Cinema rests with the patience to absorb its importance, not to exploit it.

A commercial cannot be a movie, i.e. "Barbie" is not a movie. Neither is "Black Panther." These are commercials made to move product.

All film is political; it is up to the film critic to draw upon research to define its political subtext.


Film criticism is not a club or a meritocracy.

Film criticism is writing, many hours of writing, for many years, if you're lucky.

Film criticism is a study of global sociology.

And endless study and research; if you haven't seen any of a filmmaker's past films, how can you pretend to contemplate the personal context of their latest movie? You can't.


It's none of our damn business how much money your dumb-ass movie made.

The movie industry teamed up with modern clickbait media to shit the bed of movie-going in America.

It's fine for industry professionals to turn into bean counters on their own time, but insulting the public by waving their huge profits under our noses as a merit badge is beyond the pale.

Money does not equal quality, quite the contrary.


Roger Ebert was an awful example of a narcissist passing as a film critic.

Because of the way Ebert fell into his job as a corporate film critic, he did not properly prepare for the task.

Contrary to Ebert's belief that a critic should write about his, her, or their experience of watching a movie (i.e. did it make you cry?) is bullshit.

Just because a movie makes you cry, does not automatically make it a good movie. There are many people who can make you cry, not all of them are good people.

The minimum requirement for any film critic is that he or she watch, and read reviews of the best 100 movies of all time. "John Kobal Presents the Top 100 Movies" (yes, it's a book) is a great place to start.


A love of international Cinema, the diligence to constantly study various aspects of Cinema, and the willingness to sit down to artfully express to the reader a cogent understanding of the movie at hand, are things that cannot be taught.


You've either got it, or you don't.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole



April 11, 2018



One of the many things I love about Cannes is the beautiful poster art the festival's artists consistently come up with. Ah yes, the romantic fantasy of Cinema. Is there anything finer?

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