It wasn't exactly an ambush, but the first question actor Bernardo Cubria asked me as a guest on his theater podcast was about a complaint actors have about critics. I was his sixtieth guest and his first theater critic.
Why do so many reviews, he asked, just summarize the plot and not express an opinion? He later complained that a critic's opinion in a review angered a friend of his who had devoted "three months of her life" to her show.
Eventually we got down to something I actually had something to do with, a review I was writing, "a really negative review of a show I've been on and loved," he told listeners, and that "my future Mother-in-law loved law.” I also reviewed his performance in the play and said it was “less convincing” than some of the other cast members. "It hurt," he said.
All of this seemed to illustrate an observation he made in his introduction: "At some point in their lives, theater makers develop hostility toward theater critics."
Should anyone care about theater critics?
"I believe that the profession of critic in literature, music and drama is the most degrading of all professions and has no real worth," wrote Mark Twain in an autobiography only recently published, a century after his death. "But leave it. It is God's will that we must have critics and missionaries and congressmen and comedians. We have to carry the burden.”
Do we have to endure it much longer? As Chris Rawson, theater critic for thePittsburgh Post-Gazette, formulated it in 2010 at the introduction to a panel discussion, “what is the future of theater criticism –isIs there a future for theater criticism?” And (which he didn't ask), should anyone care?
For a number of years, the state of theater criticism and criticism has been a popular topic of thought-provoking, discussion boards, blog posts, and conversations on Twitter. It has recently heated up with the attention paid to one critic's negative portrayal in the filmBirdman, or the unexpected virtue of ignorance.He won four Oscars that night, including Best Picture, J. Kelly Nestruck, the theater's chief criticThe Globe and the Mailin Toronto, tweeted: "All the theater critics lost tonight, ifVogelmanntriumphed, but at least I won my Oscar pool.”
Is theater criticism crucial (of vital importance) to anyone or anything - such as theater? Are theater critics too negative (criticizing too much)? Is the field dying out (in critical condition)?
I first wrote an article entitled "Are Theater Critics... Critical?" 2010 for the national online newspaper, which I oversaw as a New York theater critic. The publication has since fallen into disrepair. I think it's time for an update.
Five years later, the question of whether theater critics are critical is actually three questions that play off the different meanings of the word "critical":
- Is theater criticism crucial (of vital importance) to anyone or anything - such as theater?
- Are theater critics too negative (criticizing too much)?
- Is the field dying out (in critical condition)?
What is a theater critic? Are they better than vermin?
A theater critic is a "wicked, cowardly" person who cannot see the beauty of a flower because she cannot put a label on it. That's what former movie star turned Broadway director for the first time, Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton) tells us.New York TimesTheater Critic Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan) in Alexander Gonzalez IñarritusVogelmann. "You risk nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing," the director tells the critic while they both drink in a theater bar. "I risk everything."
Critics are "really failed playwrights or actors who become critics out of desperation," says the playwright character in the Broadway revival of Terrence McNallyIt's just a gamewho the (actual)New York TimesTheater critic Ben Brantley as "pretentious, diva-worshipping, Brit-ass-kissing git".
This is nothing new. OfThe man who came to eattoWorst show on the sidelines(in which a critic is kidnapped) theater critics have been portrayed as intimidating, pompous and awkward - yes, usually cultured and scholarly, but also condescending and outspoken... and sometimes (All about Eve?) malicious. InReckless! The musical, the daughter of a character named Lita Encore, says, “Oh, mom hates anything show business; she is a theater critic.”
The only theater critics who get unqualified affection seem to be thatbe under ten years old.
But if the image of the theater critic has more or less settled in people's minds thanks to these works, the definition of a critic is now in flux due to the spasmodic changes in journalism and the rise of the internet. It is estimated that there are around 300,000 art-related bloggers (i am one of them). Can any of them be considered a professional theater critic?
John Simon didn't think so. Asked if bloggers could replace the dwindling number of critics of traditional print publications, Simon said: "No matter how wrong a critic may be, he or she is always better than bloggers. The bloggers are the vermin of this society.” He said so in an episode of the television showtheater talkIn 2010 he was a critic for Bloomberg News, after 36 years as a theater critic forNew York Magazine. Shortly thereafter, Simon lost his job at Bloomberg News — and startedhis own blog.
Die American Theatre Critics Association, ATCA, the only national organization of American theater critics, has struggled with its criteria for membership. They're currently taking on people who, they say, write about theater professionally, regularly, and with substance. But what does professional mean in an age when only a handful of critics derive their entire income from their reviews? (At a recent ATCA conference, only three out of fifty attendees raised their hands when asked if they made a living solely as a critic.) And has the Web (with its hyperlinks and reader interaction, etc.) changed the definition of substantive?
ThatInternational Association of Theater Critics, or IATC, has a 10-point Code of Practice. Examples (shorter than they do): 4. Be open-minded. 6. Be alert during a performance. 7. Back up your ratings with specific examples.
ThatCanadian Theatre Critics Associationhas a “code of ethics” which is also something like a code of conduct. (“The critic should, whenever possible, prepare for a performance”—by reading the handouts and, if possible, the script.)
I believe that agutCritics need three basic qualities:
- Independent judgment based on education and experience.
- The ability to articulate his views using clear and engaging prose, and to support his points of view with accurate and concrete examples.
- Taste is generally shared with the intended audience.
Are theater critics crucial?
Kristoffer Diaz, the playwright on the Pulitzer finalist drama,The ornate entrance of the Chad deity, who previously sparked conversation on Twitter by calling for a moratorium on Shakespearean productions, once said he would prefer playwrights' work to be reviewed by other playwrights. Few theater people would go so far as to call for the elimination of theater critics, and when I echoed Diaz, he said he wanted "a more diverse group of critics (age/race/ethnicity/aesthetics)".
However, most theater artists will be reluctant to admit what Vickie Ramirez, playwright and founding member ofAmerinda-TheaterHe told me: “Evaluations are absolutely necessary; They're a crucial part of the process.” But sometimes, she said, critics choose unfair targets. "Nobody's saying you shouldn't check it out," Ramirez said. "Tap it well and maybe just bring out the big guns for bigger productions."
On the other hand at theEugene O'Neill Theatre Center, the annual website of the National Critics Institute, several panelists discussing criticism reported how a review of a small production early in their career gave them a crucial boost. "I was at a very low point, and it was telling me to move on," playwright Adam Rapp said of one such review when he was twenty-nine. "It's such an interesting, complicated relationship between artists and critics," Rapp said. "Some critics do great things for the theater," he added. "Some out there should be removed from the planet."
Theater critics can advance careers, boost morale, and even help a creative team remake a show. But they don't exist to inspire and anger theater makers. Its purpose is to direct the theaterAudience,stimulate thought and discussion, and provide posterity with an independent assessment of a fleeting experience.As Pauline Kael liked to say: “In art, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.” The widespread misunderstanding of theatrical artists about the intention of the critics may help explain at least some of the hostility—but not all.
Theater critics can advance careers, boost morale, and even help a creative team remake a show. But they don't exist to inspire and anger theater makers.
Are theater critics too negative?
I began writing reviews of college productions for my school newspaper, which didn't always go down well with my classmates on those shows. Decades later, someone I've stayed in touch with brings up how unfair I was in my assessment of his SnoopyYou're a good man, Charlie Brown. Although he says it like he's joking, I'm not so sure. That classmate is Peter Marks, now the longtime theater critic forDie Washington Post.The moral of the story: few people like to be criticized.
Many theater professionals have learned to accept the negative criticism as "part of the job", as Bernardo Cubria put it to me after the podcast - or, if not accept it, at least ignore it. When Charles Durning was starting out as an actor, he recalled Joseph Papp telling him, "The only people you have to please are the producer and the director and yourself. If you think you have to please a critic, you shouldn't." be in business.”
But the resentment and hostility of theatrical artists is palpable, and I suspect it has a lot to do with what they perceive as the power of the critics. After all, like many of those same theater people, happily watched Simon Cowell disembowelamerican idolbeacon of hope? How many readGafferand gloating on hate-tweeting shows such asPeter-Pan-Live? When people cackle about notorious flops likeCarrieandmoose killings, they don't remember the plays themselves - which few people actually saw since the shows only ran for about a day - but the shrewdness of the reviews. We live in a society that accepts harsh negative reviews - as a price for high standards, or as a source for themSchadenfreudeEntertainment (select one) – while proudly embracing a tradition of fighting power.
But how much power do critics really have over a show? "We only have significant influence in certain narrowly defined circumstances," he saysWall Street JournalCritic Terry Teachout.
Peter Marks championRagtimeandsideshowD.C. productions moved to Broadway...and raised commercial bombs.
"I've never understood why theater critics are considered box office oracles," says Marks. "Producers who rely on reviews rather than gut feelings are not producers."
"It's hilarious that the current hit on Broadway [It's just a game] is about the power of a reviewer. Well, it's comedy again."
“Critics can highlight talent, add momentum, move the needle a little. They have a tremendous impact – marginally.”
Philadelphia investigatorsTheater critic Wendy Rosenfield appreciates the role of critics as "catalysts, not just judges." But she balks at the most common complaint she gets from theater artists — that criticism from her keeps people from seeing the show. "I work in journalism, not public relations," she replies. "It's like saying that coverage of political scandals keeps people from voting, or coverage of a team's defeat or a player's mistakes keeps people from attending sporting events."
The best answer to this complaint is that an honest review, even if rigorous, does more to promote the art form than indiscriminate praise.
Adebate aroseEarly last year, prompted byHowlRoundDirector Polly Carl's call for criticism is based on "positive inquiry" and what Princeton theater professor Jill Dolan called "critical generosity." As Dolan put it, "mainstream" critics "seem to revel in their power to destroy productions they don't like, for reasons that are always both political and aesthetic, and are always obscured by the 'objectivity' that." gives them the power to work." Critics of this position noted that this is itself a rude assessment, pretending to divine nefarious motives.
It's harder to argue that mainstream critics are set for destruction when they supposedly praise more than they praise. Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, the two most important theater critics of theNew York Times, 45 percent of the shows they reviewed over the past decade gave positive reviews, according to a recent calculation by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, who owns the review collection siteDid he like it?. Only twenty-nine percent were negative, Davenport noted, and twenty-six percent were mixed.
Still, the theater community can be forgiven for being suspicious of a group of professionals who can sometimes come off as rude and disrespectful. You see that some who cover theater take our free tickets for granted,bragging about going on break like themWall Street Journals culture writer (not critic) Joanne Kaufman did.They see some of us as unnecessarily mean: One critic Adam Rapp would probably like to see off the planet is Charles Isherwood, who wrotea whole pieceabout how unfair it is for him to review Adam Rapp's plays since he hates them so much. Isherwood's general point is worth noting - if a critic consistently dislikes the works of a particular playwright, does it make sense to continue reviewing them? But it was ironic that he named the playwright, who he claimed no longer wanted to hurt.
Theater makers also see critics' efforts to be funny and appealing as too often at the expense of a show and the people who worked so hard to put it together.ChicagoTribuneFilm critic (and former theater critic) Michael Phillips likes to quote a line from Lorrie Moore's short story Anagrams, in which a character wonders if "all writing about art is simply language playing with itself so passionately it blinds it." .
On these complaints I quote film critic A.O. Scott who wrote:
Criticism is a way of thinking, a discipline of writing, a way of life - a commitment to independent, open-ended engagement with artworks in relation to each other and the world around them. As such, it is continually misunderstood, underappreciated, and at odds with itself. Artists will complain, fans will tune out, but the arguments will never end.
Scott wrote this after losing his job as a television film critic and was asked to give a lecture on the future of criticism. "The future of criticism is the same as ever," he said. "Miserable and full of possibilities."
Is Theater Criticism Dying?
After the death of Mike Kuchwara in 2010, theAssociated PressA theater critic and arguably the nation's most influential critic, there was some speculation that he might not even be replaced. But theAssociatedPressthen advertised to hire "a theater critic and pop culture reporter" — that's a two-job person.
Kuchwara's successor, Mark Kennedy, does some pop culture reporting, as well as "some TV and music and little stories," he told me. "Also more editing."
Other outlets have eliminated reviews entirely, such asBackstage(where I wrote at one point) or dismiss their critics and rely on freelancers. This doesn't just happen in the US.
"Whole review sections - especially on Sundays - have been closed, art budgets are being cut",wrote Tim Walkerafter being released from theSunday Telegraph, "and the critics who are still standing have to choose between productions because they can't reach everyone physically." He quoted "a leading impresario" who noted that the critics who attended one of his shows were "young, spotty , out of their comfort zone and clearly exhausted, having been distracted at the last minute by other duties at their hard-pressed media organizations."
This outraged Jake Orr, the founder ofA younger theatre, a combination publishing and production company whose aim is to serve "the rising generation". Orr tweeted, "Well honestly Tim I can name a lot of 'pimpley young' internet critics who have a deep understanding of how to write about theater." Lighting designer Tom Turner added, "And that's how the industry of ' Ex-theater critics who write columns and bemoan the lack of themselves' born.” Indeed, to an outsider, this seems to be part of an almost comical pattern: every British theater critic who is forced into retirement writes an essay in which he proclaiming the death of theater criticism, which is then attacked by online critics and younger theater artists as self-centered and selfish-servant... and inaccurate.
Did Kennedy theAssociated PressDo you think the naysayers are right - that theater criticism is dying?
"Yes and no," Kennedy replies.
I think critics who focus only on theater are in trouble, but I see a future where critics are omnivores - from Miley Cyrus to Tom StoppardInterstellar, and readers followed them from CD to stage to screen. I also see more hybrid reporter-critic roles. Basically, fewer people will cover the mainstream of cultural offerings in order to gain the greatest possible traction.
Others see dedicated, hard-working theater critics proliferating online—on blogs, in chat rooms—who just need to figure out how to make a living from it.
Personally, though, I don't expect to have a full-time job as a theater critic again, like I did years agoNewsday– I hope that I can continue to write about theater for any suitable position. This includes Bernardo Cubriaoff and onTheater Podcast. Shortly after our conversation, he invited me to appear regularly onoff and onto review shows for his listeners.
The goal is to succinctly communicate the honest reaction to the major elements of the production. We need to identify the artist's intentions, measure how well they succeeded and place the work within a larger context of culture and our own taste. A critic's enthusiasm can be infectious and leads to ticket sales.What is the importance of Theatre critics? ›
The main concerns of the theatre critic are to write about how they understand what the directors, designers, artistic directors, and producers were trying to achieve. They may discuss the effect of the performance in the contemporary zeitgeist or the relevancy of such performance.Do theatre practitioners need critics? ›
Theatre critics can help careers, boost morale, and even aid a creative team in refashioning a show. But they do not exist to inspire and enrage theatremakers.How much does a theater critic make a year? ›
Theatre Critics make the most in San Francisco, CA at $97,908, averaging total compensation 22% greater than the US average.In what way is a critic powerful? ›
An established critic can play a powerful role as a public arbiter of taste or opinion. Also, critics or a coordinated group of critics, may award symbols of recognition.Do critics matter? ›
Fundamentally, critics do still matter to the industry. “Critics might not make the difference in how much money the big movies make, but that doesn't mean film criticism doesn't retain an important role in the industry's ecosystem,” added Loria.What role do critics play in the success of a production? ›
First and foremost the critic comments on the quality of the work, pointing out the successes and the failures. It is on the basis of this reflection that playwrights, producers and actors gather what is good about the critique and act on it or ignore the comments altogether.What are the main features of a Theatre criticism? ›
A traditional theatre review often begins by giving the reader some background about a production, a brief outline of plot and themes, a sense of what the staging looks (and sounds) like; it offers an evaluation of writing, production and performances and concludes with a summing up.Why are critics and reviews important? ›
They are important not just because they influence success and failure of products, they also make or break reputations and careers, and often play a critical role in stratification, power, and status. Reviews are shaped by the interaction of media editors, product makers, and consumers into credible cultural objects.What is the difference between the theatre critic and the reviewer? ›
The main difference is, that a critique is written by an expert in the field, who will assess the piece of work much more objectively and usually from a more technical viewpoint, often with the aim of offering constructive advice and suggestions, while a review is often written by a layperson, which isn't meant in a ...
a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art.Is theatre a hard major? ›
Some people act as if theatre was an easy major, but the truth is that it is taxing on your body, mind, and emotions. Your teachers and classmates will probably want to support you, but ultimately only you can determine your precise limits.Do you need a degree to be a critic? ›
A movie critic typically needs a bachelor's degree in screenwriting or film to work in this career field. Some critics may have a background in journalism and creative writing. However, they all need a basic understanding of writing or reporting on film as a building block.Is theatre critic a job? ›
On average, established writers, including theatre critics, earn $30.39 per hour, or $63,200 per year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Be forewarned, however, entry into this field can be a challenge.What degree do you need to become a theatre critic? ›
Earn a bachelor's degree
Earning your bachelor's degree is recommended as you build your career as a movie critic. In some cases, you may be required to have a degree in journalism, English, film studies or another related field.
Paying more attention to what's wrong isn't wrong-headed or perverse. In fact, you could say you do it because, in your experience, criticism produces better results than praise. Criticism is more often followed by improved performance; and praise is often followed by performance that's not as good.How do you critique without being critical? ›
- Be Straightforward. You aren't doing anybody any favors by skirting around the subject. ...
- Be Specific. General criticism almost always sounds like a put down. ...
- Focus on the Work, Not the Person. ...
- Don't Tell Someone They're Wrong. ...
- Find Something to Compliment. ...
- Make Suggestions, Not Orders. ...
- Have a Conversation.
The highest positive value of the critical critic is to be critical.
We don't like criticism because it can be hurtful. Sometimes we don't like how it makes us feel and how we then react to it – like feeling stressed – especially if we see it as unfair criticism or just something that's difficult to deal with or rectify.Why is criticism not good? ›
The problem with criticism is that it challenges our sense of value. Criticism implies judgment and we all recoil from feeling judged. As Daniel Goleman has noted, threats to our esteem in the eyes of others are so potent they can literally feel like threats to our very survival.
So what's the actual reason for the gap between audiences and critics? Simply put, it's that audiences tend to be easier to please because they're merely looking for movies to be entertainment while critics are trying to judge them artistically.How do you critique a theatre performance? ›
- Describe the Context of the Performance. ...
- Summarize the Plot of the Performance. ...
- Comment on Each Main Aspect of the Performance. ...
- Show Readers Why Your Review Matters.
Theatre criticism is a genre of arts criticism, and the act of writing or speaking about the performing arts such as a play or opera. Theatre criticism is distinct from drama criticism, as the latter is a division of literary criticism whereas the former is a critique of the theatrical performance.What are the major questions posed by theatre critics? ›
what three basic problems is the critic concerned with? Am I open to unfamiliar subjects, ideas or conventions? In the theatre, am I uncomfortable with moral stances that differ from my own? What was attempted?What are the 5 Critical Perspectives in theatre? ›
Five critical perspectives: Social significance, human significance, artistic quality, relationship to theatre itself, and entertainment value.What is the impact of criticism? ›
Most psychologists agree that criticism does not lead people to change behavior. Instead it creates anger and defensiveness on the part of the person criticized. Communication between the parties is shackled, and positive relationships impeded.Is criticism positive or negative? ›
So when you criticize something you just say negative things, but when you critique something you can say both positive things and negative things. We often critique books, art, movies… the judges on talent shows like cooking shows or singing shows will critique the performance of the cooks or singers.What are the negative aspects of criticism? ›
- Perceive intended harm.
- Blame the person giving them feedback.
- Distrust the person giving them feedback.
- Feel anger.
It is important to note that critical analysis is not the same thing as criticism. Criticism often means to find fault with something, even if it is not merited.What are the three parts of a critic? ›
- describe: give the reader a sense of the writer's overall purpose and intent.
- analyze: examine how the structure and language of the text convey its meaning.
- interpret: state the significance or importance of each part of the text.
Cinema is subjective, but the major difference is due to differing expectations, agendas, and points of view. Critics are primarily looking for something more original, innovative, and unique — due in part to the fact that they watch a wide variety of films each year for their jobs. They want something different.Is being a critic a good thing? ›
It'll teach you a lot about yourself and other people
Receiving criticism helps you learn about areas of your work that could be improved but it also helps you manage your own emotional reactions, helping you improve your leadership qualities. On top of this, you're also gifted insight into the other person.
|Microsoft Movie Critic salaries - 2 salaries reported||$103,563/yr|
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- knowledge of English language.
- the ability to critically analyse information.
- knowledge of media production and communication.
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail.
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
- excellent written communication skills.
- excellent verbal communication skills.
Theatre acting is hard because it requires the stamina and focus to work for two or three hours straight. Film acting is hard because you have to keep focused on work that constantly stops and starts and is sequenced out of order.Do theater majors make money? ›
The national average salary for a theatre major graduate in the United States is $50,427 per year or $24.24 per hour. There is a huge gap between the top 10 percent earners and the bottom 10 percent earners -- about $75,000.Why is theatre so hard? ›
Theater is hard work.
You have to reach inside of yourself and pull out emotions and energy and drive and make it seem real to the audience. All while learning lines, reacting to other actors' lines, moving how you're supposed to on the stage, and any other stage business you may have.
But if the critic tries to run the operation, he soon understands that nothing is as easy as his criticisms. Criticism without a solution is merely an inflation of the critic's ego.”Is it hard to be a movie critic? ›
It's hard to make it as a big-time film critic. Many critics work hard for years before earning any money at all. Moreover, many critics write film reviews as a hobby, simply because they love film. Film criticism takes a lot of time and effort, and a steady income is not guaranteed, so passion is key.Does Movie critics get paid? ›
The salaries of Movie Critics in the US range from $10,518 to $213,261 , with a median salary of $38,902 . The middle 57% of Movie Critics makes between $38,902 and $96,771, with the top 86% making $213,261.
Although it isn't mandatory, you may consider earning a bachelor's degree if you want to become a movie critic. Employers might list a degree in professional writing, film studies, English, or a related field as a requirement in a job posting.Do film critics go to film school? ›
Some film critics have a background in film studies, while others have a degree in communications or journalism; studying both disciplines through major and minor options may give you an advantage. A bachelor's degree can prepare you for employment.What do movie critics look for? ›
Most often discussed are directing, acting, plot, and cinematography. More general criteria include depth of thinking, emotional impact, authenticity in relation to what is being depicted, wit or cleverness of the writing, and originality.What roles do critics play in the success of productions? ›
First and foremost the critic comments on the quality of the work, pointing out the successes and the failures. It is on the basis of this reflection that playwrights, producers and actors gather what is good about the critique and act on it or ignore the comments altogether.What does critic mean in theatre? ›
a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art.What are the impact of theatre? ›
Our findings indicated that active theatre participation significantly improved participants' empathic abilities, social communication, tolerance, and social interactions, with the largest pooled effect size for social communication (0.698) and the smallest for tolerance (0.156).What is the most important role of a film critic? ›
Film critics analyse films and produce reviews and articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, social media channels and websites.Which characteristics are needed in a good theatre critic? ›
To be a successful theatre critic, you must be able to share your opinion eloquently. Build up your writing skills by writing reviews of movies, TV shows or plays you have seen. After writing each review, carefully edit and revise it, trying to polish it just as you would a piece you planned to publish professionally.How do you survive critics? ›
- Be ready with your work. ...
- Be ready to say something about your work. ...
- Invite constructive criticism. ...
- Listen: Keep an open mind and avoid being defensive. ...
- Don't take it personally. ...
- Take notes, or have someone take notes for you. ...
- Be positive and polite.
- Aesthetic criticism.
- Logical criticism.
- Factual criticism.
- Positive criticism.
- Negative criticism.
- Constructive criticism.
- Destructive criticism.
- Practical criticism.
Theatre helps us to see things from a different perspective.
We're shown humanity, collaboration, psychology, conflict, triumph, and trauma. We as the audience get to witness life journeys or parts of stories which often are very familiar to us.
In addition to teaching self-expression, the performing arts help society as a whole in self-knowledge and understanding. Theatre and the performing arts teach society about itself, hoping to point out the attitudes and mindsets of current society. It can be a tool used to educate people about their current conditions.Does theater reflect and influence society? ›
Theatre influences the way we think and feel about our own lives, forcing us to examine ourselves, our values, our behavior. It reflects the needs and desires of our communities while contributing to education and literacy.What is the most important job in the film industry? ›
The most popular of all film industry jobs and crucial to the completion of any film, directors are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the creative process and bringing them together.
- Plot: What was the movie about? ...
- Themes and Tone: What was the central goal of the movie? ...
- Acting and Characters: Did you like how the characters were portrayed? ...
- Direction: Did you like how the director chose to tell the story? ...
- Score: Did the music support the mood of the movie?
Film criticism usually offers interpretation of its meaning, analysis of its structure and style, judgement of its worth by comparison with other films, and an estimation of its likely effect on viewers. Film theory (e.g. feminist, postmodernist, etc.) often informs the critical analysis of a film.