Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Lights! Camera! Action! Finding Movie Reviews

1.  Library Catalog - Find Books, Media and Pamphlets

  • Film Genre Studies
  • Use the library catalog to check for books on film genres

Examples: subject search: horror

            Or   subject search: film noir

          Or check these titles:

REF 791.437 M 3   Magill's Survey of Cinema, 1927-

                  Check subject index under name of genre or subject, e.g. “Gangsters.”

REF 791.437 M 3-5 Magill's Cinema Annual  (Check subject Index)


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2. Reference Books

When was the movie released?  To find a movie review you need to know the release date.   Check these sources by movie title to find out when the movie was released.

REF 791.4303 H 1-2   Halliwell's Film, Video & DVD Guide

REF 791.437 M 3       Magill's Survey of Cinema  (includes films from 1902-1981) 

REF 791.437 M 3-5    Magill's Cinema Annual 1981-present     

Check these sources to read complete reviews:

REF 791.4375 V 3     Variety's Film Reviews   -present  Cumulative title index to Vols. 1-15 ( 1907-1980) in Vol. 16  Each annual volume indexed separately thereafter.

REF 791.437 N 1      New York Times Film Review  1913-2000    Facsimile reprints of the reviews printed in the New York Times . Look for index in “Appendix volume” and at end of each volume beginning 1969-70.

REF 791.4303 N 1    The Motion Picture Guide  (1927-1999) Signed reviews by editorial staff of the Guide.

For print reviews of movies released before 1986: use the sources below to find article citations, then look in 2nd floor periodical stacks, 3rd floor bound periodicals or 1st floor microfilm cabinets.

REF 016.05 R 1-2  Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature  (1900-present) 

           An index to  popular magazines and the New York Times newspaper in print format.
         Movie titles under subject heading:   “Moving picture plays-Criticism, plots, etc." or                     1977-  movie titles under “Motion picture reviews-Single work.”

REF 791.43016 F2 Film Review Index [1882-1985].  
Provides citations to sources where films are reviewed.

REF 791.437 M 3 Magill's Survey of Cinema  1902-present  

            This series is best for plot summaries but it also includes citations to movie reviews in other sources.

 Use these reference books to identify Oscar and other award winners:

REF 791.4303 H 1-2  Halliwell's: the Movies That Matter

           Covers films released between 1927-2008.  Use the list “Academy Award Winners” at the end of the guide.

REF 791.43079 O 2  Movie Awards: the Ultimate, Unofficial Guide to the Oscars, Golden Globes, Critics, Guide & Indie Honors

   Covers films released from 1927-1999.
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3. Databases and Indexes - Find Articles

  • Use Proquest, a database of periodical articles, to find movie reviews from the Los Angeles Times, Time, etc. for films released after 1986.   Search a film title such as "Apocolypse Now" (place quotation marks around the title) or use Advanced search and select Document type: Review  (page down to see this limit feature)
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4. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 site or see recommended websites below.

MRQE: Movie Review Query Engine     Covers films from early 1900s-present.  Links to external film reviews (opens new browser window.)
IMDb: Internet Movie Database   Covers films from the early 1900s -present.  Plot summaries, cast overview, viewer comments, genre links.  Search for film title, select "external reviews" (left menu).
Academy Award Winners Covers films released from 1927-present.  Shows Oscar winners by decade and specific year (not searchable by movie title or Oscar category).
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences A database of all the Academy Awards ever given.  Covers films from 1927-present.  Search by movie title, nominee, award category, song title or award year(s).
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Citing Your Sources

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last updated: 07/15/2011 by P. Johnson revision #4