Earlier this year, we unveiled the Criticwire blog to combat the notion that great film criticism has fallen into decline. Editor Matt Singer rounded up new reviews of films released on VOD, theaters and at festivals, engaged with thinkpieces and discovered fresh approaches to the craft.
Not only did the blog quickly develop into a popular resource for some of the most prominent discussions in the film critic community, it also proved that Criticwire could provide a one-stop resource for a sea of diverse voices. We sort through it; you get to discover them.
Now we’re ready to take the next step.
I’m thrilled to unveil the newly designed Criticwire network, which is now live. The initial version of Criticwire, launched two years ago, primarily aggregated grades for festival films as submitted by critics. Our new version, produced over the course of a year by a team of tech-savvy film buffs along with myself and our colleagues at SnagFilms, does much more. It has been designed a resource for working critics and for smart film lovers of all stripes.
On Monday, we will begin to invite some of the more than 400 critics in our network with an email allowing them to log into our site and grade films as well as add links to their reviews. Each critic has a profile that contains biographical information as well as sortable grades and reviews. Soon, we’ll add a “subscribe” button to each profile so users can choose to receive updates from the critics they love most.
Even if you’re not a professional critic, you can still tell us what you thought about a movie. On the landing page, you’ll find a green “Grade This Film” button; hover your cursor over the button and you can grade the film as well as add comments. Go ahead and give it a shot.
On the Criticwire homepage, you’ll see a number of ways to discover new films. Whenever a critic grades a movie, it will automatically surface under the “Latest Grades” tab. You will also see films highlighted based on their current averages.
In the near future, we’ll add a “VOD” tab to the homepage to provide an equally intuitive guide for nontheatrical viewing options. These days, movies are consumed on a variety of platforms; we want to survey critical reception to current cinema in the most comprehensive way possible.
But Criticwire doesn’t stop with the letter grade. Click on a critic’s name and read some reviews. We’ve designed the site as a discovery tool that will provide any critic in our network with a repository for all their criticism, even if it appears in multiple publications. Additionally, we have included a number of features to help critics do their work: When logged into the site, they can request screeners, add films to our database and update their profiles. If you’re looking for movie recommendations, you may discover a few critics in the process as well.
So click around and get lost in the site. Explore some of the newly graded films; browse the critic and film pages. We hope you’ll find plenty of reasons to visit it on a daily basis.
As excited as we are to unveil our work, it’s far from done. We want to hear your suggestions for how to make it better. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the rest of the Criticwire team at email@example.com.
By definition, both movies and critics need an audience; with your help, we can help make sure the right ones find it.
Now pull up your sleeves and start reading some reviews.