Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Eric Kohn
October 12, 2012 2:17 PM
15 Comments
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Introducing Criticwire 2.0: The Network for Film Critics and the Readers Who Love Them

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 eric@indiewire.com or the rest of the Criticwire team at critic@indiewire.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.
 

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15 Comments

  • Ed | October 15, 2012 1:00 PMReply

    Great service to film goers and to film makers. Thankyou

  • meggie | October 14, 2012 3:48 AMReply

    Finally! This will present a credible evaluation of movies. Good idea.

  • gomez | October 13, 2012 3:56 PMReply

    Great addition. Congratulations

  • tom | October 12, 2012 6:40 PMReply

    This will be a valuable tool not only for viewers but for producer directors and actors. It will provide a calibrated measures of acceptability, impact, and quality. For us, aspiring movie makers these metrics are quite important.

  • theresa | October 12, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Eric: it looks great.

  • yuri | October 12, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    For us in the province, to have a sample of what a plurality of film critics thing about a film is a valuable resource. Thanks!
    PS. Can you reduce the advertisement to 12 secs? we are fast readers.

  • horace | October 12, 2012 3:25 PM

    Agree with Yuri on the comment and the PS

  • tom | October 12, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    Eric: congratulations. This will be a way to get a good sample of the opinions of the critics of up coming films

  • Robert | October 12, 2012 3:05 PMReply

    I have found over the years Indie wire to be a refreshing alternative to establishment film critic sites (nytimes,latimes, etc) with Critic Wire Indie provides a credible alternative to tired sites like rotten tomatoes and metacritic. Congratulations

  • Anne Thompson | October 12, 2012 2:58 PMReply

    Bravo to the Indiewire gang that has realized the long-held dream of founding editor Eugene Hernandez, IW critic Eric Kohn and others to make Criticwire an interactive reality. A lot of tinkering over years under the hood has yielded this iteration, which will continue to evolve as we listen to reader feedback. Criticwire has already played a key role in early reviews at film festivals, especially, and will do so even more now as it is easier for CW's mix of top online and print critics to instantly participate.

  • Paul | October 12, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    Yikes. Sorry, but Metacritic still is the one (though not Rotten Tomatoes which is too messy). Your selection is limited, you don't let users see longer search results (page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, etc. gets really tedious) -- and let's face it: too many advertisements.

  • Eric | October 12, 2012 2:55 PM

    Hey Paul: Thanks for checking it out. Since this is a very new part of the site, we're still working hard to improve the navigation and will take your comments into consideration. In terms of selection, look for the range of films to increase over the next several weeks as critics actively add more films to our database.

  • bogus | October 12, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    no ny times, la times, and other major critics. just indiewire and the same tired click.

  • Sam Fragoso | October 12, 2012 6:54 PM

    So what would consider say, Roger Ebert, Bogus?

  • Eric | October 12, 2012 2:54 PM

    We will, in the coming weeks, include both outlets you mention as well as many more.