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Film, Television and Animation

Recent film reviews

Whilst there are many blogs and websites that focus on film reviews, it's important to remember that for academic purposes you need to source reviews from reputable authors who are recognised (and scholarly) experts in the field.  Here are some resources to help you do just that.

Newsbank is an excellent resource for finding recent film reviews published in both Australian and international newspapers.

  • On the Newsbank homepage select Newsbank Newspapers - Australia and the World.
  • Key in the exact title of the film (in double quote marks), add a row for 'review' and another to search by date range.  Here's an example:

Newsbank film review search example

Check out the library's online newspaper resources for more resources, in particular, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

The following film journals publish film reviews.  Establish the year of film release (IMDB is a good place to do this), and check Deakin's holdings to see if there is an issue for the same year the film was released.

Sight and Sound
Film Comment
Film Quarterly

As with searching in newspapers, you can limit your results via date, and document type, to refine your results to reviews from the period you are researching.

Whilst internet sources are generally discouraged in academic work, there are some exceptions:

RogerEbert.com describes itself as 'the world’s preeminent destination for movie criticism, commentary and community".  Subscribe to their mailing list to keep abreast of the most up to date reviews.

When looking at reviews on websites on the internet, alway check out the credentials of the review - how many years have they been reviewing films? Have they been involved in the film industry for a long time and if so, what is there involvement? An established film reviewer will have connections to film festivals, film institutions or film industry organisations.

The Screen Show with Jason Di Rosso (ABC Radio National).
Reviews and in-depth conversations with leading film and TV directors, actors and screenwriters from Australia and around the world.

Whilst it can be tempting to 'google' for film festival reviews, remember your information should be primarily from scholarly sources.  Here's how you can search for these types of reviews using the Library Search Advanced Search feature.

  • Go to the library home page and select Advanced Search
  • Key in "film festival*" or a specific film festival you wish to research e.g. ' "Melbourne International Film Festival" OR MFF'

Screenshot film festival library search

You can refine your search by different Source Types located in the left-hand column:

  • Reviews to refine by film reviews
  • News to view newspaper articles on film festivals or reviews published in newspapers
  • Videos e.g. Informit EduTV often includes reviews from art shows and TV programs broadcast on free-to-air TV that feature film festivals.
  • Reports for industry reports relating to film festivals.

Historical film reviews

Film and Television Literature Index Full Text contains movie reviews dating back to 1914.  To search for reviews:

  • Search by film title
  • Go to Refine results>Source type>Reviews

The Newspaper Databases page lists a selection of historical newspaper sources. 

  • Start by establishing the year the film was released in cinemas to decide which time period to focus on (IMDb is useful for this.)
  • Example: For a review of Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" (1951), search ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (coverage 1849-1994). Go to Advanced Search>[title of film]>Document Type>Review.
    Limit your results by the year the film was released. See the screenshot below for an example of this search. 

Proquest film review search screenshot