To find academic film reviews, you can search film journals or look in a database. To find film journals, look at Woodward Library’s online journal collection by going to Woodward Library homepage, then Search & Find, then Find Periodicals.
Search for the title of a film journal. A few examples include:
These journals can be browsed to get a general idea of the structure and language used in scholarly film reviews. Scroll through the list of article titles until you find a review about a film that interests you.
QUICK TIP: These journals also contains academic articles. Film reviews will often have the word “review” in the title. If there aren’t any article titles with the word “review,” look for articles that are 1-3 pages long. These will typically be film/book reviews.
You can also search for a specific film title. To search within a journal for a specific film, click on the journal, then click “See All” under the list of journal issue on the left-hand side of the screen.
This will take you to another page with a list of different databases that contain the journal. The first column contains the database name, and the second column contains the article publication dates that we have access to. I usually select the database with the broadest broadest date range.
Once you click into a database, there will be an option to search within the journal. The location, wording, and symbology used for the search feature will vary by website. In Academic Search Premier, it looks like this:
Clicking on the search feature will direct you to a search page. The first line of the search will be auto populated with the journal name; don’t delete this. In the line below, insert the title of a film that you want to find a review for. If the film has a generic name, consider adding the last name of the film’s director to as well. The search page might also give you the option to limit your search to a review or a film review.
NOTE: These journals have not reviewed every film. The example in the image above does not generate any search results, because the journal Film Criticism has not published a review of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi.
If you don’t have any luck finding a review of your film with the method described above, you can consult JSTOR. JSTOR is an incredibly large database that requires very specific search terms. To find a film review, search for the film’s title, the last name of the film’s director, and select “Reviews” as the item type.
The search used in the image above returned 35 results, and 6 of them were reviews for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi.
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