American Movie Critics

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If the movies are America's national dream life, then movie critics are the country's interpreters of dreams. Sitting in the flickering dark as if at our elbows, watching, judging, interpreting. Articulating what we may only feel.

On the way out of the theater, everyone's a critic. But from the days of silent film, to the glories of sound and Technicolor, to the parade of Hollywood hoopla in the megaplex today, a few critics have always stood above the rest, delivering insight, lauding the good, thrashing the bad, making sense of Hollywood and our times. A new anthology captures the best of a near-century of top critics.

Hear about the best movie critics in history, and what they tell us about the movies, and ourselves.


Phillip Lopate, editor of "American Critics: An Anthology From the Silents Until Now."

Manohla Dargis, film critic for the New York Times

Jack Beatty, On Point film buff and senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly

This program aired on June 14, 2006.


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