Join FandangoVIP for a chance to win.

Don't forget to join during checkout - it's free!



Not a member? Join now or during checkout - it's free!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 10:00 a.m. PT on 7/19/16 and ends at 10:00 a.m. PT on 7/28/16. Open to legal residents of 49 states of the U.S. & D.C. (void in RI, Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories, possessions and overseas military installations), 18 or older (or age of majority in jurisdiction of residence, whichever is older) with active email account and Internet access as of 7/19/16. Odds of winning dependent upon total number of eligible entries received. 1-Grand Prize: round-trip economy class airfare for Grand Prize Winner and up to three (3) guests to Los Angeles (ARV $1,500), two (2) nights standard hotel accommodations at nearby hotel (“Hotel”) (ARV: $1,600), four (4) box seats to Alabama Shakes on 8/10 at the Greek Theatre (ARV: $500), four (4) passes for entrance to the Redwood Hospitality Deck at the Greek Theatre (ARV: $200), four (4) passes to the Fandango VIP lounge at the Greek Theatre (ARV: $200), Alabama Shakes merchandise at the Greek Theatre (ARV: $100), ground transportation to and from the Hotel to the Greek Theatre (ARV: $100), and a $200 VISA Gift Card (ARV: $200). (Total ARV of Grand Prize, $4,400 USD). See Official Rules at for complete prize details. Sponsor: Fandango Media, LLC. See full Official Rules for complete prize details, retail values and free alternate methods of entry. Sponsor: Fandango Media, LLC. I understand and agree to the Official Rules. By entering the sweepstakes, I agree to receive occasional email communications from Fandango Fanmail and Fandango Family Fanmail in accordance with Fandango's Privacy Policy. I may unsubscribe at any time.

Disappearing Movie Critics

I started off as an intern at Newsweek, and one of the greatest things about my job was that, out of the L.A. office, I was sometimes able to go to movie screenings with one of my personal idols, David Ansen.

I know that's not the same as hearing the words Brad Pitt or George Clooney. But for someone like me, the chance to watch movies with Newsweek's movie critic was a huge deal. I grew up loving not only movies, but also movie reviews from my local critic (the Rocky Mountain News' Robert Denerstein), and Siskel & Ebert programs where the duo would just go back and forth so passionately about the moviegoing experience.

I didn't realize until today that this past March, the news magazine bought out Ansen's contract (and Denerstein's no longer with the Rocky Mountain News, either). Apparently, print film critics -- many of them prominent names for big publications -- are dropping like flies. Here's a recent departed list from the Salt Lake Tribune.

I understand the reasons. The Interent has made film criticism the ultimate democracy, and overall, that's great. With sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and our own fan ratings and user reviews, consumers can quickly and easily find out the critical consensus, the word on the street, and how a movie played at preview screenings.

But it's still sad to see so many seasoned critics, with their unique writing styles and opinions, being lost in the shuffle. Ansen wrote for Newsweek for over 30 years. And while I love reading web reviews from Moriarty and James Berardinelli, I'll also sorely miss Ansen's byline in the magazine and its online version.

My hat's off then, to all the departed professional critics. Kudos, too, to Roger Ebert, the most popular critic of all. He may not be well enough to continue on with the t.v. show, but this stalwart of the field (who's always been a strong advocate of all things Internet) continues to turn out great movie reviews and commentary in print and on the web.

What are your thoughts? Are professional critics' reviews useful to you, or do you prefer to find out about movies from other sources?

Like it? Share it:

Next Article by Chuck Walton

More 'G.I. Joe' Cast Photos

More 'G.I. Joe' Cast Photos

Send Me FanText

Thanks for signing up!

By entering your mobile number and clicking "Sign me up!" you consent to our Terms and Policies and Privacy Policy and authorize Fandango and its service providers to deliver FanTexts and other promotional texts to your mobile phone using automated technology. Text marketing authorization is not required for any purchase from Fandango. Message and data rates may apply. We will not send more than 5 msgs/month. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME BY TEXTING "STOP" TO "FNDGO" (36346).