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ENG 102 - Wilson: Film Review Resources

Use these links to learn about movies and find film critiques and reviews.

Strategies to Film Review and Information Websites and Relevant Library Resources

For this class you will be responsible for taking a Documentary or Feature film and analyzing how it conveys a social issue.  Incorporated into this LibGuide will be a film example of how to address this task and how library resources support your analysis. If you have any questions in regard to resource access and integration please do not hesitate to contact librarian Neil Siegel by cell phone at 775-376-4018, Monday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 9:30 pm. Neil has taught film study at TMCC and will assist you in focusing your core concepts to drive your research paper.

You will need movie reviews, interviews with production or acting cast, and resources to back your arguments.  All this will be available by clicking the tabs associated with this LibGuide.

Stage 1: is to select a film where the social impact is of some interest/relationship to you.  Identification with an issue makes writing the paper and understanding the film that much easier.  As our example we will tackle the film Network that won four Academy Awards in 1976, including best screenplay, and was nominated for best picture. From the website

Review by 

Part of a cycle of 1970s conspiracy films and a sharp satire of the TV business, Network bitterly critiques corporate culture's impact on the spread of information and the resulting cult of the TV guru. As directed by Sidney Lumet and scripted by Paddy ChayefskyNetwork takes a relatively straightforward approach to its outrageous acts, even those of Faye Dunaway's ambitious programmer, lending a disturbingly matter-of-fact tone to the corporation's most venal and dehumanizing machinations. The mad ravings of Peter Finch's messianic Howard Beale become an almost sane response to the systemic rot, but the corruption is too deep and the TV audience too fickle. A popular and critical hit, Network was praised for wittily yet somberly tapping into the mid-'70s mood of cultural disaffection, providing the perfect catch phrase for any and all frustrations, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture.


Stage 2: requires you to watch the film not once, but twice.  The initial response to the film will yield thoughts on the film's tackling of that social/controversial issue and the second viewing will provide you with five critical scenes that move the film's plot along with dynamic intent.  These five scenes will provide the necessary transitions for your paper creating a parallel wave to what you need to say with your research analysis. for Feature films such as Network, these scenes should be available on YouTube.  For documentaries without clips on YouTube note the streaming time for the scene for future reference.


Stage 3: will require finding film reviews and the best place to start in this task is the Movie Review Query Engine database,


Stage 4: YouTube may provide you with interviews with production staff (directors, producers, screenwriters) and cast members.  These clips may be as short as a few minutes to over an hour in length.  Cast and crew in these interviews often shed considerable light on why the film was made, their attraction to it, and how the message was received. Allmovie and IMDb (International Movie Database) provide you with a list of cast and crew and hyperlinks to their filmography. 


Stage 5: Here is where we will examine the CQ Researcher, Issues and Controversies, and EBSCO databases to identify articles to support our thesis and drive our paper.  All these databases can be accessed from home using your TMCC/Canvas login and password.