In my opinion, James Berardinelli is the best online movie critic in the world. His reviews are thought provoking, entertaining, immensely insightful and extraordinarily well written. Here are some interesting facts about James Berardinelli.
Not Much of a Moviegoer as a Kid
James Berardinelli, who was born in 1967 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, did not go to many movies as a kid. The first film he remembers attending was JAWS, which he saw at a drive-in. While in college, however, his interest in movies blossomed, and he began building a foundation of film knowledge which, to this day, he draws on to help craft his marvelous reviews.
Movie Critic and Electrical Engineer
James Berardinelli is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Interestingly, he holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering. I would guess that he is the only reputable film critic who also happens to be an electrical engineer. Indeed, his profession helps support his “movie habit.” In his autobiography on the RottenTomatoes.com website he writes, “Putting my education to use, I went to work for a company called Bellcore, which pays well enough for me to keep up the mortgage, maintain a home theater, finance film festival trips, and buy the 25-30 gallons I need each week to attend screenings.”
ReelViews Racks up the Page Views
James Berardinelli began writing capsule reviews for his own use in 1992. In 1993, he started writing public movie reviews for the Usenet newsgroup. Since that time, he has become an accredited film critic and now has 3,300 + movie reviews posted on his ReelViews website. Mr. Berardinelli estimates that his website receives up to 80,000 hits a day. In addition to ReelViews, Berardinelli writes on a variety of topics (the film industry, politics, society, etc.) for his blog, which he calls ReelThoughts.
Roger Ebert is a Fan
Apparently, legendary film critic Roger Ebert shares my opinion of James Berardinelli. In his review of the movie, “Saving Silverman”, Ebert notes that James Berardinelli is the “best of the Web-based critics.” As well, Ebert wrote the forward for Berardinelli’s book, “ReelViews: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 modern movies on DVD and Video.”
I discovered James Berardinelli about five or six years ago, and I’ve been a devoted reader of his movie reviews ever since. I almost always agree with him, but, even if I don’t, I always enjoy reading his work. As previously mentioned, his reviews are pithy, sharply observant and exceedingly well written.