Skip to Main Content

Library & Information Services Sub Menu Dismiss

History of Film: Reviews

This guide provides references to selected print and online materials about the history of film.

Release Dates

Since the year of a film's release is usually also the year when reviews first appear, it is important to have at least a general idea of the release date. As there is generally a lapse of a month or more before indexing becomes available, when searching for reviews of recently released movies, search one or more years of an index. For example, for a movie released in September 1992, reviews might appear for both 1992 and 1993.

The following sources provide release dates for movies:

International Motion Picture Almanac Ref. PN1993.3.I55
The Oxford Companion to Film Ref. PN1993.45.O9
Dictionary of Films Ref. PN1993.45.S3213


There are a number of Reference Books in Lovejoy Library that review or critique motion pictures. The most commonly used print resource is the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. (1900-.) Ref. AI3.R4
Coverage includes reviews in general journals Between 1905-Feb. 1976, few reviews are indexed.

  • From 2003 - Present: Reviews are listed by the MOVIE TITLE
  • From 2000 - 2002: Reviews may be listed by either MOTION PICTURE REVIEWS and/or the MOVIE TITLE
  • From 1978 - 2000: Reviews are listed under MOTION PICTURE REVIEWS
  • Before 1977 - (volume 37 of Reader's Guide) movie reviews are listed under the subject heading MOVING PICTURE PLAYS -- CRITICISMS, PLOTS, ETC. PICTURE REVIEWS.

Movies are listed alphabetically by the title, followed by a citation for a review. For example:

"Motion pictures-Single works-Reviews."
Gladiator (movie title)
    People Weekly il. v53 no. 18 p.39 My 8 2000. L. Rozen
    Rolling Stone il por no. 841 p 81-2 May 25 2000. P. Travers

Other sources for reviews include:

  • New York Times Index. (1851-.) Ref. AI 21.N45 1974-.
    Coverage is bi-weekly with quarterly and annual cumulation. Movie reviews appear under Motion Pictures.
  • The Motion Picture Guide. Ref. PN 1993.M433 Suppl. 1986-1999
  • Magill's Survey of Cinema. Ref. PN 1993.45.M34
  • Magill's Cinema Annual. Ref. PN1993.3.M3 1982
    Each contains reviews of English and foreign language films released in the United States during the year. Citations for additional reviews are also provided.
  • New York Times Film Reviews. Ref. PN 1995.N48 1913-.
    Photographic reprints of reviews are presented as they appear in the newspaper.
  • New York Times Index. Ref. AI 21.N45 1913-.
    Reviews are located under the heading Motion Pictures (movie.)
  • Wall Street Journal Index. (1955-.) Ref. Index Table HG 1.W26 1958-.
    Coverage is monthly with annual cumulation. Reviews are included in Volume II - General New under the heading Motion Pictures - specific movie title.