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College of DuPage Library

Film Research

Finding Film Reviews

In order to find a review, it is important to know the year the film was released.  For movies released prior to 1970, reviews will be found primarily in print indexes. 

The following online databases and print indexes will direct you to reviews.


  • Academic OneFile
    Use Advanced Search to limit your results by Document Type to "Movie Review".
  • Academic Search Premier
    Use Advanced Search. Enter the film title in the first search box and then select PS Reviews and Products from the drop-down menu to the right.
  • Literature Resource Center
    Use Works Search.  Enter the name of the film and then select "Motion Picture" from the Type of Work list.
  • New York Times (1980 to Present)
    Click More Search Options to limit your Document Type to  "Film Review"
  • New York Times (1851-2004) Proquest Historical Newspapers
    Click More Search Options to limit your Document Type to  "Film Review"

Collections of Film Review References

  • Film Review Annual
    Gives important film reviews in their entirety and lists other publications in which the film was reviewed.
    Ref PN 1995. F465 (1981- )
  • Film Review Index
    Ref PN 1995 .F468 1986
  • Index to Critical Film Reviews
    Arranged by title of film with director and reviewer indexes
    Ref PN 1995 .B69 1975x
  • New York Times Film Reviews
    Includes a full index of personal names, titles, and corporate names.
    Ref PN 1995 .N4 (1913-2000)
  • Variety Film Reviews
    24-volume hardcover reprint of feature film reviews by the weekly entertainment tabloid-size magazine Variety from 1907 to 1996
    Ref PN 1993 .V36 (1907-1996)

Finding Biographical Sources

  • American Screenwriters
    Ref PN451 .D5 v.26 1984
  • American Screenwriters: Second Series
    Ref PN451 .D5 v.44 1986
  • A Biographical Dictionary of Film
    Ref PN 1998.2 T 49 1994
  • The St. James Film Directors Encylopedia
    Ref PN 1998.2 S68 1998
  • The St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia
    Ref PN1998.2. S683 1999

Finding a Topic

  • Chronicle of the Cinema
    Ref PN 1993.5 U6 C47 1997
  • Complete Film Dictionary
    Ref PN 1993.45 .K66 1997
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels into Films
    Ref PN 1997.85 T54 1998
  • The Film Encyclopedia
    Ref PN 1993.45 K34 1998
  • Filmmaker's Dictionary
    Ref PN 1993.45 S56 2000
  • International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers
    Ref PN 1997.8 I 58 2000

Plot Summaries

  • Halliwell's Film & Video Guide
    Ref PN 1993.45 H 27 [updated annually]
  • Magill's Survey of Cinema: First Series
    Ref PN 1993.45 M3
  • Magill's Survey of Cinema: Second Series
    Ref PN 1993. 45 .M32
  • Magill's Cinema Annual
    Ref PN 1993.3 M34 [1982-present]
  • The Motion Picture Guide & Annual Supplement
    Ref PN 1995. N346

Searching for Books by Subject Heading

To identify materials about a particular genre, style, director or other topic, consider the following subject headings:

Film criticism

Film adaptations

Women in motion pictures

Name of the Film

Name of the Director

Motion pictures

Motion pictures history

Motion pictures United States History

Name of an Actor or Actress

Motion picture industry

Motion picture producers and directors

Motion pictures and literature

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