“Inclusion” and “diversity” dominate our entertainment culture today.
Does Hollywood accurately reflect society? Do the stories flow from more than just the straight white male perspective? Are women and minorities given a chance to win the most coveted gigs?
They’re valid arguments, even if some are applied too aggressively or without the proper context.
What about film critics?
Some suggest the dearth of female and minority critics impacts the reviews we read. It’s a subject even Oscar winners like Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock have brought up, albeit clumsily.
Conservative movie critics are often forgotten entirely.
The Diversity Angle Many People Forget
If we care about the number of, say, women reviewing films, shouldn’t we also tally up how many right-leaning reviewers advise readers? Roughly half the country leans to the right or is open to conservative principles. Shouldn’t they be represented, too?
Would far-left filmmaker Michael Moore boast sky high RottenTomatoes.com scores if more critics questioned his world view?
It’s a subject of little interest to reporters. If there’s a single article bemoaning the lack of ideological diversity in film criticism please link to it in the comments section. This reporter has yet to find one.
Conservative Movies Critics … Do They Even Exist?
The same holds true for movie criticism.
Which makes the following list essential. The movie critics below see the world from a right-of-center perspective. Each brings his or her own views to the table, and no two reviews are alike. Some are unabashedly partisan, while others let their ideology gently influence their reviews.
The voices range from red-meat Republican to Libertarian with a capital “L.” Each adds something to the cultural conversation.
John Nolte, Breitbart News
Nolte loves movies … and he hates much of what comes out of Hollywood these days. That applies to the industry’s political activity as well as too many recent films. He’s arguably the most outspoken conservative movie critic in the game. When he loves a film, though, he wraps his arms around it and shouts the news to anyone within earshot. (Editor’s Note: Nolte and I worked together for a spell at Breitbart News). Twitter: @NolteNC
Zachary Leeman, LifeZette
This former HiT contributor now oversees the PopZette vertical at Laura Ingraham’s conservative news site LifeZette. Leeman’s love for film extends to westerns, art-house projects and grindhouse fare.
Kyle Smith, National Review
Smith is known for his biting wit, laugh out loud pans and ability to see the big picture, no pun intended. He previously served as a film critic for the right-leaning The New York Post. Now, he writes sharp opinion essays and film reviews for William F. Buckley, Jr.’s signature magazine. Twitter: @rkylesmith
Ed Morrissey, HotAir.com
Morrissey isn’t a weekly film critic, but he’s more than up to speed on pop culture’s essential films. He also offers a fair perspective on film from someone who genuinely appreciates the medium. His takes on hot-button films are essential. Twitter: @EdMorrissey
Conservative/Libertarian entertainment critic Jacob Smith oversees this comprehensive film site. Socieity-Reviews.com offers not just up-to-date movie reviews but cultural commentaries on breaking news and emerging trends. Twitter: @SocietyReviews
Ben Davies, Rebel Media
Davies doesn’t just review movies. He stars in them, too. He’s appeared in “I’m Not Ashamed,” “Courageous” and “War Room.” He reviews films and comments on breaking Hollywood stories at his Rebel Media perch, dubbed “Pure Hollywood.” Twitter: @BenDaviesActor
Ellie Bufkin, Flix It
Bufkin is a native to the Washington, D.C. area where she began her professional life as a sommelier. She’s now a Senior Contributor and Film Critic for The Federalist. She also co-hosts the weekly movie podcast, “Flix It” with David Marcus. The show highlights the pair’s favorite Netflix movies. Twitter @ellie_bufkin
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon
Bunch’s curious love for “Sucker Punch” gives him an intriguing level of Twitter fame. Bunch, the executive editor at the Beacon, is better known for his clear-eyed criticism and his weekly appearances on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” He isn’t afraid to embrace films that fall on the Left side of the ideological spectrum. Twitter: @SonnyBunch
Brad Slager, RedState.com
Slager writes the HiT Autopsy reviews at this site. He also talks film at his podcast, “Marble Halls & Silver Screens” alongside co-host Sarah Lee. His insightful industry analysis can be found at both RedState.com and The Federalist. Twitter: @MartiniShark
Michael Medved, The Michael Medved Show
This nationally syndicated talker was reviewing films from a conservative perspective long before the Web gave other right-leaning critics a voice. “Medved on Movies” lets him deliver audio reviews for his considerable fan base. Twitter: @MedvedSHOW
Jacob Airey, The Daily Wire
Airey isn’t satisfied overseeing just one media outlet. The Texas native has his own self-titled blog along with a vibrant Facebook page.and the StudioJake video channel. Need more? He also contributes to The Daily Wire and has appeared on “The Michael Knowles Show.” Twitter: @realJacobAirey
Ross Douthat, National Review
Douthat files opinion pieces for The New York Times, but that doesn’t diminish his conservative film bona fides. He also files movie reviews for National Review and hosts a movie podcast with Smith called, “Projections.” Twitter: @DouthatNYT
John Podhoretz, The Weekly Standard
The veteran scribe pulls few punches. The former speechwriter opines for not just The Weekly Standard but Commentary Magazine and The New York Post. His reviews are longer, more detailed and brimming with sharp turns of phrase. Twitter: @jpodhoretz
Mike Rosen, Mike Rosen at the Movies
Rosen reviewed films each Friday for his popular Denver radio show for nearly 30 years. Now, he’s headlining a movie review show with this reporter, airing at 8 a.m. MT Saturday on KOA NewsRadio 850 AM, 94.1 FM.
This new HiT Contributor routinely connects his film reviews to larger cultural trends. Gleason, who also writes for The Federalist, isn’t content to break down a film’s plot and shared universe counts. He’s more interested in deeper issues tied to the films in question, leaning on his degrees in analytic philosophy. Twitter: @ac_gleason
Mark Reardon, KMOX St. Louis
This Chicago native broke into radio at 15. Today, he’s the host of “The Mark Reardon Show” heard on KMOX. He’s a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and his reviews are heard on KMOX, BXR radio in Columbia, Missouri, and “Great Day St. Louis” on KMOV channel 4.
Carl Kozlowski, Pasadena Weekly
Kozlowski’s work spans the conservative blogosphere, from Breitbart News to HiT. His libertarian-leaning thoughts are shared primarily via Pasadena Weekly. He’s also a proud Catholic, another element that sets him apart from his peers. Twitter: @Comickoz
Rick Aragon, Rick’s Texan Reviews
Aragon, a 10-year film review veteran, calls himself an “art before theology/politics” type. That means conservative product doesn’t get an instant rave. The Hispanic reviewer is affiliated with the Online Film Critics Society. Twitter: @RXCafeTX