Popularity and Legitimacy of YouTube Film Critics

Film criticisms and movie reviews are terms that are often interchangeable (University of Vermont, 2017). They are, after all, similar as they examine and evaluate their subjects. The simplest difference between them is that film criticism examines a subject closer more than a movie review would, while the latter assesses a film’s overall enjoyability (Dickinson College, 2018). The latter is more popular with the general public, since most people are busy every day. They will want to know if their time and money will be well-spent and entertained on a movie currently released in theaters and streaming services, rather than to study the themes, aesthetics, and effects of any film. In addition, it guides them in their decision-making process (Trust Pilot, 2017), since there are always plenty of films released at a time.

As we shift from the printing press to a more concise digital medium, film reviews in video formats are growing evermore popular, chiefly in YouTube. Individual reviewers, like Chris Stuckmann and Jeremy Jahns, are some of the more influential leading voices of this genre on the website, with over a million subscribers (Social Blade, n.d.) with their thousands of videos. There are a few critics on YouTube that have now been legitimized, namely Stuckmann and Alicia Malone, as they are also members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA, n.d.).

Stuckmann, in particular, is now certified on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes (Rotten Tomatoes, n.d.). He often legitimizes himself as a critic by posting several film analyses and editorials, ranging from the state of modern horror movies (Waldeck, 2015) to the art of film criticism, as well as publishing two books discussing his love for movies and anime (Stuckmann, n.d.). Malone has done the same, all while being a reporter, covering several prestigious film festivals and award ceremonies (Malone, 2017), and appearing on news networks, like CNN and MSNBC, as a film expert. She also hosts for the FilmStruck podcast and the television network TMC, and hosted two TED talks, discussing women in film.


Alicia Malone’s BFCA Members Page. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.criticschoice.com/members/amalone/

Chris Stuckmann’s BFCA Members Page. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.criticschoice.com/members/cstuckmann/

Chris Stuckmann’s Rotten Tomatoes Page. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/chris-stuckmann/movies

Chris Stuckmann’s subscriber count. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/chrisstuckmann/realtime

Dickinson College. (2018, March 28). Film Studies: Film Criticism. Retrieved from http://libguides.dickinson.edu/filmstudies/criticism

Jeremy Jahn’s subscriber count. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/jeremyjahns/realtime

Ledesma, J. (2017, June 20). Why do people read reviews? What our research revealed. Retrieved from http://blog.trustpilot.com/blog/why-do-people-read-reviews-what-our-research-revealed

Malone, A. (2017). Alicia Malone’s Biography. Retrieved from http://aliciamalone.com/

Stuckmann, C. (Chris Stuckmann). (2014, June 8). On Film Criticism. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJdfJVyDEQE

University of Vermont. (2017, October 15). Reviews vs Film Criticism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://researchguides.uvm.edu/c.php?g=290200&p=3481769

Waldeck, C. (2015, May 02). Chris Stuckmann is Legitimizing YouTube film criticism. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chris-stuckmann-legitimizing-youtube-film-criticism-waldeck/



5 thoughts on “Popularity and Legitimacy of YouTube Film Critics”

  1. We definitely cannot deny the impact of YouTube critics, in my opinion. With cases such as Stuckmann’s, those critics have the advantage of being very accessible (since all they have to do is go on YouTube, probably and obviously one of the most popular websites on the Internet, unlike publications websites). However, one problem this does bring is that MANY Youtube critics perhaps are not legitimate, unlike Stuckmann, i.e. all they do is rant about the film without really knowing what they are talking about, and call themselves critics. Though they can have some valid points, we still have to be aware of them, so maybe you could have talked about that a little bit. Anyway, that was interesting to read, especially considering I did not know about Stuckmann being a member of the BFCA!


  2. Having actual examples of critics has helped me to realise who I should watch out for as a filmmaker. I find it interesting that actual critics are having to move to more popular platforms such as YouTube, but I think what they are now going to have to do is battle with competition from the film reviewers that are on YouTube. Personally, before I watch any film I check the score on rotten tomatoes and sometimes I do read what the critics say about it, however usually do to this their opinions end up tainting the film for me slightly. But nevertheless, I still admire the critic’s response.


  3. Being able to watch videos on youtube analyzing and critiquing films has helped me discover many directors that I have never heard of before and multiple movies I would have never stumbled on. ”Stuckmann, in particular, is now certified on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes (Rotten Tomatoes, n.d.)” I didn’t know Stuckmann is now certified on Rotten Tomatoes making him an admired reviewer by many. Good Job!


  4. I’m glad youtube was mentioned because for people in Dubai, they used to depend on IMDB or trailers to see if the movie is any good but in today’s generation people seek youtube and watch reviews from big critics, it’s the same with video gaming, people would watch full gameplay videos just to know whether they should get the game or not. For me one of the top film critics that i’ve enjoyed way more than anybody would be the Nostalgia Critic, he do review the film in the most entertaining way, he glorify the pros and make fun of the cons and usually would imitate scenes he liked or hated.

    Life is easier but at the same time it can get complicated, back in the 80s/90’s if you wanted to hear a review, you can either read the newspaper or a magazine or wait for Gene Shalit to appear on tv and mock or glorify a specific film, but for today easily anybody can switch on his phone camera and talk about a film he just watched.

    For me i never hear reviews, i just watch a bit of the trailer and go for it.

    Here’s an episode from Gene Shalit:


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