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The Readers Respond to 'Moviemakers, Movie Critics and You' : Votes for the Reader and the L.A. Weekly

November 04, 1990

Although one person cited in the article properly draws a distinction between critics and reviewers, Mitchell and all others whom he quoted seem to improperly consider the two terms synonymous.

A critic is someone who attempts to establish a body of standards--usually aesthetic, but sometimes social, political, religious, etc.--by which a would-be work of art may be considered serious and successful or not; the critic sometimes then goes on to measure particular works against his criteria.

A reviewer is a writer--almost always a journalist--who describes a piece of popular entertainment in general terms, indicates whether he or she enjoyed it and suggests how the general consumer of entertainment is likely to like or dislike it.

Of the people regularly commenting on motion pictures in the Los Angeles area, Henry Sheehan of the Reader comes closest to being a critic; everyone else is a reviewer, of slightly greater or considerably less intelligence.

ROBERT H.K. WALTER, Los Angeles

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