ETimes is part of Times Internet, "India’s largest digital products company." It's the Indian equivalent of America's ET for the Asian continent. The website, as a whole, features mostly local/Indian entertainment news, but most major American releases end up on their "English" review page. Don't expect much content related to independent entertainment; however, their new release movie reviews are generally accurate and for the most part, on point and reliable.
Rotten Tomatoes is the ultimate reference for cinema lovers and anyone looking for a new release movie review. Anyone looking for a content-rich resource for recent movie reviews will have this website bookmarked already. Search for any movie and you'll find it on RT. The website grabs and compiles all the published reviews in the press. It also fetches user reviews from its own forum and from multiple social media sources, giving the visitor a broad but complete overview of all the opinions. It should be noted that such a broad range of opinions may be counter-productive. Indeed, if you're simply trying to quickly find out if a movie is good (or not), this may not be your best bet. Too much ain't enough.
CinemaBlend offers a solid movie section with all the latest releases covered. Their selection includes everything from celebrity-driven to the more obscure indie studio releases. The website presents very few user-generated reviews and comments, but the main articles' authors are generally solid and knowledgeable. On the other end, these reviews are often generic and tend to dilute the opinion. In short, you'll have to read a lot, and often read between the lines, in order to figure out what to imagine what your own opinion and rating would be. CinemaBlend's star ratings tend to reflect the general opinion of the author.
Fandango is a commercial website that's oriented toward selling movie tickets online and promoting big studio releases. The site's review section is "powered by RottenTomatoes," which means that the review page is nothing but a mirror of the titles available on RT's page, each linked to the corresponding page. In other words: there's nothing unique to, or of particular value, to Fandango's movie review page, other than it gives you the ability to buy a ticket online for the movie you're reading about.
Metacritic is an online magazine with a rather wide range of optics when it comes to entertainment. You can find professional ratings and opinions on everything, from games to streaming theater releases. Though similar in scope, the site's layout is significantly better than RottenTomatoes. The content is good in general, as the site allows the reader to quickly identify the general trend of the opinions expressed by the users and the critics alike regarding the new release movie reviews. It's one of my favorite go-to site for anything "entertainment."
Roger's been around for decades and is well known to -- and respected by -- most cinephiles. Whether you agree or disagree with the man is a different story; at least, you'll know where he stands. However, most reviews on his website are NOT written by him, so where you stand relative to the different reviews may change depending on who the author is. The site is well designed and navigation is pleasant -- although the layout is too similar to a Redbox display for my liking. Because Roger is an entertainment personality from the mainstream-media days, the review authors tend to be more critical than the run-of-the-mill, milk-toast copywriters that populate many other similar websites. In other words, you'll find a lot of one-start and two-stars ratings.
Empire Online is a media-rich resource that offers a great blend of opinions on most major movie releases available in the US market. The selection of movies is relatively limited -- the site is not trying to cover every single theater release -- but the reviews are fair, the ratings are balanced and the authors are professionals in their field of interest.
MSN is a corporate website, so don't expect 'them' -- a bunch of investors that meet every month to count their money -- to express an opinion on anything. The site's movie review section of the site is a collection of links to other mainstream websites. Honestly, if you're looking for a critical review, you're not likely to get much of this website. However, because MSN excels at search engine optimization and other marketing and advertising acrobatics. they will often show up on your search results.
Filmfare is an Indian resource, similar to ETimes above. The list of movies is limited by what Hollywood movie is distributed in India. It should be noted that the reviews themselves tend to be quite critical of the commercial American releases. Though written by native Indian speakers, the level of English displayed by the review authors is on par with what you can expect with their American counterparts. I suspect that this is due in no small part to the fact that the Indian movie industry (a.k.a. Bollywood) is quite adept at producing high-quality movies that rival the international releases of Hollywood.
TimeOut is the spawn of the Time Out Group, which self-describes as "a global media and leisure business that inspires and enables people to explore and enjoy the best of the city." The site is essentially a marketing outlet that targets city-centric local markets. You can select the major city near you and you will find the list of the movies playing in the local theaters around that area. The title of the page is: "The best movies out right now". Don't expect much in terms of a critical approach to the new release movie review: everything is either peachy, or it's not on that page.
In our next installment, we'll look at more sources of movie reviews. I'll see you there!