Film reviewers and critics have been around for from the first media entertainment was born, but with platforms like YouTube giving individuals the power to create content from their own home, there’s now an array of different channels that talk about film and TV in unique and entertaining ways. The emergence of the “video essay” has become a big part of this, as more creators on YouTube are going into long 20-minute reviews and analyses of media while using clips from the show or movie while incorporating their own graphics and special effects. Along with this, the film sector of YouTube has also made way for a lot of creative and comedic takes on “good-bad” films, which are films that, you guessed it, are so bad they’re good.
1. Pop Culture Detective
For anyone who loves analyzing films and TV shows and finding connections to deeper topics, this channel will give you exactly what you are looking for. Jonathan McIntosh creates video essays where he talks about social issues within different films and points out things you probably never really thought about. From analyzing shows like The Big Bang Theory, “The Adorkable Misogynist,” to talking about films like Wall-E in his video, “Wall-E and sociological storytelling,” these videos take on specific themes and topics that the films present. McIntosh does a good job of educating you about the themes about the film or TV show without completely acting like his opinion is the law. He simply studies and analyzes the content and gives you the facts. Then you decide.
2. Cinema Sins
When it comes to the Cinema Sins YouTube channel, no film is safe. The videos are well known for how short they are and how quickly and mercilessly the narrator names off all the things wrong with a film through what they call “sins.” The catchphrase of the channel is “No film is without sin,” and you can tell from their large amount of reviews, from Saw to The Avengers, to countless others. You might feel a little defensive at first when you see your favorite movies counted off for the reasons they have flaws, but it’s beyond hilarious when you really think about the little, nonsensical mistakes even the best films have. And some of them have a whole lot more than you ever imagined. It’s also a quick way to get a part by part preview of scenes from a movie without actually having to go see it, and sometimes that’s a blessing with some of the worse ones.
3. Channel Awesome — Nostalgia Critic
While Channel Awesome does a lot of film related content, the Nostalgia Critic segment, hosted by Doug Walker, focuses on a specific genre of films: the ones that take you back in time. Nostalgia Critic’s content consists of editorial videos that analyze some of our favorite classic films from Disney, Pixar, and everything in between. However, the more fun episodes are the ones where he reviews the wonderfully bad films and talks about the ridiculous ways that they don’t hold up like they used to (or how they never even held up in the first place). From The Goofy Movie to the recent Mummy adaptations, these reviews use clever skits that will make you not only nostalgic, but also frustrated with how ridiculously awful some films are. Walker either plays the main scenes he wants to critique, or he accompanies his speaking with quick and hilarious skits to keep you sucked in. Whether he’s hilariously tearing the film apart or analyzing the ways it’s a classic, Walker goes through the main scenes and parts of the film so, as he says, “you don’t have to.”
4. Chris Stuckmann
Long-time YouTuber and Ohio-Native Chris Stuckmann covers everything from most anticipated releases to overrated sequels, while also giving you an honest review of the film without adding too much bias. He follows a basic A through F scale like most YouTube film critics do and makes sure to cover each detail in a fair way, while also adding his own creative take on what they could have done better (or how it could have been worse). Depending on what kind of films you’re into seeing, Stuckmann has specific playlists for movies by major directors and writers like Stephen King, Christopher Nolan, and Steven Spielberg. While most of his channel gears toward action and thrillers, you’ll find a bunch of video reviews on anime series as well.
With about 1.8 million followers, Nerdwriter also tackles film and TV shows from a social and political lens by talking about our favorite shows and movies from an angle we never really noticed before. His video essays include talking about shows like Dark Mirror and The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as movies like The Truman Show and other shows that have deeper meanings behind them. These reviews are intricate and on point, but also entertaining in the way he describes the storylines and themes of the show or movie he’s analyzing.