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Who am I?

I’m MaryAnn Johanson, a pioneering Internet film critic from New York City now living in London. I started in 1997 — it began in the free web space that AOL gave its members, but soon outgrew that — and it’s now one of the longest-running continually updated film-criticism sites online… and a highly respected and popular one, at that.

But I’m not just some loudmouth with a blog! Before the plague year of 2020, my reviews were syndicated across a variety of US alt-weekly newspapers. (The coronavirus pandemic hit those papers hard, and many had to suspend publication.) My writing on film has also appeared at such sites as Indiewire, PBS’s Independent Lens blog, Film Threat, and I regularly appear on the BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” as a cultural commentator, and I’ve served as a jury member at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival, and Edinburgh Film Festival.

I’m an executive member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (which awards the Webbys), one of only a few film critics among the organization, which honors innovation and creativity online.

I’m a Tomatometer critic at Rotten Tomatoes — my reviews contribute to a movie’s Freshness rating there — and I’m a Top Critic at the Movie Review Query Engine. I’m a member of the Online Film Critics Society as well as the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. (Get a comprehensive rundown of my credits and experience here.)

I take movies very seriously — I believe they are vital expressions of our culture, at its best, worst, and everything in between — but I also have a lot of fun with them.

Here I am trying to pick up Thor’s hammer at an Avengers exhibit in London:

And here’s me with Emmet Brickowski at a Lego Movie screening:

Please come along on this wild journey with me!

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Thoughtful film criticism: feminist, progressive, geeky. I examine movies (and sometimes a bit of TV) as part of the cultural zeitgeist, and help you make sense of it all.


MaryAnn Johanson is a writer of film criticism and fiction.