Eric D. Snider
Featured Critic; Portland, OR

Eric D. Snider has been a writer all his life, a film critic since 1999, and a beard wearer since 2008. He holds a degree in journalism and used to work in "the newspaper industry," back when that was a thing. As a freelancer, Eric has written regularly for, Cinematical,, Pajiba, and (of course) Twitch, among others. He lives in Portland. His website,, lives on the Internet.

Review: THE CONJURING Will Scare You, Not Scar You

Let's be blunt: most wide-release horror films are bad. They tend to be either watered-down, teen-friendly PG-13 mediocrities that aren't scary; or gruesome, R-rated endurance tests that aren't scary either. It almost feels miraculous when something genuinely scary finds its... More »

Review: GROWN UPS 2 Is Somehow Even Worse Than GROWN UPS

Believe it or not, Adam Sandler has never been in a sequel before. It only seems like it because his movies tend to be interchangeable. He plays a guy who dresses, talks, and acts like Adam Sandler; his real-life friends... More »

Review: DESPICABLE ME 2 Is Even Weaker Than the First One

In the pilot episode of the animated sitcom Despicable Me -- which somehow appeared in movie theaters, despite clearly being meant for TV -- we were introduced to Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), a comically accented supervillain who adopted three... More »

Review: THE HEAT Is the Buddy-Cop Comedy We've Been Waiting For

Nothing will sink a buddy comedy faster than poor chemistry between the leads, which can seem unfair if the script is good. But the opposite is also true: a pair of actors with real comic energy, who complement one another... More »

Review: THE STROLLER STRATEGY Is a Bad Idea Badly Executed

France has a thriving film industry, the biggest in Europe, with more than 250 productions a year. Of those, only a few dozen make their way into U.S. cinemas, usually because they're good, or have notable names attached, or will... More »

Review: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Reunites Us with Old Friends

College is often a time of growth and development for people, and it's evidently no different for monsters. In Monsters University, Mike Wazowski, the spherical lime-green cyclops voiced by Billy Crystal, faces the important question of whether he is scary... More »

Review: THE ATTACK, A Sobering, Piercing Drama

The complicated situation in Israel, with its uneasy peace and frequent bursts of non-peace between Jews and Arabs, has given rise to numerous compelling stories, and will no doubt continue to do so for as long as there is conflict... More »

Review: CALL ME KUCHU Sheds Light on Gays' Plight in Uganda

There hasn't been a lot of good P.R. for civil rights in Uganda in the last few years, what with its parliament's proposed legislation that would make homosexual activity punishable by death. Call Me Kuchu, a powerful documentary by first-time... More »

Review: THE PURGE Satisfies Some Urges, But Not All

Some movies have good premises that get squandered in the execution, but The Purge is the other way around. It takes a bad premise and makes it work, more or less. You won't believe that any part of it is... More »

Review: NOW YOU SEE ME Is Incredible, Not in the Good Way

When you see a magician do something in a live show that seems impossible, you know there's a trick to it. Either he didn't actually do the thing he pretended to do, or he did it by some method other... More »

Review: THE HANGOVER PART III Is Barely a Comedy

Remember how The Hangover Part II was a lukewarm rehash of The Hangover, almost beat-for-beat the same story, with little originality? Todd Phillips evidently heard our complaints and has addressed them in The Hangover Part III, which is nothing... More »

Review: THE GREAT GATSBY Is a Class Assignment You'll Want to Skip

Baz Luhrmann's half-frenetic, half-subdued version of The Great Gatsby is almost 100 percent faithful to the novel in terms of plot, and almost zero percent faithful in terms of theme, character, and impact. I don't doubt that Luhrmann and his... More »

Review: PAIN & GAIN Mocks Meatheads, Is Meatheaded

Pain & Gain is a brash, puerile action-comedy of errors about a trio of muscle-obsessed idiots who set out to extort money from a sleazy Miami businessman by kidnapping and torturing him. Michael Bay, who directed it, is almost the... More »

Review: AT ANY PRICE Explores The Changing World Of Modern Farmers

"It's gonna be a great harvest," says a farmer's wife near the end of At Any Price. She's referring to the corn crop, but what this resonant, well-acted drama has made clear by this point is that "you reap what... More »

Review: SCARY MOVIE 5 Contains No Laughs But Much Poop

I'd be tempted to say that nothing in Scary Movie 5 is funny, but the outtakes that play over the closing credits show multiple cast members struggling to keep from laughing, so obviously I'm mistaken. Clearly the film is hilarious.... More »

Review: 42 Offers a Nice, Pleasant Version of Jackie Robinson's Story

The closest 42 comes to revealing anything about the actual personality or character of Jackie Robinson -- the first black player in Major League Baseball -- is when he privately expresses frustration at being beholden to someone for a kindness.... More »

SXSW Review: DRINKING BUDDIES Brings Joe Swanberg to the Big Time

Joe Swanberg's career as a filmmaker has gone through several phases, all without his name being known to more than a tiny fraction of the movie-going public. The inadvertent and unwilling godfather of the "Mumblecore" sub-genre (in which listless twentysomethings... More »

SXSW 2013 Review: HAUNTER Delivers an Enjoyably Tame Ghost Story

Time is a fluid thing in the atmospheric Haunter, but it's set mainly in 1985. It's the day before Lisa's 16th birthday. It has been for a while. Lisa (Abigail Breslin) and her wholesomely plain family -- mother (Michelle Nolden),... More »

SXSW 2013 Review: HOURS Makes the Mistake of Putting All Its Dramatic Weight on Paul Walker's Shoulders

All human beings have a talent for one thing or another, and Paul Walker is a human being, so Paul Walker undoubtedly is good at something. But whatever it is, it's not acting. Acting is not the thing Paul Walker... More »

SXSW 2013 Review: GO FOR SISTERS Is an Easy-Going Character Drama from John Sayles

Few filmmakers are more legitimately "independent" than John Sayles, who has now written and directed 18 features since 1979 (Return of the Secaucus Seven) without studio backing. His latest, the affable character drama Go for Sisters, while not an outstanding... More »
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