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: Say Yes to NO

I assume you're well-versed in Chilean politics of the 1980s. I mean, who isn't, right? But even if you're not -- even if you're, say, an American who barely recalls the name Pinochet and is already exhausted by the 2012... More »

Review: SAFE HAVEN Adds Another Bland Mess to the Nicholas Sparks Rap Sheet

Oh, sure, it's popular to make fun of Nicholas Sparks movies. It's very "cool" and "trendy" to pile on the insults every time a new one is released, three or four times a year. But do you want to know... More »

Review: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Is Perkier, More Fun Than Most Teen Romances

There's a lengthy, dragging middle section of the supernatural teen romance Beautiful Creatures that threatens to sink the whole enterprise. Tellingly, it's when the nuts and bolts of the plot kick in: as the witch's pivotal 16th birthday approaches, good... More »

Review: SIDE EFFECTS May Include Whiplash From Jarring Change In Tone

The important thing to know about Side Effects -- which Steven Soderbergh says will be his last theatrical film for a while, maybe forever -- is that whatever you're thinking it's going to be, it probably is not that. Pardon... More »

Review: IDENTITY THIEF Steals from Better Films, Comes Up Short

You have to admit, it takes some guts to rip off a hundred other movies and then call the result Identity Thief. That sort of brazenness would be admired by the scoundrel at the center of this wearying, derivative comedy,... More »

Sundance 2013 Review: PRINCE AVALANCHE Delivers a Hint of the Old David Gordon Green

Many reviews of Your Highness and The Sitter, two of the more pitiful comedies of 2011, featured concerned inquiries as to what (and in some cases what THE HELL) had happened to those films' director, David Gordon Green. His first... More »

Sundance 2013 Review: UPSTREAM COLOR May Be More Interesting to Discuss Than Watch

Ever since Primer won Sundance's grand jury prize in 2004, indie-watchers have been wondering what its writer-director, Shane Carruth, would do next. Primer was his first movie, you see, and he made it for $7,000. Who is this guy?... More »

Sundance 2013 Review: AUSTENLAND Is Clumsy, Unfunny

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single lady who obsesses over the works of Jane Austen -- particularly Pride and Prejudice, and specifically the 1995 miniseries version with Colin Firth -- will find her real-life boyfriends lacking when... More »

Review: GANGSTER SQUAD Is a Cartoon That Thinks It's Real

If Gangster Squad had been released last September, as originally scheduled, it would have been forgotten by now. There's a good chance it would have been forgotten by October. Instead, after some reshoots to avoid a coincidental resemblance to last... More »

Review: LES MISERABLES Delivers Most of the Emotion and Some of the Spectacle

When it became his privilege to direct the movie version of the Les Misérables stage musical that has enthralled the world for more than a quarter-century, Tom Hooper made one crucial, momentous decision. Instead of following the normal practice of... More »

Review: THIS IS 40 Has Laughs, But No Substance

The very first joke in This Is 40 -- a movie made in 2012 by experienced comedy professionals -- is about Viagra. That lazy, hackneyed start is a bad sign because it suggests that writer-director Judd Apatow, the reigning champion... More »

Review: DJANGO UNCHAINED Is a Little Unfocused, But Bloody Good Fun

Quentin Tarantino's eighth feature film, Django Unchained, is his longest, his most narratively straightforward, and his N-word-iest. The godfather of modern gonzo filmmaking addresses American slavery and race relations the same way he has addressed other sensitive issues: by making... More »

Review: PLAYING FOR KEEPS Continues Gerard Butler's Losing Streak

Playing for Keeps is the bargain of the season. No matter what kind of drab, derivative fluff you prefer, this exceptionally toothless comedy has something to offer! Do you like forgettable movies about a charming but mildly irresponsible man... More »

The Name's The Thing! Movies That Should Be Remade by Name-Appropriate Directors

Fans of surnames were delighted this year when The Amazing Spider-Man was directed by someone named Marc Webb (get it??) and The Odd Life of Timothy Green, about a boy who grows out of a plant, was directed by Peter... More »

Review: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Tries to Make Jack Frost a Thing

A story in which mythical figures like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy team up to protect children from the Boogeyman sounds like a sure bet, and William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood book series has evidently... More »

Review: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 2 Brings This Nutty Story to an Energetic Close

Even those of us who hadn't read the book could tell by watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, with its many scenes of inactivity and waiting around, that the story didn't need to be split into... More »

Review: WRECK-IT RALPH Is a Warp Zone to the Next Level

Whichever Disney employee said, "Let's do Toy Story but with video game characters," I hope he or she got a big fat raise, if only to compensate for the seething jealousy coming from co-workers kicking themselves for not thinking... More »

Review: FUN SIZE Is Too Dumb for Adults, Too Dirty for Kids

Fun Size is a trick-or-treat comedy aimed at tween girls. As such, the film's potential audience -- 11-15-year-old girls who are interested in seeing a Halloween comedy -- must be vanishingly small, but that's the marketing department's problem, not... More »

Review: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 Adds a Creepy Kid, Little Else

Give the Paranormal Activity people some credit. They've made three sequels now to what was initially a standalone, not-meant-to-be-a-franchise horror film, and they've done it without becoming a laughable parody of themselves. They've expanded the story in ways that largely... More »

Review: THE SESSIONS Helps Everybody Get Their Jollies

The Sessions tells a true story about a physically disabled man who enlists a professional sex surrogate to help him through the difficulties, both emotional and logistical, of losing his virginity. That may sound like shameless Oscar-bait -- a perception... More »
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