Posted: 08/25/2011


Leonard Maltin’s 2012 Movie Guide


by Leonard Maltin

Reviewed by Steve Sullivan

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Leonard Maltin is one of the most respected film critics in the United States. He has worked for Entertainment Tonight for the last 19 years. He was Playboy’s resident film critic for six years, as well as hosting his own film review show on the ReelzChannel, Maltin On Movies. Mr. Maltin was not only the President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for two years, but also a teacher at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. That is why it comes as no surprise that Leonard Maltin releases an enormous annual movie guide.

The Leonard Maltin 2012 Movie Guide is huge, clocking in at 1,643 pages. But each page is crammed full of information on almost 17,000 films. Each of the films listed includes the lead actors/actresses, MPAA rating, aspect ratio, nation of origin, director, and running time. The guide has a detailed index of actors and their film roles, listed from their first up until their most recent. Since new movies are added to each subsequent edition, some films have been left out. Many older films (pre-1965) have been moved to one of Mr. Maltin’s other publications, Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide. Also, due to the ever growing heft, the Director’s Index from previous editions had to be eliminated. Otherwise 150 more films would have been left out. The Leonard Maltin guide is more portable than the VideoHound Golden Movie Retriever, another highly regarded source for movie reviews.

The differences do not end with size. VideoHound has some nice features that Mr. Maltin’s guide does not. First, to coincide with the name of the guide, VideoHound uses a system of bones, not stars, to rate the movies. Also, instead of using the word BOMB to describe bottom of the barrel dreck, VideoHound uses the term WOOF. Second, because of its much larger size, VideoHound is able to incorporate a list of all Academy Award and Golden Globe nominees and winners for every category. Finally, VideoHound has the aforementioned Director’s Index. It is ironic, though, that VideoHound does not have the pedigree of Leonard Maltin.

Leonard Maltin’s 2012 Movie Guide is regaled by both fans and fellow critics. The Guide is an annual New York Times bestseller. It is also highly regarded by Mr. Maltin’s contemporaries. “I recommend Leonard Maltin’s Video Guide, which has become standard.” That is a quote from possibly the most recognized film critic in the world, Roger Ebert. If Leonard Maltin’s 2012 Movie Guide is good enough for Roger Ebert, it’s good enough for me. As well as it should be for you.

Steve Sullivan is a graduate of Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, Michigan, with an associate’s degree in Communications. Steve currently resides in Niles, Michigan

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