Side by Side


Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 30, 2012
    For a film geek this movie is absolute heaven, a dream symposium in which directors, cinematographers, editors and a few actors gather to opine on the details of their craft. It is worth a year of film school and at least 1,000 hours of DVD bonus commentary.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 29, 2012
    It's a lesson in character to hear directors from David Lynch (digital believer) to Christopher Nolan (celluloid diehard) spout off.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 7, 2012
    This may sound like a dry subject, but, as presented here, it's anything but – especially if you have more than a passing interest in the art and science of what gets projected onto our movie screens these days.
  4. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Aug 17, 2012
    It sounds pretty dull as a logline, but stacked with gossipy, informal anecdotes and opinions from many of the most respected directors, cinematographers, editors, execs, VFX artists and digital wizards in the industry, it proves instead to be highly entertaining and informative, and by its close has presented a thoroughly diverting overview of the debate.
  5. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Aug 13, 2012
    Although laid out with such clarity that any layperson could catch the gist of what's being discussed, Side by Side is not afraid to get nitty-gritty about more technical matters.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 23, 2012
    No true movie junkie is going to want to miss Side by Side.
  7. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Aug 29, 2012
    What's most valuable about Side By Side is how comprehensive it is in documenting how the art form changed.
  8. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 16, 2012
    Produced by Keanu Reeves, this talking heads survey of the transition from shooting on film to digital video is against all odds an imminently watchable overview, and not only because Reeves has decent interview skills.
  9. Reviewed by: Simon Kinnear
    Jan 21, 2013
    With film labs closing down and new formats springing up all the time, this is a timely stock-take of 21st Century cinema.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 27, 2012
    It's this simple: If you like movies, you need to see Side by Side.
  11. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Sep 4, 2012
    No side overwhelms the other in the back-and-forth; you feel more like a profoundly uncertain moment is being marked, with little concrete sense of the outcome beyond mankind's enduring hunger for moving pictures.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 30, 2012
    Film enthusiasts especially will appreciate this wonky but fascinating documentary about the process of making movies.
  13. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Aug 21, 2012
    At its most fascinating, Side by Side examines the idea that changing formats means changing not just the way movies are made but watched, adjusting the essence of what looks and feels "real."
  14. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 16, 2012
    The situation is fascinating, and given an illuminating investigation here.
  15. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Aug 13, 2012
    Tracing the rise of digital movies via a wealth of charts, clips and candid testimonies, this Keanu Reeves-produced and narrated investigation offers a thorough analysis of what's very likely the most important cinematic development since the advent of sound.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 30, 2012
    Side by Side is an eye-opening, comprehensive look at the biggest technological revolution in Hollywood history. One huge irony is that digital formats are evolving so rapidly that the only foolproof way to archive and preserve a movie shot on video for future generations is . . . to transfer it to film.
  17. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Aug 23, 2012
    The directors and distributors can't rely on us. They should be implored to watch their movies in the same theaters we do. It's the only way for them to understand that a crime is being committed.
  18. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Aug 13, 2012
    A serviceable primer on the digital-celluloid divide in commercial cinema, if a bit unwieldy in scope and in danger of being made obsolete by the next version of the RED camera.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Nov 7, 2012
    An informative documentary that is interesting because so many prominent movie makes give their two cents on the subject.
  2. Sep 11, 2012
    I was already convinced that digital is the way to go for feature film acquisition but it's fun to see the industry professionals have theirI was already convinced that digital is the way to go for feature film acquisition but it's fun to see the industry professionals have their say. It's clear that it takes talented and tech-savvy people like David Fincher, James Cameron, George Lucas and Robert Rodriguez to use it efficiently and not succumb to sloppy filmmaking just coz digital makes it 'easier'. Film still has some value as an acquisition medium but the whole post chain is already digital anyway. An recommended viewing for people who want a clear but not overly technical update on the film vs digital battle. Interviews done by Keanu Reeves. Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2014
    It's great to see the professional people from the industry to talk about Analog vs. Digital. And there are a LOT of them. And Keanu ReevesIt's great to see the professional people from the industry to talk about Analog vs. Digital. And there are a LOT of them. And Keanu Reeves presents it. If you are interested in behind the scenes of film making, it won't dissapoint to see this documentary. Full Review »