Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 23, 2012
    No true movie junkie is going to want to miss Side by Side.
  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: 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  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 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. Aug 27, 2013
    The whole process of making film fascinates me, especially the old process of making it on film, meaning that Side by Side must be the film for me. Not at all, thanks to a complete disregard of everything film. Side by Side looks at the influx of digital cinema and its effects on films made as some say they should still be made on film. Using famous talking heads to make their point, the film emphasises the differences between the two and how digital's emergence has changed everything. While an interesting concept and filled with good questions asked by narrator and interviewer Keanu Reeves, Side by Side lacks the kind of debate expected from a documentary like this and it also fails to convey any kind of personal touch as it robotically goes over the facts with no time for any form of discussion. The film is more interested in opinion and the views of the film-makers Reeves talks to, something that ensures the film fails to make any points in support of either method. I'm sure this was so the viewer could make his own decision but the film fails to give enough information to make a decision of that sort possible. Sure its nice to hear directors talking so lovingly about their craft but in the end it doesn't mean a damn think in relation to the film vs digital debate because its not so much a debate but a choice, one that isn't any clearer having spent an hour and a half learning nothing but conjecture. Full Review »