User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 1 out of 26

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  1. 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 Reeves presents it. If you are interested in behind the scenes of film making, it won't dissapoint to see this documentary.
  2. 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. Expand
  3. Aug 18, 2013
    The film goes in to quite a lot of technical detail about the technology of filmmaking; most was easy to follow, but I can see how it might put a few off. Some very interesting questions are posed; particularly revealing are the comments on the fad for 3D; something the studios seem to love at the moment. The music wasn’t all it might have been as well; it sounded a little like I was watching an 80’s infomercial about a film camera company at times. A well balanced piece although I did find it was beginning to drag a little towards the end. Still, well worth a look for any fan of the movies, I can’t see it having a much broader appeal though. On a personal note; I don’t really care what technology is used to make a film; to me the important thing is the story. Without a well scripted story, to my mind at least, there’s no point in even starting.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.2/10.
  4. Apr 16, 2013
    A very interesting, eye-opening documentary. If you care anything about the process of making feature films I highly suggest this documentary. Great interviews with great filmmakers.
  5. Nov 7, 2012
    An informative documentary that is interesting because so many prominent movie makes give their two cents on the subject.
  6. 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. Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 27, 2012
    It's this simple: If you like movies, you need to see Side by Side.
  3. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Sep 11, 2012
    An industry that's lost 90% of its silent films and which has consistently demonstrated - montage lip-service aside - a staggering lack of interest in its own history can hardly be trusted to transfer films from format to format and keep them intact, let alone in good shape.