Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: Join Keanu Reeves on a tour of the past and the future of filmmaking in SIDE BY SIDE. Since the invention of cinema, the standard format for recording moving images has been film. Over the past two decades, a new form of digital filmmaking has emerged, creating a groundbreaking evolution in the medium. Reeves explores the development of cinema and the impact of digital filmmaking via in-depth interviews with Hollywood masters, such as James Cameron, David Fincher, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, and many more. (Tribeca Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Sep 1, 2012
    Alas, if you're someone who enjoys movies as, say, a two-hour escape, you may find this documentary on the death of film at digital's hands a bit too inside baseball.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  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. Expand
  2. Nov 7, 2012
    An informative documentary that is interesting because so many prominent movie makes give their two cents on the subject.
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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