Something I posted on the Movies and TV thread at www.pinoydvd.com, on film criticism:
If you study every aspect of the film thoroughly and are powerful enough to be sent to interview the filmmakers and stars and are diligent about watching all kinds of films, from Hollywood to foreign, from documentary to anime, but you're as sensitive as a block of concrete and can write about as well, filling out most of your article with a summary of the film's plot then almost always ending it with a rating of three stars or above, you're Roger Ebert.
If you have brilliant prose and can write witheringly and insultingly, bringing to your piece a wide-ranging background in literature and the various arts but basically don't even know the first thing about the art you ARE writing about, which is film, you're John Simon.
If you do know something about film and can string together a series of glittering witticisms that show off your omnivorous intelligence to its best advantage, even though you think the medium you're writing about is basically beneath you, you're Anthony Lane.
And if you're a Roger Ebert who can't even bother to study the film or do interviews, but just mainly pad out your column space with TV bloopers, you're Nestor Torre.