James Berardinelli

James Berardinelli (born September 25, 1967)[1] is an American film critic and former engineer. His criticism is based on the Web, where he produces the blog ReelThoughts. Approved as a critic by the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, he has published two collections of reviews of movies on DVD and video. He is also a fantasy novelist, publishing a trilogy from 2015 through 2016 known as The Last Whisper of the Gods.

James Berardinelli
Born (1967-09-25) September 25, 1967 (age 53)
New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
EducationCherry Hill High School East
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
(m. 2004)

Personal lifeEdit

Berardinelli was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and spent his early childhood in Morristown, New Jersey.[2] When he was nine, his family moved to the township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where he attended Cherry Hill High School East.[2][3] Later he moved to Piscataway.[4]

He attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1990, obtaining both a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering.[2] After graduating he worked for Bellcore Company, now Telcordia Technologies. He worked during the next 15 years "in a variety of fields, including fiber optics, video testing, and software systems."[2]

Berardinelli has categorized himself as an agnostic and a libertarian.[3] He resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey with his wife, Sheryl, whom he met through his website.[3][5][6][7] They have two children: a son born in May 2010, and a daughter born in November 2019.[8][9]


Starting in January 1992, Berardinelli began writing movie reviews, his first being a review of the 1991 drama Grand Canyon.[10] His first review published to the Internet was of the 1992 drama Scent of a Woman, which was posted both to Usenet and his Colossus Inc-hosted[11] website, ReelViews,[12] hosted at movie-reviews.colossus.net.

Roger Ebert referred to Berardinelli as "the best of the Web-based critics" in 2001,[13] and wrote a foreword for the 2003 book, Reelviews, a collection of Berardinelli's reviews.[14] Berardinelli is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic.[15][16]

In January 2004,[17] he began his blog ReelThoughts, by which time his reviews could attract as many as 100,000 readers,[18] up from around 1,400 weekly readers in 1997.[19] In August 2006,[20] the site moved to ReelViews.net, a domain Berardinelli had originally registered by late 2000.[21]

In September 2013, Berardinelli announced that he had been working on a trilogy of fantasy novels entitled The Last Whisper of the Gods.[22] The first book was published in November 2015, the second was released in January 2016, and the third in March 2016.[23]

Berardinelli appears as a guest on the pop-culture radio program Fictional Frontiers every two weeks.[24]

Annual film rankingsEdit


  • Berardinelli, James (2003) ReelViews : The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video, ISBN 1-932112-06-5
  • Berardinelli, James (2005) ReelViews 2: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video, 2005 Edition, ISBN 1-932112-40-5
  • Berardinelli, James (2015) The Last Whisper of the Gods, ASIN B-016IWS-UN-M
  • Berardinelli, James (2016) The Curse of the Gift, ASIN B-019CPR-EH-K
  • Berardinelli, James (2016) The Shadow of the Otherverse, ASIN B-01BRSW-VH-S
  • Berardinelli, James (2017) The Lingering Haze, ISBN 1-520762-02-X


  1. ^ Berardinelli, James (August 3, 2009). "1984". Reelviews.net. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015. ...turning 17. Beginning September 25 [1984], I could drive and see R-rated movies without an accompanying adult.
  2. ^ a b c d "Frequently Asked Questions". Reelviews.net. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Schneider, Dan. "The Dan Schneider Interview 16: James Berardinelli", Cosmoetica.com, December 12, 2008. Accessed July 14, 2016. "I was born in New Brunswick, lived in Old Bridge for a year, then spent my childhood in Morristown and my teenage years in Cherry Hill. I went to college at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, then returned to New Jersey to live in Bridgewater, Hillsborough, and Mount Laurel, where I currently reside."
  4. ^ Robert Stevens (June 27, 1997), "Amateur film reviewers take opinions to the Internet", Kansas City Star/ Los Angeles Times: 17, James Berardinelli is not a professional movie reviewer, but he plays one on the Net. Log onto his Web site ReelViews, and you'll find 1,200 film reviews that the Piscataway, N.J., electrical engineer has written since he started posting messages on Internet newsgroups in 1992.
  5. ^ Boatman, Gail T. "When the lights go down, his work begins", Burlington County Times, February 18, 2015. Accessed July 14, 2016. "MOUNT LAUREL — Like movie fans everywhere, James Berardinelli will be in front of his television set, Sunday, watching the Oscars."
  6. ^ Berardinelli, James (January 26, 2007). "11 Years". Reelviews Movie Reviews. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "James Berardinelli on Twitter". Twitter. August 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Berardinelli, James (June 11, 2010). "Welcome, Michael". Reelviews Movie Reviews. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  9. ^ Berardinelli, James (December 31, 2019). "Rewinding 2019: The Year in Review". Reelviews. Retrieved January 3, 2020. I missed a good part of November due to the birth of my daughter
  10. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19971221145419/http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/faq.html#7
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19961101034906/http://www.colossus.net/
  12. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19971221145419/http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/faq.html#15
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 9, 2001). "Saving Silverman". Chicago Sun-Times. Rogerebert.com.
  14. ^ "The Ebert Foreword". Reelviews. April 13, 2010. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
  15. ^ "JAMES BERARDINELLI". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "James Berardinelli". Critics' Choice Awards. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20050526113232/http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/reelthoughts/jan_2004.html
  18. ^ Jason Silverman (February 28, 2004), "Invasion of the Web Film Critics", Wired, retrieved October 3, 2014
  19. ^ "In Online World, Everyone Can Be A Critic", South Florida Sun-Sentinel / Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1997
  20. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20060820132824/http://www.movie-reviews.colossus.net:80/
  21. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20001204020500/http://www.movie-reviews.colossus.net:80/main0.html
  22. ^ Berardinelli, James. "The Last Whisper of the Gods". ReelViews Movie Reviews. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "James Berardinelli on Twitter". Twitter. June 5, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "Fictional Frontiers". November 3, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2015.

External linksEdit