Owen Gleiberman Joins Variety as Chief Film Critic

Variety has hired famed movie reviewer Owen Gleiberman as chief film critic.

Gleiberman, who worked for Entertainment Weekly for 24 years, will be based in Variety’s New York offices.

He shares the title of chief film critic with Peter Debruge, who will be relocating back to Los Angeles from Paris at the end of June.

“Owen is a rock star,” said Debruge. “When Owen loves a movie, his enthusiasm is contagious, and when he doesn’t, he’s liable to start a fiery debate, which is as it should be at Variety, where we take cinema as seriously as he does. I can’t wait to welcome him aboard.”

Gleiberman will be joining Debruge and others on the Variety team who are traveling to the Cannes Film Festival. He begins work on May 9.

“It’s great timing that Owen will make a splash and Variety debut at the world’s most celebrated film festival,” says Claudia Eller, co-editor-in-chief. “Owen’s astute film criticism and essays are awe-inspiring and we are thrilled that he’s decided to make Variety his home for all of his formidable work.”

Gleiberman is one of the preeminent voices in contemporary film criticism. He began his career writing for The Boston Phoenix, before moving to New York in 1990 to be the founding movie critic for Entertainment Weekly. He left in 2014, when the publication scaled back to shorter reviews.

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining Peter Debruge and the other great critics on the Variety team,” said Gleiberman. “They are the gold standard in criticism, and I intend to uphold that tradition by writing reviews and essays that celebrate the highs and lows of contemporary cinema in all its fun, depth, spectacle and passion.”

After leaving EW, Gleiberman became film critic for BBC.com. He is also the author of his recently published memoir “Movie Freak,” about movie mania and the inner life of a critic.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Gleiberman was first drawn to movies when his parents took him to drive-in theaters as a child to see films like “Rosemary’s Baby.”

In his new book, Gleiberman writes: “I should have been traumatized, but instead I was fascinated.”

He plunged into full-on movie fanaticism while in college, seeing films like Brian De Palma’s “Carrie” and Robert Altman’s “Nashville.”

The “extraordinary thing about movies,” says Gleiberman, “is that they never, ever stop surprising you. Staring up at that screen, I’m always a wide-eyed child in the dark.”

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