Side by Side 2012

Side by Side

Critics Consensus

Keanu Reeves proves a groovy guide through this informative exploration of how technology is transforming cinema, with an even-handed defense for both the old and the new.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 68

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,045

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Side by Side Photos

Movie Info

Directors James Cameron, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and others discuss digital technology's impact on filmmaking.

Cast & Crew

Chris Cassidy
Cinematographer
Mike Long
Film Editor
Malcolm Hearn
Film Editor
Brendan Ryan
Original Music
Billy Ryan
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Side by Side

Critic Reviews for Side by Side

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (5)

  • The documentary would have been that much better with a more explicit focus on why the average filmgoer should care.

    September 10, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Maybe this geekily precise, Keanu Reeves-fronted documentary fretting over the death of celluloid needs to give digital its due.

    February 14, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Keanu Reeves is a game frontman of this fact-filled, slightly chaotic doc about the rise of digital technology in film.

    February 14, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's sweet and sparkling, as glassfuls of thought are provided by James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh and other champagne cinematic cerebra.

    February 14, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's this simple: If you like movies, you need to see "Side by Side."

    September 27, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Actors such as Robert Downey Jr. complain that because digital cameras can be reloaded in seconds, there is no time for performers to hang out in their trailers between takes (in protest, he urinated in jars, which he hid all over the sets of Zodiac).

    September 23, 2012 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Side by Side

  • Jun 02, 2014
    Side by Side explores the question of film's worth in an increasingly digital future. It all boils down to the simple fact that even if the format changes, the medium is only as good as the artist's ability to manipulate it to tell a story. Some filmmakers swear by film. Others by digital. But ultimately, it's the quality of the work that matters. A great documentary.
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2014
    "Side by Side" is an insightful documentary wherein Keanu Reeves(?!?) talks to a wide variety of film directors, editors, cinematographers and even a few actors on the way technology has shaped film over the years, particularly with the advent of digital cameras in the past few years. This has made it possible for film directors to get shots they would not have ordinarily been able to get while also allowing for digital effects such as the astounding look of "Sin City," for instance. At the same time, it is now much easier for anybody to make a movie, thus leading to thousands of New York Times editorials on the surfeit of movies being released today. In the classic documentary "The Five Obstructions," Lars von Trier made a great point of adversity helping directors by forcing them to improvise and think for themselves.(There is a great example of this in "Side by Side" from 'Lawrence of Arabia.') And then there is the opposite side of the same coin that are cautionary tales of directors relying too much on technology, simply including effects in a movie just because they can be done(*cough* 'Speed Racer' *cough*). And as I have said elsewhere, 'Avatar' may look great but it does not look real. For the record, I watch most movies on my nine inch portable DVD player but I still feel that the best way to see any movie is on the biggest screen possible in a crowded theater. And, no, not every movie is out on DVD. Not even close.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2014
    Insightful all the way through, "Side By Side" is a great documentary, filled with tons of well-known celebrities as they talk about their thoughts on the conversion from digital filmmaking and the future of the industry. There are times, although they are different opinions, that the same thing is repeated, because there is only so much you can have an opinion on about this. Let's face it, old-fashioned filmmaking, and things of the like, will inevitably die out within the next decade, and probably sooner. Most directors believe this to be the end of cinema, but I believe we are in a rut that will take a while to get out of, because we are having trouble finding the absolute best talent out there, or just settling for middle of the road. This was very interesting to watch, due to the classic directors speaking their minds on the matter, but truthfully, once they are gone, film will be dumber and dumber. So yes I am scared for the industry, because film has such a huge impact on society, but the world goes how it goes, and sometimes it is not controllable. To me, that is what this film's message really was. I really loved watching "Side By Side," and I highly recommend fans of any genre of film to watch this.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2014
    Fascinating documentary on the impact of digital film making, featuring many of Hollywoods biggest names.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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