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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide Made Better---Highly Recommended!
The 12th edition of the "Time Out Film Guide" (2004) has a totally new look. Gone is the drab unbleached paper of earlier editions, replaced now by glossy white paper printed in black with blue highlights. Many pages are in full colour. The "Time Out Film Guide" has always had classy contents, now it also has classy packaging. Another big change is the inclusion of 101...
Published on 6 Dec 2003 by M. D Shuster

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide Made Better---Highly Recommended!, 6 Dec 2003
By 
M. D Shuster (Montgomery County, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: "Time Out" Film Guide ("Time Out" Guides) (Paperback)
The 12th edition of the "Time Out Film Guide" (2004) has a totally new look. Gone is the drab unbleached paper of earlier editions, replaced now by glossy white paper printed in black with blue highlights. Many pages are in full colour. The "Time Out Film Guide" has always had classy contents, now it also has classy packaging. Another big change is the inclusion of 101 cinefile pages, each devoted to a long and fascinating review of a single film. Other changes are discussed below.
Of all the film guides, that by Time Out has certainly the best capsule reviews. They are longer and tell you much more about the artistic aspects of the film than either the Maltin or Halliwell guides, which are the main competition. Occasionally, because it gives you more detail on the plot, it sometimes makes small errors or tells too much. This is a small price to pay for analyses that are generally very incisive and right on the money. This is a great guide.
But it is not a perfect guide. No guide is.
THE DIRT:
Number of Reviews: The 2004 Time Out guide reviews slightly fewer films (about 15,700) than Maltin (about 19,000) or Halliwell (about 18,000). If you must have a guide that is likely to have a capsule review of every movie that comes up on cable, even if the reviews aren't nearly as detailed, then you had better get Maltin. (Note than Maltin has cross-references for UK titles, and sometimes even prefers them.)
Technical Data: If you wish a lot of technical data beyond duration, year, colour or B&W, widescreen process, country of origin, MPAA rating, director, and principal cast, which are the technical data in Maltin, then you should turn to Time Out or Halliwell, which also display systematically, for example, the producer, production designer, screenwriters, composer, cinematographer, editor, assistant director, and the title in the original language. Halliwell has a slight edge over Time Out in the amount of technical data (for example, it also tells you the production company and distributor) and it is also the size of a metropolitan telephone book.
Completeness: Does the "Time Out Film Guide" review all the really good films? No, but almost. Remember, this guide is a collection of capsule film reviews from a weekly London entertainment magazine (Time Out), and that magazine has been around only since 1968. Thus, if the film is much earlier than 1968 and hasn't been screened in a London repertory cinema in the last 35 years, you might not find it in the Time Out guide. It appears that for the 11th edition (2003), about 4% of the films rated **** or ***1/2 (Maltin) and 20% of the films rated *** (Maltin) aren't reviewed in the Time Out guide. This amounts to about 70 **** or ***1/2 films and 850 *** films (1/4 later than 1968). This situation has changed only slightly in the 12th edition. A solution to this problem: buy Maltin as well; it can be had for the cost of a small pizza.
Ratings: Dux Cinematographicus "Time Out" stellas non habet, as the ancient Romans were fond of saying, the "Time Out Film Guide" has no stars. The Time Out guide has wonderful analyses and technical data, but no numerical ratings of the films. You will find words like wonderful, masterpiece, disappointing or boring, but not systematically. Is the absence of ratings a disadvantage? I think so. Humans are pretty good at understanding ratings. They're good information, and one can absorb them much more quickly than an entire review. So what do you do if you must see stars? Same as before, you buy a copy of Maltin in addition to the Time Out Film Guide. The Halliwell guide rates only about 8000 of the 18,000 films it describes, so it's not as good as Maltin as a second guide for the ratings.
Lists: The "Time Out Film Guide" still has great lists but not quite the same as in the 11th edition. In the front of the book, the Readers' Poll is still there but not the Cinema Century Top One Hundred list (sadly missed) or the ten-best-film lists of about 150 Sight and Sound critics, replaced now by the "Ultimate DVD Collection" (I was not impressed). All of the lists at the back of the book remain intact. The actor and director lists, however, are now in chronological order with the dates, a great improvement. The lists by country of origin, by genre, and by special topic are unchanged except for updating. If you have a hankering to rent a film about construction workers or polygamy, lotteries or lawnmowers (I kid you not) you can still find a dedicated list in Time Out.
OTHER GUIDE CHOICES
Although not as good, in my opinion, as Maltin, Halliwell, or Time Out, it is worth checking out the "Martin & Porter DVD & Video Guide 2004," and the "TLA DVD and Video Guide 2004." Roger Ebert's movie yearbooks are superb, of course, but a very different animal from the movie guidebooks.
A FINAL WORD:
If you are going to purchase only one guide, my recommendation is Maltin's guide because of its completeness and ratings. For a second guide, the choice is certainly the "Time Out Film Guide." The two complement each other so well that it is hard to resist buying them both. For a third book to keep next to the tele, consider Ephraim Katz' "The Film Encyclopedia," a marvelous book packed with information.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who loves film, it needs to be on your bookshelf, 6 Feb 2002
A long awaited new 2001 edition of Time Out Film guide, by far the best film guide around. Films are listed alphabetically,there are a few different critics writing the reviews, which makes the reviews varied, interesting and extensive. It has unique features that no other film guide has which make it a great research tool for finding information on any aspect of a film. It's uniqueness lies in the different indexes at the back of the book, lists of directors works, of actors and all the films they have appeared in, of countries and which films they have produced. This makes it a great reference work,say goodbye to those evenings of arguing with friends about which actor was in which film and having the name of a film on 'the tip of your tongue', you can access most information you need easily and quickly. It is a must for anyone who loves film and should be on your bookshelf
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes please, 23 Nov 2002
The best film guide because;
* layout
* organisation of text
* (largely) non-judgemental text - which relate to the film not the reviewer
* price
and most importantly
* the admirable refusal to give each film a crude rating (yep some will even give Battleship Ptolemkin an 'out of five stars'!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top in its class, 5 Jan 2001
By A Customer
The Time Out Film Guide is the best film guide around, offering the best coverage of world cinema as well as homegrown and Hollywood fare. What's especially good is that it's not standing still. As well as keeping up to date with all the new movies, its contributors head back into the darkness year after year to add reviews of old films that for whatever reason were missed first time around. It's put together by people with a passion for film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Nov 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I've just picked this book up 2nd hand very cheaply and whilst it five years out of date its still a fascinating read.

Apart from the film reviews themselves you also get two top film lists at the start of the book. The first is the Centenary Top One Hundred as voted for by directors, producers, actors in 1995 for Time Out to celebrate 100 years of cinema. The 2nd is the readers top 100 as voted for by readers of Time Out in 1997. Put these two lists together and you have the basis for a classy film collection.

The Time Out guide has no star-rating system for its reviews (well it didn't in this 2002 edition) but the reviews are well written, and mainly pretty concise, enabling the book to contain a lot of reviews. For instance the review of Buster Keatons The General (which appears in both top 100 lists mentioned above) is only 63 words long, the average is probably more like a 100 words.

At the back of the book there are lists of films by director and actor so that if you can't remember the name of a film you can find it through these lists if its a reasonably well known actor or director.

A great book that you can dip in and out of on a regular basis, and being 1500 pages in length one that will last you for years and years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film guide I've come across, 9 Dec 1999
By 
Film criticism is not an exact science. Whilst markers can be taken from film theory, one critics view of film can differ markedly from any others, in much the same way that as viewers we disagree about how a film affects us. The Time Out Film guide is the best film guide I've come across, beating Halliwell's comfortably into its pompous top hat, and the Virgin guide on the way. Its use of a wide breadth of reviewers (all of whom are listed at the front, and then noted beneath each review) can result in a certain frustration if the wrong reviewer gets hold of the wrong film. Mark Cousins, lacking ideas on TV, continues to lose the reader in his written reviews. But on the whole the Time Out Film Guide will benefit and enlighten on far more occasions than it does not. And if you don't like what someone has written about 'Here we go round the Mulberry Bush' - or your all time favourite Chevy Chase movie - then you can always drop the editor a note and proffer your alternative take on it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference - everyone will find this useful, 25 Feb 2008
By 
L. Green "Feltano" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Barcode: 9781904978213

Ever looked to see what films are on TV and couldn't decide between them which one to watch. Well this is where the Time Out Film Guide comes in. Just give the films that a are on a quick check and get an instant impression as to whether they're your kind of thing or if they're any good at all.

I agree with pretty much most of the reviews and although short, they manage to pack everything important in, testamant to the quality of the writing in the guide. It's always good to check to see what the guide says about your favourite films or if you want to load up on info before going out on a DVD shopping spree. There's also loads of helpful lists and index's in the back to quickly find what you need. I've also found the guide helpful as a reference for numerous essays/projects in my A-Level Film Studies course.

Makes for an excellent gift/present to film fans but really i'm pretty sure everyone would be interested in it. Extremely useful.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb film guide, but possibly not the best, 31 Dec 2004
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Forgive me if you have read this paragraph before, but anyone considering this title has also to consider the other four major annual film review titles - "Halliwell's Film, Video and DVD Guide", "Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide", "Radio Times Guide to Films", "Time Out Film Guide", and "The Twelfth Virgin Film Guide". I've reviewed each, and have repeated this review across all five ... and hopefully encouraged you to take a look at all the possibilities. Please understand, I'm not trying to cheapen the process of review - my next paragraph makes an important and vital point about your choice.
A good film guide is an excellent resource to have within easy reach of your remote control: is it worth watching this movie, is it worth renting this video/DVD? The problem is, does the film guide in any way reflect your tastes in films? There are five very useful film guides. Each will give you a few lines of information about a film, and score. five stars, four stars, etc. If the book is to be useful to you, you need to know where its reviewer stands in relation to your own tastes.
If you think "Psycho" is worth five stars, you probably won't find many to disagree with you. But what of the 1937, "The Good Earth"? How would you rate that without seeing it? Giving five stars to a modern classic is not a problem. But think of a dozen films you've seen. Think of the ones you'd rate as five star. Think of the ones you'd rate as awful. Think of the ones you'd rate as average.
If you're buying a book like this, you're probably doing so because it will guide you in your choice of films to watch on TV, or rent on video or DVD, or watch at the local flea pit. Whether I rate the book high or low is irrelevant - what you want to know is, do the reviews in this particular book come close to your own evaluation of how the firm rates?
What I have to suggest is that you go look at each of these titles in a bookshop. By all means buy them through Amazon (it's cheaper), but look at each title in the flesh. Go armed with a dozen films you've thought about - good ones, bad ones, average ones - and check how they're reviewed in each of the five titles. Does one of them come closer to your tastes than the others?
As a rough guide, I offer the following advice about the five titles:
"Halliwell's Film, Video and DVD Guide" has a sound reputation, and to some extent its reviews are the most conservative insofar as they do achieve a balance which the other titles don't. On the down side, the book is a bit dowdy and cheap and not as well organised as some of the others.
"Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide" is very definitely the poorest quality offering in terms of paper, printing, organisation or lay out, but you may find the reviews are well balanced, and this is definitely the most portable of the range.
"Radio Times Guide to Films" is probably my pick of the bunch: quality paper, very well printed, the titles in blue ink, it's more legible than the others (particularly important if your eyesight is less than perfect), and the page edges are marked in descending alphabetical order so you can rapidly find titles beginning with the letter P, or Q etc. The layout and organisation is very accessible. You may, however, find some of the reviews quite eccentric.
"Time Out Film Guide" has paper quality and layout comparable to the Radio Times (perhaps marginally less good), and comes with the added extras of a few pages of interviews and extended reviews. It is, of course, the product of a weekly listing magazine in London, so many of the films it reviews may never come the way of your local art house cinema, particularly if you live in a small town. 'Time Out', however, appears to be going on line ... so may be more accessible in years to come, and may take on a more internationalist approach.
"The Twelfth Virgin Film Guide" is a very good product - it offers the most extensive reviews of the lot, twice the length and more of those carried in the other titles. Again, excellent paper quality and a layout almost as good as the "Radio Times". I'd rate it a very close second.
But paper quality, lay out, etc., are poor seconds compared to the ability of the book to reflect your own tastes and evaluation of a film. Please go check them out in your local book shop - if possible. Think about a few films you know and how close each of the books is attuned to your own evaluation of the film. Hope this proves useful and that it enhances your ability to choose and enjoy film.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film guide ... but maybe not the best, 15 Dec 2004
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Forgive me if you have read this paragraph before, but anyone considering this title has also to consider the other four major annual film review titles - "Halliwell's Film, Video and DVD Guide", "Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide", "Radio Times Guide to Films", "Time Out Film Guide", and "The Twelfth Virgin Film Guide". I've reviewed each, and have repeated this review across all five ... and hopefully encouraged you to take a look at all the possibilities. Please understand, I'm not trying to cheapen the process of review - my next paragraph makes an important and vital point about your choice.
A good film guide is an excellent resource to have within easy reach of your remote control: is it worth watching this movie, is it worth renting this video/DVD? The problem is, does the film guide in any way reflect your tastes in films? There are five very useful film guides. Each will give you a few lines of information about a film, and score. five stars, four stars, etc. If the book is to be useful to you, you need to know where its reviewer stands in relation to your own tastes.
If you think "Psycho" is worth five stars, you probably won't find many to disagree with you. But what of the 1937, "The Good Earth"? How would you rate that without seeing it? Giving five stars to a modern classic is not a problem. But think of a dozen films you've seen. Think of the ones you'd rate as five star. Think of the ones you'd rate as awful. Think of the ones you'd rate as average.
If you're buying a book like this, you're probably doing so because it will guide you in your choice of films to watch on TV, or rent on video or DVD, or watch at the local flea pit. Whether I rate the book high or low is irrelevant - what you want to know is, do the reviews in this particular book come close to your own evaluation of how the firm rates?
What I have to suggest is that you go look at each of these titles in a bookshop. By all means buy them through Amazon (it's cheaper), but look at each title in the flesh. Go armed with a dozen films you've thought about - good ones, bad ones, average ones - and check how they're reviewed in each of the five titles. Does one of them come closer to your tastes than the others?
As a rough guide, I offer the following advice about the five titles:
"Halliwell's Film, Video and DVD Guide" has a sound reputation, and to some extent its reviews are the most conservative insofar as they do achieve a balance which the other titles don't. On the down side, the book is a bit dowdy and cheap and not as well organised as some of the others.
"Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide" is very definitely the poorest quality offering in terms of paper, printing, organisation or lay out, but you may find the reviews are well balanced, and this is definitely the most portable of the range.
"Radio Times Guide to Films" is probably my pick of the bunch: quality paper, very well printed, the titles in blue ink, it's more legible than the others (particularly important if your eyesight is less than perfect), and the page edges are marked in descending alphabetical order so you can rapidly find titles beginning with the letter P, or Q etc. The layout and organisation is very accessible. You may, however, find some of the reviews quite eccentric.
"Time Out Film Guide" has paper quality and layout comparable to the Radio Times (perhaps marginally less good), and comes with the added extras of a few pages of interviews and extended reviews. It is, of course, the product of a weekly listing magazine in London, so many of the films it reviews may never come the way of your local art house cinema, particularly if you live in a small town. 'Time Out', however, appears to be going on line ... so may be more accessible in years to come, and may take on a more internationalist approach.
"The Twelfth Virgin Film Guide" is a very good product - it offers the most extensive reviews of the lot, twice the length and more of those carried in the other titles. Again, excellent paper quality and a layout almost as good as the "Radio Times". I'd rate it a very close second.
But paper quality, lay out, etc., are poor seconds compared to the ability of the book to reflect your own tastes and evaluation of a film. Please go check them out in your local book shop - if possible. Think about a few films you know and how close each of the books is attuned to your own evaluation of the film. Hope this proves useful and that it enhances your ability to choose and enjoy film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive film guide, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: "Time Out" Film Guide ("Time Out" Guides) (Paperback)
very detailed guide with listings of movies, great as a quick reference.
Good to dip in and out of when required.
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