4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Flawed but indispensable,
This review is from: Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 2002 (Paperback)
Halliwell's is widely renowned as the King of Film Guides. The reputation is deserved insofar as it is extremely comprehensive and generally very accurate, with a user-friendly format.
The reviews of individual films can leave something to be desired, however. The rating system of 0-4 stars is an excellent idea, but is, for example, Autobus (Aux Yeux du Monde), a fairly average drama, really worthy of a higher rating than François Truffaut's genre-defining Les Quatre Cents Coups? The appraisal of Bill Forsyth's wonderful Gregory's Girl claims the film to be "handicapped by impenetrable accents", a statement which would be offensive to the people of Scotland if it weren't so patently incorrect. And the quotes selected from other sources to accompany reviews often disagree with the reviews themselves: for instance, Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice is awarded a creditable three stars, but accompanied by the quote from Time Out, "a prime contender for the title of Most Overrated Film of All Time".
In short, the opinions voiced in Halliwell's are often questionable and on occasion self-contradictory, but the guide is nevertheless essential, if only for its thoroughness.