I refer to my viewing of films, and to these reviews, as critical. Due to current English usage, that deserves a bit of a disclaimer.

I do not use the word “critical” to mean “negative.” I use it in the sense of “critical thinking,” a concept you may have heard about in University, or, if you were lucky, in High School. Critical thinking can be contrasted with passive consumption. If you ask yourself questions while watching something, or even have thoughts like “gee, that’s a nice shot,” or “this music is disturbing,” you are thinking critically. I think most of us think critically at least part of the time. I’ve been honing my critical approach to cinema for over twenty years.