Janet Maslin

Last updated
Janet Maslin
Born (1949-08-12) August 12, 1949 (age 73)
New York City, US
Education University of Rochester, 1970
Years active1970–present
Employer The New York Times
Known forFilm and literary criticism
Spouse(s) Jon Landau
Benjamin Cheever

Janet R. Maslin (born August 12, 1949) is an American journalist, best known as a film and literary critic for The New York Times . [1] She served as a Times film critic from 1977 to 1999 and as a book critic from 2000 to 2015. In 2000 Maslin helped found the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York. She is president of its board of directors. [2] [3]



Maslin graduated from the University of Rochester in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. [4] She began her career as a rock music critic for The Boston Phoenix and became a film editor and critic for them. She also worked as a freelancer for Rolling Stone and worked at Newsweek . [5]


Maslin became a film critic for The New York Times in 1977. From December 1, 1994, she replaced Vincent Canby as the chief film critic. [5] She continued to review films for The Times until 1999. Her film-criticism career, including her embrace of American independent cinema, is discussed in the documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009). In the documentary, Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum recalls the excitement of having a woman as the lead reviewer at The New York Times.

From 1994 to 2003, Maslin was a frequent guest on Charlie Rose . Overall she made 16 appearances on the program, giving her insights on the films of the day and predicting the Academy Awards.

Maslin continues to review books for The New York Times. [6] Among her reviews are many enthusiastic discoveries of then-unknown crime writers, the first American assessment of an Elena Ferrante novel and a 2011 essay on the widowed Joyce Carol Oates' memoir, A Widow's Story, which offended some of Oates's admirers. [7] [8]

Preceded by chief film critic of
the New York Times

1994 — 1999
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cameron Diaz</span> American actress

Cameron Michelle Diaz is an American actress. With a variety of works in film, she is widely recognised for her work in romantic comedies and animation. Diaz has received various accolades, including nominations for four Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She was named the highest-paid Hollywood actress over 40 in 2013. As of 2018, the U.S. domestic box office grosses of Diaz's films total over $3 billion US, with worldwide grosses surpassing US$7 billion, making her the fifth highest-grossing U.S. domestic box office actress. Diaz's successful early roles cemented her as a sex symbol and one of the world's most bankable actresses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michelle Pfeiffer</span> American actress

Michelle Marie Pfeiffer is an American actress and producer. A prolific performer known for her versatility, whose screen work spans over four decades, she became one of Hollywood's most bankable stars and popular sex symbols during the 1980s and 1990s. She has received numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and a British Academy Film Award, in addition to nominations for three Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. In 2007, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marisa Tomei</span> American actress (born 1964)

Marisa Tomei is an American actress. She came to prominence as a cast member on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World in 1987. After having minor roles in a few films, she came to international attention in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She received two additional Academy Award nominations for In the Bedroom (2001) and The Wrestler (2008).

<i>To Die For</i> 1995 film by Gus Van Sant

To Die For is a 1995 satirical black comedy film directed by Gus Van Sant, and written by Buck Henry based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, which in turn was inspired by the story of Pamela Smart. It stars Nicole Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Matt Dillon, with Illeana Douglas, Wayne Knight, Casey Affleck, Kurtwood Smith, Dan Hedaya, and Alison Folland as supporting cast. Kidman was nominated for a BAFTA, and won a Golden Globe Award and a Best Actress Award at the 1st Empire Awards for her performance. Her character has been described as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder in the scientific journal BMC Psychiatry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jennifer Jason Leigh</span> American actress (b. 1962)

Jennifer Jason Leigh is an American actress, writer, and producer. She began her career on television during the 1970s before making her film breakthrough as Stacy Hamilton in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). She later received critical praise for her performances in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989), Miami Blues (1990), Backdraft (1991), Single White Female (1992), and Short Cuts (1993).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joyce Carol Oates</span> American author

Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1963, and has since published 58 novels, a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. Her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000), and her short story collections The Wheel of Love (1970) and Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories (2014) were each finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She has won many awards for her writing, including the National Book Award, for her novel them (1969), two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize (2019).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Patricia Arquette</span> American actress (born 1968)

Patricia Tiffany Arquette is an American actress. She made her feature film debut as Kristen Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). Her other notable films include True Romance (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Lost Highway (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1998), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Stigmata (1999), Holes (2003), Fast Food Nation (2006), The Wannabe (2015), and Toy Story 4 (2019). For playing a single mother in the coming-of-age film Boyhood (2014), which was filmed from 2002 until 2014, Arquette won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

<i>Risky Business</i> 1983 film by Paul Brickman

Risky Business is a 1983 American teen comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Brickman and starring Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay. Best known as Cruise's breakout film, Risky Business was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $63 million against a $6.2 million budget.

<i>Married to the Mob</i> 1988 American film directed by Jonathan Demme

Married to the Mob is a 1988 American crime comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl, and Alec Baldwin. Pfeiffer plays Angela de Marco, a gangster's widow from Brooklyn, opposite Modine as the undercover FBI agent assigned the task of investigating her mafia connections.

<i>Safe</i> (1995 film) 1995 film

Safe is a 1995 psychological drama film written and directed by Todd Haynes and starring Julianne Moore. Set in 1987, it follows a suburban housewife in Los Angeles whose monotonous life is abruptly changed when she becomes sick with a mysterious illness caused by the environment around her.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vincent Canby</span> American film and theatre critic (1924–2000)

Vincent Canby was an American film and theatre critic who served as the chief film critic for The New York Times from 1969 until the early 1990s, then its chief theatre critic from 1994 until his death in 2000. He reviewed more than one thousand films during his tenure there.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A. O. Scott</span> American journalist and film critic

Anthony Oliver Scott is an American journalist and cultural critic. He has been chief film critic for The New York Times since 2004, a title he shares with Manohla Dargis.

<i>Smooth Talk</i> 1985 film by Joyce Chopra

Smooth Talk is a 1985 film directed by Joyce Chopra, loosely based on Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (1966), which was in turn inspired by the Tucson murders committed by Charles Schmid. The protagonist and main character, Connie Wyatt, is played by Laura Dern. The antagonist, Arnold Friend, is played by Treat Williams.

<i>The Pelican Brief</i> (film) 1993 thriller movie directed by Alan J. Pakula

The Pelican Brief is a 1993 American legal thriller film based on the 1992 novel by John Grisham. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film stars Julia Roberts in the role of young law student Darby Shaw and Denzel Washington as Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham. The film, which features music composed by James Horner, was the last film that featured Pakula as both writer and director before his death.

Raymond Joseph Smith was an American educator, author, and book editor. He was for more than 30 years the editor of Ontario Review, a literary magazine, and the Ontario Review Press, a literary book publisher. He was married to the American author Joyce Carol Oates.

<i>Blonde</i> (novel) 2000 novel by Joyce Carol Oates

Blonde is a bestselling 2000 biographical fiction novel by Joyce Carol Oates that presents a fictionalized take on the life of American actress Marilyn Monroe.

Fay Masterson is an English actress and voice actress. She is best known for her roles as Head Girl in The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Andrea Garnett in The Last Ship and Gail Jones in Fifty Shades Darker (film) and Fifty Shades Freed (film).

<i>Dreams of a Life</i> 2011 British film

Dreams of a Life is a 2011 drama-documentary film, released by Dogwoof Pictures, directed by Carol Morley and starring Zawe Ashton as Joyce Carol Vincent, a London woman whose remains were discovered in her home in 2006, just over two years after she had died.

Rosie is a 1998 drama film written and directed by Patrice Toye. It was screened at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival. It received the André Cavens Award for Best Film given by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC). Rosie was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not nominated.

<i>The Sacrifice</i> (Oates novel) 2015 novel by Joyce Carol Oates

The Sacrifice is a 2015 novel by the American writer Joyce Carol Oates. Set in blighted urban New Jersey in the 1980s, it follows a young Black woman, Sybilla, who is discovered in a degraded condition in an abandoned factory after going missing. When she alleges that she was kidnapped, assaulted, and left for dead by a group of white police officers, her cause is taken up by an ambitious and unscrupulous civil rights activist and his lawyer brother, despite evidence of deceit in her story. The events of the novel are based on the real-life Tawana Brawley case, and takes place in a part of New Jersey still suffering from the aftermath of post-war deindustrialization and the 1967 Newark riots.


  1. Maslin, Janet (December 17, 2012). "Janet Maslin's 10 Favorite Books of 2012". The New York Times . p. C35. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. Elder, Sean (September 23, 1999). "Maslin Bails, Critics Rail". Salon . Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2007.
  3. Barr, Jeremy (19 May 2015). "Times book critic Janet Maslin shifts into contributing role". Politico . Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  4. Aradillas, Aaron. "She's something else. Janet Maslin in a rockcritics.com interview". Rock Critics Archives. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. 1 2 "New Assignments for 3 Times Critics". The New York Times . October 27, 1993. p. C18. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  6. "Book Reviews by Janet Maslin". The New York Times . Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  7. Weinstein, Deb (February 14, 2011). "Janet Maslin vs. Joyce Carol Oates's 'Widow's Story'". Thewire.com . Archived from the original on 7 October 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  8. "Unethical, Immoral. Crude and Cruel and Unconscionable". Crossing the Border. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2019.