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Reviews of Popular Books, Movies, and More, how to find: Home

A guide for locating professional book, film, movie, music, and restaurant reviews in library databases and on the web.

Searching Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete includes articles, and citations to articles, on a wide variety of subjects.  It can be found on the library's website by clicking on Databases in the gray "Articles" box, then alphabetically in the list.

The database will let you limit your search by different categories of reviews - book, entertainment, film, music, and television.  Scroll down to the Document Type section (circled below) and highlight your limiter, then type the name of the book, album, movie, etc., into the search box.

Finding film reviews in Academic Search Complete using limiters

Searching Global Newsstream

Global Newsstream is a great source for finding reviews that appeared in newspapers all over the world.  Nearly everything in Global Newsstream is available in full text. It can be found in the alphabetical lists of newspapers and databases on the website.

Once you're in Global Newsstream, type the book title and author (or the film title, etc.,) in the advanced search boxes. For example, to find reviews of Dan Brown's novel Origin, type in: origin and dan brown.  Capitalization doesn't matter.

Global Newsstream Advanced Search for Dan Brown and Origin

Then, scroll down and check off "Review" in the Document Type column in the middle.  (You can also use the Document Type box to select the type of review: for example, Book or Film.)   Then click Search.

Reviews in Global Newsstream

Other examples:
hunger games and mockingjay 

hamilton and theatre

Finding professional book reviews in NoveList

NoveList Plus is a tool for book discovery.  It can help you find recommended reads by genre or other characteristics.  Included in its database are many, many book reviews, all from important periodicals that booksellers and librarians use to select what to buy.  Readers can use them, too, to help them decide if a book might fit their interests.

In addition to the link above, NoveList Plus can be found on the library's website under Databases.  Searching is easy!  Just type in the title of a book for which you'd like to find reviews, or an author's name, or even a genre (fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, and so on).

NoveList search for George R. R. Martin

If the book has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, or Kirkus Reviews, those reviews will be included in full.  Note:  for those interested in what goes into writing one of these reviews -- the elements that should be included, length, ethics, and so forth -- check out Library Journal's reviewer guidelines.

Finding reviews for older books

NoveList, Academic Search Complete, and other sources mentioned above will be especially useful when you're searching for reviews of recent books.  For reviews of older titles – books published in the 1990s and earlier – we recommend consulting two of Booth Library's print indexes if you're not able to find reviews in the sources listed above.

Book Review Index, on the index shelves (
Reference Indexes Z1035.A1 B6) next to the microfilm area on the library's 1st floor, provides details on where book reviews can be found in a variety of popular magazines, journals, and newspapers.  The library owns volumes for 1965 through 2013.  Once you have a review venue, date, and page number for the reviews, check the library's online catalog to see where the journals are shelved.

Also try Book Review Digest (Reference Indexes
Z1219 .C95) for locating older reviews.  The library owns 1906 to 2014, so if the book for which you want to find reviews was published during this time, check Book Review Digest for the review venue, date, and page numbers.

Websites for professional reviews

Here are some websites to check out for professional reviews.  Some have consumer or blogger reviews mixed in, too, so make sure you can distinguish one from the other.

Google News - good for reviews from newspapers or online periodicals.  Type in the name of what you want to find and "review."

Rotten Tomatoes - an "aggregator" (place that collects reviews from multiple sources) of movie reviews

Metacritic - another aggregator source for video game, movie, television, and music reviews.  Critic and user reviews are listed in separate columns. 

Good sites for restaurant reviews include newspapers (Booth Library has online access to the Chicago Tribune, for instance) and regional magazines, like St. Louis Magazine and Indianapolis Monthly.  Note: if you're curious about the guidelines that many professional restaurant reviewers follow, check out the Food Critics' Guidelines from the Association of Food Journalists!

Need more help?

This guide was created by Sarah Johnson, a reference librarian at Booth Library.  I can be contacted via email and on D2L - my username is sljohnson2.  In addition, any reference librarian can help you out if you need further assistance.  Stop by the library's reference desk at all hours the library is open, give us a call at 581-6072, or click on Ask a Librarian for email and chat options.
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