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Dave Kehr

Dave Kehr
Born 1950 (age 65–66)
United States
Occupation Author, journalist, film historian, film critic
Nationality American
Subject Film

Dave Kehr (b. c. 1950) is an American film critic. A critic at the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune for many years, he later wrote a weekly column for The New York Times on DVD releases. He now works for the Museum of Modern Art.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life and education

Dave Kehr did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, where he studied English, and learned French in part to read the Cahiers pieces on film. At the time the university did not have a film studies curriculum. He started writing on film for The Maroon, the student newspaper, when he was president of the film society, Doc Films.[1]


From 1974–1985, Kehr wrote for the Chicago Reader, where he established a reputation for independent thinking and an understanding of visual style.[1] Until 1978 he edited the Reader's question and answer column, "The Straight Dope".[2]

He next wrote as a film critic for the Chicago Tribune (1986–1992). He moved to the East Coast to become film critic for the New York Daily News (1993–1998).[1] In 1994, he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[3] He is a past chairman of the National Society of Film Critics, and a member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Beginning in 1999, Kehr wrote a weekly column for The New York Times on DVD releases, also contributing occasional pieces on individual filmmakers or films. While at the Times, Kehr also maintained a film blog, with reviews of films and occasional comment pieces.

Kehr left the New York Times in late 2013 to work as Adjunct Curator in the film department of the Museum of Modern Art.[4]

Kehr frequently refuses to conform to prevailing popular opinion by expressing dissatisfaction with generally well-reviewed movies, examples including Das Boot,[5] Raging Bull,[6] Apocalypse Now,[7] Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,[8] Dog Day Afternoon[9] and Alien,[10] all of which, according to Rotten Tomatoes, currently hold a 96% or larger approval rating among movie critics.[11][12][13][14][15]


  • Kehr, Dave (2011). When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 


  1. ^ a b c Steve Erickson, "Interview with Dave Kehr", Senses of Cinema, June 2001, accessed 4 May 2010.
  2. ^ From the forward by Zotti, Ed in Adams, Cecil (1984). The Straight Dope: A Compendium of Human Knowledge. New York: Random House
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1994 Juries". Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  4. ^ Foundas, Scott (October 21, 2013). "Dave Kehr Named MoMA Adjunct Curator for Film".  
  5. ^ "Das Boot". Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Raging Bull". Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Apocalypse Now – Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Dog Day Afternoon – Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Alien – Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Das Boot". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Apocalypse Now". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Dog Day Afternoon". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Alien". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 

External links

  • Dave Kehr's Blog
  • "Dave Kehr", Recent and archived articles, The New York Times
  • An interview with Dave Kehr on The Marketplace of Ideas
  • The Village VoiceAn interview with Dave Kehr in
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