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David Rooney

Chief Film Critic

As Chief Film Critic, David Rooney reviews the latest releases and premieres from major festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Toronto. He was formerly THR’s Chief Theater Critic and continues to review Broadway when time permits. Based in New York City, he is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics and New York Drama Critics Circle. Prior to joining THR, he was Chief Italian Correspondent for Variety before moving to New York, where he became Chief Theater Critic. Rooney's work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. He has served on the nominating panel for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and multiple times for the Gotham Awards. David’s writing for THR has won three Southern California Journalism Awards and a National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award.

More from David Rooney

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Review: Early Intrigue Devolves Into Unoriginal Excess in David Gordon Green’s Sequel

Leslie Odom Jr. heads a cast that includes Ann Dowd and Ellen Burstyn, the latter reprising her role from William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic for the first time.

‘Foe’ Review: Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal Are Too Magnetic to Be Mired in All This Dystopian Murk

Garth Davis directs Amazon's horror-tinged psychological sci-fi feature, also starring Aaron Pierre as a corporate rep conscripting space colonists and sowing division in a young couple's marriage.

‘Dance First’ Review: Gabriel Byrne Talks to Himself in James Marsh’s Ponderous Beckett Bio-Drama

Fionn O’Shea, Sandrine Bonnaire and Aidan Gillen also star in this fragmented account of the Irish existentialist writer’s life, framed by his reluctant acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

‘The Creator’ Review: John David Washington Gets Caught Up in AI War in Gareth Edwards’ Baggy, Sentimental Sci-Fi Epic

Gemma Chan, Allison Janney and Ken Watanabe also star in the post-apocalyptic action thriller, which pits U.S. military against a robot menace 10 years after a nuclear explosion levels Los Angeles.

The Hollywood Reporter Critics Pick the 15 Best Films of the Fall Fests 

Career highs for Emma Stone and Nicolas Cage, a delicious Frederick Wiseman doc, a poignant gay ghost story and two knockout dramas about the refugee crisis in Europe are among THR critics’ 15 faves from Venice, Telluride and Toronto.

‘Society of the Snow’ Review: J.A. Bayona Blends Visceral Action With Existential Despair in Overlong but Affecting Survival Thriller

The 1972 crash in the Andes of a charter flight from Uruguay and the harrowing ordeal of its survivors get intense treatment in this Spanish-language feature from Netflix.

‘Out of Season’ Review: An Ideally Paired Alba Rohrwacher and Guillaume Canet Consider Roads Not Taken in Stéphane Brizé’s Rueful Romance

A famous screen actor in a moment of career crisis retreats to a coastal spa town, where an encounter with an old flame stirs up unresolved feelings from the past.

‘Lubo’ Review: Even Franz Rogowski’s Intensity Can’t Keep This Rambling Tale of Historical Injustice in Focus

Switzerland’s cruel treatment of itinerant Yenish communities during World War II forms the spine of Giorgio Diritti's drama of cultural eradication and a man obsessed with finding his stolen children.

‘Memory’ Review: Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard Are Riveting as Broken People Fumbling for Connection in Michel Franco’s Moving Drama

The Mexican auteur’s Brooklyn-set third English-language film also features Josh Charles, Merritt Wever, Jessica Harper and promising newcomer Brooke Timber.

‘Woman Of…’ Review: Malgorzata Szumowska’s Affecting Character Study Rescues Polish Trans People From the Invisible Margins

Written and directed with regular creative partner Michal Englert, the film traces one woman’s 45-year struggle to find personal freedom.

‘The Boy and the Heron’ Review: Hayao Miyazaki Emerges From Retirement With a Profoundly Personal Swan Song

The Japanimation legend draws on childhood memories to ruminate on love, loss and the intersection between life and death in a world spinning out of control.

‘Enea’ Review: Pietro Castellitto Takes a Superficially Slick, Unfocused Snapshot of Superficially Slick, Unfocused Roman Rich Kids

The writer-director leads a populous ensemble that includes his father, Sergio Castellitto, in a study of generational privilege and emptiness produced by Luca Guadagnino.