Dave Kehr
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Dave Kehr

Dave Kehr
Born1953 (age 65–66)
United States
OccupationAuthor, journalist, film historian, film critic, curator

Dave Kehr (born 1953) is an American film critic. For many years a critic at the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune, he later wrote a weekly column for The New York Times on DVD releases. He is now a curator in the Department of Film of the Museum of Modern Art.

Early life and education

Dave Kehr did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, where he studied English. He 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 1995, he was a member of the jury at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival.[3] Kehr 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 produced 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] In 2017 he was promoted to Curator.

Kehr frequently has expressed criticism of generally well-reviewed movies, examples including Das Boot,[5]Raging Bull,[6]Apocalypse Now,[7]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" Archived 25 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 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: 1995 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Foundas, Scott (21 October 2013). "Dave Kehr Named MoMA Adjunct Curator for Film". Variety.
  5. ^ "Das Boot". Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "Raging Bull". Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Apocalypse Now - Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back - Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ "Dog Day Afternoon - Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Alien - Review Comments". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ "Das Boot". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "Apocalypse Now". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Dog Day Afternoon". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "Alien". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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