Hello Reddit! Peter Travers here, film critic for Rolling Stone magazine. I am going to be spending the next hour with you answering your questions about the Oscars and any other film-related questions you may have.

My proof

See who I think should (and will) win at the Oscars

Thanks so much Reddit! I rarely had more fun answering movie questions - more please!

Comments: 188 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

iamwastedbutimready15 karma

On a scale of [1] to [10], how high were you and Christopher Walken during this interview?

Peter_Travers25 karma

I was high off his fumes

I_Need_To_Go_To_Bed12 karma

Has there ever been a review that you wish you could take back?

Peter_Travers21 karma

Yup. The Matrix. I didn't give it credit for being more than visual fun. The two sequels I still think are crap.

daniel_decrissio10 karma

What is the worst movie you have ever had to review?

Peter_Travers46 karma

Almost everything by Michael Bay. At a screening of the last Transformers movie, I was told later that I screamed aloud: "Make it stop!"

Conspirologist8 karma

Hi. Do you have any idea why The Thing by John Carpenter was recieved so poorly by the critics at that time? Everybody who have seen it now says that it is a masterpiece (including me). Did it happened because it was a horror / sci-fi movie, and those critics were expressing prejuidice, not prepared for a genius in this department?

Peter_Travers10 karma

Sadly, many critics look down their nose at genre films. Plus the first Thing in 1950 was considered untouchable. Carpenter had previously proved himself a master with Halloween and Escape From NY. He should have been treated more fairly. but ha, he gets the last laugh.

skenn0248 karma

do you think Leonardo di Caprio deserves an oscar for "Wolf of Wall Street?

Peter_Travers21 karma

Yes, if McConaughey wasn't nominated

sergiodht7 karma

What was the first time you decided to work for something related to movies?

Peter_Travers10 karma

Puberty. I was 12 or 13 and begged the local paper in my town to print my ravings. They did. Bless, The Patent Trader. I'm still at it.

tackthiratrix7 karma

Any films you look back on and say, "Shit...I've should've rated that higher..."?

Peter_Travers13 karma

Flirting With Disaster. My head was in my nether regions on that one

15chainz7 karma

To you, what was the most memorable performance by an actor of all time? Do you have any favorite movies that are considered "bad"?

Peter_Travers28 karma

Excellent question. Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood is my all-time favorite though Al Pacino in Godfather 2 is unforgettable, especially at the end when he subtly shows us Michael Corleone turning to stone. I get in lots of trouble for repeatedly saying how good American Psycho is. People hate on that movie like nobody's business. Same with Fight Club. Wake up, people.

thekickassduke6 karma

Any upcoming releases that have you really excited?

Peter_Travers31 karma

Inherent Vice from Paul Thomas Anderson. I'm chomping at the bit. That and David Fincher's Gone Girl. And Christopher Nolan's Interstellar

Duea6 karma

What was this years biggest Oscar snub?

Peter_Travers25 karma

Robert Redford in All Is Lost Before Midnight as Best Picture

beardedlawyer5 karma

What's your favorite Tarantino movie? Has to be reservoir dogs right?

Peter_Travers18 karma

It is, maybe because it's QT's first and the ear-slicing scene to "Stuck in the Middle" is classic. But Pulp Fiction is historic, and deserves to be.

Blackbeards_Delite5 karma

Just want to say thanks for your (sometimes brutally) honest reviews of films. You are absolutely my #1 guy I read before seeing a movie. How early do you usually get to review a film before it's public release? Do you review it in a room by yourself?

Peter_Travers11 karma

Kind words. I usually see a film at least 2 weeks before its release. But sometimes,when a studio has a dud, they show it the day before it opens. Too late to meet a print deadline. Thank the gods of cinema for the Web, I can call bull on a suck movie the day it opens!.

skenn0245 karma

Hi Peter. What's it like working for rolling stone?

Peter_Travers15 karma

IT may sound cornball, but it's an honor. Readers who love rock & roll are invariably movie fans. And they let you know exactly how they feel.

KilgoreTroutQQ5 karma

Hey Peter, two questions:

  • Why do you think Linklater got snubbed so hard at the Oscars this year? I agreed completely with your review of it--how small and perfect of a movie it is. Do you think it had anything to do with the distribution?

  • Has it gotten easier or harder to think of all of the puns you always splice into your reviews? At this point, does it just come naturally?

Congratulations on probably getting featured on way more movie covers than any other critic of all time.

Peter_Travers10 karma

  1. I think it's a blot on an already tarnished Academy that they ignore Linklater. His new movie Boyhood may jusy be his best.
  2. I'm in pun rehab right now!

cpunk1214 karma

Hi Peter!

What movies in your opinion have influenced pop culture the most? (and why?)

Peter_Travers14 karma

In the modern era, meaning Easy Rider to Pulp Fiction, young directors and young audiences seized control from a dead-ass studio system. We need more of that revolutionary spirit today. New voices. Not tired sequels.

NamesNotTyler4 karma

Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA. Your reviews have influenced my movie choices a lot since I've started reading them.

My question: What's your biggest guilty pleasure movie?

Peter_Travers8 karma

Monty Python & The Holy Grail is my holy grail of film comedy. People mock me for saying that. So what! It's a pleasure. No guilt on my part.

gingermidget14 karma

Should Adam Dunn go to the oscars?

Peter_Travers9 karma

he put up money for Dallas Buyers Club so he deserves a ticket, don't you think?

EatsFiber2RedditMore4 karma

What is the worst movie ever?

Peter_Travers21 karma

It changes over time. But After Earth will always have a place in my toxic heart

Frajer4 karma

What was your reaction when Ryan Gosling started singing the My Little Pony song?

Peter_Travers17 karma

I thought I had died and gone to heaven

MikeRadical4 karma

If you could spend an afternoon sitting around drinking with 3 actors/directors (at once) who would they be?

Peter_Travers14 karma

Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, and the Coens.

nightgolf3 karma

What newer filmmakers (writers/directors) do you feel have the potential to become the next GREAT filmmakers? Why?

Peter_Travers20 karma

Well, Paul Thomas Anderson is still, relatively new and I think he already belongs with the greats

Alesandramw3 karma

How do you prevent being analytical of a film from taking away your enjoyment of the film?

Hopefully I worded that question correctly!

Peter_Travers15 karma

Sometimes I can't. If a movie grabs me that hard I just let it wash over me. Then I go back and see it again to analyze. This never happens with the films of Michael Bay.

KushTheKitten3 karma

What do you think makes a good teen coming of age film?

Peter_Travers17 karma

Rick Linklater directing. Or blunt honesty like in Superbad.

sentual_sloth3 karma

Hi peter! Just wondering what some of your favorite movies are?

Peter_Travers13 karma

Hitchcoc k'sVertigo is my personal favorite because its about voyeurism. About falling in love with something that isn't there. That's exactly what movies are.

gerryhanes3 karma

Are we currently in a Golden Age of American Movies? If not, when was THE golden age, in your opinion?

Peter_Travers17 karma

We're in a mini-golden age. 2013 was a terrific year. But the 1970s was the last real golden age, when The Godfather, Jaws, Star Wars , Network, Annie Hall, All the Presidents Men and Taxi Driver made popular art really mean something.

FlerpHerp3 karma

Did you ever consider screenwriting or acting early on in your career?

Peter_Travers11 karma

I did act. There was a vote and I got dumped from the club. For good reason. But it gave me a real respect for the crraft

ClearEyesxFullHearts2 karma

Hi Peter, Do you think there will be any big upsets at the Oscars? What would you consider a big upset this year?

Peter_Travers9 karma

If Jared Leto lost Best Supporting Actor to Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips. The Academy is always pulling stuff like that.

gerryhanes2 karma

Has there ever been a comedy sequel that improved on the original?

Peter_Travers14 karma

Adams Family Values comes to mind. And Terminator 2

pearomatic2 karma

How do you determine your rating when it comes to wildly different films? In 2013 you loved Wolf of Wall Street as well as Gravity. Do you just say "this is the best/worst film of its genre"? Theoretically, could you give 4 stars to a comedy or parody film if it did its job perfectly?

Peter_Travers8 karma

I could. And American Hustle came close. But the number of films I give 4 stars to in a given year you could count on the fingers of one hand, sometimes less. For example, This Is Spinal is definitely a 4-star comic parody

RKitch21122 karma

Hi Mr. Travers. I'm a huge fan (you're my go-to critic). As someone who's an aspiring review, do you have any advice? And how do you consider everything when you're reviewing something?

EDIT: Also I completely about Jeremy Renner being snubbed for American Hustle. He's the best part about that film.

Peter_Travers7 karma

Thanks RKitch2112. In print, space constraints make it impossible to consider every aspect of a film. So I consider what affected me the most. It's a good rule of thumb. Let's form a Jeremy Renner Appreciation Club

ChuckEye2 karma

Do you think Terry Gilliam will ever (re)gain any Hollywood traction as a director, or has he gone too far off the reservation?

Peter_Travers14 karma

Going off the reservation is Gilliam's thing and I'll always join him on his trip. If he did nothing but Brazil, he'd still be in cinema heaven.

Yesoh2 karma

Hi Peter,

Out of the films nominated for the Oscar for best film this year which, if any, do you think will be revered decades from now?

Edit: syntax

Peter_Travers9 karma

12 Years a Slave, for sure. It's a time capsule movie.

CochMaestro2 karma

Hi Peter,

I don't really read too much rolling stone, on account of I don't have the time with all of my school work. But what would you say to people who may want to get into film critique/writing?

ps. I read your Oscar win list...very good read

Peter_Travers11 karma

Fnd some place to publish you in print or online. Don't expect a financial windfall. Just get yourself out there. And keep a journal of your feelings and opinions. It will be very useful later. What's in your head at the time won't stay there.

thomasJEROMEnewton2 karma

what do you think of the movie clean,shaven 1993 directed by lodge kerrigan starring peter greene

Peter_Travers6 karma

I think it's quietly devastating. A movie I always mention when people ask what's a great movie they never heard of.

ebonybbwftw2 karma

dream film? for example a sci fi directed by Quentin Tarantino

Peter_Travers37 karma

A James Bond film directed by QT. And I think he wants to do it. That would light a fire under that franchise

[deleted]1 karma


Peter_Travers3 karma

the stinkiest dink

haroldpotter1 karma

Which of this years best picture nominees do you think will be forgotten by audiences quickest?

Peter_Travers6 karma

Though it's fine for what it is, Philomena

baraqiyal1 karma

Peter, what is your favorite zombie movie, and why do you think so many people have such an affinity for zombies?

Peter_Travers6 karma

Come on, the first Night of the Living Dead. "They're coming for you!" Jeez

Fourthand201 karma

Whats your opinion on the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"??

Peter_Travers14 karma

It's a mess, but a damn fine mess.

nkleszcz1 karma

Hi Peter,

Do you think it ever possible to love a movie while also deploring/fiercely-disagreeing with its underlying message? Any examples?

Peter_Travers6 karma

I think Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch actually revels in the violence it depicts. That being said, it's still a masterpiece.

gerryhanes1 karma

If you had Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Casablanca and La Regle de Jeu in a room and had to shoot two so the other two could live, what would you do?

Peter_Travers3 karma

Vertigo, no question. It's the film I never tire of seeing.

[deleted]1 karma


Peter_Travers4 karma

Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life

Indianapolis_Jones_1 karma

Stinky, Dinky, Donkey or Monkey?

Peter_Travers2 karma

Dinky, always

caulfieldryecatcher0 karma

What happened to the podcast? And the scum bucket?

Peter_Travers3 karma

Still alive & well. Next Scum Bucket podcast is March 6. Look out for it.

phantomother140 karma

Lupita Nyong'o or JLaw?

Peter_Travers4 karma

I won't holler about either one. But Lupita broke my heart

maxwell_stupid-2 karma


Peter_Travers8 karma

The Americans is really growing on me