He is certainly my favorite film critic (along with The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy).
Peter obsesses on this thing called cinema which, I believe, for most of my colleagues, as well as myself, is why we ever got into the 'movie biz' in the first place.
He is tough and knowledgeable and the reason I personally even read about films at all is to 1) try and understand if I want to see the film discussed, and 2) if I have just seen it and am wondering and trying to understand a bit better how and why I am feeling what I am at the moment.
His past reviews (here in this fat and truly fascinating book) add to my life, film, intellectual education.
Another of my current favorite film reviewers, The New Yorker's David Denby wrote - 'No one is better than Peter Rainer at establishing the intersection of politics and popular culture, or at mapping the tormented convolutions of such actors as Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor. In the longer pieces, he has nailed the essential temperament of such celebrated directors as Robert Altman, Ingmar Bergman, and Steven Spielberg. Reading these reports on our movie culture of the last thirty years allows us to sharpen our memories and emotions in a sweet blend of happiness and regret.'
That about sums it up. Great book, available now from the Santa Monica Press LLC.