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No country for film critics.

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"No, your job is to rate movies on a scale from 'good' to 'excellent.'"
Two days ago New York Daily News film critic Jack Mathews announced his retirement (via Movie City News) as of the end of Oscar season, after which he’ll head to Oregon with threats that he’ll be devoting his time to "that long-gestating novel about the college co-ed considered by many to have been the Zodiac’s first victim (it was a murder I covered as a cub reporter) and to the breeze of the Pacific." While it remains to be seen if he’ll be replaced, and by whom, Defamer is reporting the troubling news that the Detroit Free Press has bought out its film critic Terry Lawson, and has no plans to bring in a replacement, which makes the paper "the most highly circulated newspaper in the country (daily readership = 320K) without a full-time, in-house film critic."

By our research, all of the other Top 20 newspapers in the United States have at least one major, well-known critic (yes, even the Arizona Republic). However, The Freep’s move clearly signals that there’s a changing tide in the amount of importance (and budget dollars) local newspapers allocate to coverage of the movie business. The Freep appears to be content to run wire reviews for new releases (they seem to favor the criticism levied by the Orlando Sentinel’s Roger Moore) and, from what we’ve gathered, readers don’t seem to mind much, either. After all, there’s clearly no shortage of film criticism available on The Internets. And while movie reviews have probably never been enough to make someone throw down their two bits to pick up a copy of the Friday fishwrap, it still saddens us that there’s not enough room in the budget of a Top 20 newspaper to send someone to the movies a few times a week.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be critics.

+ 30 Year Movie Journalism Vet Jack Mathews Heads To The Coastal Farm (Movie City News)
+ Exclusive: Detroit Free Press Becomes Largest Newspaper In The Country Without A Full-Time Film Critic (Defamer)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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