A. O. Scott

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A. O. Scott
A. O. Scott (29424113753) (cropped).jpg
Scott in 2016
Anthony Oliver Scott

(1966-07-10) July 10, 1966 (age 52)
Alma materHarvard University
  • Journalist
  • film critic
Parent(s)Joan Wallach Scott
Donald Scott
RelativesEli Wallach (great uncle)
Anne Jackson (great aunt)

Anthony Oliver Scott (born July 10, 1966) is a U.S. journalist and film critic. Along with Manohla Dargis, he serves as chief film critic for The New York Times.

Early life[edit]

Scott was born in Northampton, Massachusetts.[1] Both of his parents were professors. His mother, Joan Wallach Scott, is the Harold F. Linder Professor at the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.[2] His father, Donald Scott, is a professor of American history at The City University of New York (CUNY). He is a great nephew of the married acting couple Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson (his maternal grandfather was Eli's brother).[3] Scott is Jewish through his mother's side.[4] Scott attended public schools in Providence, Rhode Island, including Classical High School. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1988 with a degree in literature.


Scott began his career at The New York Review of Books, where he served as an assistant to Robert B. Silvers.[5] He then served as book critic for Newsday, and also as a contributor to The New York Review of Books and Slate magazine. In 1993, he was a Television reviewer for Daily Variety, using the name Tony Scott.[6]

He joined The New York Times' Arts section in January 2000, following Janet Maslin's retirement from film criticism. (Maslin continues to review genre fiction for the paper.) In 2004 he became chief critic, following Elvis Mitchell's resignation. He and the other film critics at the Times host a video podcast on the subject of film, called Critics' Picks.[7] He is also Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism at Wesleyan University.[8]


In 2006 and 2007, Scott served repeatedly as guest critic on Ebert & Roeper with Richard Roeper in Roger Ebert's absence due to illness. He and Roeper counted down their selections for the top ten films of 2006 and again for 2007. Although Scott did not appear on the show for most of 2008, he continued to release his own list through The New York Times. On October 24, 2009, Scott began counting down his "Best of the Decade" list on At the Movies.

On August 5, 2009, it was announced that Scott, along with Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips, would take over hosting duties on At the Movies from Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz, who would no longer be involved in the show. Scott and Phillips began their duties when the show started its new season on September 5, 2009, but ratings were low and the show aired for only one season.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He has a son named Ezra and a daughter named Carmen.[citation needed]

He has stated that "Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white”.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A. O. Scott". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  2. ^ The School of Social Science Archived December 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Emmis Communications (March 2000). The Alcalde. Emmis Communications. pp. 28–. ISSN 1535-993X. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  4. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 4, 2009). "Jewish History, Popcorn Included". Retrieved May 28, 2017 – via NYTimes.com.
  5. ^ "The Amazing Human Launching Pads". "Who Runs New York", New York magazine, September 26, 2010
  6. ^ Prouty Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994, p. 113, at Google Books
  7. ^ "Movie Reviews". NYTimes.com. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  8. ^ https://www.nytedu.com/instructors/a-o-scott/
  9. ^ Phil Rosenthal (August 5, 2009). "Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, N.Y. Times' A. O. Scott take over 'At the Movies'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ A.O. Scott. "America's Heart of Darkness." New York Times. August 9, 2018. [1]

External links[edit]

Media related to A. O. Scott at Wikimedia Commons