Anthony Oliver Scott (born July 10, 1966) is an American journalist and cultural critic. He has been chief film critic for The New York Times since 2004, a title he shares with Manohla Dargis.

A. O. Scott
A. O. Scott - ¿Cómo pensar el arte, el placer, la belleza y la verdad? DEL1405 (29757003040) (cropped).jpg
Scott in 2016
Anthony Oliver Scott

(1966-07-10) July 10, 1966 (age 55)
Other namesTony Scott
Alma materHarvard University
  • Journalist
  • film critic
Justine Henning
(m. 1991)
RelativesJoan Wallach Scott (mother)
Eli Wallach (great-uncle)
Anne Jackson (great-aunt)

Early lifeEdit

Scott was born on July 10, 1966 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. 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] Scott then served as book critic for Newsday, while also serving as a contributor to The New York Review of Books and Slate. In 1993, he wrote television reviews for 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. Scott 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]

On March 9, 2020, The New York Times announced that Scott would take a one-year break from his role as co-chief film critic and assume the title of critic at large, writing "bigger, cross-topic essays."[9]


In 2006 and 2007, Scott served as a guest critic on Ebert & Roeper during Roger Ebert's absence due to thyroid cancer.

Between 2002 and 2014, Scott made 15 appearances on Charlie Rose, where he predicted the Academy Award winners and spoke about recently released films. He often appeared alongside David Denby of The New Yorker and Janet Maslin of The New York Times and guest-hosted the program on a number of occasions.

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 with the show. Scott and Phillips began their duties when the show started its new season on September 5, 2009. The show was canceled after one season due to low ratings, concluding its run in August 2010.[10]


When reviewing Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Scott wrote "Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white".[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Scott is married to Justine Henning, and they have two children.[1][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "A. O. Scott". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Scott, Joan Wallach. "The School of Social Science". Institute for Advanced Study. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  3. ^ "Eli Wallach, BA '36". The Alcalde. Emmis Communications. 88 (4): 28. March 2000. ISSN 1535-993X. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  4. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 4, 2009). "Jewish History, Popcorn Included". The New York Times. p. AR1. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Amazing Human Launching Pads". New York. September 26, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  6. ^ Prouty (1996). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993–1994. Taylor & Francis. p. 113. ISBN 9780824037970.
  7. ^ "Movie Reviews". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 28, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "A. O. Scott". The School of The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "Staff News From Culture". The New York Times Company. March 9, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ A.O. Scott. "America's Heart of Darkness." New York Times. August 9, 2018. [1]
  12. ^ Shih, Cynthia W. (May 29, 2013). "A.O. Scott". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 20, 2021.

External linksEdit