Thompson was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University. Her writing has appeared in various publications, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Observer and Wired. Thompson covered behind-the-scenes Hollywood as a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly and as West Coast Editor for Film Comment.
From 1981 to 1984, she was a unit publicist on films such as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. From 1985 to 1993, she wrote the film industry column "Risky Business" for LA Weekly, a column that was distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. She was the West Coast Editor of Premiere from 1996 to 2002, and served as the Deputy Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter from January 2005 to March 2007. She then served as a film columnist at Variety and deputy editor of Variety.com, where she started Thompson on Hollywood in March 2007. After leaving Variety in 2009, Thompson relaunched Thompson on Hollywood as part of IndieWire.
In December 2006, Thompson co-hosted Ebert & Roeper, as Roger Ebert was still recovering from illness. In February 2011, she received an Athena Film Festival Award for her distinguished reporting and commentary about women and film.
Thompson participated in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll, where she listed her ten favorite films as follows: The Apartment (1960), Bringing Up Baby (1938), A Clockwork Orange (1971), High and Low (1963), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), The Lady Eve (1941), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Rio Grande (1950), The Wild Bunch (1969).
- "Thompson on Hollywood | Verticals | IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "Front Matter". Film Comment. 18 (3). 1982. JSTOR 43452865.
- "AFI Awards Jury". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Finke, Nikki (2007-03-05). "H'Wood Reporter Editor Cynthia Littleton Jumps To Variety; Anne Thompson Also; HR Now Looking for 'Big Name' Editor". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "Thompson IndieWire Blog Starts Monday". TheWrap. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Waxman, Sharon (2009-07-16). "Thompson Strikes Out on Her Own, With IndieWire Support". TheWrap. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- McElroy, Justin (2006-12-30). "'Ebert and Roeper' show gives mixed Marshall review". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Silverstein, Melissa (February 11, 2011). "Guest Post: The Athena Film Festival Kicks Off by Kathleen Sweeney". Indiewire. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- "2011 Athena Award Winners". Athena Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2019-07-16. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "Sneak Preview | Entertainment Studies". UCLA. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Thompson, Anne (2014). The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System (first ed.). New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062218018. OCLC 861554641.
- Reviews of The $11 Billion Year:
- Scheinman, Ted (2014-03-17). "The Hollywood Reporter: On Anne Thompson's "The $11 Billion Year"". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Arroyo, José (2014-05-20). "The $11 Billion Year and how the film industry is imploding". The Conversation. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Nicholson, Amy (2014-05-21). "Anne Thompson Asks if Hollywood Has Forgotten How to Make Money". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Dombrowski, Lisa (2014). "The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System by Anne Thompson". Film Quarterly. 67 (4): 88–90. doi:10.1525/fq.2014.67.4.88.
- Singal, Jesse (2014-03-06). "'The $11 Billion Year' by Anne Thompson". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
- "Anne Thompson | BFI".