Critics write reviews appraising and dissecting literature, music, dramatic performance, exhibitions and other forms of art. They give their interpretation of themes, quality and all other characteristics and present them on radio, television, in print and increasingly, online. Generally, critics specialize within a particular art form such as cinema, and have an extensive knowledge of the medium itself, its historical themes, genres, other texts and prominent figures. Parts of the job may include attending festivals and industry events and interviewing artists as well as traveling and writing to deadlines.

Critics have excellent written communication skills and are expert at analyzing themes and concepts. Their academic backgrounds are often highly varied, though often rooted in the liberal arts. Post-graduate study may provide increased credibility in this industry though work experience and having published reviews is also well-regarded and may increase opportunities for graduate level employment. Many critics work freelance and ongoing employment with newspapers, magazines and other media forms is highly sough-after and competitive.