What's the Purpose of Film Criticism?

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Anton Ego, Ratatouille

Film criticism is important because films are important. They are yet another form of art, with the ability to provok emotion and thought on par with any painting or work of literature. And film criticism is a necessary aspect of this art form which keep filmmakers honest and hold them accountable. Of course, many people think of film critics as spiteful people who always want to tear movies down. This is not the case. Critics also have the potential to make general audiences aware of just how good a movie is by pointing out the small, incredible details that they miss. Those with higher knowledge of the art have a higher ability to appreciate truly impressive feats of filmmaking, and have a responsibility to share that excitement and appreciation with audiences who don't spend their life dissecting cinema. In short, film critics both critique bad movies, or bad trends in movies, and celebrate good ones.