Kyle Smith (critic)

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Kyle Smith
Born1966 (age 55–56)
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Critic
  • columnist
  • novelist
Alma materYale University (BA)
Sara Austin
(m. 2007)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/warsPersian Gulf War

Kyle Smith (born 1966) is an American critic, columnist and novelist. After fifteen years of writing for National Review, most recently as critic-at-large, Smith announced on July 15, 2022 in his "Farewell" post that he was leaving to become the film critic for The Wall Street Journal.[1] He continues as theater critic for The New Criterion.[2] Earlier, he was a film critic for the New York Post, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal,[3] People, New York, Forbes,[4] The New York Times,[5][6][7] and Commentary.[8]


Smith graduated from East Longmeadow High School in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts in 1984 and from Yale University, summa cum laude, as an English major, and as a Phi Beta Kappa member.[9][10] Smith served in the U.S. Army during the Persian Gulf War, holding the rank of lieutenant.[11][12] From 1996 to 2005 he worked at People magazine as editor of book and music reviews.[13]


A writer in Entertainment Weekly described Smith's film-reviewing style as "an exercise in hilarious hostility".[14] He has been dubbed "America's most cantankerous film critic" by The Atlantic magazine.[15]

Love Monkey

Love Monkey was published by William Morrow[16] in 2004.[17] A New York Times article[18] described the book as a guys' version of such popular chick-lit novels as Bridget Jones's Diary and Melissa Bank's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and cited Nick Hornby's books About a Boy and High Fidelity as inspiration for Love Monkey. Times critic Janet Maslin called the book "hilarious".[13] Entertainment Weekly called the book "relentlessly cynical" and concluded that the book is "helluva lot of fun".[19] Time magazine said, "You couldn't ask for a more entertaining drinking buddy – watch out for a memorable strip-club meltdown scene – but there's a deep, dark subway of despair running underneath his riffs, and that's what makes the book more than a standup routine... Love Monkey nails it."[20]

On January 17, 2006,[21] a one-hour CBS TV series based on the book debuted; it was a dramedy also called Love Monkey. It starred Tom Cavanagh, Judy Greer, Jason Priestley and Larenz Tate.[21] The show aired on CBS in January–February 2006, but was pulled from the CBS prime-time schedule after only three episodes had been aired. Shortly afterwards, VH1 announced that it had acquired the rights to broadcast all 8 episodes which had been filmed to that point. They aired on VH1 in April and May 2006.[22]

A Christmas Caroline

Smith's second novel, A Christmas Caroline,[23] was published in 2006, also by William Morrow. The Wall Street Journal critic Joseph Bottum wrote, "For those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit, Kyle Smith's A Christmas Caroline may be a good selection. Mr. Smith ... turns in a quick, enjoyable read about a selfish woman at a fashion magazine who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by three spooky visitors. From the moment you meet Caroline's assistant—a devious redhead named Ursula Heep—you know you're at play in the fields of Charles Dickens.... Mr. Smith takes Dickens' old, familiar tale and stuffs it into a woman straight out of The Devil Wears Prada".[24]


  1. ^ Smith, Kyle (July 15, 2022). "Farewell to National Review." Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Archive of Kyle Smith's pieces at The New Criterion Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  3. ^ "The Wall Street Journal Online - Taste Commentary". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Kyle Smith - Moneybull".
  5. ^ ""Metropolitan Diary", December 11, 1996". The New York Times. December 11, 1996. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "SUNDAY, JULY 23, 1995; NOBLES: Get Ready For Ethelred".
  7. ^ "Metropolitan Diary". The New York Times. May 10, 1998. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  8. ^ "Bridge to Nowhere". November 2014.
  9. ^ "Kyle Smith," Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  10. ^ "Sara Austin, Kyle Smith - New York Times". The New York Times. August 26, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "Author Profile: Kyle Smith". October 31, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  12. ^ "The Wall Street Journal Online - Leisure & Arts". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Corrosive Characters in Two Novels About Journalists". The New York Times. February 12, 2004. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  14. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 26, 2007). "Reviewing the Reviews: 'Catch and Release' | PopWatch Blog". Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Randall, Eric (March 16, 2012). "America's Most Cantankerous Film Critic". The Atlantic.
  16. ^ "William Morrow -". HarperCollins Publishers. March 24, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  17. ^ Kyle Smith (March 24, 2010). "Kyle Smith from". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  18. ^ "Bad Boyz II". The New York Times. February 22, 2004. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  19. ^ "Love Monkey | Book Review | Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  20. ^ Grossman, Lev (February 16, 2004). "You've Got Male". Time. Archived from the original on January 12, 2005. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  21. ^ a b "Love Monkey | TV Review | Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  22. ^ "'Love Monkey' finds new life on VH1 - TV comedy -". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  23. ^ Lamb, Wally (October 31, 2006). A Christmas Caroline: A Novel: Kyle Smith: Books. ISBN 0061119873.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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