Levy has taught at Columbia University, New School for Social Research, Wellesley College, ASU, and UCLA Film School. Levy currently teaches in the department of cinema studies at New York University.
He is a voting member of eight groups: Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) - known for the Golden Globes, Los Angeles Film Critics (LAFCA), Broadcast Film Critics (BFCA), National Society of Film Critics (NSFC), New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO), Gay and Lesbian Critics Association, Online Film Critics Society, and the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci).
His first book, The Habima—Israel's National Theater, 1917–1977, launched his writing career. His critical chronicle of the Oscar Awards, And the Winner Is was published in 1986. There have been numerous updated editions of the book, including, Oscar Fever in 2000 and, All About Oscar in 2003. Of the nine books he has written, his magnum opus is considered to be Cinema Of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film, first published as hardcover in 1999 and then as paperback in 2001. Levy wrote the first comprehensive biography of Vincente Minnelli, Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood's Dark Dreamer, published by St. Martin's Press in 2009.
Levy has written for various newspapers and magazines, including American Film, The Los Angeles Times, and The Financial Times. While in Arizona, he ran the ASU Film Society, and then the Scottsdale Independent Film Festival. Formerly a senior critic at Variety, and chief film critic of the UK publication Screen International, Levy established a website of film reviews and essays in 2004, www.EmanuelLevy.com. As of 2014, the site contains over 20,000 film reviews, profiles, interviews, and commentaries, written by Levy and a staff of writers.
- The Habima, Israel's National Theater: A Study of Cultural Nationalism (1979). Winner of the 1980 National Jewish Book Award.
- And the Winner Is: The History and Politics of the Oscar Awards (1987)
- John Wayne: Prophet of the American Way of Life (1988)
- Small-Town America in Film: The Decline and Fall of Community (1991)
- George Cukor: Master of Elegance (1994)
- Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film (1999)
- Citizen Sarris, American Film Critic: Essays in Honor of Andrew Sarris (2001)
- Oscar Fever: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (2001)
- All About Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (2003)
- Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood's Dark Dreamer (2009)
- "Gay Directors/Gay Films: Pedro Almodovar, Terence Davies, Too Haynes, Gus Van Snt, John Waters" (Columbia University Press, December 2014)
- "Emanuel Levy". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2014-10-13.