Nathan Rabin

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Nathan Rabin
Born (1976-04-24) April 24, 1976 (age 42)
United States
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
OccupationWriter, film critic, music critic

Nathan Rabin (/rɑːˈbn/; born April 24, 1976) is an American film and music critic.[1] A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rabin was the first head writer for The A.V. Club,[2] a position he held until he left the Onion organization in 2013.[3] In 2013, Rabin became a staff writer for The Dissolve, a film website operated by Pitchfork Media.[4] Two of his popular featured columns at The Dissolve were "Forgotbusters" (looking back at films that were amongst the top 25 box office earners in their release years but have not had cultural or popular endurance) and "Streaming University" (reviewing documentaries that were available through sites like Netflix and Hulu).

On April 29, 2015, Rabin announced he had parted ways with The Dissolve.[5] He has since returned to The A.V. Club as a freelance writer.[6] Most recently he has been associated with articles on the Insane Clown Posse and Sesame Street.

In April 2017, Nathan announced that The AV Club had canceled his long-running My World of Flops column, and that he was establishing his own Patreon-funded website, Nathan Rabin's Happy Place.[7]

Life and career[edit]

He coined the phrase manic pixie dream girl as a cinematic type in 2007.[8] He was a panelist on the short-lived basic cable show "Movie Club with John Ridley" on American Movie Classics. In 2007, he began My Year of Flops on The A.V. Club, where he reevaluated films that were shunned by critics, ignored by audiences, or both, at their time of release.[9] As of January 2008, the year was finished, but he continued the project as a bimonthly feature. Other ongoing features Rabin wrote for The A.V. Club include Dispatches From Direct-To-DVD Purgatory, a tongue-in-cheek look at DVD premieres; reviews for TV shows like Louie; Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club,[10] a humorous exploration of trashy books about entertainment, and Ephemereview, which offers critiques of sub-reviewable pop-culture detritus.

Rabin released his memoir in 2009, The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought To You By Pop Culture, (2009) which was published by Scribner.[11] The Washington Post gave the book a negative review, calling it a "...failed project brought to you by pop culture."[12] while The New York Times wrote, "[Rabin] has packed [The Big Rewind] like a cannon, full of caustic wit and bruised feelings" in its more positive review.[13] The book uses novels such as The Great Gatsby, musical recordings such as The Charm of the Highway Strip by The Magnetic Fields and other pop culture items as a springboard to discuss its author's tragi-comic adolescence as a guest of a mental hospital, a foster family whose patience and generosity he jokes "knew only strict, unyielding boundaries" and the Jewish Children's Bureau group home system, as well as his career with The A.V. Club and the short-lived film review show Movie Club With John Ridley on which he appeared.[13] The book ends with a chapter about Rabin's unsuccessful audition to fill in for Roger Ebert as a guest critic on At the Movies. Scribner also published a book version of My Year of Flops (2010).[14]

On April 23, 2013, The A.V. Club announced that Rabin, Tasha Robinson, Genevieve Koski, and Noel Murray would be leaving to start a new web-based project with former staffers Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps.[3] On May 30, 2013, this project was revealed to be The Dissolve.[4] In addition to criticism for The Dissolve, Rabin also wrote the biweekly feature Forgotbusters,[15] a reexamination of now-culturally obscure Hollywood films whose box office grosses were among the top 25 of any film released in their year.

Rabin is Jewish.[16] He grew up on the north side of Chicago[17] and has described himself as "a longtime Chicago White Sox super-fan."[18]

Rabin's most hated director is Zack Snyder, whose film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was described by him as a "tediously grim revisionist take" and an "incoherent superhero monolith". Rabin also cited his 2-year-old son's lack of enjoyment of the film as a decisive failure on the PG-13 blockbuster's part.


  • Thompson, Stephen; A.V. Club Staff (10 December 2004). The Tenacity of the Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 9780609809914.
  • Rabin, Nathan (7 July 2009). The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture. Scribner. ISBN 9781416556206.
  • A.V. Club Staff (13 October 2009). Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists. Scribner. ISBN 1416594736. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  • Rabin, Nathan (2010). My Year of Flops: The A.V. Presents One Man's Journey Deep Into the Heart of Cinematic Failure. New York: Scribner. ISBN 9781439153123.
  • Rabin, Nathan; Yankovic, Al (25 September 2012). Weird Al: The Book. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 1419704354. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  • Rabin, Nathan (11 June 2013). You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures with Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes. Scribner. ISBN 978-1451626889.


  1. ^ The Onion's Nathan Rabin Time Magazine
  2. ^ Articles by Nathan Rabin at The AV Club
  3. ^ a b An Update from the AV Club The AV Club April 26, 2013
  4. ^ a b "Introducing The Dissolve, A New Film Site", Pitchfork Media, May 30, 2013
  5. ^ Facebook Post Regarding Rabin Leaving The Dissolve., Facebook, April 30th, 2015
  6. ^ Rabin, Nathan (25 August 2015). "Nathan Rabin • The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Tweet by Nathan Rabin announcing his new website
  8. ^ Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Cinematic Scourge? All Things Considered, October 9, 2008
  9. ^ 'Onion' writer Nathan Rabin rewinds big-time for memoir USA Today, July 6, 2009
  10. ^ Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club at the AV Club
  11. ^ The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought To You By Pop Culture promotional page at Simon & Schuster
  12. ^ The Layers of a Pungent Life The Washington Post
  13. ^ a b Memories of a Train Wreck Diverted The New York Times, July 21, 2009
  14. ^ "My Year of Flops" promo page at Simon & Schuster
  15. ^ Forgotbusters at The Dissolve
  16. ^ “A Better Kind of Scum”: An Interview with Nathan Rabin The Bygone Bureau, July 27, 2009
  17. ^ Movie Critic Nathan Rabin, The A.V. Club & The Dissolve True to Me Too
  18. ^ I Watched This On Purpose: Ed The A.V. Club, December 16, 2009

External links[edit]