Internet Movie Database site: http://www.imdb.com/?ref_=nv_home
Good for getting details about the basic who/when/where details. It will give you every other film this director has done, these actors have appeared in, etc.
Wikipedia: I know—not always reliable—but sometimes this is a good place to get started, as long as you explore further. You can get background on the film, links to in-depth articles about it, links to reviews in multiple countries, and details on the people involved. For example, the Wikipedia page on The New World includes 18 footnotes that include in-depth reviews iin three countries, a link to a YouTube video wherein a film expert introduces the film, and links to history journals that begin to answer the question about historical accuracy.
A Film’s Official Site: Some films have their own websites, and these can be great sources of information about the film’s origins and whatever happens afterward, especially when a film results in a project (as Kids With Cameras sprang from Born Into Brothels.) The official site for Holly, similarly, tells of the Redlight Children Campaign that resulted from the film project (click “Our Vision”).
Rotten Tomatoes:This site collects and posts reviews from all over, and it offers background information like the Imdb site, plus photos and video clips from the film. Even a relatively small film like Ned Kelly garnered 62 reviews. Often the links are nonfunctional, but at least it gives you an overview, and sometimes you can find the original full reviews on your own.
Metacritic:A site much like Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.metacritic.com/movie.
Books: Our own King Library has a great film section, and you can borrow from almost any college in the country through inter-library loan. Just get started early. The online catalog is good for some things, but I strongly advise you to go to the stacks in person and explore. Who would have thought there would be 5 books specifically on Irish cinema? Here’s a link for those of you doing The Guard: http://discover.sjlibrary.org/iii/encore_sjsu/search/C__Sirish%20cinema__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng
Here’s the page for the Radio-TV-Film-Theater specialty: http://libguides.sjsu.edu/TV?hs=a
Film Journals: Yes, people study and write in-depth articles on films, and many are available on the Web. Here is a site that lists a great many: http://www.cmstudies.org/?page=resource_journals_af
And here’s one journal site it highly recommends: http://www.cineaste.com/