Nathan Rabin
Nathan Rabin at Chicago book signing.jpg
Nathan Rabin signs copies of his book The Big Rewind in 2009
Born (1976-04-24) April 24, 1976 (age 46)
United States
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Writer
  • film critic
  • music critic

Nathan Rabin (/rɑːˈbn/; born April 24, 1976) is an American film and music critic.[1] 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 featured columns at The Dissolve were "Forgotbusters" (looking back at films that were among the top 25 box office earners in their release years but had not had cultural or popular endurance) and "Streaming University" (reviewing documentaries that were available through sites such as Netflix and Hulu).

On April 29, 2015, Rabin announced he had parted ways with The Dissolve.[5] He later returned to The A.V. Club as a freelance writer.[6]

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

Early life and education

Rabin grew up on the north side of Chicago[8] and has described himself as "a longtime Chicago White Sox super-fan."[9] Rabin is Jewish.[10][11] He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


He coined the phrase "manic pixie dream girl" as a cinematic type in 2007.[12] 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.[13] 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,[14] 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.[15] The Washington Post gave the book a negative review, calling it a "...failed project brought to you by pop culture."[16] 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.[17] 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.[17] 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).[18]

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,[19] a reexamination of now-culturally obscure Hollywood films whose box office grosses were among the top 25 of any film released in their year.

He has also written books on the Insane Clown Posse, Phish,[20] and "Weird Al" Yankovic.[21][22]

Personal life

He is married to Atlanta native Danya Maloon; they have two sons together.[23][24] He lives in Marietta, Georgia with his family.[23]


See also


  1. ^ The Onion's Nathan Rabin Time
  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 30, 2015
  6. ^ Rabin, Nathan (August 25, 2015). "Nathan Rabin • The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Tweet by Nathan Rabin announcing his new website".
  8. ^ Movie Critic Nathan Rabin, The A.V. Club & The Dissolve True to Me Too
  9. ^ I Watched This On Purpose: Ed The A.V. Club, December 16, 2009
  10. ^ Rabin, Nathan (November 6, 2019). "The Adorably Misguided Good Intentions of Hershel the Jewish Reindeer". Retrieved October 6, 2021. As the Jewish parent of a holiday, present and toy-obsessed five year old boy II’ve wrestled with the dilemma of how to handle Christmas.
  11. ^ Graubart, Hadara (July 7, 2009). "Peeling Back Layers". Tablet Magazine. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. You talk about community and family being part of what you inherited from Judaism.
  12. ^ Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Cinematic Scourge? All Things Considered, October 9, 2008
  13. ^ 'Onion' writer Nathan Rabin rewinds big-time for memoir USA Today, July 6, 2009
  14. ^ Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club at the AV Club
  15. ^ The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought To You By Pop Culture promotional page at Simon & Schuster
  16. ^ The Layers of a Pungent Life The Washington Post
  17. ^ a b Memories of a Train Wreck Diverted The New York Times, July 21, 2009
  18. ^ "My Year of Flops" promo page at Simon & Schuster
  19. ^ Forgotbusters at The Dissolve
  20. ^ Rabin, Nathan (June 11, 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" – via Amazon.
  21. ^ Rabin, Nathan; Yankovic, Al (October 1, 2012). "Weird Al: The Book" – via Amazon.
  22. ^ "The Weird Accordion to Al". Amazon. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Serico, Chris (August 14, 2015). "Living in his in-laws' basement with baby: Why this dad was happy to downsize".
  24. ^ "Danya Maloon is the Camper Care Director for In the City Camps". She is a native Atlantan and alumna of Jewish Day Schools.