I wrote this as a comment on an entry in C. Dale Young's blog:
When I was at Stanford in the mid-eighties, the Stanford Daily's film critic was a man named Steve Vineberg (who, a quick Google search just revealed, is now a professor at Holy Cross). Almost everybody I knew who read is reviews hated them: he was extremely tough on everything, and he rarely seemed to enjoy any movies. (Sounds a bit like William Logan, actually.)
But I learned to appreciate his reviews. In the final analysis, it was not his opinion on a given film that mattered, but the fact that, when I read a review of his, I could tell whether or not I would like the movie. And this feeling did not depend on whether or not he liked the movie!
That, then, became the mark of a good critic to me: the sense that, if you read the critic regularly, you could learn to parse his or her comments and opinions so that they could be a filter for your own interests.
But I also have to admit that I am still not sure whether Logan is a good critic in that sense. His critical persona might be too much that of a curmudgeon.