David Bordwell is the master at writing at an academic level in a popular style.
His most recent post (about two films I haven't seen and have little interest in) is a wonderful example of the sort of best kind of film criticism available. If you don't like Bordwell, then you and I may have to get into a fistfight.
Read this: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=10077
Related to my previous post, I want to make clear that there are a lot of bad critics out there, both in academic circles and especially in the journalism/reviewer end of the spectrum. Maybe you've just been exposed to all the wrong people.
It's funny that you mention seminary. I had written a theology analogy to explain my position on film criticism, but scrapped it. Maybe I'll rewrite it and post it.