Born in Zagreb in 1949, Polimac started to work as a film critic in the early 1970s. He was a representative of the Zagreb film critic school which strongly preferred genre films and was inspired by French and American critics. He was a co-founder of the Zagreb-based "Film" magazine where he worked as an editor from 1975 to 1979. In the late 1970s Polimac started to contribute as a film critic for the youth magazine "Polet".
After the 1978 Pula Film Festival, the main film event in Croatia, Polimac wrote a devastating review of the festival winner - "Occupation in 26 Pictures" by Lordan Zafranović. He attacked the film and cut it down with a brutality similar to one of the Ustasha's in the film when he swings the sledgehammer in the bus (the scene which was famous for its brutality). For all young "Polet" readers, "Occupation" by the regime protégé Zafranović was simply out. However, Polimac did not attack the film for political reasons, he aimed at its aesthetic qualities.
The review provoked the famous scandal around "Occupation in 26 Pictures" and for a short time, Polimac was not allowed to publish reviews. An urban legend says he was saved from harder political accusations thanks to his Serbian ethnicity. Soon after the scandal, his magazine "Film" was deprived of subvention money. And here again, the rumours were that it was because of "Occupaton in 26 Pictures".
After the scandal Polimac was a collaborator of TV Film Program and later successfully worked for the biggest distribution company in Croatia. After 1990, he started to work for magazines and newspapers, he was an editor and film critic for Globus and Nacional weeklies. From 2008 to 2009 he worked as editor-in-chief of Globus. In 2010, Polimac wrote publications for Europapress Holding and worked as an editor and essay writer in the culture magazine Godogan.
He was one of the two Croatian film critics who participated in the poll Greatest Films of All Time in 2012, organized by British Film Institute's Sight&Sound.
Today, Nenad Polimac is one of the most influential film journalists in Croatia.