How to write a film review
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Writing reviews about movies can improve your capacity to be critical and comment and respond to what you see conveyed in the scenes. Whether you are a film reviewer, a budding actor, a director, a filmmaker a theatre actress, or just a cinephile looking to earn some extra cash, It’s always possible for an individual to start their journey as an aspiring cinema critic and reviewer. 

Even though it pays to be a student in the field of journalism or to have some experience as a journalist, anyone interested in writing film reviews can do it, especially those with a knack for the written word. Depending on their role and experience, film critics can earn anywhere from $30K – $500K annually.

What is the Aim of Writing Movie Reviews?

Writing a movie review is an opportunity to express yourself and helps you learn how to structure your thoughts and arguments. You’ll learn how to develop links and make connections between different parts of the movie and hone your argumentation skills as you write about what you liked about a movie, what didn’t work for you, and why.

When writing a review, there are 5 aims that need to be addressed:

1. Information

As it goes with criticizing any other art form, while writing a film or movie review, you need to provide the audience with a brief summary and other elements surrounding the movie, such as the history, direction, production, etc. In addition, taking notes on the major plot points is very crucial. 

2. Developing Interest

However, ensure you do not give away any spoilers or twists from the movie. The main aim of writing a review is to inform people about the film or movie, feeding their curiosity simultaneously.

Therefore, it would be best to describe what it was about, who was in it, and why you liked it or disliked it so much but not give away too much about the plot.

3. Evaluating the Movie’s Worth

If you’re writing an objective review, you should also state whether or not you recommend watching this film and provide relevant information about its background, writer, director, filmmaker, etc.

A good movie review doesn’t just describe what happens in a film—it also tells the reader how those events may impact the viewer emotionally and intellectually. 

4. Enhancing the Viewer’s Experience

The reviewer should use examples from their own life experiences and those from other films and books (if applicable), so they can show how these events have resonated with them before discussing how they relate to other people’s lives.

5. Be Honest

Be open with your readers if you did not enjoy the movie or think it wasn’t worth the watch. However, ensure that you have solid reasons to back up your dislike for the film and express your opinions in a way that does not hurt anyone’s sentiments.

Also, ensure that you don’t give a review based on personal prejudice as it reduces your credibility as a critic.

12 Tips on How to Write a Film Review
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Top 12 Tips on How to Write a Decent Movie Review

A few things make a good movie, whether you’re watching a new release or revisiting an old classic. It’s not just about how good it looks on screen—it’s also how much it resonates with you as a viewer.

Here are some essential tips on how to write the perfect film review that will help you share your opinions with the rest of the world –

1. Watching the Film Is a Must

The name of a paper for “movie reviews” suggests that its goal is critically evaluating a particular movie, highlighting its positive and negative aspects.

However, the fact that this has a more comical than scientific tone makes the task difficult because it must assess, clarify, and present a unique opinion while still captivating the viewers. 

It is prudent that the critic has first watched the film in question before moving on to writing the review. Although viewing it once is necessary, twice is preferred.

While watching the film, taking notes about the specific scenes and performances might make it simpler for writers to recall their experiences, feelings, and thoughts during the movie.

12 Tips on How to Write a Film Review
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2. Give Your Opinions and Supporting Arguments for Your Criticism

Professional reviewers aren’t afraid to tell their readers whether they liked the movie, thought it was good, or thought it was terrible. As a result, readers rely on reviewers whose opinions they share when trying to decide whether or not they should put their time and money into the movie. 

Professionals who have written reviews for various movies can easily justify their critique. Remember to use concrete instances to back up your film criticism. For example, point out a subpar performance, an insane plot, great cinematography, realistic acting, thought-provoking material, etc.

3. Look at the Movie’s Cast

Many viewers would be convinced to see a film if their favorite actor or actress has starred in it, even if they had a small role. Given this, you should describe the performer’s role in the movie.

Write passionately; a little exaggeration, but not too much, might help. To improve the flavor of the film, highlight the actor’s performance. But be careful not to oversell it, as that can backfire.

It’s tempting to talk about how well the stars did or didn’t perform their roles. Still, when you’re writing a movie review with an actor already famous for having played other parts, it’s more interesting to discuss why people liked them in this movie rather than how well they performed.

Maybe they have a new skill set that was on full display in this particular film.

4. Give Your Film Review a Personal Touch

You might only have a small amount of free time for reviewing as a hobby. However, you won’t be able to write a movie review by winging it and reading what has already been saying about it.

Before submitting a review, you must watch the film, ideally without any prior knowledge or prejudice based on its movie trailer. As often as you can, watch it on a big screen. 

Make a list of the items that piqued your interest, scared you, made you uneasy, or made you stop and think, and then utilize that list as the foundation for your study. You will be surprised at how a review’s level of involvement with a film can take it from passable to fantastic.

Talk about your personal views regarding the film.
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5. Think About Your Audience

Do you contribute to a fan website, a national news source, or a publication for teenagers? Knowing who will watch the film will help you choose which aspects to emphasize. You should also change your writing style to make your writing more appealing to the target audience. 

Give your readers a general idea of the story’s plot, but take care not to give away any vital information. Remember that a good review should pique readers’ curiosity about the film. Please don’t ruin it for them by getting too excited!

6. Have a Unique Writing Style

It is beneficial to have an idol. However, you mustn’t fall into the trap of repeating and paraphrasing what they say without adding your original thought. Instead, you must find your personal voice to stand out from the crowd. In addition, you must have a unique writing process and technique when reviewing movies. Don’t restrict yourself to one tone for the time being. 

After gaining the respect of several readers, you are free to express your views about the movie or movies more openly and honestly. Your introduction paragraph should intrigue the audience. It should entrance the viewers to continue reading.

7. Get a Better Understanding of the Context

The film’s setting must be understood and evaluated correctly. Understanding a film’s history, the people who made it, the intended audience, and your position as the movie reviewer should go hand in hand with the knowledge of writing about a film.

This is the most crucial component of reviewing that is often overlooked. 

If only male critics write the movie reviews, the portrayal of a female director or an all-female ensemble might not be as accurate. Ignoring the requirement for context can hurt a movie’s image and be offensive.

8. Include All Details

Mention the director, special effects designer, and photographer of the movie. This may have a significant impact on your review. For example, suppose you are skilled at pointing out the movie’s ending, bloopers, or issues caused by the director, client designers, and Computer-Generated Images (CGI). You can then mention all the fantastic cinematographic instances that also stuck with you. 

The use of technology in the film industry must also be studied. In this case, your audience will probably be riveted by what you are saying or writing. So even while they view the movie personally, they might notice your point.

9. Give a Proper Structure to Your Content

To catch a reader’s attention, start your introduction with a hook, such as a fun fact or a quote from the movie.

Next, briefly explain your feelings regarding the film, including whether you thought it was good or bad. Finally, give some context and background information.

Body paragraphs are the review area where your comments from the movie will be helpful. Try to keep it concise, sensible, and instructive. Remember to provide data to support every assertion you make.

If you didn’t like the movie, explain why you felt that way and provide specific instances. Do the same if you enjoyed the movie.

Wrap off your essay with a strong closing argument that supports your thesis, which was mentioned in the introduction, to give it a logical and finished aspect. Your conclusion should address this issue because people mainly read movie reviews to decide whether or not to watch it.

10. Read More

As with other writing jobs, the more you read, the more proficient you will become. Consider why you read movie reviews that you enjoy (or dislike) as a guide for your evaluations, and research the journals where you would like to see your writing appear. 

Remember to check the submission requirements before sending in the reviews. You can read from many authentic sources. It helps you create a better writing plan and watch how other writers express their opinions. This will significantly help you improve and learn to be a better critic. 

Read More to Increase Your Proficiency
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11. Steer Clear of Clichés and Write an Engaging Review

Look for patterns in the director’s or the lead performers’ earlier films. Try to provide an example from the movie to support your claims. Add details to give your reviews life. Consider the goals the studio had when making the film. 

Who are the intended recipients? Think about the initial pitch that, in principle, made the producers want to create the movie.

Never succumb to the general buzz about a film; instead, pay attention to how you feel within.

12. Share Honest Remarks

If the movie was successful or unsuccessful, in your opinion, explain why. Be honest in your rating and about the subject matter of your essay. Many people will consider your reviews of the movie. If you give a person a terrible impression or an unfavorable review, they might not believe in what you write in the future. 

If you write something negative, have evidence to support it. We all have the right to our ideas, but to be a critic, you must be able to see beyond the compelling story or stunning cinematography and be flexible to movies of any genre.

12 Tips on How to Write a Film Review
Image by Victoria Model from Pixabay 

Conclusion

When writing movie reviews, there are a lot of elements to consider. Keep the tips mentioned above to compose it more quickly and effectively. We hope you feel empowered to write your movie reviews.

These tips and tricks can work wonders in helping you get started, but ultimately, we encourage you to experiment and find what works for you.

Don’t forget that your film review is not just about the movie—however much it may feel like it! It’s about YOU. It’s about how this film made YOU think and why. So don’t be afraid to share those feelings if they’re important enough to you.

About the Author

Sarang Padhye

Being an avid film buff and a content marketer, I started this blog to provide the best information on screenwriting and filmmaking. Screenplays is certainly where it all begins. However, I also provide writing and advertising tips regularly through my articles.

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