Writing a movie review can be a daunting task, especially when you’re tasked with crafting a review that doesn’t suck.
We’ve all read a movie review and thought, “This person clearly didn’t understand the movie,” or “That review was so boring, it put me to sleep!”
Whether you’re writing a review about a movie for a blog, a publication, or even for yourself, this ultimate guide will teach you how to write a movie review that doesn’t suck.
What is a Movie Review
A movie review is an opinion piece that provides a detailed evaluation of a film. It is written by a professional critic or amateur reviewer who has seen the film and offers their own perspective on the quality of the production.
Generally, a movie review will discuss elements such as the story, characters, directing, cinematography, acting, and special effects.
It should also cover the movie’s themes, tone, genre, and other factors that contribute to its overall quality.
Movie reviews are meant to give readers an honest assessment of the film in order to help them decide whether or not to watch it.
While some reviewers may be influenced by bias, good reviewers strive to remain impartial when writing a film review. This means they should avoid being swayed by personal preferences and instead focus on providing an unbiased critique of the film’s content.
Reviews can range from very brief overviews to in-depth examinations of every aspect of a film. Reviews can be positive, negative, or somewhere in between.
But regardless of how someone may feel about the film, it’s important for reviewers to explain why they feel the way they do while offering evidence to back up their opinion. That way, people reading the review can make up their own minds about whether they want to see the film or not.
What is the Purpose of a Movie Review?
The primary purpose of a film review is to help viewers decide whether or not they should watch a movie.
By sharing their thoughts and opinions on different aspects of a film, critics can provide potential viewers with an understanding of what kind of experience they can expect if they choose to watch the film.
Additionally, film reviews often contain information about the film’s cast, crew, plot, pacing, themes, and so forth. This allows potential viewers to get a better sense of what kind of story the film is telling before they spend money on a ticket or rental.
Film reviews also serve another purpose: helping filmmakers understand what audiences think of their work.
By analyzing feedback from critics, filmmakers can gain valuable insight into what aspects of their film resonated with viewers and what needs improvement.
Furthermore, film critics have the power to influence public opinion about movies which can either bolster or diminish box office numbers. In short, film reviews can be helpful for both potential viewers and filmmakers alike.
What do you write in a movie review?
Generally speaking, film reviews should address certain topics depending on the type of review being written. These topics include but are not limited to discussing the film’s direction, performances, dialogue, production design, editing, and sound design.
When evaluating these elements, film reviewers should strive to provide constructive criticism that isn’t overly critical or biased. For example, instead of saying “the acting was terrible”, try saying “the performances could have been stronger”. Lastly, film reviewers should offer a conclusion summarizing their opinion of the film.
This could include describing the film in one sentence (e.g. “A thrilling crime drama with excellent performances”) or providing a simple recommendation (e.g. “I recommend this film for fans of action films”).
Overall, film reviews allow writers to share their perspectives on films in an effort to guide potential viewers toward enjoyable experiences at the cinema.
Writing a Persuasive Movie Review: Tips and Tricks
Don’t give away the ending
When writing a movie review, it’s important to be mindful of giving away the ending.
No matter how much you enjoyed or hated the movie, giving away the ending will take away from the viewer’s experience.
A great way to go about this is to give a brief summary of what happens in the movie, but not so much that the reader can guess how it ends.
For example, if you’re reviewing a mystery movie, instead of saying “The murderer was revealed at the end,” you could say something like “The mystery was solved in an unexpected way.”
Another tip is to not include any spoilers in the review. This includes anything that would give away crucial plot points or character information.
For instance, if you’re reviewing a movie with a twist ending, don’t mention it until after you’ve reviewed the movie in its entirety.
Keeping the ending of the movie to yourself helps keep the suspense alive and allows readers to make their own assumptions, leaving them wanting more. So, remember to be mindful of what you include in your review, and you can help give your readers the same viewing experience you had.
Talk about the acting, directing, and cinematography
One of the most important aspects when writing a movie review is to talk about the acting, directing, and cinematography.
These three elements make up the backbone of a movie and can make or break it.
When reviewing the acting, it’s important to focus on how the actors interpret the lines and how they communicate the emotions of the scene. If there are any stand-out performances, make sure to give them credit. Acting can also be judged based on how well the actor carries out the director’s vision and if the acting is natural and believable. This could include body language, facial expressions, and voice inflection.
In summary :
- Evaluate the actors’ performances – Did they capture the emotion of their characters? Did they give strong and convincing performances?
- Analyze the characters – Were the characters well-developed, believable, and likable? Did the actors successfully portray their characters’ emotions and motivations?
- Examine the dialogue – Was the dialogue natural and appropriate for the scenes? Did it enhance the characters or story in any way?
- Consider the pacing of the story – Was it engaging and well-paced, or did it feel rushed or too slow?
- Analyze the chemistry between characters – Did the actors’ interactions feel authentic and realistic?
- Note any unique elements – Was there anything special or innovative in the actors’ performances or in how they were directed?
For the directing review try to look for creative decisions that the director has made throughout the movie. You can assess their use of establishing shots, long takes, close-ups, and other camera techniques which contribute to a great viewing experience. It can also be useful to compare the director’s previous works and see how their latest project stands up.
- Consider how well the director handled the different elements of the movie, such as story, pacing, camera work, etc.
- Analyze the director’s ability to tell a compelling story and if the overall story arc was successful.
- Pay attention to the dialogue and if it fits the characters and the setting.
- Look for clever uses of symbolism or visual metaphors that the director uses to make a point.
- Evaluate the director’s ability to create atmosphere and tension, as well as their skill in bringing all the components together for an effective ending
- Examine the director’s choice of actors, as well as the direction of the actors in conveying emotions and motivations.
- Notice if there is any specific theme or message that the director is trying to communicate through the film.
- Analyze if the director was able to draw out the emotions and feelings of the audience with his/her directing style.
- Discuss if the movie could have been better with a different director.
Lastly, when talking about cinematography in your movie review, you should consider the lighting, camera angles, set design, color palette, and special effects (if applicable). Not only should you look at what works but also what doesn’t work in order to provide an accurate portrayal of the quality of these elements.
- Look for elements such as framing, lighting, camera movement, color and composition
- Describe the visuals of the movie – do they create a certain mood or atmosphere?
- Consider how the visuals add to the overall story – do they help you understand the plot and characters better?
- Examine how the shots are put together and how this adds to the flow and pacing of the movie
- Analyze any special effects and how they are used to enhance the viewing experience
- Think about whether the cinematography helps to create a sense of realism or fantasy in the movie.
- Analyze the cinematography and describe what works and what could have been done better
- Note how different techniques help to tell the story
- Consider the camera angles, lighting and colour scheme used in the movie
- Discuss how the cinematography impacts the overall mood of the movie
- Explain any camera tricks used to create certain effects in the movie
- Talk about how well the cinematography conveys the emotions of the characters in the movie.
Overall, these three components – acting, directing, and cinematography – are essential in determining how good a movie is. Be sure to pay attention to each aspect individually in order to create an informed opinion.
Mention the movie’s genre
A persuasive movie review is incomplete without mention of the genre.
There are various conventions associated with a particular genre. A horror movie for example should have certain elements that help to create a creepy atmosphere and a thrilling experience. It’s important to note if the movie successfully used those elements or if they felt like they were missing.
Similarly, a romantic comedy needs its jokes to land and its love story to be believable in order for it to be successful. If a movie strays too far away from its genre, it can leave viewers confused and uninterested.
Think about what genre the movie falls under and assess if the film followed the conventions of that genre or not.
Was the movie what you expected?
When you are watching a movie, you probably have certain expectations.
Did the movie meet your expectations? Was it better than expected? Or was it worse? It’s important to evaluate the movie objectively and honestly.
If the movie wasn’t what you expected, talk about why it didn’t live up to your expectations.
Was the pacing too slow or too fast? Did the plot take unexpected turns? Did the characters make decisions that felt out of character?
On the other hand, if the movie exceeded your expectations, talk about why that was the case. Did the visuals or sound design blow you away? Did the script manage to surprise you in positive ways? Was there an excellent performance from a particular actor or actress?
By evaluating whether or not the movie met your expectations, you will be able to provide an accurate assessment of how it stacks up to its peers.
What themes did the movie touch on?
When writing a movie review, it is important to pay attention to the themes that the movie explored.
Every film has its own set of themes that come into play throughout the story.
Some of these may include concepts such as love, death, friendship, family, fate, justice, courage, and many more. Analyzing how each theme was portrayed in the movie and its impact on the characters and plot can be a great way to provide an in-depth review.
Ask yourself questions such as: How did the movie handle this theme? Did the characters learn anything from this theme?
Did this theme bring anything new to the plot?
Did the theme have any significant impact on the story?
Answering these questions will help you create an in-depth and meaningful review.
Additionally, you should keep an eye out for symbols or motifs that are used within the film. These symbols or motifs could represent certain ideas or emotions and they should also be analyzed when forming your opinion of the film
Would you recommend this movie to others?
This depends on who you’re talking to! If you enjoyed the movie, it can be fun to share your enthusiasm with others.
However, if you didn’t like the movie, it’s important to be honest but also considerate when recommending it.
When deciding whether or not to recommend a movie to someone else, think about what your friend or family member likes in movies.
Do they typically like the same genres or actors that were in the movie? Is the movie’s subject matter something that would interest them? That can help you determine if it’s something they’d enjoy or not.
If you liked the movie and think it’s something they’d enjoy, then go ahead and recommend it! You can explain why you think they’ll like it, and provide an honest review of the film.
However, if you didn’t like the movie or think it might not be their cup of tea, then it’s better, to be honest and suggest something else that might better fit their tastes.
Writing a Movie Review: Additional Tips
- Read the movie before you review it: Taking the time to watch the movie before writing your review will ensure that you have a more complete understanding of the movie. It will also help you form a more thorough opinion, which can make for a better review.
- Know your audience: Who are you writing the review for? Are you reviewing the movie for a general audience or a specific one? Knowing who your audience is can help you tailor your review and make it more interesting to them.
- Have a strong opinion: Don’t be afraid to have an opinion about the movie, even if it’s controversial. Strong opinions make for engaging reviews, and readers will be more likely to read and remember your review.
- Support your opinion with evidence: When writing your review, make sure to back up your opinions with evidence from the movie itself. Include quotes, plot points, and other evidence that support your opinion.
- Be fair: Even if you didn’t like the movie, it’s important to remain respectful in your review. Don’t go overboard in attacking or praising the movie; instead, provide an honest assessment of its merits and flaws.
- Be concise: Movie reviews don’t need to be long-winded; in fact, readers appreciate concise reviews that get to the point quickly. Keep your review brief and focus on the highlights of the movie.
- Use strong words: Words like “stunning”, “heartbreaking”, and “fascinating” can give readers a better sense of what they can expect from the movie. Using strong words can also make your review more memorable.
- Check your spelling and grammar: Typos and errors can make it difficult for readers to understand what you’re trying to say. Small mistakes can detract from the quality of your review and leave readers frustrated. Additionally, be careful not to overload your review with technical language or industry jargon.
- Finally, take the time to format your review correctly. Break it up into easy-to-read paragraphs, include headings and subheadings if necessary, and use bold font and italics when appropriate. Formatting will make your review easier to read and understand and help readers better engage with your work.
Writing a Movie Review: Final Remarks
Writing a great movie review isn’t hard, but there are some key elements that should be included in order to craft an effective and compelling piece of writing.
Ultimately, if you follow the tips outlined above, then you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful movie review. Remember to maintain your objectivity throughout and try to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of the film without bias.