How to Write a Movie Review

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

People often ask me how to become a movie critic, and I usually reply: “You watch a lot of movies and you write movie reviews about them.  This is the world’s best time to be a movie critic because anyone can find a place to publish reviews.  The trick is to make them good enough that people will want to read them.”  (The other trick is getting paid for them, but if you accomplish the first, the second will follow.)  For some guidance on how to write good movie reviews, Chris Klimek of the blog “Swagger, Not Style” has an excellent set of guidelines.  I especially like these:

  • Your review should let your reader know these three things: What is this production trying to achieve? Was it successful? Is the thing that it succeeded or failed at something that’s worth doing at all?
  • and “Be funny….but never be mean.”

Adding some more specifics is Katherine Dacey of The Manga Critic, with some guidance for movie reviews of superhero films.  In other words, this is one category of fan explaining the world she lives in to those who just visit it.  And hmmm, she and Klimek agree on one crucial and too often overlooked piece of advice:  “Do Your Homework.”

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