When I wrote for my college newspaper, one of the assignments I enjoyed most was writing film reviews. & I was terrible at it, as I soon realized. Why? I was writing the equivalent of book reports: movie reports.

Bạn đang xem: 7 tips for writing a film review

Fortunately, I came to lớn my senses và realized that evaluating films and plays và the like (and, yes, books) is more complicated, yet more satisfying, that that. Here are some tips — not necessarily in the order in which they would be applied in your writing — for crafting movie review (which are more or less applicable for reviewing other types of composition, or even products lượt thích software or gadgets):

1. If circumstances permit, view the film more than once. It’s easy lớn miss key elements, or even the whole point, after just a single viewing.

2. Express your opinion of the film, but support your criticism. If you are offended or disappointed or embarrassed, provide a valid reason, even if you think it is obvious. A film review that comes across as a personal attack on an actor, director, or screenwriter or a diatribe about a genre is a failed review.

3. Adjust the style of your đánh giá for the readership. If you’re pitching reviews to a traditional publication, you’re expected khổng lồ be fairly evenhanded (though even mainstream film critics are permitted — nay, expected — khổng lồ gently mock particularly inept filmmaking). If your target audience is fanboys (and fangirls) on a movie-geek website site, though, feel free to take the gloves off. Either way, though, tư vấn your criticism with valid observations; hurling invective is not the same thing as evaluation.

4. Avoid spoilers. One of the most pernicious fairly recent developments in the đánh giá genre is the careless, thoughtless revelation of key plot points. It’s a sign of professionalism to refrain from giving such information away. Exception: nhận xét of previously released films don’t necessarily adhere to lớn this rule, though it’s still considered sporting to warn readers or site visitors to lớn skip to lớn the next paragraph if they don’t want khổng lồ read something. Some classy sites actually code spoilers to lớn be invisible unless the visitor scrolls over the blank area to highlight that passage in the review.

5. Judge the story. Are the character’s actions justified, and are their motives plausible? Is there an internal consistency to the way each person behaves, or bởi vì some words, thoughts, or actions ring false? Does the plot make sense? Is the story line logical? Is the narrative arc well shaped, with an economy of form, or is it flabby or drawn out, with time-killing pointlessness?

6. Rate the actors. Bởi vì they meet the expectations dictated by the plot và other story elements? If not, is it their own thespian shortcomings, are they hampered by a poor script, or is there something about their performances that makes you believe the director is at fault? What could the performers, the screenwriters, or the filmmaker have done differently khổng lồ make the movie work better?

7. Evaluate the technical elements. How vày the cinematography, editing, lighting, sound, and other components support or detract from the film? Is music appropriate & effectively employed? You needn’t know film-technology jargon to chia sẻ your thoughts about how these elements contributed to lớn or detracted from the whole.

Writing film đánh giá is in one way a thankless task: Often, readers will disagree with you, và many people will go khổng lồ see movies without your wise guidance. How khổng lồ avoid frustration? Writing about movies, lượt thích writing about just about anything else, should be primarily an exercise in enjoyment: You vì it because you lượt thích doing it. If anybody else out there enjoys the result of your exercise in self-entertainment, so much the better — but you’re your own primary audience (and your worst critic).

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13 Responses khổng lồ “7 Tips for Writing a Film Review”

Nonoyon July 09, 2011 6:53 am

I want to địa chỉ one tip for writing movie reviews: always write in present tense. I got this advice from William Strunk Jr. Of the little book Elements of Style.

Donon July 09, 2011 2:44 pm

#4 should be #1. Spoilers should also be outlawed for older films; reviewers should not presume that just because a film is old that everyone knows the plot. That’s not true.

Film review (and book reviews) are critiques & should never be a synopsis. A synopsis is the essence of a 7th grade book report, not a professional review.

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The Nerdy Nurseon July 09, 2011 5:56 pm

Writing reviews/opinions on anything is often a thankless task. However, the few that express their gratitude make it all worthwhile. If your words can assist just one person then you have made a difference in their life & that’s all that matters!

Tammi Kibler | Write More. Write Fast. Write Now.on July 09, 2011 7:15 pm

Nice danh mục of useful tips. It’s so important lớn get past, “I didn’t lượt thích when A did this” and explain whether an action was consistent with the character and the story.

shirley in berkeleyon July 09, 2011 10:18 pm

I especially appreciate your admonishment in 4. I am at the point where I never read reviews of a movie or a book I think I might want khổng lồ see or read until after I’ve seen or read it. Everywhere from our local paper to The New Yorker, reviewers seem khổng lồ think it’s okay khổng lồ give a blow by blow plot summary if they just don’t reveal the ending. Writers carefully construct plots, leading a reader or a viewer step-by-step through a story. I don’t want the reviewer’s take on this, I want to lớn let authors, auteurs, or whatever work their magic. Bravo, Mark. Keep up the good work.

Jean in Seattleon July 10, 2011 1:07 pm

Can you provide some examples of movie nhận xét that you think are well-done?

Christian Totoon July 10, 2011 6:09 pm

You’d be surprised how many veteran critics break the ‘Spoiler’ rule. It shows contempt for the audience & sheer laziness.

And it’s a great point about knowing your audience before writing your review. Years ago most critics toiled for newspapers or magazines & had lớn play it more or less straight. Today, they could be working for a liberal news mag, a fanboy site or even a blog aimed at parents.

Here’s another bullet point to địa chỉ to your danh mục – don’t be mean. Mocking an actress for getting older, or an actor for losing his hair, isn’t being critical. It’s being cruel và adds nothing to the review.

Round Oneon July 12, 2011 2:11 pm

I recommend going to Rotten Tomatoes & reading some of the review there. You will get both good và bad examples of all seven of the above listed items.

Haris Syukrion October 14, năm nhâm thìn 11:20 pm

I am just starting lớn write because I want khổng lồ be a good wrriter. These tips are really helpful, thanks for writing this.

Charleson July 04, 2019 12:31 am

I really hate the way critics write, và describe things. Using stupid words, & forms of writing them. Highly annoying. Và it’s like every critic, copies the other, or their very same pattern.

Zoe Camposon February 26, 2020 3:19 pm

Thank you for reminding me that I can express my opinion of the film but my criticism should always be supported by a valid reason. I’ve been told by my friends that I’m strongly emotional & sometimes it can really get into my way of thinking, so I’m worried if I will be able lớn find a good film review. I’d try lớn incorporate your tips once I have watched The Anchorage, which is what we’re supposed to do for this week’s assignment.

Darcy Whitakeron May 04, 2020 10:33 pm

Thank you for the tips. I find it really hard to write đánh giá that flow well & are entertaining so at least knowing the basics of film đánh giá can give me a basis to lớn write.

I feel lượt thích there’s such snobbery in criticism within newspapers. There’s this incessant need for older critics to lớn write these incredibly complex đánh giá that the average person won’t even be able khổng lồ understand. It’s hard to lớn break out of the cycle of trying khổng lồ make your đánh giá sound complex, professional and intelligent while remaining true to lớn yourself – which is basically impossible.

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Buraimoh Todimuon July 29, 2020 11:01 am

i really feel that đánh giá should be a lot more down lớn earth rather than complex. I feel they should be more conversational in nature, like a YouTube video, just in writing this time. That way, readers can be more understanding & be able lớn relate more.