How to Write a Movie Review

Writing a movie review is a great way of expressing your opinion of a movie.  The purpose of most movie reviews is to help the reader in determining whether they want to watch, rent or buy the movie.  The review should give enough details about the movie that the reader can make an informed decision, without giving anyway any essentials such as the plot or any surprises.  Below are our guidelines and tips for writing a good movie review.

1. Watch the movie

The first step in writing the review is to watch the movie.  Watch the movie in a relaxed environment you are familiar with.  You do not want to be distracted by an unfamiliar room.  Watching the movie a second time will help you to absorb a lot more detail about the movie.  Most movie reviewers take notes as they watch the movie. 

2. Give your opinion

Most movie reviewers will give their opinion of the movie.  This is important as the reviewer can express the elements of the movie they enjoyed or disliked.  However, as in all good journalism, the reviewer should also give impartial details, and allow the reader to make their own mind over an issue the reader liked or disliked.  Opinions should be explained to allow the reader to determine whether they would agree with your opinion .

Many regular movie reviewers will develop a following.  If one can find a reviewer who shares a similar taste in films, one can confidently follow the reviewers recommendations.

3. Who is your audience?

You need to consider who your likely readers are.  Writing a movie review for children requires a different approach than if writing for a movie club.  Ensure you report on the factors that matter to your likely audience.

4. Give an outline

Give the outline of the movie, but don't give away essential details such as the end or any surprises.  If there is a big surprise you want to entice readers by telling them something special happens, just don't say what.

5. Actors

If the movie contains actors, as most do, detail who is starring in the movie and how well you think they acted.

6. Structure

Did the movie follow a regular predictable story line, or did it get you thinking like a Quentin Tarantino movie?

7.Cinematography and lighting

Give details about how well the movie was shot and directed.  Was the lighting good in the moody scenes?

8. Music

Did the movie have its own score like Koyaanisqatsi or ET, or did it feature songs from popular artists?

9. Read, read and read

Read and check your review thoroughly.  It can be embarrassing to find errors in your work after it has been published.  This is especially important for reviews that will be published on the Internet, as search engines are always looking for the correct spellings of keywords.

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