How to write a movie review

Among all the art forms in today’s day and age, movies happen to be one of the most relatable ones. Movies are an amalgamation of breathtakingly choreographed scenes, powerful dialogues, stunning visual effects, elaborate song sequences, and more. All of this makes watching a film an enjoyable experience for everyone.

With the rise in OTT platforms and endless lockdowns, the number of movies a person watches has subsequently increased over the last few years. Almost everyone has an opinion about the content they watch, and it is a shared experience. So whether you are an enthusiast, writer or simply a geek who loves thinking beyond the simple “This movie was amazing” and enjoys analysing them from a creative and critical perspective, then writing a movie review is something you should definitely do. 

Writing a review is a great way to express your opinion about a movie. Though the traditional reason for writing a review is for your readers to determine whether or not they should engage with the film or not, there is way more to it today. Reviews are the perfect way through which one can encompass their reactions & evaluations and, at the same time, analyse the thematic content in a more profound manner. So if you’ve watched a good movie and want to express your thoughts, here is your one-stop guide to writing a good review: 

  1. Watch the movie
    The first step to writing a good review is to watch the film more than once. To write a wholesome review, prepare to watch the movie twice or thrice. In the first viewing, surrender yourself to the cinematic experience without judging the effectiveness of elements like the plot, acting, cinematography, music, etc.

    In the second viewing, focus more on the nitty-gritty of the film by distancing yourself from the grand storytelling experience. Instead, think about the technical aspects of the movie. How effectively did they use music, the mise-en-scene, editing; I mean, the list is endless!

    With your personal opinion of the content and technical elements, create a theme that brings together all the movie elements. Ensure that the review is simple, serves its purpose and is technically sound at the same time.
     
  2. Analyse. Evaluate. Express.
    Once you have analysed the movie and have your opinions, ensure it is backed by a substantial evaluation of its plot points. It is essential to cover as many aspects of storytelling as possible in your review. Some of them are;
  • Plot 
  • Characters 
  • Theme 
  • Dialogue 
  • Melody 
  • Decor 

Do not shy away from telling what you really feel about the movie. Remember that the first thing that attracts the reader’s attention is always a strong opinion.  

For example; 

This offbeat, edge-of-the-seat thriller will take you on an immersive visual experience like no other! 

Or 

The extreme colour palette and overdone scenes feel like a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to divert attention from its subpar plot, over-the-top acting and poor dialogues. 

  1. Understand your audience

While preparing to write a review, one of the most crucial steps is understanding your audience. Are you writing for a seasoned audience or a magazine for children? Are you writing for a newspaper or movie club? Answering these questions will help you tweak elements of your review. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to write a good review, here are a few guidelines and things that will make your review stand out. Although there is no set formula for writing one, here are some of the standard layouts of most reviews. 

Paragraph 1: Introduction

As the opening paragraph, this one must contain the movie’s most important elements. Include details like the name of the film, credit the prominent stars, the primary setting, and the movie’s genre. It should also give a strong opinion that evaluates the film and alludes to a sneak-peek of your review. 

An ideal introduction should be short and to the point and must not bog the reader with unnecessary details. 

Paragraph 2: Summary 

After the introduction, you need to give your readers an idea about the plot without revealing any significant elements. Remember, many of your readers might not have watched the film, so ensure you keep the summary of the film brief and interesting enough to draw people into watching the movie. Avoid revealing things like the ending and the conflict. 

Paragraph 3: What you felt 

The introduction and the summary will give the readers enough insight into what they’re getting into. Now it’s time to provide them with an in-depth review of your personal experience watching the film. What parts did you like, which character was the most relatable etc. Write about the one aspect that stands out for you from the entire movie. This will build an emotional connection with the audience. 

Paragraph 4: Analysis 

This is the part where you can completely geek out! Bring out your cinematic knowledge and pour it all out. Write about your impression of the film, how specific techniques enhanced the film, the timeline, and the overall environment. 

 Basically, cover the entire look and feel of the movie. 

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

If your reader has read through the entire review so far, they won’t miss the ending. Hence, it is vital to provide a beautiful takeaway about the film. Don’t forget to mention whether they should watch the movie or not. Another way to end a movie review is to give recommendations for other similar movies. 

Now that you have a complete understanding of how to write an effective movie review, it’s time for you to pick up the pen, find your voice and give your audience a reason to watch the movie and enjoy writing your review!

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