How to Review a Film

By Eric J. Seidman ; Updated September 15, 2017

A great way to show off writing skills, or to make some money as a part time job, is to review movies. Reviewing movies is much more than simply saying whether or not a film was "good" or "bad." Reviewing movies involves looking at a film from many different perspectives to truly let a potential audience member know whether or not it fits their interest. This tutorial will instruct you how to format and write a film review that should get you noticed in no time.

Watch the movie twice. The first time, just watch it. The second time, take notes on whatever you feel a reader of your review could benefit from.

Begin the review by going over the plot. Do not give anything away, but basically write what would appear on the back of a DVD case.

Move on to discuss the technical aspects. In what style was it shot? Did it remind you of another director? Was the editing seamless? How was the timing?

Avoid using the words - my, I, and opinion. Everyone reading a review knows YOU wrote it and that it is YOUR opinion. In doing so, though, be sure to make a reader conscious of the fact that your opinion does count because of movie knowledge and production knowledge.

Critique the acting. Was it over the top or just right? Did you relate to the characters? Did you find yourself spellbound at the performances?

Compare this film to other works of the director. Has he improved from prior efforts? Has he utilized similar themes, motifs, and styles? Or is he branching out?

Rate the movie. 1-4 stars, 0-10 scale. Keep in mind that this is what most readers will use to gauge interest. The average movie-goer has no idea what cinema verite means, but they do know what 1 and 1/2 stars means. Overall, be fair, but honest.

About the Author

Ever since attending a David Copperfield performance in 2003, I decided I wanted to have the same eye-opening effect on others, that Copperfield had on me. After a few years of learning and non-stop practicing, I began performing magic on the streets, in houses, and anywhere else I could. With a wide array of experience, I am here to teach you about magic tricks, but also how to properly perform them in public. After all, if your performance is not up to par, the trick will fail.