How to Write a Movie Review for a Newspaper

By R.L. Cultrona
Writing a movie review for a newspaper will take some time and a good eye for film.

Whenever a new movie comes out, people look to film reviews to decide if they should see it. Movie reviews can make or break a film's box office gross. If you write a review for a newspaper, be honest and with your criticism or praise of the movie. Keep your word count in mind, too. Your review should be specific and concise. Writing a movie review takes some thought and general movie knowledge.

See the movie. Bring a note pad with you and take notes about your impressions of the movie.

Write a rough draft of your review. Make sure that you have the names of the director, actors and any other pertinent information about the film. Write a brief plot summary and then a short opinion of two other elements of the film.

Type the first paragraph. This paragraph should include the name of the film, its stars, setting and genre.

Write a short plot summary in your second paragraph. Include details that give your audience a snapshot of the film. Do not give away any plot twists, or spoilers.

Focus on one element of the film (for example, acting, directing or cinematography) in the third paragraph. Analyze this aspect and discuss what is good or bad about it.

Write the fourth paragraph, which should focus on the other aspect of the film about which you made notes in the rough draft. Follow the third paragraph's format.

Compose the last paragraph. This paragraph gives readers your overall opinion of the film and your reaction to it. Recommend—or don't recommend—your audience see the movie.

About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.