How To Write A Movie Review

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By Rachel Summers.

Whether you’ve recently seen a movie you love or one that you never want to see again, people across the world want to know your opinions. There are too many movies out there to see them all so film-fans turn to reviews to help them sort through what they should watch and what they shouldn’t.

A movie review can be a difficult thing to write. It’s got to be entertaining, detailed, educational and engaging. In some cases, a movie review needs to be on par with the movie it’s representing. Today, we’re going to explore ways to craft your very own.

Choose a Style

There are many ways you could approach writing a movie review. You could write it quite formally, much like a college essay, or you could include a lot of wit and personality. Through your writing, give your readers the impression of you talking to them with charisma.

Creating a Draft

Just like you would with any other piece of writing, you need to start by structuring your review and making sure you make a good impact on your reader from the word ‘go.’ In the beginning, you’ll also want to make sure you make it incredibly clear what direction the review is heading in.

Then set out to create sub-headings for what you’re going to go into, for example, the personality of the characters, the overall storyline or the digital effects quality. Try to pick between 3-5 points that make the movie what it is.

Make Your Opinion Clear

It’s important that you give your opinion early on, so you don’t leave the reader trying to guess whether you like the movie or not. When writing your review, you may have limited space so you’ll want to state how you feel and then the rest of the review will be you proving your point.

Summarise the Movie

Much like the trailer for a movie, it’s important to give your readers a quick insight into the movie in the form of a summary. This helps the reader put them in the same frame of mind as the movie, and everything you say thereon will be in context.

In this summary, include who the main characters are while listing who the actors are, include a bit of information about the director and always make sure you let the readers know if you’re going to include information that could ‘spoil’ the film, such as twists in the point.

Always Use Facts

When you’re watching a movie, it’s essential that you take notes that you can refer back to during this writing stage. Nobody’s going to want to read a review where the statements made aren’t backed up by hard evidence.

Rebecca Barnes, a professional writer for UK Services Review, states;

“You can go into quite a bit of detail when giving examples to back up your points. Describe what the scene looks like, what kind of camera angles are used and what the acting skills are like. This helps to provide your reader with context.”

Don’t Just Recap the Story

It’s quite tempting to move throughout the movie in chronological order and to end up retelling it in brief statements, scattered with an opinion here and there. However, you need to move past the storyline to see what layers make the movie what it is underneath.

For example, you may want to consider the cinematography, what kind of soundtrack the movie uses, the tone of voice that the movie has and what the quality of the acting talent is.

Use Writing Guides

A movie review is structured very differently from most other kinds of traditional writing forms. However, there are many guides available online that can take you through the process of writing a review, ensuring you don’t miss out on any important sections or bits of information.

Using websites such as State of Writing, you can download and read a tonne of material that can help you to get this process right the first time. Alternatively, you can read other kinds of review for an idea of what style you’d like your review to be. For example, take this post about writing on the Huffington Post.

As you can see, the review takes a pretty informal approach, and although the review doesn’t utilize subheadings, the article is still nicely structured and moves with a good readability level throughout.

Write Full-Circle

When closing off your review, you’ll want to make sure that you include an absolute ending and that you don’t leave any questions hanging in the air. If you can, try and relate it back to the opening fact that you started the review with.

Always remember that people are reading your review, so they know whether or not they want to watch said movie. Your final line should always be one that reiterates your final decision and, in theory, a reader should just be able to read this and learn your overall opinion of it.

Rachel Summers is a freelance writer whose passion is helping students get the most out of their learning journey. She started out as a writer and journalist in the newspaper industry, including UK Top Writers, before breaking out to go freelance and follow her own passions. Her writing is designed to help you get the most out of college.

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