How to Write a Movie Review

A movie is a video story that tells us something we didn’t know before, that carries us to places we’ve never been before. The term was originally applied to the kind of movies people would see at theaters during pre-television days, when a trip to the cinema might include watching a newsreel, short subject or cartoon before the main feature began. The story might be about a heroic rescuer, an epic adventure or just a drama about everyday life, but the film is always a work of art, a moving experience, and often something we will remember long after it has left the screen.

A good film review will describe what the movie looks like, sounds like and, in some cases, smells like, as well as providing a brief summary of the plot. Some reviews discuss more esoteric elements, such as the tone or stance of the movie and its effect on the viewer. Other criteria might be used, such as depth of thinking, emotional impact, authenticity in relation to what is being depicted, wit or cleverness of the writing, and originality.

It is helpful to know what kind of audience you are writing for so that you can tailor your review to their interests. For example, if you’re writing for an arts blog, you might write about the performances of the actors and the director. Casual readers may be interested to know if a well-known actor is in the movie or that the movie was directed by a seasoned filmmaker.