How to Write a Movie Review

As you learn how to write a movie review, whether as a columnist for the local paper or a contributor on an entertainment blog, it's important to know how to follow the generally accepted format. To give a truthful critique of a film and help out readers who may still be deciding whether or not to see it, keep in mind what the readers really want to know.

Pre-Viewing
Before reviewing a movie, learn a little about the background of the director, the main actors and actresses and any history surrounding the story. Know the background of the plot: Was it a bestselling comedy book? Is the movie a remake? Is it based on a historical event? This knowledge can help you in your review because you'll be more in tune with the story the director is trying to tell. Movie details will hold more meaning for you and other viewers when you can put them in context.

Notes On The Movie
After viewing the movie, write down a few of your thoughts right away. Consider your overall opinion of the film, and jot down several things that you liked and several you didn't. Doing this while the movie is fresh in your mind will help you create a sharp review that will truly represent your opinion. Note technical aspects of the film that may fade from your memory, such as the music score, cinematography, production quality and even costuming.

Writing The Movie Review
A movie review should follow the standard rules of good writing, including creating an enticing hook that gets readers involved in the article. Writing a good lede is important in any piece of writing, whether it's a newspaper article or a movie review. The lede should always provide a brief summary of your main opinion of the movie, and subsequent paragraphs should support that opinion. A funny lede is fine for a comedy, while a more serious tone is appropriate for a serious drama or mystery.

Offer A Detailed Critique
In the review, be sure to offer your opinion on a variety of aspects concerning the film. Always back up your opinion with solid reasoning. For example, instead of writing "The actress was terrible," say "The lead actress never seemed to get fully into the role, never really exposing the character's true emotions, especially during the movie's tear-jerking climax." Remember to judge the movie on its own merits, especially if you have a strong opinion about some part of it, such as you hate a particular director's style or love any movie set in Elizabethan England. Readers deserve an unbiased critique.

Delivering A Recap
When writing a movie review, keep the audience in mind. Most people read movie reviews to form a general opinion as to whether or not they want to see the show. It's important to provide enough of the plot so the reader has an understanding of what the movie is about. However, never reveal any major twists or the ending. Snippets of dialog are also acceptable to include, as long as they reveal no secrets about the plot.

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