How to Be a Film Critic

This is an article about how to write a review of a movie. To be a film critic, you need to understand the art in films and see more than the usual audience sees. To accomplish this, you´ll need to watch movies that are art and practice writing about them.


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    Be aware that all movies have a hero, which will be the main character, and an enemy. The enemy might be another character, object or situation. Analyze the hero and the enemy and how the story develops around them. Are they similar? Are they different? Do they both want the same thing? Why do they hate each other? What are their background stories?
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    Find the color scheme. Most movies will have a color scheme to define emotions, character growth, personalities or places. Understand the meaning of color and that color in many cases is a metaphor for something else.
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    Imply what message was the director trying to send in choosing a certain color. Write about what you think about that use of color.
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    Pay attention to the music. Music and sounds are also used to define the character's feelings and growth. It also "sets the mood" and lets you know how to feel about the following scene.
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    Look at the camera movements in each scene and the lighting. What is the message you´re getting from the take and lighting? Is the main character in love? Or is someone following him or her?
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    Find out what kind of story it is. Does the timing go regularly (past, present, past), circularly (present, past, present), backwards (future, present, past) or in any other way? Does the timing make the movie better or worse? Is it going too fast or too slow?
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    Write about the different emotions you felt during the movie.
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    Write about what the movie's message is.
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    Write about the costumes, their color schemes, and whether they were appropriate for the characters
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    Were all the actors consistent in their parts? Was their performance convincing? Were any of them especially good or terribly bad? In other words, did you buy it?
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    Taking all of these into account, write your review of the movie. Write about if it was avant grade or the same story as always. Was it original or cliche? Was it lacking or over the top?
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    Rate it!


  • Get involved into a film club online or on your neighborhood, community college, work or whatever. If you can´t find one, start your own! All you need is a DVD player and a TV and anyone you invite. The more people, the better. Discuss the views on the movies and use that on your own reviews.
  • You might want to get at least into some film and or writing course.
  • Read movie reviews and about other film critics and how they started to get into the business.
  • Some good movies to see are: Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Once Were Warriors, A Clockwork Orange, Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Amelie, Sin City, The 400 Blows, Psycho, Taxi Driver, All About My Mother, All About Eve, King Kong, Singin' in the Rain, It´s a Wonderful Life, Goodfellas, The Godfather, Schindler's List, Pan´s Labyrinth and Finding Nemo.
  • Depending on how much you want to become a film critic, consider studying film, English or Journalism.
  • Watch a lot of movies, and a lot of good movies. Watch classic movies, independent films, foreign movies, comedies, drama, short films, animated films, anything you can get your hands on.
  • If you liked a certain movie, find movies from the same director.
  • Read the stories behind the movies.


  • Once you start realizing all the details on the film, you might not find a lot of the new movies as entertaining.
  • If you don't like to watch classic, independent or foreign films, you might want to consider doing something else, because a film critic is an art critic and needs to watch anything and analyze it as impartially as possible.
  • You don't know it all, so be as objective as you can and research on the movie as much as you can before declaring it a failure just because you don´t like it.
  • The more you understand the art of films, the less you'll like the new Hollywood movies.
  • Being a film critic doesn't mean you have to say all movies are bad.

Things You'll Need

  • Movies
  • DVD
  • TV
  • Criteria

Article Info

Categories: Visual & Written Media