The Movie Waffler Harley Wade of StateofWriting on How to Write Successful Movie Reviews (with Examples) | The Movie Waffler

Harley Wade of StateofWriting on How to Write Successful Movie Reviews (with Examples)

Harley Wade of StateofWriting on How to Write Successful Movie Reviews (with Examples)

According to statistics, over 20% of people watch movies every day. Many of these people like reading movie reviews online before picking a film for the evening. Writing a successful movie review isn't just about stating whether you liked the film or not — it's an art form in itself. Harley Wade from StateofWriting offers some solid tips on crafting reviews that are not only informative but also engaging and persuasive. Here’s how you can turn your movie-watching experience into a compelling review.

Know Your Audience

The first point is understanding who you are writing for. As Steven Spielberg once said, “I always like to think of the audience when I am directing. Because I am the audience.” Perchance your readers are cinephiles - someone with a deep love and appreciation for cinema, often showing a keen interest in understanding films beyond their entertainment value. Or maybe they are casual viewers looking for a fun weekend flick? Tailoring your review to the audience’s interests can make all the difference. For example, if you’re writing for a high-brow film blog, you might focus on the director’s influences and thematic depth. On the other hand, a local newspaper column might require a more straightforward approach, focusing on the entertainment value and general plot without spoiling too much. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t recommend a complex, slow-burn foreign film to someone who enjoys fast-paced action movies. 

Knowing your audience helps you set the tone of your review. Harley Wade, from a UK writing service StateofWriting, suggests that if you struggle to outline your audience, you can consult a movie review writing service regarding your writing process. They can point out the nuances you aren’t equipped to notice as a movie review amateur.

Deep Dive into Components

Each film is a mosaic of components, which include:

  • Acting; Direction; Script; Cinematography; Music, etc.

A successful review should touch on these elements and how they contribute to or detract from the film. For example, you might discuss how the cinematographer uses light and shadow to boost the storytelling or how the actors bring their characters to life. This is your chance to really dissect the film. Did the music set the appropriate mood? Was the editing tight enough to keep the story moving quickly? Be honest and provide specific examples; if the CGI was unconvincing, mention a particular scene that felt off. This not only shows that you have a keen eye for detail but also helps your readers understand exactly what worked or didn’t work.

Contextualize the Film

Placing the film within a broader context can improve your review greatly. Discuss its place within the director’s body of work, its genre, and even its cultural or historical settings. This is particularly important for sequels, adaptations, or films that are part of a larger franchise. Understanding where a film comes from adds depth to your review and helps readers see it in a new light. For example, if you’re reviewing a new entry in a superhero franchise, compare it with previous installments or other films in the genre to gauge its success or originality. Such comparisons not only inform but also engage your readers by linking the review to wider discussions.

Be Balanced

When writing a movie review, it's important to maintain an objective and balanced approach, even if your personal feelings about the film are strong. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Acknowledge Personal Biases: Be aware of your own preferences and biases and how they might influence your review.

  • Highlight Both Strengths and Weaknesses: Make sure to discuss both what you liked and what could have been improved in the film.

  • Consider Different Audiences: If the film wasn't to your taste, consider who might appreciate it and why.

  • Point Out Any Flaws: Even if you loved the film, it’s crucial to critique any noticeable flaws to provide a well-rounded review.

These strategies enhance the fairness and objectivity of your review and build your credibility as a trusted reviewer.

Conclude with a Punch

Ending your review with a strong conclusion can leave a lasting impression on your readers. Summarize the key points you've discussed and give a final verdict. Would you recommend this movie? If so, to whom? If not, why not? This isn’t just about stating if the movie is good or bad; it’s about wrapping up your argument in a way that resonates with your readers. Make it clear, concise, and bold.