Writing A Movie Review

Writing a movie review . . . where to start?

Well this has to be the main reason for this blog, so that I can write my own movie reviews and see if people agree or disagree with what I say about them. So most of this post is going out to my fellow movie review bloggers. How easily do you find it to review a movie?

My answer to that question is it depends how much I like or get from the movie. Some reviews are difficult and take days and days to write. Where as some can actually be done in 15-20 minutes and the words just flow. These are often movies I have really enjoyed and/or related to in some way. I find that so easy to write a long review in such a short period of time.

I also find it difficult sometimes if you do not start the review right away, again this is for movies which I did not enjoy as much or really get anything from. I have to admit I have a few movies like that in my draft section at the moment. It’s just really difficult sometimes to review a movie. Do you agree?

When writing a review I try to give a plot outline, which sometimes goes more in-depth if the movie has quite a few good points as this has to be understood in order to get the whole review. I then try to pick out some of the key points or situations in the movie and give my opinion on them.

If you do relate to any of the key issues or situations in a movie this can be quite an emotional experience and can then transfer into your writing. I am sure it is evident in my reviews which movies I have been touched by or related to with in comparison to those I did not connect with at all. Therefore did not enjoy them very much.

I have to admit that I do hate writing reviews for movies I have not been too fond of, as I do not like just bashing or saying totally negative things about that movie. So I do still try to find something good about it, which is sometimes extremely difficult as my fellow bloggers will be well aware of.

To my fellow bloggers how do you go about writing your reviews?

To people who read my blog, more particularly my reviews, any advice on how to make them better?

10 thoughts on “Writing A Movie Review

  1. I’ve gone through this a few times.

    The thing that’s hardest for me about writing reviews, is that I don’t read anyone else’s review for a film I intend to see until I’ve written mine.

    I try to let the film digest a bit before I write about it. If I sit down to write and I’m still buzzing, still seething, or still freaked out…I find that I’m writing from a more emotional position, and with that maybe not an honest position.

    I try not to wait TOO long though, since if too much time passes I’m likely to forget certain details.

    Since I’ve been reading your blog, I must say that your reviews are working just fine. Not too short, not too long. The only advice I might offer, is that when it comes time to write, focus on your feelings and reactions – less on detailing plot. People can read about the plot anywhere, they come to you for your take.

    I like posts like this, and have written one like it at least three times. Helps us sharpen our writing, and speak with a clearer voice



    • Great points thanks for your input. I forgot to mention in my post that I dont read reviews before seeing a film. I might scan a paper and look at the number of stars they gave it, but often do not agree with it after viewing anyway.


  2. The thing with bloggers is they tend to review films they love and ones they hate and ignore the okay, average, not bad, middle of the road movies. I am very guilty of this and only review half the movies I see. I could say that I see so many films I don’t have the time to review them all, the truth is that it is sometimes hard to think what to say about a film that you don’t have strong feelings for. Before I started blogging I used to do a small review, about 300 words of every movie I saw and posted it on Flixster via facebook. When I started blogging it was my intention to do that but it soon evolved into something different.

    Unlike Mad Hatter, I tend to read reviews before I see a film but avoid looking at them once I have seen it if I intend to review it. Interestingly since I have been blogging I read other blogs more than professional publications. As far as your reviews go I enjoy reading them. They are better structured than mine that can be a little haphazard at times.


  3. I second what Mad Hatter said: I try very hard not to read other people’s reviews of a film before I put down my own thoughts.

    For me, the hardest movies to review are the ones I absolutely love because I feel like I won’t be able to do them justice with my words. I can spend whole days almost on these reviews, and finally I just give up and hit “publish” before I have time to fourth-guess myself. The crap movies are easy and great fun, I think, because you can just rip into them without mercy.


  4. i’m another one that tries not to read reviews of movies until i’ve already written mine. sometimes i’m amazed to see what kinds of reviews and ratings a movie will get. i’ve written positive reviews and given the movie an 8 or 9, only to look at rottentomatoes and see that it only has a 40% positive rating. if i had seen that first, i might have said to myself, “hmm…maybe it wasn’t such a good movie…”

    anyway, since i write a review every day, i tend to keep my reviews shorter and not mull them over too much. i write the plot description on its own so that the review/comments can just be about what i liked and didn’t like. i usually stay away from too much analysis, but if something jumps out at me in a movie, i’ll spend a little time on it.

    it’s definitely easier to write about a really good movie or a really bad movie. the so-so ones don’t stir up much in me, so i’m left grasping for words. that’s when i start padding it by talking about every actor’s performance or other little minutia.


  5. Well it looks like we have a trend, huh? Reading what everyone else writes about a film = looking at another student’s test paper 🙂

    Fandango and Compliment bring up an interesting point though: Trying to write about a movie that is just “okay”. For me, these are often the ones that I give 2.5 stars to. I sit down to write about ’em, figure the pros outweigh the cons, but have a hard time trying to express whether it’s something to spend two hours and $13 on.

    Sometimes though, these can be kinda fun to write, because I essentially end up vocalizing the inner argument I’m having as to whether the movie was good or bad. They’re the flicks you can write the most about, because you aren’t simply dogpiling on a bad movie, or bowing down to a great one, you’re simply outlining the pros and cons of something very middle-of-the-road.

    Just my two cents 🙂


  6. I write my own opinion about a movie. I try not to read anybody else’s review.

    I review a movie in the same template that Siskel and Ebert discussed. It’s on YouTube.

    I gave my initial impressions of the movie. Move on into a brief plot description without giving away spoilers. I gave my two cents of what I got out of the movie. What I liked. What I didn’t like.

    If there are some inconsistencies and plot holes, I will discuss them in the spoiler section with the people that have seen the movie and shed some light what I didn’t get. It creates a dialogue.

    I gave my stamp of apporval or disapproval with my judgment. Usually a sentence blurb give the readers notice to see or not see the movie.

    Lastly, the rating. Self-explanatory.

    (My advice is be unique. People would come back to you, if you have something different to say. Not regurgitating the same thing that a million other reviewers wrote.)


  7. Thanks for all of the advice and input everyone. Is great that we have some very similar views and tend to take similar approaches when it comes to writing our reviews.

    The points about writing about films you love, kind ok and do not like are fantastic as it seems that we all struggle at times to review the in-between films which you neither hate nor love. I try my best to review most films, but often run out of words with those films.


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