How to write a critique of a movie

I suppose you know the old joke where somebody asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” And the answer comes back, “Practice, practice, practice”.

The same could be said if somebody asks about how you should go about writing a critique of a movie. The same answer applies -- “Practice, practice, practice”. Yes, you learn how to write a critique by doing it over and over. As the old saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’.

There are important decisions to make

Because most movie reviews are on new movies, people who are likely to read your review will know little or nothing about the film. So the first important decision you have to make is in telling the tale. Your job as a movie reviewer is to write a potted version of the plot. What is the storyline? Who are the characters and what happens to them?

But stop because herein lies a problem. Yes, you have to tell the reader what the movie is about, but you must not give away certain important details. There is now even an expression -- spoiler alert -- which applies to movie reviews. It means that the writer is about to tell the reader something important about the plot of the film. If you don’t want to know, when you see the words, spoiler alert, you stop reading.

Now this can be a terrible thing to do to a reader of your movie critique. If you are going to watch a movie you want to be taken along for the ride. You want to enjoy the experience. You want to be surprised as the story unfolds. If the movie reviewer tells you that character X gets killed, then you will not be surprised. So remember, by all means give a brief history of the plot but do not reveal the importance developments.

Have an opinion

This is seriously important. A good movie critique always includes an opinion. In some cases it's a score such as four stars. The person reading your movie critique wants to know what the film is about but they also want to know if you liked it.

So yes, there are many things to learn when wanting to know how to write a movie critique and if you follow this advice you will be well on the way to doing it very well.