Learning how to write a movie review for a newspaper is all about you developing your art of storytelling. Yes, storytelling. In most stories, the more detail the better. Well, when writing a movie review, you need to create an interest in the public by supplying the least amount of information possible. You have to give them just enough to get them salivating, to make them want to go out and see the flick. Or just enough info in your movie review to steer them away from the flick without spoiling the story. This is why your storytelling skills need to be top notch. You need to know what to say, and what to leave out. Well, let's write that movie review.
- Catch their attention. Regardless if you're for or against seeing the movie, you want people to read what you have to say about the film. The most important tool for luring the masses to your movie review is a catchy title. If the title to your movie review is something like "There's A New Movie Out," nobody's going to care. If you have a crappy title, no one's going to read the rest of your movie review. You have to be creative with the title, it's imperative. The title should allude to the movie or the actors you're speaking about. It should also hint on whether or not you're for the movie.
- Be persuasive. You've seen the movie and you're supposed to be the expert. You can't take the middle ground. Take a definite stance on whether or not the movie would be worth the time. You can point out certain good and bad elements of the movie but by the end of your piece, the public should clearly know where you stand. It's all up to how you present the movie.
- What to stay away from. Don't give a play by play of the story. You're writing a movie review not a literary adaptation to the flick. Don't give away key plot changes or major surprises in the film. No one likes it when a buddy of theirs sees a movie and spoils it by telling all the good parts. No one will like you either if you give too much info on the movie.
- What to focus on. Your movie review should talk about the major stars and briefly touch on their performances. You can even briefly talk about the characters and their conflicts. Just remember not to reveal too much. Too much info will cause the audience to lose interest just as a lack of information will do the same.
- Rating system. Ebert has the "thumbs up, thumbs down" rating system. Other movie reviewers use a "star" rating system. It's up to you whether or not you want to use one. Your descriptive writing in the body of your movie review should be enough to adequately persuade the public. But if you get famous, you'll be recognized by a unique grading system. Just ask Roger Ebert.