GUEST EDITORIAL: 7 Practical Tips to Start Movie Review Writing as a College Student



7 Practical Tips to Start Movie Review Writing as a College Student

Finding an interesting writing job that won’t take up too much of your time while you’re still a student is a great way to both earn and get some writing experience. If you’re thinking about starting to write movie reviews, it is a really great idea. Watching a lot of films and sharing your personal opinions about them: What’s not to love? If you want to learn more about how to begin, which aspects you need to pay attention to, and where to find websites you can write for, you have come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know.

Watching a movie from a new angle

Whether you’re about to review a movie you’ve already seen or not, the very first step you must make is to actually watch it (again). It’s crucial to approach this viewing in a different way than you usually would.

When you’re watching a film to relax or spend some fun time with friends, you don’t pay attention to every detail, which is what you will definitely need to do now. Try to look at a movie through the eyes of the critic, assessing the acting, a director’s vision, camera movement, plot quality – everything that makes each film experience on their own.

Providing technical details about a movie

Once you’ve seen the movie you are about to review, it’s time to move on to the writing phase.

The unavoidable part of every well-written movie review is dedicated to the technical information. Make sure to include these facts about the film you’ve just seen:

  1. Film genre, date of release, movie length;

  2. Names of the director and producer(s);

  3. Main cast list (you can also include the actors who contributed in side roles if they’re important to the plot);

  4. Budget;

  5. Film ratings on popular websites such as IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, or Flixster.

Movie plot, characters, and their actions

The main portion of your movie review must be dedicated to what makes this film special when compared to others. Write a short plot description (preferably, without spoilers – if you must include them, make sure to announce them for the readers who haven’t seen the film yet), and give your opinion on the cast, acting, and scenario.

Are there any memorable quotes, powerful moments, or inconsistencies in the story? Let your readers know what you’ve noticed and how it affected your viewing experience.

Addressing music and visual and sound effects

Every movie has its own atmosphere and aesthetics. If a film is artistic and has a specific visual appeal to it, dedicate time to writing about costumes, setting, colors, and lighting.

However, even if a movie you’re reviewing is an action film set in the present time and simply represents one of the modern-time blockbusters, there are still some aspects to cover, and those would be music and visual and sound effects. These factors are what distinguishes this film from others from the same genre, or make it fit in with others seamlessly. 

Presenting your point of view and grading a movie

The conclusion of your review must include your personal opinion of a film, which you will form after taking into consideration every important aspect that made that film what it is. Your grade for a movie can be the same as in most popular movie review websites, or it can be completely different: This decision is up to you.

Either way, it’s your own approach and experience that counts in a movie review, so make sure to let your readers know whether you recommend watching a movie or not.

Learning from proven professionals

Some writers need no encouragement and examples, while others work best when they have some guidelines to follow. We’re all different, and we must follow what works best for our writing practices.

If you’re having a tough time writing your first movie review, consider contacting professionals. Best writing services experts can create whichever type of written assignment you need, giving you a vital headstart you can benefit from. Once you see how the qualified, experienced writers do it, you will feel a lot more confident about your own writing in the future.

Finding websites to write for

Some of the most popular websites that allow guest movie review posts are ScreenRant, Cineaste, POPSUGAR, Taste of Cinema, but you can always find your own partner websites by conducting a quick Google research. 

Some of these sites will offer pay per article, while others will let you benefit from the exposure you’ll get for writing for their community. Choose an option that works best for you, and let the new professional chapter of your life begin.


Writing movie reviews is in some ways similar to writing your college or university essays. Your writing should be concise, analytical, and very well researched, while you must also pay close attention to formatting and readability. However, that’s where similarities stop, and differences begin.

Follow the pieces of advice given in this helpful guide, and you will soon be able to create interesting, engaging content while spending your free time doing what you like: Watching movies and talking about them with your friends.

Whether you are a passionate movie buff or you just like to relax by watching romantic comedies or action films, writing movie reviews will be a fun and profitable activity while you’re still a student.

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Freelance writer and contributor, Laura Buckler, wants each person to find their full potential and feels that life offers opportunities that are each and achievable. She is driven most by her own personal motivation. Follow her on Twitter.