How to become

How to Become a Movie Critic

How to Become a Movie Critic


Movie reviewers research movies, offer insightful criticism, and inform us of a film’s success or failure. You must first have a passion for movies if you want to be a professional or hobbyist film critic. The two things that can help you develop as a film critic are watching as many movies as you can and reading other critics’ writing. The same goes for any craft: practice is key. Write movie reviews as frequently as you can. Continue honing your writing abilities because they are essential to the position of a film reviewer. You could even turn into a paid movie critic with enough dedication and practice.

Work of movie critic

It is the responsibility of movie reviewers to see films, observe the evolution of the plot, and write, direct, edit, and critique them. They construct an expert review using their writing and analytical abilities that can assist audiences in deciding whether or not to see the movie.

Intriguing discussions with people who have watched the movie are sparked by their criticisms as well. During the award season, movie critics can cast their votes in addition to writing about the movies.

Steps to becoming a movie critic

A related degree and relevant experience can point you in the right path and position you for a more successful career, even if there are no particular qualifications needed to become a movie critic.

Here are some things to think about when you start your profession as a would-be movie critic:

Get a bachelor’s degree, first

As you develop your career as a movie critic, getting your bachelor’s degree is advised. You might occasionally be expected to hold a degree in journalism, English, cinema studies, or a closely related subject. Any of these studies will provide you with a strong media foundation.

The essentials of news writing will be covered in your journalism education, but studying film will help you comprehend film theory, film history, screenwriting, and other genres. Your undergraduate education will not only help you find employment, but it will also provide you with the foundational knowledge required for this line of work.

Obtain introductory experience

Consider joining your school newspaper or obtaining an internship as you finish your studies to get experience. You will gain practical experience in this area, and if you opt to pursue an internship, you might establish useful contacts in your industry. During your undergraduate studies, you might also think about launching a film blog. You can do this to hone your writing abilities while also obtaining clips for your portfolio.

You should start applying for entry-level positions once you have received your degree. This might be anything from a job in the newspaper to a radio ad in your community. Even if you might not get a job as a movie critic immediately out of college, the experience you get in your first job will be valuable for the rest of your career.

Build a portfolio

Create a portfolio on the internet where you can display your best work. It’s crucial to have a location where you may store your writing samples if you want to be a movie critic. It will help you stand out from other prospective film critics looking for comparable opportunities if you have this together with a strong social media presence. To showcase your abilities and writing prowess, share your portfolio with potential employers.

Increase your reputation

Keep building your resume after you land your first entry-level job. Your name will become more well-known with each film review you write, which may lead to more possibilities in the future. If you haven’t previously, you want to think about developing your own reviews in addition to those for newspapers or other sizable publications.

Study about movies

Develop a passion for film analysis

Being a well-known film critic is challenging. Before making any money at all, many critics put in years of hard labor. In addition, a lot of critics do it as a pastime because they adore movies. Because film reviewing requires a lot of time and work and is not always financially secure, enthusiasm is essential.

  • Your work will be evident of a passion for film criticism.

Watch a range of excellent movies

Knowing what makes a high-quality film is necessary if you wish to evaluate movies. Find films in all the major genres that have received positive reviews and watch them. Think about classic movies, independent movies, foreign movies, animated movies, comedies, and dramas.

  • Watch as many “classic films” as you can; critics of film frequently discuss these. Online searches for “classic flicks” will provide numerous lists.
  • An excellent method to have access to a huge selection of movies is to subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix.

Read other cinema critics’ writing.

You can better understand film critic writing and film as an art form by reading the works of renowned film reviewers. Find a few critics whose work you really enjoy, and keep up with them.

  • Create your own ideas about a certain movie, then read a review to see how they stack up against other people’s.
  • Take note of the tone and writing style of your favorite reviewers, and look at how they convey their arguments. How do context and humor affect the criticism?

Create some original movies.

To be a good film critic, you must have a solid understanding of both filmmaking and video editing. Making a few short films of your own, whether they last for five minutes or an hour, can help you interpret the work of others.

Acquiring Knowledge

Research journalism

Journalists who end up specializing in film writing make up the majority of cinema critics. Consider making journalism your major or minor if you are a college student. Otherwise, you can enroll in an online or local community college’s journalism course.

  • Although studying journalism is not required in order to become a film critic, it is beneficial if you intend to do it professionally.

Enroll in film classes

Consider enrolling in some film courses at your school, online, or at the community college closest to you. If you want to become a paid film critic, majoring or minoring in film can be beneficial.

Create a movie blog.

Media careers in journalism and film blogging are the two main paths to becoming a critic. Bloggers who specialize in film criticism frequently do so for fun. A career in film criticism may begin with a blog. You can develop a portfolio of your work and practise writing on your blog.

  • When it comes to sharing your opinions on your blog, don’t be afraid. Your writing should be of the highest caliber while still being sincere and real.

Place your comments online

If writing film reviews is your hobby, you could be content to share all of your work on your blog. To try your luck at becoming published, send your work to newspapers, magazines, and online publications if you’re aspiring to be a professional film critic.

  • Digital media presents a wide range of new prospects, whereas print media employment is becoming harder to find.
  • Getting published is challenging, so keep trying! It can take years of experience, so keep writing blogs, reading other film reviewers’ writing, and watching movies.

Recruit for positions as a movie reviewer

You can begin submitting applications for jobs as a cinema critic once you have established a portfolio with your blog and perhaps even had a few pieces published. Freelance employment, in which a company or person contracts you for a specific assignment, can be of interest to you. Additionally, you can apply for jobs at print and digital newspapers, as well as movie review websites.

  • There are numerous online freelance job boards. Spend some time perusing the postings to determine whether a project piques your interest.
  • At first, this will probably be a side gig. Numerous jobs are part-time and are probably not well-paying enough to be your sole source of income.

Considerations of a Movie Critic

Study the various types of criticism

The critique of movies can take many different forms. The most typical type is a review, which serves as a suggestion or a caution to those who haven’t yet seen the movie. These short essays, which are around 100 words long, concentrate on rating the movie, stating if it is fantastic, decent, mediocre, or awful.

  • A review is much shorter and less formal than an academic essay. It is less opinion-driven and presupposes that the reader has seen the movie.
  • A critical essay is more formal than a review but less scholarly and more opinionated than an academic article.
  • Do not feel obligated to only offer one type of criticism at a time. Many cinema critics use all three kinds of writing or combine various forms.

Examine the movie

A cinema critic should be able to examine these components as well as simply explain the story, scenes, music, and aesthetic of the movie they are reviewing. Consider the interaction of many parts and the result they create when analyzing a movie.

  • You might notice, for instance, that a director frequently employs dark hues in his films. Analysis may lead you to the conclusion that the main character’s negative feelings are mirrored in this usage of color.
  • Reviews typically do not focus on description and analysis, whereas critical essays and scholarly papers do.

Analyze the movie

A critic ought to be able to analyze or decipher a movie. Consider the assertions a movie is making. What point is the director attempting to make? The same film may be interpreted differently by many critics.

  • The movie Snow White might be seen by a critic as a statement on the dangers of vanity.
  • Reviews rarely, but occasionally, provide interpretations, whereas critical essays and scholarly publications do.

Review the movie

A movie review’s evaluation is its most crucial component. A movie’s quality is something you decide when you evaluate it. Is it a great movie, a passable movie, or a terrible movie? Based on your knowledge of cinema as an art form, evaluate the film.

  • One critic’s assessment of Snow White as one of the best animated movies ever made.
  • Reviews put a lot of emphasis on evaluation, but academic articles and critical essays don’t.
Differentiate preferences from critical judgment.

Even if you enjoy a movie, a reviewer will know that it is not of good quality. Similar to how you may not like a movie yet recognise its quality production, It’s crucial to make assessments of film quality when writing as a critic rather than relying solely on personal preferences.

  • You ought to base your conclusions on standards for general quality. Originality, quality performance, technical prowess, an interesting plot, and emotional intensity are a few of them. You can gain a better understanding of what constitutes a great film by reading the works of other reviewers and watching high caliber movies.
  • In movie reviews, it’s acceptable to express your personal preferences; many critics do this. Celebrity critics are renowned for frequently showcasing their personal preferences. Just make sure you are watching the movie critically as well.

Assert Yourself as a Movie Critic

Understand how to write effectively.

Because writing is the primary means through which a film critic expresses their ideas, writing is at the core of cinema criticism. Make sure you have a solid grasp of language, style, and organization. Learning to write well begins with reading classic literature as well as the reviews of your favorite movies.

  • Although it is not required, formal writing instruction might be beneficial. Film critics with a background in journalism or communication are sought after by many employers, especially those in the mainstream media. At your school, university, or neighborhood community college, take writing courses.
Create a guiding tenet

Each film critic should provide a distinctive viewpoint on cinema that informs their job. This viewpoint should go beyond specific movies and concentrate on the relationship between movies as a whole and art, society, or politics.

  • Some reviewers think that movies can provide sage advice to improve people’s lives. Others think that each component of a movie has a profound symbolic meaning. Think about what film means to you as an art form and how it relates to life to establish your own guiding philosophy.
Be truthful

Be truthful when you evaluate movies. Don’t criticize a movie for dramatic effect. Nevertheless, don’t be hesitant to criticize a movie that other reviewers have liked.

Use plain wording

People read reviews of movies for the concepts and viewpoints they present, not for the creative writing style. While your writing should be strong, stay away from flowery words and technical jargon as these can obscure your meaning.

Evaluate yourself

Even though you’ll be giving feedback on other people’s work all the time, you should always be critical of your own. Try to identify and address any arguments’ shortcomings. A critical item that is finished should be the result of several draughts.

Standards for movie critics

Most film critics are employed by big newspapers that demand a bachelor’s degree. Having said that, your prospects of finding employment in this area may be improved if

you have a bachelor’s degree in cinematography, film studies, journalism, communications, or a closely related discipline.

Employers frequently seek people with some kind of job experience, whether it comes from an internship, freelance work, self-publication, or another source. While you’re still in school, you can get experience that you can put on your resume to assist you find work after you graduate.

A movie critic’s place of work

Many different places hire movie critics. They typically work for publications, radio stations, or news media. A blog, an online publication, their own publication, and more are all options for them. A combination of these positions is occasionally available for film critics.

Movie critic average wage

In the US, a movie critic receives an average salary of $42,876. The average bonus for a movie critic is $916, or 2% of their compensation, and 100 percent of them say they get bonuses every year. With an average total remuneration that is 50% higher than the US average, movie critics in San Francisco are paid the most, at $64,158.

Salaries ranging from $10,518 to $213,261. The top 86 percent of film critics earn $213,261, while the middle 57% earn between $38,902 and $96,771.

The average federal tax rate for a single filer in this tax bracket is predicted to be 22%. Movie Critics might anticipate taking home $37,503 per year after paying a federal tax rate of 22%, with each paycheck equaling roughly $1,563*.


What should a movie critic wear?

Everything is acceptable if you mean when you go to screenings. Dress is often informal. If you work for a certain media organization, you would adhere to its dress code. Since TV personalities are frequently on the go to their next “thing,” they frequently arrive looking a little more handsome than other media types.

Can movie reviewers earn money?

Depending on how many people read your review, you may receive payment. Subscription fees or ad revenue are two potential sources. These websites may also be referred to as revenue-sharing or pay-per-view sites. You can publish your movie reviews and receive royalties to a variety of websites.

What factors have an impact on movie critics?

Geography, Experience, Publication, Education, and Following.

What positions are associated with the movie critic?

Copywriter, social media manager, and technical writer.