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Review Guidelines

  1. #1
    Junior Member udayan's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Default Review Guidelines

    Hey guys,

    I would like to share a few pointers in writing a good movie review. No, no, I'm not an authority in this but after reading many reviews in different magazines I've come to the following conclusions:

    The Details: It is good practice to mention the details like the name (obviously), year, the cast, the director, the studio and award nominations if any. The year is important because these days, remakes are dime a dozen. For instance, if someone says that Casino Royale is a good see, and I go out and purchase the ancient 'Peter Sellers' Casino Royale DVD (rather than the Daniel Craig one), then I would be in for a shock. (This is a stupid example but makes the point).

    Obviously, the cast is important because everyone has favorites. (I would see a Brad Pitt movie even if the movie was crap). Also it is important to mention the supporting actors because they are as important as the leading actors. For example, in Ocean's Eleven, though George Clooney plays the lead, the other actors like Brad Pitt, Matt Damon etc. are stalwarts in their own right.

    Directors are important because a movie is only as good as its director is. A Spielberg or a Ridley Scott movie would surely be an entertainer. Studio is important because our expectations would be more from Warner Bros or say a Dreamworkz release rather than from some obscure studio. Similarly, Award nominations are also important in the sense that a film is nominated for the simple reason of it being good.

    The Plot: A short summary of the plot should be given. But the most important thing is to know how much to mention. Giving away the entire plot is called a spoiler. Spoilers are not appreciated at all because if the story is known in advance then why would the reader bother to see the movie at all. If the suspense is gone then the fun is gone. It is best to mention the general backgound of the story and end it with a few teasers to whet the appetite or curiousity of the reader.

    The Opinion: This is the most important portion of the review. A reader's decision to watch(or not watch) a particular flick is generally based on this. But, the problem is that opinions differ from person to person. For example, to one reviwer a movie like American Pie could be hilarious while to another it might appear to be gross or coarse. The important thing here is that whatever opinion the reviewer gives, it must be supported by reason. So, before you hail a movie as a masterpiece or lambast another as the crappiest movie of the decade, you better be equipped with the reasons behind your views. It is also helpful to rate the movie on some scale (say 5 out of 10). This can be of use to those who don't want to wade through an entire review but just want to know whether it's worth going for the movie or not.

    Optionals: Screenshots or pictures of Poster releases maybe given to facilitate the reader to know what to expect from a film. Other highlights like whether the music has been scored by someone famous (like AR Rehman), special effects done by firms like Pixar,ILM(Lucas Arts), special locations used in the film or anything else that makes the movie stand out can be included in a review. Such titbits are important because they help to make the reader understand what the movie is all about and what to expect.

    This list is by no means exhaustive. If readers want to add more to this guideline, they are most welcome.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]be global without being elitist

  2. #2


    thanks a lot ... really nice article ... i surely will consider these points when the next time i come up with a review ...

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