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How To Become A Movie Critic? Everything You Need To Know

Becoming a movie critic is a journey through the heart of the entertainment industry, a path that invites you to dissect, analyze, and celebrate the cinematic wonders that shape our culture. The audience wanting to watch a movie relies on the advice of their friends and other mediums when selecting one. But has anyone ever wondered why people recommend movies, though, and on what basis? The difference between simply enjoying a movie, watching it intently, and recommending it to someone else is not just not a thing but requires attention and passion together. If you enjoy writing, speaking, and watching movies and have strong analytical abilities, a job as a movie critic might be the ideal fit. However, before considering whether or not being a movie critic is the perfect profession for you, you need to consider what it entails to do that job. Let us unlock the path to becoming a movie critic.

What is Movie Criticism?

Analyzing and evaluating are all about movie criticism and critics. Movie criticism can be divided into two categories.

  • Journalistic criticism includes newspapers, magazines, and other mass media; academic criticism includes theories published in academic journals.
  • Amateur movie criticism is a hobby where film enthusiasts analyze and review movies, expressing their opinions and insights, often without formal training or professional affiliation. 
  • Academic film criticism is not reviewing but analyzing the movie and where it stands among its genre in the movie industry’s history.

 

What Do Movie Critics Do?

A movie critic sees new movies and then carefully analyzes each one’s many elements, including acting, pacing, narrative, and character chemistry. He/she must create a well-written, candid review that will be published in one or more newspapers after interpreting the movie. While some critics exclusively write for one particular magazine or newspaper, others do it for multiple publications. A critic may also discuss films on a website, television show, or professional journal. A movie critic needs to have the ability to write. The reviewer may frequently have to watch numerous films in a single day while collecting notes and producing an accurate assessment of particular movie parts. It can be mentally taxing for critics to meet the rigorous deadlines they frequently have to meet for multiple publications. The interesting part is that it can occasionally be very challenging or impossible to remain objective while seeing a movie, especially when the film critic must write a review of a film with a writer, director, or actor they don’t particularly like.

How to Become a Movie Critic?

Movie critics research films, offer insightful criticism, and tell us whether a film is a hit or a dud. You must first have a passion for movies 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 possible and reading other critics’ writing. Always remember that practice is the key. Keep Writing a lot and possibly movie reviews as frequently as you can.

Cultivate a passion for film criticism

To become a movie critic requires a passion for both writing and movies. Most critics started writing as a hobby and eventually created a career. 

Watch a variety of quality films

Watch movies of all genres and all varieties. Never choose a movie to choose. Trying movies from other cultures and languages can help develop insightful knowledge. Includes all types, such as classic films, indie films, foreign films, short films, animated films, comedies, and dramas.

Read the work of other film critics

Reading is another key to becoming an expert. Just like writing, reading also requires practice. Read the work of other critics and learn their style. It helps a critic to develop a style of their own.

Make some films of your own

Making a film with a smartphone is no big deal today. You can also try to make a short movie with the available gadgets. This helps to learn the nuances of filmmaking.

Study journalism

Although there is no degree, certification, or degree for becoming a movie critic, enrolling in a course in journalism will benefit one to get groomed as a movie critic.

Take some movie classes

Along with having a degree in journalism, taking a course in filmmaking or acting will help to have technical knowledge of movies.

Start a movie blog

Another great way is to start a blog and write about the movies you watch. A blog is also a good way to practice writing and create a network on social media.

Apply for jobs as a film critic

Once you have your samples ready, start applying for jobs as a movie critic. 

Analyze the film

A movie critic should be able to examine these components and explain the story, scenes, music, and aesthetic of the movie they are reviewing. To examine a movie, you should know about the different elements involved in a movie.

Steps to Become a Professional Movie Critic

To become a professional movie critic, one has to be able to think like a critic, and it requires a few steps to be followed. Let us have a look:

  • Learn the different forms of criticism and write accordingly. Learn the differences between reviews, academic articles, and critical essays.
  • Analyze the movie in every aspect and angle, and don’t merely describe the plot, scenes, and music.
  • Know how to interpret the movie and understand what the director is trying to convey through the story.
  • Evaluating a movie, whether good or bad, is an important step toward becoming a movie critic.
  • Be aware of the difference between your personal choices and judgments. Never write a review based on what you like or don’t like.
  • Have a strong understanding of writing skills such as grammar and style. Keep practicing how to write like a pro. Also, read the works of other writers and movie critics to know their style and vocabulary.
  • Use simple, readable language while writing about a movie. 
  • Ensure to be honest about the movie, whether it be a positive review or negative. 

How to Become a Movie Critic With No Experience?

To be a full-time movie critic required a definite set of skills and responsibilities. Working on oneself and practicing gets you to be a fine movie critic:

  • Watch movies in all genres, frequently multiple times.
  • Take notes on the dialogue, music, plot, and influences.
  • Examine the technical aspects, such as the lighting, editing, and camera angles.
  • The reviews must be submitted by deadlines.
  • Establish connections with producers, agents, and distributors of movies.
  • Watch movies and go to press conferences, previews, and film festivals.
  • Investigate archive materials regarding movies and filmmakers and interview actors, production workers, and filmmakers.
  • Update your knowledge of critical theories.

Where Do Movie Critics Work?

There are numerous jobs available for film critics. They frequently work for periodicals, radio stations, or television stations. Also, they can write for their publication, a blog, an online magazine, and more. Movie critics may occasionally hold positions in more than one of these areas.

Do Movie Critics Need a Degree?

There are no set degrees for movie critics; anyone with writing, analytical skills, and a critical eye can become a movie critic. A bachelor’s degree in screenwriting or film may help to be a movie reviewer. Some critics could come from a journalism or creative writing background. But to ace the race, they all require a fundamental knowledge of writing or reporting for the film. To learn more about the business, a movie critic must research and evaluate the work of directors throughout cinematic history, as well as watch several Hollywood blockbusters and other movies of all languages and genres.

Skills Required to Become a Film Critic

Being a movie critic includes discussing a movie’s flaws or what viewers appreciate or dislike about it. You must adequately comprehend both the film’s positive and negative elements. A film critic’s duties include analyzing the movie for the audience and contrasting its plot and story with those of similar movies. You must have good oral and written communication ability for this. The various components and filmmaking techniques must also be familiar. You should be able to examine all film aspects, such as acting, direction, cinematography, screenplay, script, etc., and have a general awareness of the film industry.

 

Career Path for Film Critics

It is ideal that you finish your studies in the Arts and Literature stream and put more of an emphasis on the language if you want to work as a film critic. You can become a film critic by developing your writing and public speaking skills. Any other stream is also an option. Your chances of finding work in this area should improve if you have a bachelor’s degree in cinematography, film studies, journalism, communications, or a similar discipline.

Is Film Critic a Good Career?

You must love movies to be a film critic. More importantly, you should be eager to express your views on movies to the audience. Many individuals base their decision to see a movie on reviews. If you are open and honest about the positives and negatives of the film, the audience will enjoy it. You have several options in the entertainment sector to get started and develop a lucrative career as a film reviewer. Working for someone and gaining expertise in writing or recording reviews will be beneficial. Most movie critics have a YouTube channel where they publish videos discussing their thoughts on various movies. It is one good platform to pursue a career.

What Are the Industries that Hire a Film Critic?

To begin your career as a film critic, you can work at the following places.

  • Publishing houses 
  • Media houses
  • Print media (Newspapers, Magazines)
  • Broadcast media (Television, Radio)
  • Freelance

What Are the Job Roles that Will Help as a Film Critic?

Becoming a successful film critic requires a diverse skill set and a deep understanding of cinema. While there is no one-size-fits-all path, there are several job roles and experiences that can greatly benefit aspiring film critics:

Film Journalism

Working as a film journalist for newspapers, magazines, websites, or blogs can provide invaluable experience. This role involves writing articles, interviews, and movie reviews, honing your writing skills, and establishing your presence in the film industry.

Editorial Positions

Editorial roles within journalism can teach you about the intricacies of publishing, content curation, and editing. These skills are crucial for crafting well-structured and polished film reviews.

Film Studies

Pursuing a degree in film studies or a related field can deepen your understanding of film history, theory, and analysis. It equips you with the academic knowledge to assess and appreciate films critically.

Scriptwriting and Filmmaking

Learning about the filmmaking process, including screenwriting and directing, can provide unique insights into the creative decisions behind a movie. This knowledge can enhance your ability to critique films from a filmmaker’s perspective.

Film Production

Working on film sets or in production roles can give you firsthand experience of the filmmaking process. Understanding the technical aspects of filmmaking, such as cinematography and editing, can enrich your critiques.

Acting and Theater

Training in acting or theater can sharpen your ability to analyze performances in films, which is a crucial aspect of film criticism. Understanding the craft of acting can make your reviews more insightful.

Film Festivals

Volunteering or working at film festivals can expose you to many films and filmmakers. It’s an opportunity to network, gain access to exclusive screenings, and build your credibility as a film critic.

Online Presence

Building an online presence through social media, a blog, or a YouTube channel dedicated to film reviews can aid you in reaching a wider audience and showcase your writing or presentation skills.

Networking

Building relationships with filmmakers, actors, and fellow critics can open doors to exclusive screenings, interviews, and collaborations. Networking is crucial in the film industry.

Public Speaking

Developing strong public speaking and presentation skills will enable you to articulate your thoughts and opinions confidently, whether it’s during interviews, panel discussions, or public speaking engagements.

Cultural Studies

A background in cultural studies can help you analyze films in a broader societal context, examining their impact on culture, politics, and society.

Continual Watching and Analysis

Watching films regularly across genres and eras is critical to preparing for a film critic career. Practice analyzing and critiquing them, developing your unique voice and perspective. 

How Much Does a Movie Critic Get Paid?

In the US, the typical movie critic makes $42,876 annually. Movie critics typically receive a bonus of $916 per year or 2% of their pay, and 100% of those surveyed said they do. In San Francisco, movie critics’ average total remuneration of $64,158 is 50% higher than the US average.

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