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Being Your Own Film Critic

Being Your Own Film Critic

Kevin Maynard (Film Critic and Entertainment Writer, Special to USA Today, Variety) gives expert video advice on: How does film criticism differ from just having an opinion of a movie?; What does a critic look for when he is reviewing a film?; What's the secret to sounding knowledgeable when talking about film? and more...

How does film criticism differ from just having an opinion of a movie?

Film criticism differs from having just an opinion about a movie because you're looking for specific things. You're looking at the technical aspects of the movie. You're looking at the cinematography as a film critic. You're looking at the editing. You're looking at how this movie is an aesthetic, cohesive experience that resonates on a deeper level in your average moviegoer who might just want to be entertained. You're noticing a script and a screenplay as a film critic. Is there practical dialogue? Does the movie move the action forward? Does it have unexpected twists? It doesn't have to adhere to the same three-act structure all the time, but it has to be a satisfying movie. I think a film critic is somebody who really knows their trade, and who is really looking at a movie with a fine-tooth comb in a way an audience member isn't.

What does a critic look for when he is reviewing a film?

A film critic is looking for a move that's not like every other movie. If there are 3 comic book movies, they're looking for one that stands out: one that speaks to society's outcasts, one that has a witty sense of humor, one that has a different take. They're not going to just unequivocally love all genre movies. They're looking for the movie in that genre that stands out.