May 22, 2021 at 6:36AM


What is the difference between film review and film criticism?

I suspect many people still consider film reviews to be film criticism, however, they are not.These two terms differ from each other in many ways. In this article, I am going to explore how a film review is different from film criticism.

What is film criticism?

Film criticism is a professional and in-depth analysis of a film on the basis of its fundamental elements, such as actors' performances, screenplay, cinematography, editing, score, production design, makeup, hair-styling, and more.

What is a film review?

Unlike film criticism, a film review is just a guide for the audiences to determine whether they should watch the film or not. It primarily focuses on the entertainment factor of the film.

Film criticism vs Film Review:

Now that we have discussed these two terminologies, it is time to discuss how are they different. I have discovered three factors based on which they are different from each other. These factors are:

The content:

While writing the film criticism, it is assumed that the viewer has watched the film already. Therefore, film criticism mostly discusses the other elements of the film such as screenplay, cinematography, editing, and so on.

On the other hand, a film review is written considering that the viewer has not yet seen the movie. Film reviews generally consist summary of the plot and discussion over the actors' performances. In the end, the film review advises whether the film worth watching or not.

Who published them?

Film criticisms are published by academic film critics, film scholars, or professional filmmakers. They often have a background in film studies or film theory. They analyze film based on what it offers to society, rather than giving a summary of the plot.

Film reviews are published by journalists and amateur movie critics. These publishers have a background in journalism or have a massive fan base on social media. The journalists mainly focus on the latest movies and rates the film based on actors' acting and plot development. Their critiques often consist summary of the plot. Whereas, amateur movie critics give their personal opinions about what they feel about the movie.

Where are they published?

Film criticisms are only published in academic books and journals and may publish many years after a film is released. They are typically longer than movie reviews and consist of complex details that a common person can not understand.

Journalists publish their film reviews in magazines, newspapers, and journals. You can also find them on the internet, not to mention almost every newspaper and magazine is now available online.

Similarly, amateur movie critics share their opinions via personal blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels. Their reviews mainly aim at the entertainment factor of the film.

So, these are the three factors that distinguish a film criticism from a film review. If you dream of becoming a movie critic, do read my article on film criticism. I have covered film criticism in detail and how one can become a movie critic.

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