The Art of Review Writing

During a guest lecture at University College Falmouth, Kingsley, a BA Honours Film lecturer at the University, and freelance film reviewer for a number of publications, informed first-year journalism students of the ‘do’s&don’ts for writing a successful review.

As an aspiring reviews journalist, this guide will hopefully allow myself and others to get the best results out of the work we all produce.


  • Make sure you get your copy in on time – you want to keep your job right?
  • Stick to the word count you have been given – nothing more, nothing less.
  • Conform to the house style guide – read it if you haven’t already!
  • Be able to string a sentence together.
  • Have a thorough knowledge of the subject.
  • Write in an entertaining and lively style.


  • Use inaccurate spelling or grammar.
  • Avoid reputation – it doesn’t persuade anyone!
  • Avoid irrelevant description.
  • Avoid flowery language.
  • Words such as ‘however’, ‘seems to’ and ‘almost’ often signal a get out – avoid these!
  • Watch out for concluding, then adding an opt out.
  • Don’t sit on the fence – you either like it or you don’t.

Sticking to these simple rules will help to boost the quality of your reviews, developing your reviewing skills also.


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