A film review is supposed to do the following job: critique a film, and give possible audiences a preview of a film’s quality in order to help them decide whether to see a film or not. It’s also sometimes written for two audiences: industry insiders and moviegoers. As such, the writing of a critique depends heavily on who the audience is, and what the purpose of the writer is. If its purpose is simply to rate a film and give moviegoers a preview, then the writer has the responsibility to be objective in his review of the technical aspect of the film, to be honest of his opinion of the film, and to write his review in a manner that his readers can easily understand. Depending on the publication a critic writes for, his review can be as highfalutin or as ghetto as the audience expects it to be.
A film review can also be written to spur discussion, or influence industry insiders in some way. Again, it’s just a matter of writing for a different audience.
One thing however I think film reviewers should never do is spoil the film for others. I consider it a cardinal sin for reviewers to post spoilers of a film. In some instances, if the reviewer really wants to post a spoiler, spoiler tags must precede the post, giving readers a chance to avoid being spoiled.
I find it idiotic when reviewers, instead of actually reviewing a film, summarizes it. Nothing can be more enraging than for me to find a film summary instead of a film review. It’s okay to write what the film is about in vague terms as long as you don’t reveal the entire plot to the reader.
I also find it funny when people attack critics for their reviews. All our lives would be better if we just realize that reviews are nothing more than just opinions. You can let yourself be bothered by it, or ignore it completely. After all, it’s just one man’s opinion. Will it lessen your enjoyment of the film if others disparage it? If others like or dislike a film, why should it bother you? Be firm in your own opinion and be happy in the fact that you at least have one. Nothing good can come out of trying to change the opinion of others.
I’ve always considered film critics to be wankers. They with their uppity noses and their snobby little circles, trashing films left and right because it makes them feel good about themselves. To me, it was intellectual masturbation pure and simple. And it was utter bullshit. Who cares whether a film elevated art as long it was entertaining?
To me, as a moviegoer, the whole point of watching a film is to be entertained. The film being thought-provoking is just a bonus. I do however, expect a film to have a story, a coherent and entertaining one. Failing to have that will have me ripping the film to shreds much worse than a dog ripping your balls out.
As a filmmaker however, I see no point in making a film that will not promote change for the good. (I come from the Surf Reyes school of thought of filmmaking being an agent of social change for the good).
To the critic however, praise becomes ever more rare as they become inundated with the same tired stuff everyday. When you’ve watched as many films as these sons of a bitches have, you begin to become more and more unpleasable in your views. Because you have seen so much, little surprises you. And because you have seen the best, nothing can impress you again except more of the best. Your job in effect, makes you lose touch of the pulse of the ordinary audience. To you it is a boring tripe, overdone to death, but to others, it’s a refreshing film, mindblowing and totally unique. The job then becomes a challenge. To view a film, not with the tired eyes of a critic, but with the eyes of a child hungry for a story.
I’ve always thought that a film review shouldn’t be as simple as labeling a film good or bad but should be more about presenting the film as a taste. Different people like different tastes and a film review should take that into account.
This is also one of the main reasons why I find it idiotic when people attack film critics for their reviews. If you don’t agree with their views, then find some other critic that matches yours. Then you’ll have a much more reliable source of review for movies you’re planning to watch, or not watch.