There are many things that go into What Makes a Good Film Critic. Below you will find five that may be considered the most important. They are completely arbitrary but they may help some in their film critic endeavors.
The more you practice something, the better you get at it. This holds true with writing film reviews. Some approach film reviews as mini essays, mini papers. They have a thesis, the body for support of the thesis and then a conclusion that ties everything together. Some analyze the film they are reviewing, that film’s genre or the film in relation to the director’s filmography up to that point. All methods, including those not mentioned, are correct. It all depends on the readership you are writing for, the review parameters you set for yourself and the guidelines set forth by the site you are writing for. Once you find your method, your voice, stick to it, refine it. It will come to identify you and become you defacto signature in the film critic world.
The Ability to Write Quality Reviews.
If you can not write well organized, precise reviews, reviews free of grammatical errors, people will not return to read your future reviews. Each review should be an island with its own point of view and its own story to tell. In other words, the review should be unique to the author writing it. Here is an excellent article on how to write a movie review.
Watch Tons of Films, even Films you find Abhorrent.
I have sat through films that could be considered purified excrement. I have gone to and seen so-called chick flicks, documentaries, almost everything under the celluloid sun. Most of the bad films I have seen (DOA: Dead or Alive, 88 Minutes, Friday the 13th (2009)) I went to in the hopes that they would be good films and was later disappointed during their viewing. Most of them I have not written reviews for, a few I have. Though these films were foul, they extended my film lexicon. I could reference them accurately in other reviews from having seen them, making those reviews all the more richer and thorough. Seeing a diverse array of films also expands your knowledge of the film world. If you are reviewing an action movie having only seen one action movie, the movie you are reviewing, your review will be flat. If you have seen dozens, your review will be broader and vastly different.
A Love for the Film Medium.
This is a no brainer. If you do not like films, how can you possibly be a good film critic? If you do not love what you are writing about, there will be no passion in your words (which is true of any writing) and your reviews will suffer. When the writing is from the heart, it usually shows.
Accessible Film Reviews.
If no one can find your reviews and posts, what good are they for you or the film community. Good SEO can help with that as well as site design. Take Film-Book dot Com for example. Most visitors can find this site’s Film Reviews fairly easily through the Archive tab at the top of the page and Review link on the sidebar.
Suggestion: Read “the little book”
Reading William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style, 4th Edition will not only help the quality of your film reviews but your writing in general. It describes and illustrates all the major do’s and don’ts of grammar. “The little book” will help with the quality of your film reviews and the diction within them.