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The Art of Writing a Good Review

Writing a good review is not easy. Primarily because you need to have enough information to make your impressions and ideas valuable to the readers.

To start, you need to know meticulously the object of your review. Your readers will use your assessments to judge whether the movie/play/video game/culinary experience  is worth their time and attention. So you need to offer them enough references, introduce enough ideas and comparisons to help them make that decision on their own.

A good review describes its object in detail. If it’s a play, you’ll devote equal time to each act. If it’s a movie, you’ll pay attention to relevant scenes. If it’s a meal, each course will get its own paragraph. But when assigning your editorial space, you will always leave some aside to discuss the most salient aspects of the piece.

A good review is a direct look into the eyes of the artist. With your most sincere, honest words, you will describe not only the experience but also the feelings it triggered in you. Sometimes those feelings will be of boredom and disgust, sometimes they will be of joy and amusement, and on rare occasions (very rare) they will be of pure amazement.

Here are a few reviews you may find useful when working on your own!

Roger Ebert’s reviews are always a good reference. Here’s one on Coriolanus, directed by Ralph Fiennes.

Here is The Village Voice‘s Rob Harvilla with a brilliant review of MIMS’ This is Why I’m Hot

Finally, here’s a review I wrote about The Limits of Control, by Jim Jarmusch for the New York Daily News, based on an interview with actress Paz de la Huerta.