Film criticism is often used interchangeably with film review but there’s a thin line dividing the two concepts. They both involve analysis and evaluation of films and the film medium, but while review involves some form of recommendation at the end, criticism might not necessarily make any recommendations.
What is film criticism? This is when you use the elements of film-making to analyse the quality of a film. You are doing an evaluation to ascertain the standard of a film based on such elements as plot, setting, cinematography, mood, Motion, among others. You need to understand basics of film making to be able to do a good film criticism. You also need to know various expertise within film making such as directing, acting, producing, music and sound, cinematography, special effects, scripts, location, among others. This will place you on a better perspective to do an objective criticism from the position of knowledge.
Film criticism is part of the eco system of the movie industry because criticisms and reviews influence the standard of films, their patronage and quality.
What is Film review? This is also an objective evaluation of a movie, oftentimes with the aim of improving the quality of the movie through meaningful recommendations. This is a process of assessing a film’s overall quality based on film-making elements. So just as is done in film criticism, the review involves objective assessment, evaluation, and examination of a film with a view to exposing to the audience what makes a movie interesting, appealing or otherwise, including aspects of the film they may not have seen.
As was pointed earlier, a review could involve recommendations while the criticism may simply dissect the film, expose strengths and weaknesses for audience consumption without necessarily making recommendations.
Another basic difference is that a film review is more subjective and less technical than a film critique. A film review can be compiled by anyone and consists of a subjective opinion of a work, but a film critique is written by an expert in the field with a technical comprehension. Film criticism is done from the position of indepth knowledge of film-making elements, film theories and comparison with other films in the same genre. It involves interpretation combined with evaluation of the film. A review can be an opinionated analysis of a film from a less technical point of view, though with recommendations on how to make the film more appealing to the audience.
When you continually use these two terms interchangeably you might not notice the thin line diving them.