Film Reviews and What It Does For Your Film
Film reviews are evaluations of a film, typically written by a critic or journalist and published in a newspaper, magazine, or website.
They offer an analysis and critique of the film’s strengths and weaknesses and often provide a recommendation about whether the film is worth watching. Reviews can also be in the form of videos and podcasts.
Getting your film reviewed is typically a choice you would have to make as a filmmaker particularly for the goals you have for your film and your career.
However, there are things that should encourage you to consider having your film reviewed.
Here is a list of some of them:
Publicity: A good review can generate buzz and interest for your film, which can increase ticket sales.
Credibility: A positive review from a reputable critic can lend credibility to your film and help to attract more viewers.
Feedback: Reviews can provide valuable feedback on your film’s strengths and weaknesses, which can help you to improve your craft as a filmmaker.
Awards and Festivals: Positive assessments can help your film to be selected for film festivals, and increase the chances of winning awards.
Credibility and prestige: Good appraisals may encourage more distribution opportunities and better deals with producers, studios, and investors.
Audience engagement: Evaluations can also be used by the creators to engage the audience and to measure the effectiveness of their storytelling and filmmaking techniques.
Positive reviews can generally increase interest in a film and can lead to increased ticket sales and rental revenues, as well as awards and other accolades which can bring even more recognition to a film.
Although films assessments might not always go in your favour, there are many examples of films that have been helped by good reviews.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015): It was directed by George Miller. This action film was widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, many praised its action sequences, feminist themes and Miller’s direction.
The film was a critical and commercial success and grossed over $375 million worldwide.
Moonlight (2016): This coming-of-age drama directed by Barry Jenkins, received universal critical acclaim and multiple accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The film’s strong performances, story, and Jenkins’ direction helped it to become a critical darling and grossed $65 million worldwide on a $4 million budget.
The Shape of Water (2017): Directed by Guillermo del Toro. This fantasy drama received widespread critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising its visuals, performances, and Del Toro’s direction.
It won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, grossed over $195 million worldwide and helped to establish Del Toro as one of the most respected filmmakers working today.
Get Out (2017): Jordan Peele was the director. This horror-thriller film received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, with many reviewers praising its sharp social commentary and Peele’s direction.
The film was a commercial and grave success, grossing over $250 million worldwide on a budget of $4.5 million and winning Peele the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Parasite (2019): Directed by Bong Joon-ho, this South Korean film was widely praised by critics and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and also won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, becoming the first non-English language film to win the award.
The film’s blend of social commentary, humour, and suspense helped it to become a global hit, grossing over $160 million worldwide.
It is relatively rare for a film to be helped by negative reviews, as generally negative analysis will discourage potential viewers from seeing the film. However, in some cases, a film that receives destructive criticisms may still be able to generate buzz and interest, particularly if the reviews are seen as overly harsh or if the film has a built-in audience that is likely to see it regardless of the reviews.
One example of a film that was helped by negative reviews is the movie “The Room” directed and written by Tommy Wiseau, which was panned by critics upon its initial release in 2003. However, due to its bizarre, unconventional, and unintentionally comedic elements, it achieved cult status, and has since been widely praised and has been screened in many theatres and events around the world.
It was later adapted into a Hollywood film “The Disaster Artist” by James Franco.
Another example is the film, Showgirls directed by Paul Verhoeven, which premiered in 1995, it critically reviewed as a failed movie but over time, it gained huge following and its reputation as a “camp classic” has grown and became something of a pop culture phenomena.
It is worth noting that, some assessors and critics are not always right and sometimes the audiences’ opinions are different than that of the critics. Also, some movies might not be appreciated on their first release but win the confidence of viewers over time.
Nonetheless, with the prospects of gaining audience attention and distribution for your film, getting your film seen and reviewed by critics has benefits that outweigh the thumbs downs.