Film Critic

Job Description:

Film critics analyse films and produce reviews and articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, social media channels and websites.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • watch films of all genres, often several times
  • make notes about scripts, music, storylines and influences
  • look at technical details like camera angles, lighting and editing
  • submit reviews by strict deadlines
  • build up contacts with film-makers, agents and distributors
  • attend film festivals, talks, previews and press conferences
  • interview film-makers, actors and production staff
  • research archival information about films and film-makers
  • keep up to date with critical theories


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to critically analyse information
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed (drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a film critic doesn’t require specific GCSE subjects, but a strong foundation in certain subjects can help you develop the critical thinking, writing, and communication skills necessary for this profession. Here are some recommended GCSE subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring film critics:

  1. English: Strong writing and communication skills are crucial for film critics, as they need to express their opinions and analyses of films effectively. This subject can also help you develop critical reading skills, which are important for analyzing films.
  2. Media Studies: This subject provides insights into film and media analysis, which can be directly relevant to film criticism. It can help you understand the techniques, language, and history of cinema.
  3. Art and Design: Knowledge of art and design can be useful in understanding the visual aspects of filmmaking, including cinematography, set design, and costume design.
  4. Drama: Drama subjects can provide insights into storytelling, character development, and acting, which are all important aspects of film critique.
  5. History: A background in history can be beneficial for understanding the historical context of films, the evolution of cinematic techniques, and the impact of certain films on culture and society.

Post Office

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • short training courses

You can do a foundation degree, degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • film studies
  • journalism
  • English
  • creative writing
  • film and television

Courses like these will help you to develop the analysis and writing skills you’ll need as a film critic.

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you’ll need for this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Film Studies (in the UK, A Level)
  • Diploma in Journalism (in the UK, Level 3)

You can work towards this role by starting with a higher apprenticeship like a junior journalist or a senior journalist, before specialising in film reviewing and criticism.

Competition for jobs is strong, and you’ll need to show you’ve got writing experience. You’ll find it useful to keep examples of your published work in a portfolio.

To develop your experience and reputation you can:

  • write for student and local newspapers
  • create your own blog and build an online presence on social media
  • submit articles to online film review channels and websites
  • post video reviews online and produce podcasts

Other Routes
You may be able to do short courses, which could help you to develop your critical writing skills, as well as expand your knowledge of film and different genres.

Short courses are offered by some colleges, adult education centres, university film departments. and film organisations online.

Courses include:

  • film criticism
  • history of cinema
  • creative writing
  • journalism skills
  • cinema from other countries

It’s important to develop your own critical writing style and build up a good reputation to establish yourself as a film critic.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at events, at a venue, from home or in an office.

The hours are variable and you could work freelance / self-employed.

Career Path & Progression:

As an established film critic, you could combine your job with writing books on film, editing, or teaching criticism on film courses. You could also work in film archives.