- Watch the film
- Write the Outline for Your Film Review
- Understand the Purpose of Your Film Review
- Sample Movie Review Outline & Structure
- What Elements do I Include in my Movie Review Essay?
- Questions to ask when writing a movie review
Step 1# Watch the Film
Wait; did we define what a movie is?
A movie can also be referred to as a film. According to Wikipedia, “a movie or film is a form of visual communication which uses motion pictures to tell a story”
Now to write a perfect film review you have to watch the motion picture first. It is not rocket science that you cannot write a film analysis for a movie you have not watched. If the video is done in a language you do not understand, try to use English subtitles. Some of students come with this question, “I was asked to write a Chinese movie review but I do not understand the Chinese Language what do I do.?” If you find yourself in this situation, do not worry. Calm down and watch the entire movie to understand its context. If you still cannot understand the movie, talk to one of our Chinese movie reviewers and they will do the film review for you.
Step 2# Write the Outline for Your Film Review
To create a great film essay, you have to organize your thoughts either on a piece of paper, notepad or using MS word. Start by writing down the name of the film, the length of the movie and its theme. It is also good to note the movie genre. Film genres include action, comedy, thriller, action, Tv shows, drama, horror, musical etc. Then note down the points you are going to include in your movie review outline.
When you are told to do a movie analysis, you are simply being asked to give your thoughts about the movie. In your outline make sure to divide the movie essay into three parts (introduction, body and conclusion). By organizing your paper into three sections, you are able to put each idea in its right place. The introduction of your paper should have a thesis statement. The introduction should hook the attention of the reader besides making them want to view the movie. Ever heard, first impression matters? An introduction to movie review is your only chance to convince the reader to continue reading. Knowledge in writing a catchy hook for essay will come in handy when writing your film review.
Sample Movie Review Outline & Structure :
i). Start with an attention grabber. Do not go direct to writing the review. Give an interesting part of the film or a specific scene in the movie.
ii). Indentify the director, main actor or even the title of the movie.
iii.)Write your thesis statement
i).Give a short plot summary or synopsis of the movie.
ii).Write the literary analysis (Breakdown the movie by analyzing its technical and structural formats. It may include the cinematography, the music tracks, style of acting, costumes and color).
iii). Film Evaluation (Give your opinion of the movie. Was the movie good, what was wrong? What was done right?)
i). Restate the thesis
ii). Summarize the main points from your film review
Step 3# Understand the Purpose of your Film Review
Believe it or not if you do not know the purpose of writing a movie review, you will not write a perfect review.
Movie reviews are written for the following reasons:
i). Marketing: (Written to by a movie company like IMDB to convince the readers to view the film)
ii). Student : (Written as student’ coursework or assignment to assess their critical thinking skills )
iii). Journalism: (Used to inform tha public about an interesting aspect of a movie.)
However, do not take our word for it. It takes a professional film reviewer to understand the purpose of a movie review. But do not worry; you can also learn the ropes. It’s easy. The first thing you need to do is layout the facts about the movie. This can be done in one or two simple sentences. Such facts include the title of the movie, when it was released, the director and perhaps its duration.
A good review puts together the opinions of the writer as well as facts related to the movie. The idea of reviewing movies began in the early 1900s. Yet, although movies are meant for entertainment purpose, they are reviewed to assess their value to the viewer.
A movie review is an honest opinion about a movie which when read should sound objective and reasonable. While some movie reviews are shallow, a good film review is detailed and specific. This means that unlike other assignment, a movie review assignment does not involve general or basic research. Use your critical thinking skills are used more than research skills when writing a film analysis.
What Elements do I Include in my Movie Review Essay?
Like many others, you asked a good question.
The introduction of a movie review although it's ‘not easy to write’ is simply the easiest part because you are giving the title, name of the director among other facts.
Example movie review introduction:
In his many years of directing movies, Richard Donner rarely disappoints as seen in his 1978 superhero movie; Superman.
In this example, we have given the facts and grabbed the attentions of the reader. Many readers will want to watch the movie to confirm your views, but a good film review will urge them to reader more.
2. Summary of the film
Immediately after writing the introduction, tell the reader more about what the movie entails. This is your chance to list down what you saw. Give facts about the movie but in a brief 5 sentence paragraph. When writing the summary part, your assumption is that the reader has not seen the movie. BBC recommends naming some of the cast such as the main character in the second paragraph.
3. Evaluate the strengths of the movie
Now that you have informed the reader about the facts of the movie, this is your chance to give an opinion. Begin by evaluating the different parts of the movie. Whether or not a movie scored a rating of 9/10 on IMDB or Rotten tomatoes, it cannot be 100% perfect. Yet there are those aspects you might have noted when watching the film.
Questions to ask when writing a movie review
How was the camera or cinematography?
How do actors react to certain situations?
How and what type of music is used by the movie director?
How was the script? Did you like it or not?
What is the main message in the movie?
What types of costumes are used in the video?
How is color used?
What was interesting about the movie? Give specific scenes
How the movie is related to real life events?
When you ask yourself these questions and many others, you will get a point of focus for your essay. To make this part worthy of points, use specific examples from the movie such as the scenes or music tracks.
4. Critic the Film
As we said earlier, nothing is perfect and so are movies. A movie review essay is never complete without a good critic. Like a professional movie reviewers, you should not only focus on what made the movie successful. Rather, you should also ask yourself, what could have the movie or the director done to make the movie better? Was there too much lighting? Was the movie biased? Is the movie too much traditional? Develop a habit of asking yourself questions through your head and answering them in your review paper. However, this part should be done in a natural way without over-critiquing or under-critiquing.
5. Academic connection with the film
While this part it not mandatory, it should be included to make an excellent film essay. Unlike journalistic movie reviews, an academic film criticism must show how the movie relates with your course. Perhaps you are reviewing a history documentary movie in your history class. What parts of the movie do you feel relate to what you are learning?
A good film review must have a conclusion. This is the only place you get to give your closing remarks. After analyzing the film, what do you think? Convince the reader to view the film. You might also throw in a few points on how it compares with different film genres. Think deeply about your audience and your style