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How to Write a Movie Review: 10 Essential Tips

As long as there have been films, there have been film critics. Starting with the early days of cinema, where reviews appeared in newspapers and magazines as brief, descriptive pieces, as filmmaking evolved as an art form, so did the role of the critic. James Agee, André Bazin, and Pauline Kael shaped the discourse around cinema, and today, famous film critics like the iconic Roger Ebert , The New York Times’s A.O. Scott , and The New York Times’s Manohla Dargis continue to leave an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

With the rise of the internet, film criticism now encompasses a wide range of voices and perspectives from around the globe. Sites like Letterboxd make it possible for anyone to write short-form reviews on film. Even stars like The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri have accounts and share opinions on the latest box-office hits.

How to Write a Movie Review

Today, contemporary YouTube and TikTok critics such as Red Letter Media , deepfocuslens , and DoMo Draper don’t just write film reviews, they shoot videos and skits. Through their creative formats, they offer refreshing and unique perspectives while building communities of diehard film and television enthusiasts. Whether you choose to write reviews for your own blog, other websites, or social media channels, by learning how to write a movie review, any aspiring filmmaker can start to watch films intentionally. 

@domodraperr Replying to @xsindeviltriggerx I’ll get right on that, Sir!🫡 #comments #movies #film #satire #fyp #mulan #disney ♬ I’ll Make a Man Out of You (feat. Black Gryph0n) – Cover – Samuel Kim

TikTok film critic “DoMo Draper” provides commentary on new and old films, often calling out racism, social injustice, misogyny, and prejudice.

While there’s no perfect approach to writing a review, there are best practices that every aspiring reviewer should consider.

Here are ten tips on writing a compelling piece.

1. Watch the film at least once.

For new reviewers, it’s impossible to capture everything after one viewing. Watching the film first, then watching to take notes, is an easy way to improve the quality of your final review. This will also make it easy to recall in-the-moment thoughts and reactions.

how to write a movie review

Take a review by Christian Blauvelt of Charlie Chaplin’s silent film The Circus , for example. Since the film does not have sound, properly critiquing the film requires close attention. Viewers have to pay attention to the various nuances in Chaplin’s performance, follow the story, and take in the cinematography. Regarding The Circus , Blauvelt writes, “The film lacks a conventional plot, but is rather a pearl necklace of strung-together episodes. ” The statement isn’t a criticism, but a keen observation likely gleaned from more than one viewing. 

So while every film reviewer has their own approach, many choose to watch a film more than once to deliver the best possible review. Image The Criterion Collection.

2. Express your opinions and support your criticism.

Professional reviewers do not shy away from sharing whether they thought a movie was good, bad, or indifferent. In a review for the film Mother!, reviewer Candice Frederick describes the film as “uncomfortable,” and “controversial,” helping viewers understand the tone of the movie. While Frederick seemed to enjoy the film, her honesty about how it would make audiences feel was vital in writing the review.

Be sure to back up these thoughts with specifics–a disappointing performance, beautiful cinematography, difficult material that leaves you thinking, and so on. Professional reviewers should express why and how they came to their criticism.

3. Consider your audience.

Are you writing for a fan site or a news outlet? Who will read your pieces, and what are their interests? Knowing who your readers are and where the review will be published can help you decide what elements of the movie to highlight. For example, take these two very different reviews for the film ‘Synecdoche, New York’.  

how to write a movie review

The first review was written by Alonso Duralde for The Today Show , and clocks in at around 500 words. The film focuses on the bullet points: characters, plot, and a concise review. The second review is over 3,000 words and published on the Critical Critics blog . This review goes into massive depth (and yes, includes spoilers) about the film, providing an incredible amount of analysis. The first review is tailored for the casual filmgoer, while the second is for cinephiles. Each review serves a different purpose.

It’s also a good idea to adjust your writing style to fit the target audience. For example, Alonso Duralde is a talented film reviewer and likely wrote the review to fit the tone of The Today Show site. Image via Director’s Library.

4. Talk about the acting.

When reviewing a film, it’s important to take space to discuss the performances. Does the film feature a seasoned actor in a new kind of role or a brilliant performance from a rising star? How was the acting? In a review by Brett Milam for the award-winning film Whiplash , he goes into rich detail about performances by both breakthrough actor Miles Teller and seasoned professional JK Simmons.

Regarding Teller, Milam writes, “This is a performance. This is art,” and about Simmons, “I found him fascinating to just look at.” Those are just small examples of the analysis he provides regarding their acting. As the film mostly focuses on the relationship between their two characters, Miles as the protagonist and JK as the antagonist, the review of the performances lends well to the plot of the film: student and teacher going head to head in an intense and determined showdown. 

Feedback about how well the actors handled the script, the dynamics in an ensemble, and so much more can help describe how the actors did in any given film.

5. Call out directors, cinematographers, and special effects.

Reviews that include highlights or missteps of directors, cinematographers, and costume designers can help provide support to your critiques. By providing specific examples of what worked, what surprised you, and what fell short of expectations, reviewers can write a well-thought-out review that goes beyond whether or not you liked it.

how to write a movie review

In a review for A Wrinkle in Time , Monique Jones artfully crafts a piece that diplomatically cites the missteps of the film. From analyzing the quality of the CGI to the camera techniques to inconsistencies in the rules of the fantasy universe, Jones fairly offers a critique that guides the filmmakers and crew on future endeavors. To write this type of review, it helps to have some knowledge of the filmmaking process so you can properly assess the screenwriting, cinematography, special effects, acting, and more. Image via Disney.

6. No spoilers!

The point of writing a movie review is to get people interested in seeing a movie. That’s why it’s absolutely best practice to not reveal spoilers in a film review. Film reviewer Robert Daniels approaches this creatively. In his review of Annihilation , he provides commentary on what would be considered spoilers. However, he places that part of the review at the bottom of the article under a bold header/image that warns the reader he’s about to spoil the film. For reviewers who want to dissect the entire film, this is a good way to both tease the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it and cater to people who want to know what the ending is.

Remember: the goal of any film review is to discuss the plot without revealing any twists or the ending of the film. 

7. Study the professionals.

As with all writing endeavors, the more you read, the better. However, with the modern landscape of film reviewing, which can go beyond writing and extend to content creation for social media platforms, there are a ton of reviewers to take notes from. First, determine what kind of reviewer you want to be, and what kind of medium you plan to deliver your reviews on. If you plan to post to Medium, for example, studying the reviewers already established on the site can be a great starting point.

Then, read film reviews for some of your favorite films. Determine which style of review you like and don’t like. Question why, and use your critical eye to consider why one reviewer has a hundred thousand followers and another only has two. If you’re looking to be featured on a website or a magazine, read the publications where you’d like your writing to appear as a template for your reviews, and don’t forget to read the submission guidelines. A few examples of film review professionals include Rotten Tomatoes , Roger Ebert , and Film Comment. 

8. Reread, rewrite, and edit.

While writing film critique is based on opinion, and follows the style of the reviewer, it’s still important to edit work. Writers should check for spelling, grammar, and readability. No matter how good a writer’s opinions are, they will not be taken seriously if the director’s name isn’t spelled correctly. Tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can be great for correcting and finding areas that need improvement. 

9. Find your voice.

The best reviewers have a distinct personality that comes across in their writing. Los Angeles Times film reviewer Carlos Aguilar wrote an impassioned piece about the film Beatriz at Dinner , going into a lot of detail about his experiences working in the film industry and his Mexican heritage. By sharing anecdotes about casual racism he’s experienced and connecting it to the film’s protagonist, and what she goes through, the review feels personal and relatable.

how to write a movie review

“If at a film festival – to which I’ve gotten access to because I’m a published writer – in a progressive city like Los Angeles, I must keep my guard up when people question my right to be there, then how are the voiceless supposed to feel safe, respected, or hopeful?” Aguilar writes. 

For new reviewers, developing this type of unique voice does not happen overnight, so take every opportunity to write as an opportunity to develop your style. Image via BBC.

10. Know your taste.

As a film reviewer, it can be helpful to identify your taste in film. By knowing specific preferences, strengths, and biases, reviewers can offer nuanced critiques that resonate with audiences and provide valuable guidance on which films they might enjoy. Additionally, it helps to maintain credibility and integrity as a reviewer by ensuring that assessments are authentic and reflective of personal cinematic sensibilities.

Try to explore various genres, directors, and themes to understand what resonates emotionally, intellectually, and aesthetically. Pay attention to the types of stories that engage you, which can help define your preferences.

Learn More About Filmmaking at NYFA

Film students with writing experience actually make great reviewers, as many of them are required to study a range of topics relating to film that can include cinematography, screenwriting, producing, and much more. Ready to build even more skills in filmmaking? Request more information about New York Film Academy’s filmmaking programs and workshops today!

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How to Write a Movie Review

Last Updated: March 13, 2024 Fact Checked

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 179 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 5,575,203 times. Learn more...

Whether a movie is a rotten tomato or a brilliant work of art, if people are watching it, it's worth critiquing. A decent movie review should entertain, persuade and inform, providing an original opinion without giving away too much of the plot. A great movie review can be a work of art in its own right. Read on to learn how to analyze a movie like a professional film critic, come up with an interesting thesis, and write a review as entertaining as your source material.

Sample Movie Reviews

how to write a film review school

Writing an Intro for a Movie Review

Step 1 Start with a compelling fact, quote, or opinion on the movie.

  • Comparison to Relevant Event or Movie: "Every day, our leaders, politicians, and pundits call for "revenge"– against terrorist groups, against international rivals, against other political parties. But few of them understand the cold, destructive, and ultimately hollow thrill of revenge as well as the characters of Blue Ruin. "
  • Review in a nutshell: "Despite a compelling lead performance by Tom Hanks and a great soundtrack, Forrest Gump never gets out of the shadow of its weak plot and questionable premise."
  • Context or Background Information: " Boyhood might be the first movie made where knowing how it was produced–slowly, over 12 years, with the same actors–is just as crucial as the movie itself."

Step 2 Give a clear, well-established opinion early on.

  • Using stars, a score out of 10 or 100, or the simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down is a quick way to give your thoughts. You then write about why you chose that rating.
  • Great Movie: ABC is the rare movie that succeeds on almost every level, where each character, scene, costume, and joke firing on all cylinders to make a film worth repeated viewings."
  • Bad Movie: "It doesn't matter how much you enjoy kung-fu and karate films: with 47 Ronin, you're better off saving your money, your popcorn, and time."
  • Okay Movie: "I loved the wildly uneven Interstellar far more than I should have, but that doesn't mean it is perfect. Ultimately, the utter awe and spectacle of space swept me through the admittedly heavy-handed plotting and dialogue."

Step 3 Support your opinions with evidence from specific scenes.

  • Great: "Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer's chemistry would carry Fruitvale Station even if the script wasn't as good. The mid-movie prison scene in particular, where the camera never leaves their faces, shows how much they can convey with nothing but their eyelids, the flashing tension of neck muscles, and a barely cracking voice."
  • Bad: " Jurassic World's biggest flaw, a complete lack of relatable female characters, is only further underscored by a laughably unrealistic shot of our heroine running away from a dinosaur – in heels."
  • Okay: "At the end of the day, Snowpiercer can't decide what kind of movie it wants to be. The attention to detail in fight scenes, where every weapon, lightbulb, and slick patch of ground is accounted for, doesn't translate to an ending that seems powerful but ultimately says little of substance."

Step 4 Create an original...

  • Does the film reflect on a current event or contemporary issue? It could be the director's way of engaging in a bigger conversation. Look for ways to relate the content of the film to the "real" world.
  • Does the film seem to have a message, or does it attempt to elicit a specific response or emotion from the audience? You could discuss whether or not it achieves its own goals.
  • Does the film connect with you on a personal level? You could write a review stemming from your own feelings and weave in some personal stories to make it interesting for your readers.

Composing Your Review

Step 1 Follow your thesis paragraph with a short plot summary.

  • When you name characters in your plot summary, list the actors' names directly afterward in parenthesis.
  • Find a place to mention the director's name and the full movie title.
  • If you feel you must discuss information that might "spoil" things for readers, warn them first.

Step 2 Start to talk about the film’s technical and artistic choices.

  • Cinematography: " Her is a world drenched in color, using bright, soft reds and oranges alongside calming whites and grays that both build, and slowly strip away, the feelings of love between the protagonists. Every frame feels like a painting worth sitting in."
  • Tone: "Despite the insane loneliness and high stakes of being stuck alone on Mars, The Martian's witty script keeps humor and excitement alive in every scene. Space may be dangerous and scary, but the joy of scientific discovery is intoxicating."
  • Music and Sound: " No Country For Old Men's bold decision to skip music entirely pays off in spades. The eerie silence of the desert, punctuated by the brief spells of violent, up-close-and-personal sound effects of hunter and hunted, keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat."
  • Acting: "While he's fantastic whenever he's on the move, using his cool stoicism to counteract the rampaging bus, Keanu Reeves can't quite match his costar in the quiet moments of Speed, which falter under his expressionless gaze."

Step 3 Move into your...

  • Keep your writing clear and easy to understand. Don't use too much technical filmmaking jargon, and make your language crisp and accessible.
  • Present both the facts and your opinion. For example, you might state something such as, "The Baroque background music was a jarring contrast to the 20th century setting." This is a lot more informative then simply saying, "The music was a strange choice for the movie."

Step 4 Use plenty of examples to back up your points.

  • Great: "In the end, even the characters of Blue Ruin know how pointless their feud is. But revenge, much like every taut minute of this thriller, is far too addictive to give up until the bitter end.""
  • Bad: "Much like the oft-mentioned "box of chocolates", Forest Gump has a couple of good little morsels. But most of the scenes, too sweet by half, should have been in the trash long before this movie was put out."
  • Okay: "Without the novel, even revolutionary concept, Boyhood may not be a great movie. It might not even be "good.” But the power the film finds in the beauty of passing time and little, inconsequential moments – moments that could only be captured over 12 years of shooting – make Linklater's latest an essential film for anyone interested in the art of film."

Polishing Your Piece

Step 1 Edit your review.

  • Ask yourself whether your review stayed true to your thesis. Did your conclusion tie back in with the initial ideas you proposed?
  • Decide whether your review contains enough details about the movie. You may need to go back and add more description here and there to give readers a better sense of what the movie's about.
  • Decide whether your review is interesting enough as a stand-alone piece of writing. Did you contribute something original to this discussion? What will readers gain from reading your review that they couldn't from simply watching the movie?

Step 2 Proofread your review.

Studying Your Source Material

Step 1 Gather basic facts about the movie.

  • The title of the film, and the year it came out.
  • The director's name.
  • The names of the lead actors.

Step 2 Take notes on the movie as you watch it.

  • Make a note every time something sticks out to you, whether it's good or bad. This could be costuming, makeup, set design, music, etc. Think about how this detail relates to the rest of the movie and what it means in the context of your review.
  • Take note of patterns you begin to notice as the movie unfolds.
  • Use the pause button frequently so you make sure not to miss anything, and rewind as necessary.

Step 3 Analyze the mechanics of the movie.

  • Direction: Consider the director and how he or she choose to portray/explain the events in the story. If the movie was slow, or didn't include things you thought were necessary, you can attribute this to the director. If you've seen other movies directed by the same person, compare them and determine which you like the most.
  • Cinematography: What techniques were used to film the movie? What setting and background elements helped to create a certain tone?
  • Writing: Evaluate the script, including dialogue and characterization. Did you feel like the plot was inventive and unpredictable or boring and weak? Did the characters' words seem credible to you?
  • Editing: Was the movie choppy or did it flow smoothly from scene to scene? Did they incorporate a montage to help build the story? And was this obstructive to the narrative or did it help it? Did they use long cuts to help accentuate an actor's acting ability or many reaction shots to show a group's reaction to an event or dialogue? If visual effects were used were the plates well-chosen and were the composited effects part of a seamless experience? (Whether the effects looked realistic or not is not the jurisdiction of an editor, however, they do choose the footage to be sent off to the compositors, so this could still affect the film.)
  • Costume design: Did the clothing choices fit the style of the movie? Did they contribute to the overall tone, rather than digressing from it?
  • Set design: Consider how the setting of the film influenced its other elements. Did it add or subtract from the experience for you? If the movie was filmed in a real place, was this location well-chosen?
  • Score or soundtrack: Did it work with the scenes? Was it over/under-used? Was it suspenseful? Amusing? Irritating? A soundtrack can make or break a movie, especially if the songs have a particular message or meaning to them.

Step 4 Watch it one more time.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • If you don't like the movie, don't be abusive and mean. If possible, avoid watching the movies that you would surely hate. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Understand that just because the movie isn't to your taste, that doesn't mean you should give it a bad review. A good reviewer helps people find movie's they will like. Since you don't have the same taste in movies as everyone else, you need to be able to tell people if they will enjoy the movie, even if you didn't. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Structure is very important; try categorizing the different parts of the film and commenting on each of those individually. Deciding how good each thing is will help you come to a more accurate conclusion. For example, things like acting, special effects, cinematography, think about how good each of those are. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/writing_about_film/terminology_and_starting_prompts.html
  • ↑ https://www.spiritofbaraka.com/how-write-a-movie-review
  • ↑ https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/9-tips-for-writing-a-film-review/
  • ↑ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/writing-help/top-tips-for-writing-a-review
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/summary-using-it-wisely/
  • ↑ https://twp.duke.edu/sites/twp.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/film-review-1.original.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.dailywritingtips.com/7-tips-for-writing-a-film-review/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/writing_about_film/film_writing_sample_analysis.html
  • ↑ https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/onnyx.bei/dual-credit/movie-review-writing-guide
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-a-movie-review/
  • ↑ https://gustavus.edu/writingcenter/handoutdocs/editing_proofreading.php
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://edusson.com/blog/how-to-write-movie-review

About This Article

To write a movie review, start with a compelling fact or opinion to hook your readers, like "Despite a great performance by Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump never overcomes its weak plot." Then, elaborate on your opinion of the movie right off the bat so readers know where you stand. Once your opinion is clear, provide examples from the movie that prove your point, like specific scenes, dialogue, songs, or camera shots. To learn how to study a film closely before you write a review, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Movie Review and Where to Get Help

The first thing you do after watching a movie is to go online and write a comment about it. Comments about movies are usually posted on social media profiles or public pages, review sites, blogs, among other platforms. You can make the process easier with tools available online.

Writing a movie review is a common assignment that students have to do in high school and college. Even though it may seem simple, movie reviews require time and proper organization. It’s not just about writing what happens on the screen, the review goes deeper than that.

Movie Review Purpose

The main purpose of a movie review is to inform the reader about the film and its ideas. Seems simple, right? Reporting all events that happen and stating one’s opinion about them is a common mistake that many students make. While movie review allows writers to express their opinions about some film or documentary, there is also the need for the unbiased and objective approach. An ideal review combines both.

The review determines whether someone will want to see the movie. Even if the professor (or teacher) assigned a specific title and film to review, one should act like this is the perfect opportunity to introduce the cinematography work to their lecturer. Always assume they haven’t seen it before. As a result, it becomes easier to analyze events that happened on the screen.

Film review should be detailed enough to provide assistance in making an honest decision i.e. whether the reader wants to see it or if they’d like it. Why is this type of paper a common school assignment? Lecturers want to get more insight into a student’s critical thinking skills and the ability to report event (one or more of them) in a manner that others understand easily.

In addition, they want to assess the way you analyze plot and characters. After all, movie reviews also involve the analysis of events that happened in a documentary or “regular” film. Reviews test writing and vocabulary skills, adapting to different genres and events they portray, and your capacity to sum up some major work and report it in a cohesive, logical, and interesting manner.

While reviews entail more responsibility than initially thought, students find them fun and with this guide, you will too.

how to write a film review school

How to Write a Good Movie Review

You have to write a movie review for school and now what? Where to start, how to make it look more “academic”? Today, we have the opportunity to use numerous tools to make every part of our lives easier, and movie review writing isn’t the exception. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll learn how to compose a report about some film and what tools to use to simplify the process.

Step-by-Step Guide to How to Write a Movie Review

Beginnings are always the hardest. This is the point where you set the pace and determine how to approach this assignment in the most efficient manner. Here are some useful tips to kick-start the movie review writing process:

  • Watch the movie or documentary twice and take notes of both major and minor events and characters. It’s a mistake to rely on the power of your memory only, there’s always something we overlook or forget
  • Carry out a thorough research . Watching the movie isn’t enough, research is equally important. Look for details such as the name of filmmaker and his/her motivation to make that film or documentary work, locations, plot, characterization, historic events that served as an inspiration for the movie (if applicable). Basically, your research should serve to collect information that provides more depth to the review
  • Analyze the movie after you watching it . Don’t start working on the review if you aren’t sure you understand the film. Evaluate the movie from beginning to an end. Re-watch it, if necessary, if you find some parts confusing. Only when you understand events that happened on the screen will you find it easier to create the review
  • Draft an outline that you will follow to write the review in a concise and cohesive fashion
  • Include examples for claims you make about the movie. If the plot has holes, then mention an example of a situation or scene when that was evident. Also, if the character(s) is poorly developed or bad casting affected the movie quality, name examples too. Provide examples when commenting dialogues, locations, plot, everything. If you want the reader to agree with you, it’s essential to back up your claims with evidence. You don’t want to make it seem like you’re praising or criticizing the movie without any reason whatsoever
  • Consider and comment a movie’s originality and quality of scenes . Explain how the movie stands out or whether it just uses the same approach that worked for previous works in the industry

How to Organize Your Movie Review

Quality of your paper depends on the level of organization you implement. Never underestimate the importance of well-structured outline, regardless of the type of paper you have to write. Outlines help you focus on the subject and contribute to a logical flow.

In addition, getting things organized before you start writing is a great way to save time later on. Instead of trying to figure out what to include, you’ll have a well-structured plan to follow. It’s needless to mention you won’t be too stressed out. Here’s how to organize your movie review:

  • Introduction (with title, release date, background information)
  • Summary of the story
  • Analysis of the plot elements (rising action, climax)
  • Creative elements (dialogues, characters, use of colors, camera techniques, mood, tone, symbols, costumes or anything that contributes or takes away from the overall plot)
  • Opinion (supported with examples and facts from the story)
  • Conclusion (announcing whether the filmmaker was successful in his/her purpose, re-state your evidence, explain how the motion picture was helpful for providing a deeper understand of course topic)

Movie Review Elements

  • The title of the film/documentary – just because your headline features the name of the movie or documentary it doesn’t mean should skip mentioning it in the text. Always name the feature you’ve watched in the introductory paragraph. This may seem like a stupid thing to point out, but it’s one of the most common mistakes that students make
  • Summary – the whole point of the review is to summarize the documentary or movie for people who haven’t watched it yet. To make this as effective as possible, always assume that your professor hasn’t seen it either (as mentioned above). Why is this important? You won’t leave out some important details thinking he/she watched it already so they won’t bother. As a reviewer, your job is to explain what happened in the film and express whether the filmmaker failed or succeeded. Again, saying you liked or disliked it isn’t a viable comment. Your opinion has to be supported by specific reasons and examples from the feature itself
  • Filmmaker – do a little research on the person who directed the piece. Is that person a controversial figure? Is he/she known for a political stance? Does the filmmaker have a significant background? Devote a paragraph or two to the person behind the movie and their other works in order to establish the significance of the film you are reviewing for the director’s career
  • Significance to your class – How does the content of the documentary or film fit into your course topic? Is it important for historical accuracy? If you are watching the motion picture for history class, make note of over-dramatization. If the motion picture is based on the book you’ve analyzed in English class, you can mention similarities, differences, or some elements that film contains, but book doesn’t and so on
  • Creative elements – filmmakers work hard to include creative elements into their motion pictures. How are these elements important to the plot and movie in general? For example, costumes can either enhance the movie or betray its intent. Colors can be vivid and lift the atmosphere or mood in the movie or they can be dull and make it seem depressing. Good sound effects enrich the viewing experience while bad ones only destroy everything. Moreover, camera movements and angles also add elements to the story. Take notes of symbols in the story, if any.
  • Actors – let’s not forget the casting! Were the actors realistic? Did they portray the role of a specific character successfully? Did they have good acting skills? Do you believe that some particular actor was the right fit for the role?

Checklist / Outline for a Good Movie Review

  • Introduction (title, topic, release date, background information)
  • Accuracy of depiction
  • Use of sources in the documentary
  • Creative elements that enhance or tarnish the overall story (quality of script, visual design, performance, lighting, hair, and makeup, costume, set design, symbolism)
  • Your opinion

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Not focusing on the film – while connecting the plot to some specific historical event is a good idea (when applicable), strive to avoid writing about unnecessary details or introducing irrelevant information such as the history of cinematography or that particular genre, snacks, among other things
  • Inserting yourself – you’re the one who’s writing the review. The paper reflects your understanding and opinion of the motion picture you’ve seen and there is no need to write in first person all the time: I noticed this, I saw that I liked this, I disliked that
  • Failing to check facts about movie background and release date, director, casting etc.
  • Giving out your opinion without mentioning any reason why you think that way
  • Talking about irrelevancies
  • Writing a review without a structure
  • Writing generalities such as great acting, cool effects, a good movie, it was bad etc.
  • Writing a review without substance or analysis of the feature

Dr. Joshua

Finished papers

Customer reviews


Movie Review Examples

  • The Hunger Games and the idea of dystopia
  • Mean Girls review: does it exploit stereotypes about high schools or it helps to undermine them?
  • The Martian review and its connection to Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe
  • The Last Jedi review: all the reasons it’s far from the original saga
  • Manchester by the sea and ideas of forgiveness and grief
  • Forrest Gump review
  • I am Sam review
  • Runaway Bride review and its role in modern understanding of marriage

Movie Review Help

Like other types of writing, movie reviews require patience and time. Being a student isn’t the easiest task in the world and you don’t have enough time to dedicate to one assignment only while neglecting others. There’s no need to despair; you can use the internet to get much-needed assistance with this assignment. Here’s how:

By Markers Expectations / Rubrics

Clear Organization – as stated above, the clear organization is vital for a well-structured movie review. You can use the Edusson website as a guide through this process via numerous posts about writing, self-help resources, and Essay Examples that serves as an excellent platform to sharpen writing skills and compose your paper.

RobotDon Essay Checker  platform proves to be handy when you complete the writing process and want to make sure it’s unique, without fluff and wateriness, repetitive words and expressions.

Let’s not fort that you can hire an essay writer  who will write a perfect review for you.

Use of Sources – just because it’s movie review, it doesn’t mean you should avoid using sources to support your claims. Sources are particularly important for reviews of documentaries or when you’re trying to connect the review with some problem in society. Research requires more time than any other part of the process and you can easily hire a professional i.e. a helper who will do that for you

Opinion – a movie review is about the equilibrium of unbiased report and personal opinion. While it’s okay to say what you think about the movie, you also have to approach certain aspects in an objective manner to help the reader get a better understanding of the motion picture. Finding the balance between subjective and objective writing can be frustrating, which is why professional service comes handy. All you have to do is to provide title, information, your opinion and a pro writer takes it from there

Essay Writing Service – there is no need to be stressed out because you have a ton of work to do when professional writer service can write movie review easily. Services like Edusson are used by students who can’t keep up with constant demands in school or college, but they don’t want to jeopardize their grades. With over 1000 writers, Edusson is a perfect assignment writing service . You have the full control of the project through set deadlines, choosing the writer for this task etc.

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Movie Review FAQ

Do I have to write a movie review in a certain formatting style? Everything depends on the instructions your teacher gives you. It often happens that a movie review can be free of academic formatting. But don’t exclude the possibility that you will have to complete this paper in MLA or get task writing a paper in APA .

Can I copy an existing movie review? Well, of course, it is important to look at examples of other movie reviews to get to know the structure and ways of ideas expressing better. But if you copy a film review directly from the other source, your curator will detect plagiarism in it.

My major is not moviemaking. Why am I assigned to write a film report? Students are assigned movie report writing, first of all, to broaden their mind and evaluate the way they can analyze material and express their opinion. Don’t feel confused if on the Psychology class your professor asks you to review a movie. It is a common practice for students who are completing their degree in various fields of study.

Will you just give me someone else’s review?

No, not at all! Edusson stands out as the writing service with full transparency. All essays and other papers are written from scratch by professional writers with strong work ethic and desire to help their clients get better grades. The movie review you receive is 100% original, which you can check with RobotDon’s plagiarism checker.

Will you send my review to someone else?

The answer is – no. Not only are the clients in control of the process, but author’s rights are transferred to them the moment the review is done. Once the writing process is over, the review is yours and can never be sent to someone else.

What if I need more edits?

If you need edits or want some specific info to be added, our writers will be happy to make necessary revisions.

I need more help with movie review service, how can I contact you?

Our customer service is always available through 24/7 live chat feature.

Do you like movies? Who doesn’t? Movie and documentary reviews give you a unique opportunity to improve your writing skills by combining school assignment with someone you really like. Although it’s not that difficult to compose a review of a motion picture or some educational/informative feature, feel free to use all the available resources to get the most out of your assignment. Use the advantage of the internet to work on your review for major benefits such as:

Improve Your Paper

Practice makes everything better and the internet allows you to make it happen. For instance, Edusson acts as a perfect tutorial + professional writing service platform as it allows you to improve writing skills while getting assistance from professional writers and editors when necessary . The do-it-yourselfers benefit greatly from RobotDon, a cute little helper that analyzes the review and identifies mistakes you need to correct. The result of using these resources is a well-written movie review that meets or exceeds your lecturer’s expectations.

Raise Your GPA (Grade)

Using multiple resources and platforms to your advantage can only be a good thing for your GPA. When you’re a student, everything you do counts and contributes to GPA. It all comes down to learning how to make student life easier for you and one way to do that is to incorporate online tools into your assignments. Your professor will appreciate the effort and thanks to the improved writing skills, good grades are unavoidable.

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How to Write a Movie Review

How to Write a Movie Review

how to write a film review school

Writing a Film Review

Movies have become a cultural mainstay of our society. Not only are they art and entertainment, but they have also become a way for people to bond and make connections. Finding someone who has a similar taste in movies can create new friendships and start interesting conversations. That's why understanding how to analyze a movie and write movie reviews is such a useful skill. 

Do you need to know how to write a movie review for college? Or how to write a movie critique? Or maybe just how to do a movie review? In this article, you will learn how to write a movie review step by step, as well as get an in-depth guide into each section of a movie review.

What is a Movie Review?

A film review essay is more than just a plot summary followed by a recommendation. A movie review analyzes different elements of a movie and mixes personal opinion with objective analysis. The goal of the movie review is to tell the reader about the details of a movie while giving them enough information to decide for themselves whether it's worth watching or not. Of course, a good movie review also has to be interesting and engaging! 

How to Write a Good Movie Review

More than most other pieces of writing, there are a lot of steps to take before actually getting into writing a movie review. But don't worry though, most of these steps are pretty fun and if you follow them, you will know how to review movies. 

Watch the film! 

It goes without saying that you need to watch a movie before you write a review for it, so, before you do anything else, watch the movie at least once. Don't worry about trying to pick up specific details on your first watch, just enjoy the movie and get a general impression of whether you liked it or not and what you liked or disliked. Ideally, you should watch the movie at least two times. On your second and third viewings, pay attention to movie review criteria like cinematography, acting, dialogue, character development, deeper meanings, etc. Read some film review examples to get a sense of the things they talk about.

Pause the movie on your second and third viewings and take notes on things that stand out to you. Don't be afraid to take as many notes as you want, after all these notes are just for you.  You might not use all the notes you have taken, but they will help you compose the main part of your body paragraphs.

Express your opinions

Once you have watched the movie a few times and taken notes, make a list of the strongest opinions you have about the movie. If you think that the quality of acting was one of the best parts of the movie, use your notes to come up with specific examples. You should have between 3 and 5 key opinions that you will elaborate on when writing a film review along with examples to back up your claims.

Think about your audience

The language you use is going to change based on who you are writing the movie review for. If it is an assignment for school or university, then you may have to use more technical language.  If you're writing an article for a website or personal blog, then think about who the audience is and use language appropriate for them. Keep in mind that your audience also depends on the genre of the movie you are critiquing. A movie review for a serious period drama will have a different audience than a buddy cop comedy and therefore different language. Look at a movie review sample from different genres to get an idea of the type of language to use. 

Research the actors

Having big movie stars associated with a film is often one of the main selling points of a movie.  If an actor is critically acclaimed, it’s especially important to mention the awards they have won as this is often a sign of the overall quality of the movie. It's also possible that you didn't like the movie overall, but one of your favorite actors was in it so you enjoyed the movie and another fan might enjoy it too. 

Do background research

An easy way to make a movie review interesting is to search for interesting details about the making of the movie. It may be worth mentioning if it was shot in a particularly beautiful place or a unique location, or if the special effects were practical rather than CGI. Include interesting casting decisions or other actors that were considered for a particular role. Think about what information could be interesting to someone who might want to watch the movie and include those details. Go over some movie critique examples to get inspiration. 

Research the professionals

People can be fans not just of the actors, but of directors, writers, cinematographers, costume designers, and many other elements of filmmaking. Many directors are auteurs, which means they have a very particular visual style or storytelling method. How much time you spend on this section is dependent on your audience. If you're writing for social media or a blog for general people, then this might not be interesting to most. But if you're writing for film school or for a specific audience interested in filmmaking, then this section will need to be more elaborate. Look at a film review example written for different audiences to understand the differences. 

Draft an outline

Now that you've done all the required research, it's time to come up with a review outline. An outline is always useful when doing any piece of writing because it gives you a  chance to visualize the structure and plan how you want to incorporate information. This is the general film review format.


  • Brief summary of the film
  • Discuss plot, tone, characters
  • Discuss creative and technical elements
  • Your opinions


Come up with a catchy title.

Almost more than any other piece of writing, a movie review’s title needs to be engaging. A title like ”film review of (name of the movie) might be to the point, but isn't going to stand out. A good title should grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. A few ways you can do this is by talking about a specific actor or director, or by using one of the main plot points of the movie. For example, “A Romantic Comedy for the Unromantic”,  or “Chris Pratt Plays Against Type in the Best Possible Way”. Look at the titles of some movie review examples for inspiration!

Write your review

It's finally time to get to the actual writing! The next part of this article talks in-depth about each section of a film review. 

People aren't going to take a review seriously if you have spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. If it's an assignment for school, then you’re going to lose marks because of mistakes like that. Make sure you reread your paper a few times and check for typos and other silly mistakes.  Read the paper out loud once or twice to get an idea of if it has a good flow. Don't be afraid to move sections around if you think it helps you build a stronger case.

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How to Write a Film Review

Do you want a ‘how to write a movie review’ template? Let's go over the specific parts of a film review and what to include in each one.

Your first sentence needs to capture the reader's attention. You can do this by stating an interesting fact about the movie, starting off by expressing your opinion of whether it's good or bad, mentioning some of the important actors, comparing it to other movies in the genre or to real-world events, whatever it is, make sure it's catchy!

Next, give background information about the movie. This includes things like the title, release date, studio, important cast members, director, budget, etc. Make sure to highlight any achievements of the movie, for example, if it was nominated for any awards. The same goes for the director as well as important members of the cast. This shouldn't just be a dry stating of facts, rather this should be a collection of interesting information about the background of the movie. 

Finally, end your introduction paragraph with your thesis. In the case of a film review, your thesis is essentially what you thought about the film. Without giving away too much, express your overall impression of the movie noting particular things that you thought stood out or were weak.

Summary of the story

The trick to writing the summary of the story is giving readers an idea of what to expect without giving away any important plot points or spoilers. The goal of this section isn't to explain the plot of the movie, It's to make sure that people have a basic understanding of the story so that the rest of the review can make sense. Describe the setting of the movie, which includes the main locations and time period. Introduce the main characters (including the name of the actor in parentheses after the name of their character). And go over the general storyline. 

Plot elements

This is when you start explaining what you thought about the movie. Start with an analysis of the plot itself. Did it have a rising action that builds suspense? Was the climax a good payoff? What were your overall impressions of the movie? How did it make you feel? What do you think the purpose of the movie was and did the director succeed in their goal? 

This is also the section where you get to talk about the different characters in the movie. Why did you enjoy certain characters? Were some characters better developed than others? Could some characters have benefited from more development? Was the villain particularly interesting? 

Think about the overall mood of the movie, did it change over time? How did the tones and symbols of the movie emphasize elements of the plot? Remember that any point you make in this section has to be backed up by examples. So if you say that there are several plot holes that make the movie complicated to understand, mention the specific scenes.

Creative elements

There are a lot of technical and creative elements in a movie that can stand out even if the overall plot and story weren’t the best. On the other hand, even a great story can be spoiled by bad dialogue or set design. These are some of the creative elements you should pay attention to especially when rewatching the movie and taking notes.

Dialogue : This can refer to the overall writing of the movie as well. If you can get your hands on a script then read it! When thinking about dialogue ask yourself, did the conversation between characters seem natural and flow easily? Or did it seem choppy and unnatural? 

Cinematography : Cinematography refers to the camera effects and the choices of how to film a certain scene. The lighting, the choice of camera angles, essentially the unique perspective of the story as told through the camera. 

Editing : Editing refers to the transition between different scenes as well as how well the movie flows together. This could include things like clever montages, longshots, different perspectives, etc.  

Costumes : Some movies, especially historical movies, fantasy films, and science fiction films, depend heavily on costume design. Costumes are an integral part of making a character stand out or making the world seem more real.

Set Design : Set design refers to the backgrounds of scenes. Some sets might be more elaborate whereas others can be minimalistic. Each choice has its pros and cons and effective set design creates proper ambiance, setting the tone and mood for a scene or the movie.

Music and Sound : Sometimes the movie has a great soundtrack or just incredible sound effects that help make it stand out.

Stunts : More important for action movies, but in general stunts and action sequences can be a major selling point for a film.

Special Effects : Most movies rely on some amount of special effects, and whether it be CGI, or practical, or a combination of the two, the quality is important.

Once you have analyzed multiple different elements of the story from its plot, characterization, and other technical and creative elements, you can state your opinions and provide evidence for them. Make sure you refer to specific scenes or specific situations when looking for substantiating evidence. Remember that the goal of a movie review is not to just state whether you liked or disliked a movie, it is to analyze it in an objective way, and give information so that somebody else can decide whether they want to watch the movie or not.

In the conclusion you express your main opinion of the movie along with the most important pieces of evidence. You can talk about the purpose of the movie and whether the director was successful in showing that purpose. End with a recommendation of whether the movie should be watched or not, along with suggestions of movies that are similar to it.

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Mistakes to avoid

You now know how to write a review on a movie but let's take a look at some mistakes that you should be careful to avoid.

Not focusing on the film

It's easy to start writing about things like the historical events the movie you loved is based on or the importance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall rather than focus on the movie itself.  While those elements can be interesting to include as background information, the point of a film review is to go over a particular movie so that is what you should spend the most time on.

Not providing evidence 

A common mistake people make when they write movie reviews is to state their opinions without any objective analysis. An easy way to overcome this mistake is to make sure that you provide evidence for any claims that you make.

Spoilers are an easy way to make sure that people will be upset with your movie review. It is common to accidentally give away too much, especially when writing the plot summary. Find the line between giving enough information so that people understand the general story and revealing important plot twists and turning points. Read some sample movie reviews for examples of how to avoid spoilers.

Using personal pronouns

Statements like “I did not like the special effects” or “I did not like the pacing of the movie” are clearly expressions of opinion. It is better to make statements like “the special effects in certain action scenes were cartoonish and took away from the realism of the film”. 

A movie review essay can be incredibly fun to write, especially if you have a strong opinion about the movie. But keep in mind that a movie review isn't just about your opinion, it has to include an objective analysis with claims backed up by evidence from specific scenes. It's difficult to have a movie review definition, but a great movie review is a blend between personal opinion and objective analysis. It informs the reader about the strengths and weaknesses of the movie while letting them make the decision whether they want to watch it or not. 

If you found your way to this article because you were looking for help on how to write a movie review for college, then you're in the perfect place. If you need any help, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at Studyfy. At Studyfy, we offer a wide range of custom writing services, coursework writing services, and essay writer service . Our team of experienced writers is well-equipped to handle any writing task you may have, no matter the complexity or urgency. Just say, " write a paper for me ," and we will ensure that you receive a high-quality custom essay that meets all your requirements. Trust us to provide you with the best coursework writing services and custom essay writing that will help you achieve your academic goals.

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How To Write A Movie Review

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How to Write a Movie Review - Guide & Examples

How to Write a Movie Review

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A movie review is one of the most common writing assignments that students face. Many people struggle with writing, and some don't know what they should write to meet their teacher's expectations.

The best way to write a movie review is by understanding the purpose. You will get better grades if you understand what's important for a good piece of work.

There are a lot of movie reviews available on different websites on the internet.  However, some are written by amateurs only for fun, and others are written professionally. 

If you want to learn how to write a movie review for college, keep on reading. It is a great chance for you to learn about the world of film criticism. 

In this blog, you will find a step-by-step guide and examples for becoming a perfect movie critique. 

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  • 1. What is a Movie Review?
  • 2. How to Write a Movie Review?
  • 3. Movie Review Example
  • 4. Movie Review Topics
  • 5. Movie Review Writing Tips 

What is a Movie Review?

A movie review is an analysis of a film or a documentary. Writing a great movie review involves detailed research, analysis, and reporting the writer’s view in a logical and structured way.

It is a well-balanced synthesis of personal opinion and a critical analysis of themes and plots. Writing film reviews is considered creative writing. It involves both analytical and innovative approaches to come up with the best movie review.

The combination of an analytical approach and creative skills will help you craft an exhaustive and convincing piece of writing.

Purpose of Writing a Movie Review 

The reason for writing a movie review is to tell others what you think about a movie. 

When you write one, you share your opinions on whether you liked it or not and why. It helps people decide if they want to watch the movie or not. 

So, the purpose is to share your thoughts and help others make a choice about the movie.

The combination of an analytical approach and creative skills will help you craft an exhaustive and convincing piece of writing. 

Important Elements of a Movie Review

All movie reviews have in common the elements that they contain regardless of the genre. The elements of a movie review provide an overall structure on which the whole analysis is based. A good review must comprise the following components:

It is not just enough to include the title in the headlines. Make sure to include it in the text as well as in the introductory paragraph.

Another important element that you need to pay attention to is the storyline, also known as the plot. Mention it clearly and concisely for the readers who have not watched the movie yet.

Don’t forget to dedicate a paragraph to the filmmaker and discuss their personality. Provide some background information and the controversial and political side (if relevant).

The cast is one of the important factors that a movie has. Your review should properly indicate if they have acted well or not. Do not forget to mention if they have the required skills to portray the character they played.

Creative elements play an important role in the overall success or failure of the film. Your movie review must state these elements and how they contributed to the storyline. These elements include costumes, lighting, sound, camera work, etc.

5 C's of a Movie Review - MyPerfectWords.com

How to Write a Movie Review?

Writing a movie review may seem like an impossible task, but it can be learned easily. You should know the movie review format. 

Therefore, you can present both interesting opinions and amazing writing skills clearly without any confusion.

Below are the steps on how to write a movie review that any student can follow. 

1. Watch the Movie

Watch the movie and take notes of the important points. Be focused and conscious throughout the film to record characters, events, minor and major details.

2. Research the Movie

To watch the film only once is not enough; you might have to watch the movie at least 3 times. It is important to give quality time to research as well. Reviews require great research to find some important information. Such as who the filmmaker is, characters, and events that lead to the movie, plot summary, location, symbolism, etc.

3. Create the Movie Review Outline

The best way to organize your review logically is to make an outline first. The outline is a framework on which your whole review is going to stand. It is important to have an outline before you start writing your review. 

Confused how to write a movie review template? Here is an outline for you:

4. Analyze the Movie

Once you understand the movie, start the analysis. Critically evaluate the movie from the start to the end and note each and every detail. Once you analyze and understand each point, you are all set to write a good movie review.

5. Include Examples

A great movie review needs to include relevant examples to support your claims and observations. Mention everything that you have observed while watching the movie. It is not enough to make general statements; you must support your arguments and claims with strong evidence.

6. Write Your Review

After gathering all the required information and examples, you can start the writing process by following the above outline. Make the introduction paragraph exciting and engaging. Reveal as much information as possible in the body paragraphs. To conclude, connect the information back to the introduction in a creative way.

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7. Edit Your Final Draft

Once you are done writing the first draft, make changes and re-write the final version. In the editing phase, be sure to check for important information that might have been left out. Also, check grammar or spelling mistakes before submitting it.

The steps explained above could be used for writing a movie review for middle school, high school, and college. Moreover, you can get help from the following guide.

Check out our how to write a movie review for school example for better understanding:

Writing a Movie Review

Movie Review Example

Want to learn how to write a movie review without spoilers? 

To gain a better understanding of how to write a movie review essay and how film review examples for students look, check out this sample.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green - Movie Review

How To Write A Film Review Pdf

Short Movie Review Examples

Movie Review Topics

Here are some movie review topics that can help put your work in the right direction from the very start.

  • Write a review on Titanic Movie
  • A critical review of Jurassic Park Movie
  • Write A Review on 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • One Cut of the Dead - Review
  • A review of Burning Cane Movie
  • An honest review of The Ron Clark Story Movie
  • The Miracle Worker Movie Review
  • A Comparison between The Boy In the Striped Pajamas Book and Movie
  • Discuss symbolism in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Movie
  • Write a Review about the Film Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

Movie Review Writing Tips 

Writing a compelling movie review requires a balance of insightful analysis and engaging expression. Here are some tips to enhance your movie review writing:

  • Be Concise: Keep your review focused and concise. Aim for clarity and avoid unnecessary details.
  • Structure Matters: Organize your review with a clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion. Follow a logical flow to guide your readers through your analysis.
  • Balance Opinion and Analysis: Blend personal opinions with objective analysis. Support your views with specific examples from the film.
  • Avoid Spoilers: Be mindful of spoilers. Provide enough information to convey your points without giving away major plot twists.
  • Consider the Audience: Keep your target audience in mind. Tailor your review to the interests and preferences of potential viewers.

All in all, it is not difficult to write a movie review if you know the basics. Just follow this guide and craft an amazing review.

Still if you are facing any issue in writing a movie review, consider taking help from the best writing services at MyPerfectWords.com !

We guarantee a high-quality review written by professional writers. With us, you will submit a movie review worthy of an A grade. 

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Frequently Asked Question

How long should a movie review be.

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A movie review is typically around 300 to 500 words, providing enough space to cover key aspects without becoming overly lengthy.

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Barbara P

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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How to write a movie review [Updated 2023]

How to write a review about a movie

Writing a movie review is a great way to practice critical analysis skills. In this post, we explore what a movie review is, how to start a film review, and steps for writing and revising it.

What is a movie review?

A movie review is a concise evaluation of a film’s content and formal elements (cinematography, sound, lighting, etc.). Also known as a film review, a movie review considers not just what a film means, but how it means. Essentially, when you write a film review, you are conducting a critical analysis or close reading of a movie.

How to write a movie review

To write a successful review about a movie, you need to evaluate a film’s content, as well as its form. In this section, we break down these two components.

A film’s content includes its plot (what it’s about), characters, and setting. You’ll need to determine the main plot points of the film and how the film’s story works overall.

Are there parts that don’t make sense? Are certain characters more important than others? What is the relationship between the movie’s plot and its setting? A discussion of a film’s content provides good context for an analysis of its form.

Form refers to all of the aesthetic and/or formal elements that make a story into a movie. You can break down form into several categories:

  • Cinematography : This element comprises all aspects of the movie that derive from the way a camera moves and works. You’ll need to pay attention to elements like camera angles, distances between the camera and the subject, and types of shots (i.e. close-up, aerial, etc.).
  • Lighting : Films use lighting in various ways to communicate certain effects. For instance, noir films tend to utilize chiaroscuro lighting (deep contrasts between light and dark) to express a sense of secrecy or foreboding.
  • Sound : The way a film uses sound can vary considerably. Most movies have a soundtrack, sometimes with music composed specifically for the film. Some films play around with ambient sounds or use silence at key points to signify important moments. What is the relation of sound to the image in specific scenes or sequences? Do sounds link images? Does it ever become more important than the image?
  • Editing : The movies we watch online or in theaters have been heavily edited in order to achieve a particular flow. When you are preparing to write a movie review, pay close attention to elements like the length of shots, transitions between scenes, or any other items that were finalized after filming.
  • Costumes, Props, and Sets : Are the costumes and props believable in relation to the film’s content and setting? Are costumes particularly elaborate or understated?

The important thing to remember when you are analyzing the formal elements of a movie is that every image, sound, movement, and object has meaning and has been planned. Your review needs to take into consideration how these elements work together with the film’s storyline to create a whole experience.

Once you’ve considered both the content and form of the movie that you’re reviewing, you can begin to evaluate the film as a whole. Is it a successful movie? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Step-by-step review writing tips

1. watch the movie.

The first time that you watch the movie, look for overarching themes or patterns, and establish what the film is primarily about. Take note of the main characters, as well as the setting.

2. Watch the movie again and take notes

Next, watch the movie again and take notes as you are doing so, keeping in mind the formal aspects discussed above. Write down anything that seems significant.

3. Evaluate the film’s form and content

Using the categories described above, and any handouts or guides provided by your instructor, evaluate the film’s formal elements along with its content. Are there elements of the movie that strike you as unfamiliar or perplexing? Are there elements that are repeated to emphasize a point or perception?

4. Write your review

A good movie review will contain:

  • an introductory paragraph that tells the reader what movie you’re reviewing
  • a paragraph that summarizes the movie
  • several body paragraphs that explore significant formal elements and how they relate to the content
  • a concluding paragraph that discusses your overall reaction to the film and whether or not you would recommend it to others

5. Create citations

You’ll need cite the film and any secondary sources that you consulted while writing. Use BibGuru’s citation generator to instantly create accurate citations for movies, as well as articles, books, and websites.

You may also want to consult a guide on how to cite a film in MLA or another major citation style .

6. Revise and proofread

Once you’ve written your review, you should set aside some time to revise and proofread it before you turn it in.

Movie review checklist

You can use this checklist to ensure that you’ve considered all of the formal elements, as well as the content, of the film that you’re reviewing:

🔲 Cinematography (camera moves and types of shots)

🔲 Lighting (natural vs. artificial light, contrasts between light and dark)

🔲 Sound (soundtrack, sound vs. silence, loud vs. soft sounds)

🔲 Editing (length of shots, transitions between scenes)

🔲 Costumes, props, and sets (believable vs. staged)

🔲 Content (plot, characters, setting)

Frequently Asked Questions about how to write a review about a movie

A movie review should contain a brief summary of the film, several paragraphs of analysis that focus on form and content, and a concluding paragraph that sums up your reaction.

Before you write anything, you need to watch the film at least once. Take notes as you’re watching and pay attention to formal elements and patterns. Then, write your review. The final step is to revise your work before you turn it in.

The tone for a movie review should be critical, yet objective. The goal of most reviews is to persuade a reader to either see a film or not.

The best film reviews balance plot summary with critical analysis of significant formal elements. A reader should be able to decide if she wants to see the film after reading the review.

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How to write a film review

Writing a review is an option in many different English language exams, and films are such an obvious choice for reviews, so knowing how to write a film review is pretty important. It’s a great topic for the classroom too. Everyone watches films and there is a lot of opportunity to teach vocabulary, either film-related vocabulary or film review adjectives. I like to start off a class about films with some chat, or my personal favourite, the Movie Music Quiz , which also now has an excellent Movie Picture Quiz version too.

awesome review

The structure of a film review

Like any writing task, it’s essential to know the structure of a film review before you start writing. A basic film review template shows you how to write a film review using a simple structure. Film reviews for First (FCE) and Advanced (CAE) Cambridge exams, as well as Trinity ISE exams, should all use a 4 paragraph structure. Another thing to remember is that your review should always have a title, and that title should include the name of the film.

  • Introduction – Essential details and mini-summary
  • Summary – A description of the film and some important details
  • Analysis – An evaluation of different elements
  • Conclusion – Your opinion and a recommendation


In the introduction of a film review, it is crucial to mention the film title and the names of the director and the main actors. A brief summary of the film’s plot and background information can also be included, but it should not give away too much detail. The introduction should engage the reader and entice them to continue reading the review. Additionally, it is important to mention the genre and target audience of the film, which will give the reader an idea of what to expect.

In the summary section, the film review should give a comprehensive but concise description of the film, focusing on the plot, characters, and any significant events. The summary should be written in a way that does not give away the ending or spoil the film for the reader. It is important to maintain objectivity and not include personal opinions in this section. This section should provide enough detail for the reader to have a clear understanding of the film without giving too much away.

The analysis section is where the reviewer can showcase their critical skills and provide an in-depth evaluation of the film. The review should examine various elements of the film such as the script, direction, cinematography, acting, and special effects. You could also make a comparison to similar films in the same genre. The analysis should be written in an objective style with the opinion only showing through the language used.

In the conclusion, the reviewer should give their personal opinion of the film, summarising their thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses. They should also consider the target audience and whether they believe the film will appeal to them. Finally, the reviewer should provide a clear recommendation. The conclusion should be concise, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the reviewer’s overall opinion of the film.

Using adjectives in reviews

Reviews are a great way to show off your language with impressive adjectives. If you read a film review in a newspaper or magazine, you’ll notice that the reviewer rarely, if ever, gives an explicit direct opinion. However, their opinion of the film is always crystal clear. This is through the use of adjectives.

Many adjectives have a clear connotation. They are either perceived as positive or negative. Compare these two examples. Which one is a positive description and which is negative?

  • It’s a first-rate experience with an imaginative plot and a star-studded cast.
  • The second-rate writing combined with weak performances is typical of this director’s work.

When using adjectives in a film review, it is important to choose words that accurately convey the reviewer’s opinion. Adjectives with strong connotations, either positive or negative, can be very effective in expressing the reviewer’s thoughts about the film. However, it is also important to use a variety of adjectives to avoid repetition and keep the review interesting. The use of adjectives can also help to paint a picture of the film, allowing the reader to get a sense of its atmosphere and tone.

The materials

Many exams, such as the Cambridge First (FCE) and Advanced (CAE) exams, as well as Trinity ISE exams, require students to write a film review as part of their writing task. These materials will provide students with a solid understanding of the structure of a film review and help them to develop their writing skills. This will give them the confidence they need to write a review that meets the requirements of the exam and impresses the examiner.

The materials will help you learn how to write an introduction, summary, analysis, and conclusion of a film review. You will also see a range of useful adjectives that you can use to express your opinions in their reviews. Finally, you will get an opportunity to practise writing film reviews, which will help you to develop your skills. Then you can check your answers with the samples provided in the answer key. Whether you’re preparing for an exam or just looking to improve your writing skills, these materials will provide you with everything you need to write a great film review.

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Interesting and useful material to be used in class. thanks!

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How to Write a Film Review

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Feature films and documentaries are sometimes used as research sources. They are also used quite frequently as supplemental learning tools in the classroom. A common writing assignment is a critical review or analysis of films.

Your instructor will choose a specific film or documentary for a reason -- because it relates to the material at hand in some way. A good review will explain how the film has enhanced the learning experience, but it should also provide an account of your personal response .

The components and format of your film analysis will depend on the course and your instructor’s preferences, but there are several standard components of a review.

Components to Include in Your Review

The elements listed here do not appear in any specific order. The placement of these items (or the omission of them) will vary, depending on relevance.

You’ll have to decide, for example, if artistic elements are so important that they should be included in the body of your paper (as in a film class), or if they are so seemingly insignificant that they appear at the end (perhaps in an economics class).

Title of the film or documentary: Be sure to name the film in your first paragraph. State the date of its release.

Summary: What happened in this film? As a reviewer, you must explain what happened in the film and express your opinion about the success or failure of the film maker’s creation.

Don’t be afraid to express your opinion, but include specific reasons for likes and dislikes. (You can’t say “it was boring” unless you provide justification.)

Filmmaker: You should do a little research on the person who created this film.

  • Is the director or writer a controversial figure?
  • Is the filmmaker known for a political stance?
  • Does the filmmaker have a significant background?

If the filmmaker is known for controversy, this segment of your paper can be lengthy. Devote several paragraphs to an assessment of his or her other works and establish the significance of this work in the film maker’s career.

Significance to your class: Why are you seeing this film in the first place? How does the content fit into your course topic?

Is this film important for historical accuracy? If you are viewing a motion picture for your history class, be sure to make note of embellishments or over-dramatization.

If you are reviewing a documentary for a history class, be sure to observe and comment on the sources used.

Is this a motion picture based on a play you’ve read in English class? If so, make sure you specify whether the film illuminated or clarified elements you missed when reading the play .

If you are reviewing a film for your psychology class, be sure to examine the emotional impact or any emotional manipulation you observe.

Creative elements: Filmmakers go to great lengths to choose the creative elements of their films. How are these elements important to the overall product?

Costumes for a period film can enhance a film or they can betray the intent of the film. Colors can be vivid or they can be dull. The use of color can stimulate and manipulate moods. Black and white shots can add drama. Good sound effects can enrich the viewing experience, while bad sound effects can destroy a film.

Camera angles and movement can add elements to the story. A jagged transition adds intensity. Gradual transitions and subtle camera movements serve a specific purpose, as well.

Finally, actors can make or break a film. Were the actors effective, or did poor acting skills detract from the film’s purpose? Did you notice the use of symbols ?

Formatting Your Paper

The order and emphasis of your paragraphs will depend on your class. The format will also depend on the course topic and your instructor's preference. For example, a typical documentary review for a history class will follow guidelines for a Turabian book review , unless your instructor states otherwise. A typical outline would be:

  • Introduction, to include film title, topic, and release date
  • Accuracy of the depiction
  • Use of sources
  • Creative elements
  • Your opinion

A paper for your literature class, on the other hand, should adhere to MLA formatting guidelines . The film would most likely be a feature film, so the outline might go like this:

  • Introduction, with title and release date
  • Summary of the story
  • Analysis of story elements -- like rising action , climax
  • Creative elements, use of color, camera techniques, mood, and tone

Your conclusion should detail whether the filmmaker was successful in his or her purpose for making this film, and re-state your evidence. It may also explain how the film was (was not) helpful for illuminating and providing a deeper understanding of a topic in your class.

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How to write a film review - The ULTIMATE guide

August 14th, 2021  |  by maria

A film review sounds easier to write than it is. When tasked with reviewing an audiovisual piece, you realise there is more to it than hitting your keyboard and start writing. A review should give the reader enough info to judge whether or not they will watch the film.

Sounds easy, right? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The review needs to be detailed enough to provide the relevant info while not being too revealing. In any case, no one wants a spoiler alert. There is a delicate balance of not giving out too much info or plot details or surprises.

How to write a film review - Top tips

Here are our top tips to help you write an in-depth, interesting and most of all structure film review. Let’s check out the tips below!

Start with an outline

An outline gives an overview of how the review will go. The good thing with an outline is it helps give you a good general view of the whole piece.

By writing the outline, you are organising the thoughts and allowing your review to flow. By being organised, you become more efficient and you're able to deliver a catchy film review.

The outline will also help with the accuracy as you’ll know the information to include and leave out unnecessary info.

Writing the overview

Once you’re done with the outline, it’s time to get down to business. When writing the overview, you need to know what the movie or film is all about.

To this end, you need to watch and understand every aspect of the film. At first, you need to watch the movie or film in one sitting.

Here, you need to grasp the general idea of the film. Write whatever you got from the movie and your general reaction to the film, noting the main focus and lessons you think the film wants to pass across.

Watch the film again, this time being keen with every attribute of the film. The main essence of the second time of watching the film is to get the main elements of the film and the story being told.

In your outline, describe how the story is told, know its point of view, and the drama involved in telling the story. For instance, note the twists and turns (or lack of) used in telling the story.

Write down the story’s conclusion, how the conflict was narrated, and how it was resolved. Discuss how the characters went through their experiences and how they brought life to the story.

The technical aspects

You can re-watch the movie for the third time, noting the technical elements of the film. Alternatively, you can note this during the second re-watching period.

Some of the aspects to keep in mind include locations, camera work, lighting, and the general settings of the film. Pay attention to the editing and critique of the post-production work done, including the special effects and sequencing.

When looking at the technical side of the movie, tell of the continuity and rhythm and the blending of different sequencing. Other aspects to include are the film’s cultural standards and historical context and how they were used to tell the story.

Describe how the overall message was delivered. Was it POV, established authority, or emotional appeal?

Writing the review

So, how is it possible to include all that in one review? And additionally, not give spoilers but yet deliver the general synopsis? Break down your review into several sections, which include;

  • Basic story outline
  • Special effects and editing
  • Other interesting aspects of the film that jump out

When it comes to the overview, break it down into several sections, each representing a paragraph. Use the pointers above in each paragraph and describe in as many details as possible. For instance, when writing about the story outline, give a bit about the start and development of the story.

In the other paragraph, describe the character and their acting skills. Did they deliver the story and give life to the scripts and their roles? Words like "ecstatic" and "boring" could be used to describe the actors. It's also wise to compare how the actors faired in this film as compared to other films.

In the last paragraph. Describe the technical side of the film and how the directors used light, locations, and how they edited the film. Did they deliver and give the story the justice it deserved?

In the end, it's better to use a grading system to tell if the movie or film met your expectations as far as the delivery is concerned. Once done, you can summarise the outline and give a detailed but brief review.

We hope you enjoyed this article and don’t miss out on any of our other  blogs ! Sign up to  Filmstro  and follow us on  Twitter ,  Facebook  and subscribe to our  Youtube  channel.

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The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Film Review for High School

How to Write a Critical Summary of an Article

How to Write a Critical Summary of an Article

The assignment of writing a movie review for a high school class or newspaper can mean merely a grade from the teacher or publication that is read by the entire student body. Whether you are writing the movie review for a grade or not, you should follow certain conventions associated with the relation of information and opinion.

Choose a movie that is appropriate for the assignment if you have not been asked to review a specific movie. A movie review assignment may allow you leeway to review a movie that is not considered appropriate for publication. Inquire with your teacher as to your choice of movie, but keep in mind that the bulk of the student body will be too young to attend a movie rated above PG-13 without parental supervision and so you may be reviewing a movie that most students have not seen or will not see as a result of your review.

Introduce the movie by title and mention any stars or the name of the director if famous. Insert into the opening paragraph a thesis or overriding topic of your review. Instead of telling your readers that the movie is really great or simply awful, highlight one of the best or worst aspects of the film. Choose a highlight like innovative special effects, an actor’s performance that dominates the movie, a lack of logic in the plotline or some other aspect that sticks out.

Avoid relating the entire plot of the movie in your review. Do not turn the review into a synopsis of the film. Insert a SPOILER ALERT above a paragraph that reveals a surprise plot turn if you cannot adequately relate the essence of the movie’s plot without the revelation. Try to find ways to avoid any spoilers while still getting the point of your review across.

Address the film in the context of its genre. Become aware of what audiences generally tend to expect from a science fiction epic, a romantic comedy or a tearjerker drama. Inform yourself about the conventions and clichés associated with specific movie genres so that you can recognize and relate to your readers such examples as how the science fiction movie breaks new ground in special effects or how the romantic comedy is little more than a collection of the most obvious clichés associated with that genre.

Analyze all the components that make up a good or bad movie and provide insight into how these components are addressed in the movie you are reviewing. For example, state that the acting is very good, but the storyline presents nothing new or interesting; use examples to show how the direction of the movie is creative, but not enough to fill in gaping plot holes.

Conclude with your recommendation to see the movie or not, giving specific reasons as to whether it is worth the price of admission.

  • Bring along a pad and pen to make notes as you watch the movie so that you don't forget important elements.

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The Movie Blog

How to Write a Winning Movie Review

how to write a film review school

Do you have to write a movie review for a school project but find yourself staring at a blank page? If so, you’re in the right place. 

Simply put, writing a film review involves expressing your opinion about a film. You need to talk about its positive and negative aspects alike. However, you shouldn’t retell every detail of the plot. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes: no one really wants to watch a movie full of spoilers!  

What makes writing a movie review a bit difficult is that you must take an objective approach to your entire essay because your reader could decide whether they want to watch the movie based on your review. If you’re stuck with this task, you can submit a request and call an essay writers service for help. 

Movie Reviews as School Projects

A movie review is a great way for your professor to assess your critical thinking. Plus, you can practice how to organize and summarize a massive amount of data. On top of that, it’s the only homework that you can do while watching a film!

Here’s a step-by-step process you can use for your next movie review: 

Step One: Choose a Movie 

Sometimes, your professor may assign a specific movie that fits the themes in your class. If that’s the case, you really have no choice but to work on that particular movie. 

However, if given a choice of movie, pick a genre and a movie you enjoy. This way, you’re more likely to put more time and effort into your work, and thus reach a superior result.  

Step Two: Watch the Movie At Least Once  

Watch the film without worrying about details. Move with the flow and immerse yourself in the dialogs and events. After watching the movie, you may decide that you’ve not made the right choice. If you can, look for another movie. Changing your mind is perfectly okay at this stage.  

If you have enough time, watch the movie for the second time or even more, and take notes. Try to identify the defining scenes and pay attention to how the actors interact with each other. Take note of the points that seem unclear to you or need further research.    

Step Three: Conduct Research

Research can shed light on many questions and doubts in your mind. Try to answer these questions about the movie:  

  • What’s the title of the movie? 
  • What’s the genre?
  • Where is the action set?
  • Is it based on a true story? Or is it an adaptation of a novel?
  • What is the real background? Does it refer to any historical events?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who’s the director, and what are their other works?
  • Who are its leading and supporting actors? Are they famous? 
  • Has it been nominated for or won any awards?

Step Four: Evaluate Your Data

The process of gathering information plays a key role in your essay. However, to actually write your essay, you need to organize and synthesize your data. Validate the data and remove points that make no sense. Don’t worry, you won’t miss anything. This is exactly what writers of professional essay writing services do to provide a useful review.

Step five: Draft an Outline

Now that you’ve collected the material, it’s time to write an outline which helps organize thoughts and ideas. A decent outline is like a framework that cements the roots of your essay.

To write an outline, you need to put your thoughts into a linear arrangement so that one logically leads to another. 

Step Six: Write the Review

Your review should include three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. To make key paragraphs a central part of the text, follow these instructions:  

  • Describe some significant events of the film to give the reader a general perception of a movie.
  • Don’t reveal the end of the story. 
  • Don’t forget to write your opinions. Remember that one purpose of the movie review is to demonstrate your analytical skills as well as your ability to think critically.
  • Note why you liked or didn’t like the movie. Let the reader know your feelings about the entire film as well as the scenes that were thought-provoking or touching.
  • Provide good examples and evidence for your claims. For example, ‘The accident seemed fabricated’ can’t really make your essay reliable. Give some evidence to show why it seemed unreal.
  • Don’t overlook the symbolic elements and the things that repeat frequently. There could be hidden messages with deep symbolic meaning. 

Finally, summarize the plot and give your verdict in the conclusion. This is your last chance to convince the reader to either see or ignore the movie.  

Step Seven: Proofread Your Review

Read your text multiple times and correct any misspellings, misuses of punctuation, or grammar mistakes. Check the content from a technical point of view as well. Be careful not to spoil the ending. 

No matter how much time you devote to your essay, it won’t get a high score if you don’t edit it carefully. If you want to deliver a perfect essay, it’s a good idea to ask online writing services to proofread your work. 

Getting Help

Writing a high-quality movie review is a long process that requires serious effort. Watching a movie over and over takes a lot of time too. Besides, searching for information and organizing it into an essay could be exhausting. If you’re busy with other coursework or don’t have the skills to develop a well-written essay, get help from a professional essay writing service. They will provide you with reliable help regarding your school projects.

Bottom Line

A movie review is a common type of school assignment for which you should watch a movie several times before writing a critical analysis of its plot, themes, and cast. Collect only the relevant information about the film, validate it, and start writing.

Before writing the main body of your essay, remember to provide an outline. A good outline acts as a catalyst that speeds up your work. Also, don’t forget to proofread your work and fix potential mistakes.

  • Acting - /10 0/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - /10 0/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - /10 0/10
  • Setting/Theme - /10 0/10
  • Watchability - /10 0/10
  • Rewatchability - /10 0/10

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Lesson 7: Task: Write a film review

how to write a film review school

This is the lesson where you put everything together. We want you to write a review of a film.

Writing a Film Review

This is the lesson where you put everything together. We want you to write a review of a film. You will see two examples of film reviews which you can use to help you write your own review. When you’ve finished your review, post it in the comments section and read other participants reviews and tell them what you think. In lesson one we looked at film vocabulary, in lesson three we gave you some advice about using film to improve your English and gave two short reviews of films about football, in lesson four we focussed on the passive which is a common form to use when writing about films, and in lesson six we showed you some websites where you can read lots of film reviews. While you are writing your review, you can go back to these lessons for some help.

What should I include in my film review?

It's up to you! Here is a list of some common things that you see in film reviews. Have a look at the Bend It Like Beckham film review and match the five colours to the things in this list. Is there anything extra included in the review? Is there anything missing?

  • The film's title.
  • An eye-catching heading.
  • The genre (type of film). 
  • The audience. Who is the film for?
  • The director, main actors, when it was made, has it won any awards?
  • The plot. A brief summary that doesn't mention the ending!
  • Your opinion.
  • Your evaluation.

Film Review 1

Bend it like beckham – brilliant and funny.

How can I describe Bend It Like Beckham? If I had to choose a genre, I would say it’s a romantic comedy-drama sports film!

The film was made in 2002 and directed by Gurinder Chandha who is well-known for films which explore the lives of Indians living in the UK. 

The film is set in London and stars Jess (Parminder Naghra) , who is an 18-year-old girl with Indian parents. One of the main storylines is the tension between Jess, who loves football, and her parents, who don’t allow her to play. Jess’s friend and teammate, Jules, who is played by Keira Knightly (Pirates of the Caribbean) encourages Jess to play despite her parent's wishes. 

The film deals with serious social problems such as sexism and racism, but the film is very funny at the same time! The acting is very good and of course, there is a happy ending! Oh, and David Beckham is in the movie, but you must wait until the end for that! I would give Bend It Like Beckham four and a half stars out of five and definitely recommend you watch it!

Now, look at the second film review. Is it a good review ? What does it include? Is there anything missing?

Film Review 2

Fever pitch – funny, dramatic and a perfect finish.

I love football and I love films, so Fever Pitch was the perfect movie for me. It tells the story of a school teacher who is mad about his football club – Arsenal! The film was made in 1997 and is based on a best-selling book of the same name. The film has also been remade for American audiences based on baseball.

The main role is played by Colin Firth (Paul) one of the UK’s most famous actors. Paul falls in love with a new teacher (Sally) at his school during the 1989/90 football season, one of the most important seasons in Arsenal’s history. The plot follows the ups and downs of Paul’s romance with Sally and the fortunes of Paul’s football team. But who does he love more? Sally or Arsenal? You’ll have to watch the film to find out!

There are strong performances by Colin Firth and Ruth Gemmell (Sally) in this romantic comedy-drama. If you are a football fan you will love this film, but it definitely has a wider appeal, too! I will give it five-stars and not just because I’m an Arsenal fan!

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Write about a film you enjoyed or a film that you didn't like. It could be a recent film or a film that you watched a long time ago.

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Reply to other learners and tell them if you have seen the film. Did you like it? Do you agree with their opinions?

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how to write a film review school

I would say that An Angel at my table is one of my top ten most favourite films. It’s a drama film which directed by Janet Campion and shot in 1990. The film is based on Janet Frame’s three autobiographies. Kerry Fox plays the role of Janet Frame, a famous New Zealander writer and poet. The film is about the life of Janet Frame who was a very clever child until, as a teenager, she was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to a mental institution……… The story takes place in Australia, New Zealand and the UK in the different parts of Janet’s life. It ’s a flawless masterpiece. The storyline is so beautiful and inspiring and Kerry Fox’s acting is just incredible. I was mesmerized by that shy, intelligent and lonely girl and could totally relate to her. Besides, his movie makes New -Zealand look like the most gorgeous place on earth Another thing I loved about Another thing I loved about the movie was the excellent music score.

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The other side of the door-thriller

the other side of the door is a horror movie that was made in 2016-the stars is Sarah Wayne and Jeremy Sisto and it is directed by Johannes Roberts the movie is set in India and it tells the story of maria whose her son died in an accident and she blame herself because she is the one who caused this accident and therefore she is doing a spell ritual to bring her son back to life Or feel his presence which causes harm to her and her family

I love this film because the plot was interesting as it means don't try to life in past and accept the situation you are in trying to adapt.

That isn't a just horror movie but actually it is a movie Know the consequences of what you do so if you are fan of wisdom movie ,I recommend this movie to you, I give it four star of five Don't miss it .

how to write a film review school

El Ruby House

El Ruby House is a comedy-drama Movie that was made in 2023. the stars are Kareem abdelaziz and Nour, and directed by Peter Mimi.

The movie is set in Boston and it tells the story of private family event gets leaked on social media, Ibrahim Al Ruby decides to live in a village with his wife and children, far from people and the pressure of modern life. After his younger brother, Ihab, convinces Ibrahim to go back to the city for some important paperwork, the family embarks on a trip full of surprises that is bound to change the lives of the "Rubies".

The film deals with serious social problems, but the film is very funny at the same time! The acting is very good and of course, there is a happy ending!, I love this movie because the plot was interesting. I am also a big fan of Kareem abdelaziz

I would give It four and a half stars out of five and definitely recommend you watch it!

Assel Aswad dramatic - comedian Aseel Aswad is a drama - comdey film. The film was made in 2010 . it tells the story of an Egyptian person (masry) he was live in America along his life .then came back home(Egypt).he surprised about deferent between the life in America VS Egypt. he discovered that deference when he dose some files in government interests school transportation . The main role is played by Ahmed Hilmy(masry) one of Egyptian famous actors share with Anaam Salosa ' Edward 'Lotfy Labib ' Emy Samir ghanim. The film directed by KHaled maray. I would give Asel Aswad four stars out of five and definitely recommend you watch it!

how to write a film review school

Hatchi: a dog's tale It's a drama film The film was made in 2009 and directed by ( lasse hallstrom ) and the stars are (Richard Gere ) ,( Jason Alexander) and ( Joan Allen) The story is based on Barker who works as a professor and he goes to the university by the train And one day he found a little dog at the train station, he took it home with him and called it ( hatchi ) Then ( hatchi) grown up and it's attachment to the professor ( Barker ) increased, the dog used to drive the professor every day to the train station and wait until his return The dog was very popular with the people at the train station And on day the professor didn't come back to take ( hatchi) home with him So what's happened to the professor and hatchi ?!! Watch the film to know the end This is one of my favorites movies Definitely recommend you to watch it ❤️

Pride and prejudice It's a romance and drama film. It's directed by (Joe Wright) in 2005 the story is based on (Jane Austin's) novel. The film is set in United States . the stars Mr.Darcy (Matthew Macfady) and his best friend Bingley( Simon Woods) Jane (Rosamund Pike), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley),Mary (Talulah Riley),Kitty (Carey Mulligan)and Lydia Bennet (Jena Malone) . The story tells about Mr and Mrs Bennetts five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr . Darcy and his best friend Mr . Bingley have moved into their neighborhood. While Mr . Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter Elizabeth ,Jane and Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly. You must wait until the end to know what will happen! I like Pride and prejudice and I would like to give Pride and prejudice eight and half stars out of ten and definitely recommend you to watch it ♡

Work it It’s dance comedy film that was made in 2020 . The stars Sabrina carpenter and Liza koshy and Jordan fisher , and it directed by Laura Terruso . The film talk about quinn Ackerman she is a nerd and she want to Join in college duke because was dreaming her like her father because father Quinn joined this college but she can’t because they won’t accept her , she has to do something different, so she will apply to a dance competition and be her team . But my favorite character is jake Taylor in this film . Watching a jake Taylor dance is very funny and fantastic. I recommend this film to watch it who wants to laugh and exciting watch this film , so go to see it with your friends. I give jake Taylor 5 stars because he deserve this 5 stars . Don’t miss it.

I agree with you ♡

how to write a film review school

John Wick 3. It is an action film directed by Chad Stahelski and the cast includes Keonu Reeves and Scott ADKINS SET IN 2023. The plot is about Johnwick taking his fight against the high table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld. The performance of the cast was thrilling and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats from the beginning to the end. I would give it a four rating and strongly recommend others to watch it.

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John Wick 4. It is an action film directed by Chad Stahelski and the cast includes Keonu Reeves and Scott ADKINS SET IN 2023. The plot is about Johnwick taking his fight against the high table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld. The performance of the cast was thrilling and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats from the beginning to the end. I would give it a four rating and strongly recommend others to watch it.


I would like to give a film review about 'Titanic.' It was written, directed and also produced by James Cameron. It is a genre of romance and drama. The film was made in 1997. It's about two characters falling in love during a voyage. The plot was remarkable and brilliant. It was first-rate and I would give it five stars and also strongly recommend those who missed this film to watch it.


I love the Long Shadow movie, an animated series, a comic series about the story of an orphan girl named Judy Abbott, who got a scholarship to Lincoln High School, by someone she doesn't know named John Smith, Judy called him the Long Shadow Owner, because she had never seen anything but his shadow . Her story contains sad clips, but she overcomes all misfortunes. Her story ends with a happy marriage with the owner of the long shadow.

Django Unchained-Action,romantic and comedy.

Django is a action movie and a one of the best movies have directed and it was made in 2012.The stars are Jamie Foxx (Django),Christoph Waltz (Dr.Schultz) and the infinite Leonardo Dicaprio(Candie) and it is directed by Tarantino.The story tells about Django the slave whose wife was kidnapped by Englishmen then Django try to find his wife with Dr.schultz.So can he find his wife ?

I was interested in this movie because the plot is wonderful and graphics is outstanding and i am a big fan of Dicaprio but my favorite characters in this movie is Dr.s schultz .

I think this movie is not for children because there is blood and screenshots +18. I recommend this movie to adults .I give the movie four stars Don`t miss it.

Enchanted - Real world and the animated world collide I am fond of princesses and fantasy world , so enchanted is my favourite film i would say it's animation adventure comedy family romance film it was made in 2007 at New York City it's related PG for some scary images and mild innuendo. It was produced by Alan menken and stephen schwartz and performed by Amy Adams and james marsden its story line is about the beautiful princess Giselle is banished by evil queen narissa from her magical land shocked by this strange new environment,but when Giselle begins to fall in love with a divorce lawyer, Can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?. I think it's a great choice for a movie night. I would give it five stars.

Jumanji is an amazing adventure movie and its comedy at the same time that was made in2017. The stars are (dwayne Johnson)and (Karen Gillian) and it’s directed by (Jake Kasdan) while a group of teenagers were in detention at school one of them found a video game which took them inside it and they stuck at that video game until they complete the missions I am in love with this movie because it’s make me laugh and excited to watch the end This movie for children and adults so I recommend it for a family night. I give jumanji five stars

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Marvel Age of Ultron Its my favourite film cause i like the gerne and from all marvel films its my favourite. i like the characters and i like the plot and everything that happends in the film

avenger is an amazing action superhero film that is made in 2012 in United Kingdom it is directed by Joss Whedon its cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the Avengers, alongside Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson. i am abig fan of this film and i recommened the all to see this film

how to write a film review school

Africano Africano is an amazing adventure, comedy movie I have ever seen. It was made in 2001.Ahmed El Sakka and Mona Zaki played the leading role, Hassan Hosny was in it. The movie was directed by Amr Arafa. It was set in South Africa and it tells the story of Badr who workes as a vet. His wish is tragically granted when his uncle who lives in Africa dies and Badr travels to get his inheritance as he meets his cousin Gamila. I love this movie because, the plot was interesting. I am also a big fan of Ahmed El Sakka. Hoever my favourite character in this movie is Gamila . Also the music is fantastic. I highly reccommend this movie, So go see it with your friends. I give it three stars, Do not miss it.

how to write a film review school

Spider man is my favourite movie

My fav is marvel movies

yes that is a good movies company

World war Z is my favorite movie , It has been my favorite movie since I watched it , it's my favorite movie cause i love zombie movies and every one liked it ; The film was made in 2013 and the director is Marc Forstar He is a German film producer and screenwriter , The film won an Empire award. U.K .The film is set on U.S.A and the star is Brad pett (Gerry Lane), Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatens to destroy humanity itself. it is the best film i had watched it ever I would give it five stars and I recommend everyone to watch it!.

Spiderman no way home It's my favourite superhero and the actor who role the Peter parker is Tom Holland and the other actors played the role very well also i like the genre of this movie it's action. Finally, I think that this movie can watch it teenagers and adults but I don't think youngers can't watch it.

yes its a good one too


Marvels: Endgame is my favorite movie, It has been my favorite movie since 2019, and it has been my favorite because everyone loved Avengers: Endgame, but it’s not just any other superhero flick. It’s actually the best film in the MCU. It’s emotionally resonant. Endgame has a sense of beauty behind all of the action and violence. At the center of the film, it really is a love story. Thor goes back to see his mother before she is murdered by the Dark Elves, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reconciles with his father, and Steve Rodgers reunites with his wife back in his original time.

how to write a film review school

The equalizer the equalizer is a realistic action film, where Denzel Washington, plays Robert mccall , the film talks about how robert faked his death in order to live a quiet life, but when he sees a young woman being abused by a Russian gang, he comes out of his retirement to fight crime and reinforce justice, the movie is set in Salisbury, Hamilton, Chelsea, Haverhill, and Boston, Massachusetts and is directed by Antoine fuqua it was released in 2014 has an interesting story, the acting is fantastic, and the special effects are impeccable, to me this movie is perfect, 10/10, i recommend it to everyone, but be warned since it has a lot of violence

end game if you like action movies this movie will be perfect for you the film is talking about the marvel universe Thanos has come to the earth and he wants to take all of the infinity stones and destroy the world then the avengers came to kill him and they make many wars two on earth and one in the space the film was made in 2019 and directed by Anthony Russo The film stars are Robert Downey Jr(iron man) and Chris Evans(Captain America) I would give this film five stars because the film is very Interisting

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interstellar 2014 this is an amazing sci-fi movies that was made 2014.Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway & Jessica Chastain. And its director is Christopher Nolan. the movie revolves around the Earth when it becomes uninhabitable in the future, a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), is tasked to pilot a spacecraft, along with a team of researchers, to find a new planet for humans. I love this movie because the poly is amazing. I'm also a big fan of Christopher Nolan's works. I recommend this movie to everyone I'm sur that you gonna love it, don't miss it

i had to watch it twice to understand the idea


Twilight Saga

I loved this saga, I saw it many times and today in summer I saw it again and I can't get enough of it. I love the story, the characters and the villains, everything was well done. When I finished the saga for the first time, I did a lot of research on the characters, their lives, relationships etc. I saw a news that they will make a new movie based on Edwar Cullen's point of view, I hope they make it soon.


Mamma Mia! - Who is my father?

If you like musicals and the popular Swedish group ABBA, this is a perfect film for you. Dona is a single woman managing a small family hotel on a little Greek island. Her daughter, Sophie, is getting married and she decides to invite her father to the wedding. The tricky thing is that she doesn‘t know who her father is. The film was made in 2008 and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. It stars Meryl Streep (Donna), Amanda Seyfried (Sophie), Pierce Brosnan (Sam), Colin Firth (Harry) and Stellan Skarsgard (Bill). There is fabulous music, excellent acting and singing and a lot of funny scenes. The plot is funny on one side but there is a serious overtone. I would give Mamma Mia! five stars because I think the film has positive vibes and it is more important than anything else.


Films title: Mission Impossible Fallout is an action movie and is for a person that like action and tension. The Director is Christoper Mcquarrie, the main actors is Tom Cruise,Henry Cavill , Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and more. The film was made in 2018 and it has won Prizes. My little review is that it is nice, entertaining and it´s so nice to watch. The film is about after a mission After a mission to recover a deadly weapon goes wrong, IMF agent Ethan Hunt and his team are forced to work alongside CIA agent Augustus Walker as they must race against time to continue their assignment. When Lane escapes from prison, Hunt must do whatever it takes to capture him once more.

Heinzkolenko's picture

Hello, I'm at school and have to write answers, I think it's good

So I like what you wrote

I am going to talk about Frozen. I don´t like the most of films but i thinked that i wanted to take one that i hated the most, why i hate it is becuse they sing those bad songs all the time and its just annoying.

lolisosa's picture

The Twilight Saga, a franchise you've probably all heard of. But it is actually that good? Here's what I think:

The movies are based on the book series with the same name, written by Stephenie Meyer. I would describe them as your high school-dream books: you've got the romance, the rivalry, the drama, and an amazing story! What more could you ask for. In the first movie from 2008, we see Bella (Kristen Stweart), Edward (Robert Pattinson), and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) live out their triangle-drama just the way we imagined from the books we already know and love!

If you, like me, love watching a cheesy, teenage drama and would like to fall in love with your new favorite vampire family over and over again - I suggest you watch and/or read the amazing Twilight saga, written by the one and only Stephenie Meyer, brought to life by Melissa Rosenberg.


The Bourne identity is really good action spy movie. The main actor Matt Damon is just perfect for his role. This movie is about a good-looking young man suffering from amnesia, trying to find out his identity. On the beginning we can see a fisherman on a boat spots a body floating … When they got him on board, the body turns out to be alive. The friendly fisherman rescued him, gave him some money to go to Switzerland, because he has a capsule embedded under his skin, contains the code to a Swiss bank account. He was welcome in that country, he took a lot of money despite lacking a name or any form of personal identification. Also, he finds several passports, one saying his name is Bourne. The problem was that he really wanted to know why he was in the sea, and his real name, because he noticed about himself that he is not like everyone else. He speaks several languages, has highly trained power observation and memory, know all the spy tricks and was perfect driver. In a fact he was a special agent, he was hired by special service to kill important political people. When he finds out who he really is, he decided to leave his job, because he was a good person, he did not want to kill anyone anymore. And of course, there was a girl, why helped him a lot and he was in love with her. In the end of that movie, he has found his girl Maria and decided to live with her a simple normal life… far away from his past life. I like that movie a lot it has everything. I would definitely recommend that movie.

fe_2789's picture

The book of life It is an animated film directed by Jorge Gutiérrez with a duration of 95 minutes, released in the United States in 2014. It is a legend-like story of two young men, Manolo and Joaquín, who live in a traditional Mexican town and compete for the love of María. Behind that bet are also two spirits, La Muerte and Xibalba, who will take part for each young person, tipping the balance for one of them to know who will conquer the sweet Maria? From that moment on, a very dizzying adventure begins that takes the viewer into the world of the living and the dead with fantastic colors and definition. It amazes so much level of detail and authenticity. The movie offers unique universes. The Book of Life is an entertaining animated film, suitable for children from the age of seven (more or less), it is a fairly elaborate film, with easy and simple content to digest. For me, the film also has authenticity, it is that although there is a stamp of the producer, it does not go beyond the creativity of the author.


I'm not a big fan of superhero films, but the movie Black Panther really caught my attention. It was directed by Ryan Coogler and it came out on February 16, 2018. The film is about a young man name T'Challa, play by the late Chadwick Boseman, who returns home to the African country of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. But when he's tested by a sudden enemy, Erik Killmonger play by non other than the talented Michael B Jordan, he must resolved this conflict because the fate of Wakanda and the world is at risk. With that said, he must gather an army, the Dora Milaje(adore ones) and the lead Okye (Danai Gurria), his wife to be Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and his brilliant little sister Shuri(Letitia Wright) that must fight with him till the end to defeat their enemy and keep their country safe. Overall the movie was amazing. I like that it appreciated the cultures of blacks in the United States and African cultures. Also the actors and actresses put their heart, soul, mind and body into each of their roles. Last but not least, the customs changes and effects was flawless.

hsn's picture

Film title "Eddie the Eagle" Directed by Dexter Fletcher.This movie based on real life of British first ski-jumper Eddie Edwards. Film gives us an idea about the power of encouragement, dedication and passion. All the person should have a target and must try to pass barriers.Then "the light will appear at the end of the tunnel" In my opinion this movie must be watched by all the students who at the beggining of their life journey. Don't give up and try and try again. This is motto of this film.


I learnt about the genre of film. props that characters use to make the movie realistic.

how to write a film review school

Five feet apart Romance This film is a 2019,directed be Justin Baldony.The stars are Cole Sprouse,Geyly Lu Richardson,Emily Baldony. The movie tells about girl Stella,who was sick on cystic fibrosis.She met a guy Will.He was also ill.But they weren’t allowed to approach each other’s,because they could infecting deadly viruses. But they didn’t heed all the bons... This film is very interesting and exciting. I highly recommend watching this movie to everyone.This story won’t leave anyone indifferent.

The Theory of Everything Drama/melodrama/biography, 2014 This film directed by James Marsh. The stars are Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones. This movie is based on a book. This is the story of the life of the famous physicist Stephen Hoging. Stephen goes to university, where he meets Jane. She became his wife in the future. Then, he learns of his incurable illness. His friends and wife support him. Man tries to fight. They are born children and all are happy in the family. But his health is deteriorating. Stephen makes great discoveries in physics. He becomes known worldwide. This film is very moving and romantic. The most touches is the love of Steven and Jane. I recomend this film everyone because it's very interesting and good. It has strong points.

yacine's picture

my favourite film is THE DARK KNIGHT i think is action and drama and crime, itis the most brilliant movie made by nolan, it was awsom movie, full of shoking seens.

Skills: Writing a film review

how to write a film review school

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How to Write a Movie Review: Become a Movie Reviewer at Home

Young black man watching and reviewing a movie while eating popcorn

Author: Anna Keizer

Last updated: Jul 23, 2022

Reads: 8,629

Anna Keizer is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and filmmaker. She has been writing for film and television for 15 years. She holds a B.A. in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago and an M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University. She has been an Academy Nicholl Fellowships Quarterfinalist and an Austin Film Festival Script Competition Second Rounder. FULL BIO

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

How Do You Write A Film Review?

1. watch the film, 2. take notes, production design, screenwriting, 4. formulate a supported viewpoint, 1. give an introduction., 2. include a synopsis., 3. provide an analysis., 4. offer a conclusion..

Actress sitting in chair with lights on set

Executive Producer (Film)

Male Cinematographer shooting on location


Showrunner in meeting with his production team

Production Assistant

Choreographer teaching a dance in studio

Choreographer (Film)

Best Boy Grip adjusting lighting on set

Foley Artist

Black female Screenwriter writing at home

Screenwriter/TV Writer

Colorist showing her editing suite to a coworker

Associate Producer

Actors on set that showcases a 19th century production design

Production Designer

Line Producer running through the budget with an older film development executive

Line Producer

Producer talking on her phone in her office

Producer (Film)

Director of Photography looking at camera on set

Director of Photography

Female Entertainment Lawyer holding manila folder and walking outside

Entertainment Lawyer

People also ask

How do you write a film review?

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Learning how to write a movie review can prove vital to a career in film.

In some cases, film criticism can become a launching pad for filmmakers , as it was for Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich, and François Truffaut. But writing movie reviews can become a lifelong profession in its own right with Critics such as Leonard Maltin, Pauline Kael, and Roger Ebert becoming household names.

The process of how to write a movie review entails much more, though than simply giving readers a recommendation to watch or avoid a film. Let’s jump in to find out why!

Just like any other skill set, how to write a movie review involves following certain steps that together result in a comprehensive and well-thought-out product 1 .

This sounds pretty straightforward, right? But consider the average movie-viewing experience, which may or may not take place in a theater, especially these days. Though advance screenings are still popular, many Critics now receive a screener or link to view the film in the comfort of their homes.

Regardless, of primary importance is getting rid of distractions. That’s a high demand nowadays, but for someone wanting to build a reputation as a serious Film Critic, it’s the least that the movies reviewed deserve.

Jeff York, a RottenTomatoes.com certified Film Critic, member of the Chicago Indie Critics and founder of The Establishing Shot , states, “I know that people have worked hard on it [the film] and I should work equally hard to give what they’ve done a fair chance to impress me.”

Hey, what do you think about trying our new Film Career Helper Film Career Helper really quick? It’s totally free and could help get your career moving fast! Give it a try. It’s totally free and you have nothing to lose.

In an ideal world, Film Critics would have the opportunity to watch a movie at least twice—once to simply experience the film and once more to write down observations during it. Alas, we rarely get ideal. That’s why when learning how to write a movie review, Critics should become accustomed to jotting down notes during a film screening.

3. Break Down the Film

To be seen as a Film Critic worth their salt, it’s important to critique a movie according to its many elements:

It’s hard not to give a lion’s share of attention to the Actors in films. After all, that’s typically how many movie lovers identify them. “That’s the new Tom Cruise flick!” or “It’s the latest Jennifer Lawrence movie.”

And when the Oscars come around each year, it’s typically the acting categories that get the most hype. That’s why it’s key to know how to write a movie review with the acting in mind 2 .

Evaluating a Director’s success on a film can be a tough undertaking. Some Directors, such as Spielberg and Scorsese, pretty much have free rein on their films.

Others who are not quite yet established may be more at the mercy of their Producers , studio executives—and even star Actors! But in either case, the Director is typically the captain of the ship, so if the film feels like a well-oiled machine or not, the praise or blame usually rests with this person 3 .

Cinematographers are often taken for granted. As film is an inherently visual art, many moviegoers don’t even think about the work that goes into creating a film that’s attractive to the eye 4 .

So when learning how to write a movie review, it may take some practice to appreciate the choices that a Cinematographer makes throughout a film, such as the shots , angles , and focus.

Production Designers are another frequently overlooked specialist on a film. Their job of making the world of the movie look realistic—whether that means the surface of Mars or Main Street, U.S.A.—is often done so well that the casual viewer doesn’t notice.

While that typically signals a job well done, it’s up to the Film Critic to take into consideration just how expertly the production design is executed and if it enhances or detracts from a film 5 .

It’s said that a movie is made three times: once when it’s written, once when it’s made and once when it’s edited. As a result, what is put on the page may or may not resemble what makes it to the big screen. That makes it tough to properly assess the quality of the screenwriting.

But as a Film Critic, being able to discern whether the story flows well, offers surprises—and most importantly—keeps the viewer engaged, will in large part inform the success or failure of the screenplay .

The Godfather is about a young man who takes over the illegal activities of his famous family. That’s the short version. But it’s also about family loyalty. Morality versus that family loyalty. The attraction of power. And the ways in which a person can warp with that power.

These are just some of the themes of The Godfather , and when writing a film review, a Movie Critic should not downplay the importance of theme or lack of it 6 . While film lovers may have an initial interest in a movie because of the stars or Director attached, it’s the universal themes of love, revenge, grief and so on that will likely have the most lasting impression.

We’ve all been there. Squirming uncomfortably in our seat because we’re losing interest in a film. In some cases, this may be the case of bad editing 7 . Like a Director, the Editor often has many people to report to.

With that disclaimer in mind, an Editor can make or break a film, and part of a great film is one that moves at a clip appropriate to the material. What’s good for a period piece may not work for a superhero-laden action flick—and that’s okay! But it’s up to the person reviewing the film to know the difference.

A move review offers an opinion on a film; otherwise, it would just be a movie synopsis. However, a great Film Critic should be mindful to offer a comprehensive viewpoint without giving away too many spoilers, as that may ruin the experience for those seeing new releases.

When it comes down to it, though, the people reading the review are often more interested in the “why” than the “what.” Why a reviewer feels that way versus what that opinion is. Viewpoints on films often clash, as any art form is subjective. If a Movie Critic can back up that opinion, though, they’ll gain the respect of their readers even if it differs from theirs.

A word of caution, though, on confusing criticism with simply cutting down a film. Says York, “In my earlier days, I was occasionally content to be sarcastic and quick to malign, and I wish I’d been directed away from such entertaining but not necessarily constructive writing. That’s why now if I’m steering anyone away from seeing something, I stress precisely why the film doesn’t work rather than just be dismissive of it.”

To begin, how did you respond to the film? Was it entertaining? Did it contain thought-provoking themes? Were the performances or direction strong?

How to start a movie review assignment might seem like a daunting challenge, but once the reviewer begins to really consider their own reactions to the film, those reactions and the reasons for them can become the foundation upon which the rest of the review is built.

How Do You Write a Film Review (Example)?

Let’s continue with The Godfather as our film example. Given that this movie isn’t a new release and is widely available on multiple platforms, it’s one of those rare occasions where it could be watched twice. When that opportunity comes, take it!

Once the viewing is over and notes compiled, it’s time to write a draft with the following steps:

That means providing the reader with baseline information about the film, such as the title, the year of theatrical release, the major cast members, the Director, and the Writer.

In this case, the movie review should include: The Godfather ; 1972; Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, John Cazale, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire; Francis Ford Coppola; Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola.

Writing a film review is an artform all its own. Though a film reviewer may have their own personal opinion good or bad about a particular movie, they must to some degree provide an unbiased analysis that critiques the pros and cons of the film so that readers can decide for themselves how to feel about it.

In short, movie reviews must have nuance. While the reviewer can certainly infuse into a piece their personal thoughts about a film, the goal is to convey to the reading audience informed reasons for why they should or should not consider watching a movie.

The Godfather is so widely known that it may feel unnecessary to include a synopsis, but it’s a vital piece of information that essentially sets the stage for the review.

That being said, while not as critical for a film that’s been around for nearly 50 years, don’t forget that a movie synopsis should not reveal all major plot points.

This is the most critical part of how to write a movie review. As mentioned, it’s okay to have a viewpoint that may not line up with popular opinion—and for a film as revered as The Godfather , it may be a fresh breath of film criticism air!

This is where the film reviewer states their opinions on those many film elements, including acting, directing, cinematography, production design, screenwriting, theme, and editing. Some potential topics may include arguing that Coppola should have won the Oscar for Best Director or that Pacino was more qualified for the Best Actor category than Brando.

Whatever opinions are put forth, back them up!

First, a movie reviewer must decide if they plan to describe key plot points and other elements of the film that may spoil the movie for readers. If so, they should clearly note their intention to include that information at the top of the review.

Beyond that, much of what is in a movie review depends on what the reviewer deems important to justify their opinions. Often a movie review will include basic information like the actors in the film , the key crew members who made it, and the inciting incident of the story that kicks it off. Many reviewers will also bring film study elements into their review with comparisons to earlier films or reasons why or why not the movie in question should be considered important within the pantheon of cinematic history.

Should people revisit this film? Can it provide new insights half a century later? Or would those three hours of viewing time be better spent on another film?

End the film review on a confident note with a definite opinion.

It might be redundant at this point to say that being a Film Critic means having an opinion. Truth is, though, that it may take time to develop that opinion and personal voice. Only practice can get you closer to perfect.

And even if the end goal is to become a future filmmaker, regardless of specialty, it’s critical to understand the importance of film criticism. How to write a movie review is in many ways how to make a movie; both skillsets that can guide a filmmaker towards success no matter if they are in front of the camera, behind it, or watching the product of it.

  • 1 Dirks, Tim. "Tips on Film Viewing" . AMC Film Site. published: . retrieved on: 7 July 2020
  • 2 Lindsay, Benjamin. "How to Tell Good Acting From Bad Acting" . Backstage. published: 12 September 2016. retrieved on: 10 July 2020
  • 3 Paul, Jonathan. "What It Takes to Be a Great Director" . Premium Beat. published: 17 July 2015. retrieved on: 7 July 2020
  • 4 Masterclass. "Film 101: What Is Cinematography and What Does a Cinematographer Do?" . Masterclass. published: 22 October 2019. retrieved on: 7 July 2020
  • 5 Becker, Judy. "What Makes a Good Production Designer?" . Filmmaker Magazine. published: 17 September 2018. retrieved on: 7 July 2020
  • 6 Miyamoto, Ken. "7 Most Intriguing Story Themes in Movies" . Screencraft. published: 3 September 2019. retrieved on: 7 July 2020
  • 7 Renee, V. "This is What Good & Bad Editing is According to 3 Oscar-Winning Editors" . No Film School. published: 15 February 2015. retrieved on: 7 July 2020

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