How to write a movie review

Whether you are an actor, a filmmaker or a film geek through and through, writing film reviews can help hone your ability to think critically and watch movies with a response that goes deeper than “That movie was awesome!” And for you future film reviewers out there, it’s never too soon to start. Here are nine tips on how to write a film review that people will want to read.

1. Watch the film at least once.

How to write a movie review

Once is necessary twice is preferable. Taking notes is also a good idea and will help the writing process by making it easy to refer to your in-the-moment thoughts and reactions.

2. Express your opinions and support your criticism.

Professional reviewers do not shy away from telling their readers whether they thought the movie was good, bad, or indifferent; in fact, readers come to rely on those reviewers whose tastes reflect their own when deciding whether or not to spend their time and money. Professional reviewers also have watched a lot of movies and can express why and how they came to their criticism. Be sure to back up your thoughts with specifics–a disappointing performance, a ridiculous plot, beautiful cinematography, difficult material that leaves you thinking, and so on.

3. Consider your audience.

Are you writing for a fan site, a national news outlet, or a Teen Magazine? Knowing who your readers are can help you decide what elements of the movie to highlight. You should also adjust your writing style to fit the target audience.

4. Know the Actors’ portfolios.

Many casual filmgoers will be inspired to see a movie if a favorite actor is in it, so you should probably spend a little space talking about the performances: seasoned actor in a new kind of role, brilliant performance from a rising star, excellence despite a lackluster script, dynamics in an ensemble, and so much more can be said about the actors in any given film.

5. Call out directors, cinematographers, special effects.

This is where your film geek can really shine. Tell your readers about the highlights or missteps of directors, cinematographers, costume designers and CGI magicians. What worked, what surprised, what fell short of expectations, are all great questions to address in the body of your review.

6. No spoilers!

Give your readers some idea of the plot, but be careful not to include any spoilers. Remember the point of a good review is to get people interested in going to the movie. Don’t get over excited and ruin it for them!

7. Study the professionals.

As with all writing endeavors, the more you read the better you will be. And when you read film reviews that you like (or don’t like), think about why. Use your critical eye to think about why one reviewer has a hundred thousand followers and another only has two. Be sure also to read the publications where you’d like your writing to appear as a template for your own reviews, and don’t forget to read the submission guidelines!

8. Reread, rewrite and edit.

Edit your work; your opinions will not be taken seriously if you misspell the director’s name or can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence. Take the time to check your spelling and edit your piece for organizational flow.

9. Find your voice.

The best reviewers have a distinct personality that comes across in their writing. This does not happen overnight, so take every opportunity to write as an opportunity to develop your own style and voice that will grab reader’s attention and keep them coming back for more.

A movie review is a document that provides critical commentary on a film. Movie reviews are commonly found in popular media, so it’s likely that students who are called on to complete a movie review can find many existing examples. However, it’s likely that in a college class, a movie review will be assigned to assess a particular film that relates to the subject matter of the class. Therefore, a movie review completed for a college class will be somewhat different from a movie review published in the local paper in that it must comment specifically on the ways in which the film comments on, informs about, or explores particular themes and subject matter that relate to the class.

A movie review should begin by announcing the full title of the film, the director’s name, the film’s primary actors, and the genre (which is the type of film). For instance, some films are documentaries. Others are historical films. Others are romantic comedies.

How to write a movie reviewAfter this introductory information has been presented, the movie review should provide a synopsis of the action. A synopsis is the same as a summary. The synopsis should outline the major events of the film, identifying the primary characters, themes, plot, and subplots. Unless otherwise specified by the instructor, however, movie reviews must avoid giving away the film’s ending. The synopsis should provide a thorough understanding of the film’s action, but not give an indication of how the film resolves that action.

After the synopsis, the movie review should critically assess the film. The critical assessment should be the longest part of the movie review—roughly 2/3 the length of the entire document. It should discuss various aspects of the film’s content and presentation. For instance, if the film were a historical film, the movie review would comment on the content by assessing how historically accurate the film is and how well the film expresses its themes. In terms of presentation, the movie review would discuss the quality of acting, the cinematography, the directorial choices of mood and scene, the soundtrack, and any other element of the way the film looks or sounds.

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The point of a movie review isn’t to provide an individual’s personal likes and dislikes, but rather a critical assessment Movie reviews should therefore avoid the use of the first-person voice. This means that the identity of the writer (“I”) shouldn’t figure into the text.

Writing a Film Review

C ollege and university students are often required to complete a film review, especially as part of a film or English course. Writing a film review isn’t always as easy as it seems because a student has to view the assigned film in an entirely new way than he/she is accustomed to viewing. Film reviews require that students do more than enjoy the film; they require that the student watch the film with a critical eye.

Films, especially those assigned for film reviews, tend to have specific audiences and messages in mind when they’re completed. One object of a film review is to analyze whether or not the film succeeds in its message and whether or not the film would appeal to its intended audience. Both of these issues should be addressed in a student’s film review.

Writing a good film review generally requires that a student view the film more than once. For some assignments, a film will be assigned that’s available at a theater only once for viewing. This can make the assignment more difficult, but that might be the intention of the course instructor. Whenever possible, a student should try to watch the film more than once.

A film review should begin much like a story review. It should include basic information about the film itself. Examples of important information to include would be the name of the director, characters, setting, and historical period. The review should also mention the style of camera work and the type of editing used in the film.

Some parts of a film are obviously more important than others, yet each part of the film should build on the other parts or provide background information. A film review should mention how well the film attends to these aspects of presenting the story. Students should address how the flow of the story affects the story itself and how any editing benefits or hurts the story.

Many instructors will give students specific instructions about what they want students to address in their film reviews. Students should make sure to thoroughly address each of the aspects specifically listed by the instructor. The instructor may or may not want anything other than his/her specific list addressed, so students must be careful to follow directions.

Writing a film review is much like completing a book report except that the media is different. The writing should be as solid as a novel review and will address many of the same issues. Thinking of a film review like a book report can help take the fear out of writing one.

How to write a movie review

You love watching movies. You show up early and breathe in the trailers, mentally noting each coming attraction you’d like to see—which is most of them. You invite your friends to linger afterward so you can discuss and digest the film’s best, worst, and most intriguing aspects.

If this sounds like you, you might already be a film critic at heart. But it takes some effort to structure your thoughts, so it’s good to have a place to start. Here’s everything you need to know about writing movie reviews:

Some details are essential.

Film criticism is a wide-open art form—there is no cookie-cutter template to follow. But there are a few facts that anyone reading your review should take away:

  • Who directed the movie?
  • Who starred in it?
  • Is it a sequel, adaptation, or remake?

Some publications, like Variety, simply list the director and key actors near the top of each review. But others, like The New Yorker—where the erudite Anthony Lane reigns supreme—instead weave in such information throughout the piece.

If you opt for the latter approach, throw in some helpful context as you go. Not every reader of your review of The Shape of Water will recognize Guillermo del Toro’s name, but mentioning his earlier works, like Pan’s Labyrinth, might jog a few memories.

Other bits are fine to leave out.

While it’s good to provide context, don’t overdo it. One or two telling details will often suffice—no need to recapitulate anyone’s entire filmography. Likewise, if your review includes a comprehensive summary of the movie’s plot, you’re doing it wrong.

To be sure, you need to make clear whether the movie is a soft-spoken arthouse film or the latest installment in the ever-growing pantheon of big-budget superhero flicks, and whether it’s set in 9th century China or on Mars. Beyond that, it’s almost never a service to the reader to spoil the twist that sets up the third act. Leave some suspense intact.

How do I decide what makes the cut?

As a test, when you’re not sure a particular detail merits inclusion, ask yourself: If I omit this, and a reader later learns it elsewhere, will they feel like I blew it?

You don’t want someone to finish your review of Lady Bird, go see it, and only later feel astonished to discover that, like her film’s protagonist, director Greta Gerwig attended Catholic school in Sacramento, and drew from that experience in writing Saoirse Ronan’s character.

Such information should not be news to your audience; they read your review, after all.

Ratings systems might just be overrated.

Film reviews are subjective. You’re under no obligation to rate movies on a hard scale—A+, 9/10, a solid four coffin emojis out of six feet under, etc.

In fact, many a movie buff scoffs at the notion of dispensing just a single award, Oscar or otherwise, for Best Picture. Trying to pit such dissimilar films as Get Out or The Post against Dunkirk, the argument goes, is absurd.

Rather than grasp for an arbitrary value, state plainly what a movie called to mind, or how it didn’t quite land with you, and explain why.

Study the greats.

There’s no shortage of opinions on movies in the world, but try focusing on one or two critics whose work resonates with you. Make a habit of examining their latest each week. Look for patterns. Try to notice what they’re noticing.

The most telling reviews sometimes occur when a critic singles out something bizarre for praise. Would you have bet on the aforementioned Lane to laud a documentary about a dumb Canadian metal band from the 1980s?

Both Lane and New York Times longtimer A.O. Scott were influenced by the legendary Pauline Kael, who Roger Ebert eulogized in 2001 for having “a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades.”

Every name in the above paragraph is worth knowing, as is one other veteran critic and fan of Kael: Amy Nicholson. Her podcast The Canon debates in exacting detail which films deserve to live on for all time, sometimes pitting classics brutally against each other, and features a rotating guestlist of equally sharp critics.

Your job’s not done if you haven’t considered…

To instill trust in your readers, you have to think and write about movies holistically. You might have strong opinions on martial arts and Victorian fashion, but your audience will doubt you if you judge a film solely on its action sequences or costuming.

True, many viewers of, say, Blade Runner 2049 are watching for robots, uppercuts, and noir, but a good critic is alive not just to the quality of the special effects but also the visual storytelling—the malevolent buildup surrounding the movie’s villains, say, or the occasional comedic beat between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.

In this spirit, you’d be remiss to ignore:

  • The quality of the acting
  • Whether the camerawork held your interest and felt deliberate
  • Whether the world felt inhabited or thrown together

If that all seems like a lot to hold in your mind until the movie ends and you can start writing, we have one more tip:

Take notes.

In a dark theater, you generally can’t pull out your smartphone or tablet to dash off ideas on a glowing screen without getting hissed at and asked to leave. Fortunately, film critics whose careers predate such devices have devised this alternative—take a notebook and pen.

You may need some time (and practice) to decipher what you’ve scrawled in the dark. But as the house lights come up, try looking back through your scribbles and add clarifications or more details while your memory is fresh.

You don’t want your final draft to read like you wrote it while watching movies in the dark. Grammarly’s free app can help tidy up those reviews before they go out. Find out more here.

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
  • Opinion

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.

It has become a trend to post your thoughts about a movie on public pages, social media platforms, review sites, blogs, etc.

Not only that, students in high school or college are also assigned to write a movie review in their academic life to test their review writing skills.

It’s easy if you have good observational and good analytical skills. Otherwise, it can become a bit of a headache.

You can learn how to write a movie review with the tips and examples provided in this step-by-step guide.

What is the Main Purpose of Movie Reviews?

The chief purpose of writing film reviews is to provide information regarding the movie and its ideas to the readers.

In doing that, students often make a common mistake of elaborating all the events that occurred in a particular movie. They state personal opinions about the movie.

Where such a review permits writers to express their personal opinions regarding some documentary or film, these reviews require an objective and unbiased approach as well. Know that an ideal review combines both elements.

Your review deliberates why someone should watch the movie or not. Make sure to write your review by considering that no one has ever watched that particular film or documentary before. This helps a lot in analyzing events that have occurred on the screen.

The summary of the movie needs to be detailed enough to deliver assistance for the reader while making a true and honest decision.

How to Write a Good Movie Review?

It is always difficult to start writing any paper. If you are staring at a blank screen unable to come up with ideas, go through the steps given below to write a film review:

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Let us discuss these steps in detail.

1. Watch the Movie Twice

It may sound obvious, but most of the students ignore it and simply copy-paste content posted by professional reviewers. It does not make a good impression, and more importantly, if you get caught with plagiarized content, you will have to face severe consequences.

You don’t want that, do you?

So, watch the documentary or film twice and don’t forget to take notes of minor and major characters and events.

If you rely too much on your memory, then you might forget or overlook something.

2. Conduct Thorough Research

Never start to write a movie review without conducting thorough research. A good reviewer not only watches the film but also gathers data relevant to it.

Search for the details like the name of the filmmaker, his motivation behind the movie, plot, location, historical events, and characterization, etc. See the intended target audience of the movie.

In short, the purpose of your research should be to gather information that delivers more depth and details to the review.

3. Analyze the Movie

Never ever start writing a review if you don’t even understand the movie and its concept. It is essential that you evaluate it from start to finish. Watch it again and again if you think it’s necessary or if certain elements are unclear. You can only make the writing process easier if you understand the events and the plot summary of the movie.

4. Outline Matters

Make sure you create an outline cohesively and concisely, comprising elements to follow while writing a movie review.

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5. Include Examples

Add examples, along with the claims you make regarding the movie. If you think the plot of the film has some holes, then state an example of a scene or situation when that was apparent.

Moreover, if the bad casting or poor development of the characters affected the quality of the movie, name such examples as well. Mention examples while commenting on locations, plot, or any other film criticism.

If you want to persuade your readers to agree with you, try to back your claims with evidence. Make sure your readers get the perception that you are objective while reviewing.

Never make it obvious that your personal feelings are involved while praising or criticizing the movie. It lowers the efficiency of the review.

6. Comment on the Quality of Scenes

Discuss what makes this movie stand out. Or simply that it uses similar strategies which worked for earlier works in the film industry. For this, it is a good idea to read reviews given by other authors.

What is the Proper Way to Organize a Movie Review?

Organizing information before getting started is the best way of saving time. Never undervalue the significance of a well-structured outline, as it helps focus on the subject and participate in a logical flow.

This way, instead of figuring out what to include, you will have an organized and logical plan to follow.

“What is a movie review format?”

Here’s how you need to organize the review of a particular movie:

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary of the movie
  3. Analysis of the elements of the plot
  4. Creative elements (mood, symbols, tone, camera techniques, costumes, dialogues, characters, use of colors, etc.)
  5. Opinion (with evidence)
  6. Conclusion

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Elements of a Movie Review

Following are some important elements that you must incorporate into your review.

The title of the film/documentary

Just because your headline includes the name of the documentary or movie, it does not mean that it can be skipped in the text.

Make sure you always mention the name of the movie in the introductory part of your review. It may sound logical and obvious, but most of the students repeatedly make this mistake.

Summary

The main point of your review is to summarize the movie or documentary for those people who haven’t yet watched the movie.

Know that as a reviewer, you need to discuss what exactly happened in the movie and state whether the moviemaker succeeded or failed in doing his job.

Research on a Filmmaker

Conduct research on who directed the movie. Find out if a person is a controversial figure, known for a political stance, and whether he/she has an interesting background, etc.

Write a paragraph on the people behind the creation of the movie and what they did to create this particular movie.

Actors

Evaluate the artists and their acting. Was it realistic? Were they able to do justice to the character?

How to write a movie review

Why would someone need to learn how to write a movie review? Can’t you just say that the movie is good or bad and be over with it? Isn’t it the main point of the review? Well, it is definitely not. It would be so simple just to share your opinion, but, unfortunately, they don’t give scores for that. In this article, we will give some tips on how to write a good review of a movie. We could tell you that we plan to give you tips on writing a stellar, one of a kind movie review, but we won’t. To write such reviews you need to have certain experience, and you will hardly gain it here. However, if you are interested in solid results, if you want to know the main principles, if you want to write movie reviews without spending too much time on it, these tips will do. If you have a high-school or college assignment, these tips on writing a movie review will be more than enough for you to deal with the task.

7 Tips on Writing a Quality Movie Review

Here is a secret we need to share before you start scrolling down. These tips can only work if you actually apply them step by step. It is exactly like learning a new language or getting more fit. If you just watch fitness videos and buy keto-diet cooking books, but keep eating junk and being a couch potato, things won’t work for you, don’t even hope. If you have applied at least some of these tips, you will spend less time on writing and come up with a better result. Just give it a try.

Watch the movie twice

One time is not enough for writing a good review. You need to watch a movie twice and make lots of notes about details and general impressions from dialogs, etc. Later, these notes will save you lots of time. When you feel like you are getting stuck, just look through your notes.

Read about the movie for an hour tops

And here we are strongly dedicated to save you some time. Often, students try to read as much as they can about the movie because they think it will actually help them to write a better review. Unfortunately, it is more likely to be a form of procrastination than a productive practice. Limit yourself to a one hour reading with some notes and bookmarks, and start writing.

Give yourself 15 minutes for freewriting

Freewriting helps to structure your thoughts, boosts your creativity and actually helps to get things done. Fifteen minutes of Freewriting is also a form of meditation that helps you concentrate. Later, if you get stuck with your writing, you can get some ideas from these pages. We strongly recommend writing with a pen instead of typing, as it activates different parts of the brain.

Don’t wait till conclusions to give your evaluation

Of course, you should not write everything you think about the movie just in the introduction. Still, don’t wait till the end, think about your audience, even if you are writing this review as a part of your class assignment.

Be as objective as possible

Being objective is part of writing any review, but it doesn’t mean you cannot express your opinion. The only restriction here is that expressing your opinion should also sound objective, it should be based on some arguments, not on your feelings. Yes, your feelings don’t matter much, and your argument should be well put and have a reliable and sound background.

Show your knowledge of terminology

When writing a movie review, don’t forget to use all the needed movie-related words that can really make your paper sound expert like. Google filmmaking terminology straight away and choose the words that you find the most suitable for the occasion. Terminology will also help you with a plan, as every term is a hint on more things to assess about a particular movie. Keep this list close in case you get stuck and need some inspiration for more and better content.

Give the context

When writing about a movie, don’t forget that everything exists in context. Think about the time the plot is set, and think about the time the movie was actually made. How did it influence the perspective? Did perspective change since then? If the movie is a remake, dedicate some part of your review to differences with the original picture and also don’t forget about the context.

The only step left to take is proofreading your paper. Use online services to do it, read your paper aloud, check both grammar and logic. It is better to proofread every abstract separately and later the entire piece together. Good luck with your review!

Elizabeth Bankston is our staff blog contributor and the mastermind behind our content marketing efforts. Having spent 6 years at the University of Richmond, she now puts to practice her leadership skills and humanities knowledge to show students how to study more effectively and successfully.

Writing a movie review format is one of the more creative academic papers that students encounter. However, it only adds to the complexity, for combining critical analysis of the film’s artistic merits with one’s personal response can be a challenge.

Even if you enjoy sharing your opinions and witty remarks about the movies that you watch at your leisure, you can be at a loss when faced with such an assignment for college. In this guide, we will look into how to write a movie review paper for college as well as how to write a good movie review for the benefit of other moviegoers.

How to Write a Review on a Movie for the Class

First of all, you must understand the purpose of your assignment. As a rule, a movie review essay is incorporated into the course curriculum and serves a specific purpose.

The movie you are asked to review can be a documentary or a feature film relevant to the material you are currently studying. For example, a period drama for your history class, a dramatization of a book for a literature class, a social problem film for a social studies course, or any other combination.

The course provides the context for your interpretation of the movie, and you must apply the knowledge you have acquired while studying it to the film’s analysis. As a rule, you should have some idea as to why you were given this particular film to analyze from the details of the assignment. Equally, it should supply you with a question or a prompt that will help you to come up with the thesis for your essay and an idea for the most appropriate hook sentence.

Components to Focus on for Movie Review Outline

When you have understood the context of your assignment, you should do your research about the film. Here are some of the things to concentrate on:

  • – Year of release, historical and social context of the time
  • – Film’s genre
  • – Sources of inspiration (is it a remake of another film, an adaptation, a film based on real events?)
  • – Filmmaker, his or her background, artistic views expressed in prior works or in interviews, political stance, etc.
  • – The cast of the movie (are they star actors, experienced yet not widely known, debutants?)

Now, armed with this information, you are ready to watch the movie and explore its significance for your course and analyze themes it explores and creative elements employed to that end. Here is what to look for:

  • – Story
  • – Conflicts
  • – Actor work
  • – Worldbuilding

Of course, there are some technical details to analyze as well.

  • – Camerawork: angles and movement, panning, close-ups, etc.
  • – Montage and scene transitions: is it smoothed over or abrupt? To what effect? (dramatic, comedic, etc.)
  • – Locations and set design
  • – Music and score
  • – Lighting and colors: bright or somber? vivid or subdued? exuberant or bleak?
  • – Costume design, makeup, hairstyles, prosthetics. How this is all used to create a whole picture and to set out individual characters?

Of course, you must not write about every element from the list. Concentrate on the most prominent ones. What have attracted your attention? What seems important in the context of your coursework?

For example, a review of 2005 Pride & Prejudice adaptation may focus on:

  • – How the movie portrays the position of women in the society of the time (for Women Studies)
  • – How faithful it is to the source material and when it strays from it (for Literature class)
  • – How the class structure of the society is shown (for History)
  • – How it applies visual storytelling (for Film studies)

Movie Review: Structure and Key Elements

When you have seen the movie (preferably, more than once), chosen your focus, and outlined the elements to analyze, you can start writing. The basic elements of your essay should include:

  • The introduction, where you should include the full title of the film, its genre, director’s name, and the date of the release. As a thesis, state your overall opinion of the movie. For example, “The film, although not faithful in every detail to its acclaimed source material, creates a beautifully poetic interpretation of the story for a modern audience through artistic use of cinematography and musical score”.
  • A summary of the story. Do not give away too much. Remember, that the main purpose of a review is to give your opinion of the film for the benefit of the potential viewers who might not have seen the film yet. Leave out the climax and resolution or at least try to avoid spoilers.
  • Analysis of plot elements: exposition, rising action, climax, resolution, etc.
  • Analysis of the select creative elements
  • The conclusion, where you give your opinion on the movie, its artistic and entertainment value, and recommendations to viewers of what to expect.

Pro Tips for Writing a Unique Movie Review

1. Take notes

This is especially important if you are watching the movie in the theater and will not be able to see it again before writing the review. Jot down anything you find significant, for example:

  • – To what effect certain creative means were applied? How the audience reacted?
  • – Does anything feel deliberate or random? Are there any plot holes?
  • – Have you noticed any recurring themes, patterns, symbols? What does it say of the filmmaker’s perspective?
  • – Did plot twists take you by surprise or you could see them coming?

2. Don’t rate the movie

Despite the ubiquitous audience and critics’ scores on popular platforms, rating the movie using the hard scale is not necessary, especially for a college paper. Your goal is to analyze themes the movie explores, the artistic means it uses, and the effect it produces on the viewers.

3. Don’t focus on your response

Your opinion is expected as this is the feature of the review as a genre of writing. However, if you will overuse personal pronouns, you risk making your review too subjective and one-dimensional. Whereas objective statements call for evidence to back up your words and sound more trustworthy.

For example, you can say “The movie was great fun and I loved it”, but a statement such as “This entertaining movie succeeds in holding viewer’s attention every minute of the way and leaves a feel-good impression” is much more compelling.

Now you can write a movie review like a professional critic! However, if you don’t have time to watch and deep-analyze a four-hour-long director’s cut, here is a bonus tip: you can ask a movie review writing service to help you out and prepare a summary for your perusal. This will save you precious time and provide a perfect example to base your work on.

Movie Review Guide: Enjoying a good movie in the evening and watching it solely for the purpose of writing a review is not quite simple. A movie review is a personal analysis done by an individual without revealing the whole plot of the film. It’s known to be a way for critics to assess the quality of the film and share whether it is worth recommending or not. Writing a movie review takes a lot of preparation that includes collecting knowledge of other works done by the director, learning about actors and getting a sense of their individual style.

How to write a movie review

Sometimes writing a good film review takes multiple viewings of the film. It is also important to take notes while watching the film. Let’s see some steps on how to write a proper movie review.

A movie critic must focus on following steps to write a delightful Movie Review

1. Watch a Film and Make Notes: Obviously, this is the first thing you should do. Creating notes while you watch enables you to go back to the movie immediately when you sit to write a review. Making notes will allow you to confirm that you have not missed any point that would be important to mention in the review.

2. Do Some Research: Once you are done with watching the film and making notes. It’s time to do some basic research before preparing your draft. It will facilitate your writing skill because when you read, you get an idea of structuring the review which plays a crucial role in drafting informative and entertaining reviews.

3. Prepare a Rough Draft: To prepare a rough draft, the best time is just after finishing watching the film. Sit down with paper and write down all the ideas roughly. Drafting a rough idea is very important as after some time you might forget the main points you got right after finishing the film.

4. Use Simple Language: Never try to use a fancy language in any kind of review. Always keep in mind that your review should benefit everyone, including the person who is just a beginner in English. Always use a language which is easy to read and understand.

5. Write a Captivating Introduction: The introduction of the review plays a very crucial role in the entire review as it helps to develop the interest of the reader creating a connection through the end. Your introduction should focus on providing information like the title of the movie, genre, director’s name. You can also mention other remaining information like awards (the reputable ones), box office and the cast members.

6. Summary of the story: You should focus on writing a summary of the story without mentioning spoilers. It is a very important point to focus on. Write your summary in such a way that you only give basic information about the story without telling the whole story. For example, If you are writing a review of a movie where one of the main characters dies in the end. You should never reveal it in your review. The summary should be short and not very long.

7. Brief Analysis of the Film: Start writing with whether it is a Romantic, Fantasy, Thriller, Horror Western, Comedy, Musical, Historical or a Documentary film. Write about the style of direction like whether it is a smooth story, sensationalizing or spellbinding. Give a little account of the star cast by describing the role played by them in the film. At this step, you can also describe the feelings you got while watching the movie. You can also mention those scenes that you liked. Write about the sound effects of the movie. All the detailed information regarding the film should be given here, but without revealing the whole film.

8. Express Your Opinion: Writing your personal opinion on the film is a paramount step for every film review. As you finish watching the movie and start writing the draft, introduction and analysis. You may have created your opinion on the film. In the opinion section, you can define what you think about the movie, what you enjoyed the most, what you didn’t like and what could be improved. You can give honest comments on the quality of sets, quality of the scripts, dialogue delivery or any particular accent. Remember, always give your honest opinion in a genuine way.

9. Comparisons: This is a step that you may or may not include and it is totally dependent on your wish. You can give a fair comparison of this film with another or made by the same director, featuring the same or different actor and actress. It provides a brief account for readers to know what they can expect from the movie if they have seen other movies by the same director.

10. Final Draft: Drafting a final review means you have done the editing, proofreading and given your review a desirable structure. If you have checked all the steps and mentioned all the details with your honest opinion on the film. You can finally make a final draft and your movie review is ready to submit. To make it more impressive you can take quotations from the film and add it in your final review which you found interesting.

To conclude your film review, you should comment on why a person should watch the movie, how it made you feel and if you have learned anything or not. You can also mention your favourite dialogue here with the scene that you will remember. You should also write your honest recommendation. It will help the reader decide if he/she should watch the movie or not. Remember, it’s their choice. You just need to draft the review and help them decide on your own. Never try to force your opinion on readers

Writing a perfect review requires a unique style that shows your different personality and to be able to write in that way. Make sure you practice writing every day. Start writing in such a way that you grab the reader’s attention and this never works overnight so start writing from today.